Today’s song is “Venlafaxine” by Xray-Ash. Hailing from British Columbia, Xray-Ash” is the brainchild of Ashneel Rai. The half Fijian and half First Nations (Nisga’a) grew up “without a strong support system as a child and was bullied a lot for being different from other kids.”
The song is named after Rai’s anti-depressant prescription, Venlafaxine. Paired with lo-fi hip hop beats, this song is an ominous delight that gets real about how harrowing trauma and depression can really be for someone.
“Growing up I dealt with a number of health issues which stopped me from competing in sports, and eventually worsened to the point of me having to leave college,” he says.
There has been an increase in anti-depressant use in North America in the last few years, so Xray-Ash’s single could not come at a better time. It’s a track meant to convey that no one is immune to mental health woes. It can affect us all. Ash says,
“The song is a no-bullshit view I want to share about the experiences, emotions, mental health issues I’ve gone through,” Xray-Ash says. “Things that people sometimes are scared to open up about, with the intention that hopefully, other people can relate to.”
This track is off his upcoming debut album 2004 due out early summer. Rai is also working on a documentary Wil Ksi Bax̱hl Mihl. In english it translates to Where Fire Came Down. It is about a story of a volcano, told from the perspective of local people from a cultural and spiritual sense – being compared to historical/scientific perspective.
Listen below and for more information on Xray-Ash check out his Instagram page.