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Vôx Vé – Dream Theory 1 [ARTIST GUEST BLOG]

Swiss artist Vôx Vé gives insight into her album Dream Theory 1, read on for an anecdotal commentary on mental health and a “success-or-die” culture which plagues society at large.

Dream Theory 1 explores our culture’s obsession with big “dreams”—in the sense of “success”—within the soundscape of my vivid subconscious. The songs hold a precious personal significance for me because they capture the first rumblings of the most healing transformation of my life: my beginning to question our inherited ideas around how to live a successful life and unfuck my mind of their more destructive conditioning. This is one personal story in a much larger generational struggle for mental health that I hope can offer catharsis to anyone wishing to rethink the priorities of our “reality” and set themself free.

Dreams, as in the subconscious, have been a frequent and vivid part of my experience since I was a kid, but in the years leading up to this EP, started escalating to a wilder fever pitch than ever before. Every night would bring either a heart-pounding nightmare… I’d wake up every morning with their imprint on my insides like an emotional hangover. So I started creating music and art to externalize and process all those feelings, and figures, and colors…the result being that my apartment is littered with vivid paintings and my EP is a vast, atmospheric, emotive landscape of echoing celestial voices and dark bass synths.

Rocked around at night by subconscious dreams, I was equally if not more consumed during the day with the cultural concept of big “dreams” as in “success”—this idea that a person’s mission in life is to sacrifice everything to the realization of some proof of their individual specialness in narrow terms of wealth and renown. When I moved from home in Switzerland to college in New York City, I was fully bought into this paradigm, which most of us Millennials grew up on.

It was only once I was immersed in a city that placed success so high above other human needs, that I began noticing how chronically anxious it was making people. Unfortunately, it took me a long time to translate these observations into actions. I spent the first five years of my work life isolated in a deeply anxious pursuit of external validations I didn’t really care about, ignoring daily sadness and a growing instinct that something was quite wrong with this reason for living. These songs were my first real steps to listen to my own thoughts and pursue my own definition of happiness.

So Dream Theory 1 is numbered 1, because it was the first phase of building the bridge between me in that hustle for approval, suppressing my human needs through an eating disorder, to understanding that, while ambition and achievement can often be beautiful parts of a fulfilling life, they are not success. My “achievement” in the terms that society currently values does not equate to my worth, nor can it create my happiness.

I believe this distinction, between pursuing “big dreams”—for the sake of mass recognition and at the expense of emotional wellbeing—and doing what you individually think of as rewarding work from a place of balance and self-worth is a fundamentally important conversation for our generation. One that could meaningfully impact the rising tide of anxiety and depression diagnoses of our times. And if Dream Theory 1 could play any part of that, that would mean more to me than any accolade.”

Listen to Dream Theory 1 below!

Jessica Thomas