Robbie Ahmed: Hi, my name is Robbie Ahmed, I'm here with The Other Team to talk about Boring for Top to Bottom.
[Song playing - Instrumental]
RA: So Boring was written kind of like a love letter to my culture cause growing up, being brown and wanting to be an artist and also being trans, I always felt like I was my parents worst nightmare, so it was a way to reclaim that life would be really boring if I was anything else.
[Song playing] Lyrics: If I was someone else for a minute / would you look for me in strangers faces / do you miss the way I know the places your mind goes to / when I’m not with you / do you ever wonder if you made your different choices / would you look back for me
RA: So for the first verse, I think it goes, ‘if I was someone else for a day, would you look for me in stranger faces,’ and it was a lyric, I think I wrote for kinda like my first girlfriend and other people. The story behind it is that I wanted to always change myself and wanting to be straight, cis, be a doctor, or what they wanted from me, and I remember just having this book full of 30 or 40 songs, and when I started dating her, I just threw it away and said I was gonna go be in biotech, but eventually, it's so funny because after I changed myself and then we broke up, she started dating somebody who was an artist, and he was also a musician, who also loved comic books. So moral of the story is that maybe people are looking for you to be who you are. So that's the thing, is that if I change myself, maybe you're looking for somebody who is that person that I’m trying to change.
[Song playing] Lyrics: And tell me that life would be so boring / that you’ll be wherever I’ll be / and tell me it’s not the same without my love / that you’ll be wherever I’ll be / that it’d be so boring without me / it’d be so boring without me
RA: So this whole chorus is born out of one conversation, is me going to my friend Cheryl after being upset of continuously dating a lot of straight brown women and me going like, I felt really insecure and maybe they wanted an accountant, maybe somebody who was a bit more normal, and she turned to me and she said, ‘Robbie, That would be so boring.’ And I was like, you are correct. It would be. And that's how – pretty much the whole song revolved around that phrase.
[Song playing] Lyrics: And tell me that you’re sick and tired of the same old stories / that you’re out here looking for something new to hear / if I fuck up my lines you wouldn’t mind / because I told you something real / made you feel
RA: So the second verse, I think a lot of the songs are right are...Sometimes it sounds like they're love songs, but they're also about my relationship to art in a strange way. And that lyric was more of like, what if I fuck up art or I fuck up love or anything, at least I try to be real and said what I wanted to and be authentic. So that was pretty much that line.
[Song playing] Lyrics: And tell me that life would be so boring / that you’ll be wherever I’ll be / and tell me it’s not the same without my love / that you’ll be wherever I’ll be / that it’d be so boring without me / that it’d be so boring without me / and easy wasn’t easy at all / and hard wasn’t hard after all / and easy wasn’t easy at all / and hard wasn’t hard after all
RA: This is probably, like I said, one of my favorite lines in the song and it comes down to just everything from like being trans to love to art, I think we think that that path was harder, but it's actually easier when you are authentic and you love what you do and sometimes faking it and try to be normal is actually might be the harder route.
[Song playing] Lyrics: And tell me that life would be so boring / that you’ll be wherever I’ll be / and tell me that life would be so boring / that you’ll be wherever I’ll be / and tell me that life would be so boring / that it’d be so boring without me / that it’d be so boring without me
RA: So in terms of the production of the song, the track was produced by Zee Thompson, who's a really cool trans musician. We met after Trans Day of Remembrance and he offered that if you ever wanna record a track and get mentored on that, you can come over and for the recording, if you hear at the beginning, you hear a pretty loud sound of kids playing, and it's because I wanted to capture this ambiance of y’know growing up brown sometimes you hear a lot of kids and cousins running around the house, and ironically, the song was recorded above my nephew's school, 'cause that's where Zee lives above my nephews school, so there's also sounds of brown kids playing in the background, so we wanted that track. This track is from YouTube, it's not the actual ambiance, if type brown kids playing, you'll get it.
But that's pretty much it, just wanting to have that ambiance of just nostalgia of my life. And in terms of the drums, I went back home in August and I bought a bunch of Bengali instruments, I could not play them, but I did find a tabla loop that I wanted to kind of put in behind the 808 sound just to give it a bit of a layer to those drums, so that was there. And otherwise, the rest of it was like a pretty acoustic track, I didn't really want it to be anything more than that.
[Song playing] Lyrics: that you’ll pack your bags and be wherever I’ll be
RA: Hi, I’m Robbie Ahmed, and that was my song, Boring, for Top to Bottom. You can listen to it on most streaming platforms, and thank you for tuning in.