An Unlikely Fan

An Unlikely Fan

I was introduced to Airospace listening to Cinderella 99, tearing up at the line “Made it through like two deaths/Barely got a slow clap,“ and listening intently to follow the rest of the trajectory of the song. I had been told that Airo had lost two parents with whom he had a complicated history, one after another, with no opportunity to really process, and that line packed a punch that seemed to say it all. It made me wish I could sit by his side and ease some of his pain. Then the chorus made me feel encouraged that despite the hard, he was held aloft by his dreams and visions: “Locked in a safe got my heart and/My dreams in a sweet reverie/Visionary notions stabilizing me/Lucidity while I’m trapped in a place/Where life’s not what it seems/Evading all illusions/Sweet awakening.

If you knew me, you might think me an unlikely fan. After all, I’m a 64 year old white woman. While I love poetry, my musical picks are usually more in the realm of folk and guitar, though I have always had a soft spot for lively percussion and compelling lyrics. When I found out he was a drummer, I was hooked! What I love most about Airospace is the fact that his work is emotionally evocative and raw at the same time that it can be playful and optimistic.

As a psychotherapist, I am a deep believer in art as a form of therapy and it seems that Airospace is processing layers of personal and collective trauma in his work, though he views himself as so much more than the trials he has been through — like the line, also from Cinderella 99: “What did you think I was in it for/All of my shit is presentable/All of my worth isn’t miserable (or is he saying immeasurable?)”

While this type of processing in and of itself is of great value to him and to all of us, this artist is not only about his lyrics and music. He brings people together, generates new ideas and projects of all kinds, and radiates a generous warmth that is both infectious and rare. — especially in competitive spaces., as the music world can be.

I’ve had a few opportunities to see him in person — onstage and in between sets — and he has a striking bright smile and readily opens his arms wide for hugs that are tight and real. I have come to know him as a social artist as much as he is a musical artist — bringing people and genres from far ends of any spectrum into a creative dialogue with one another. His fierce honesty may challenge us, and yet that is what art in meant to do.

The more I know about Airospace and his body of work, the more I see the paradoxical world he invites us all to inhabit alongside him — a place that is at once far away (space) and intimate. Expression that is filled with pain and optimistm. His lyrics are there for all to hear, yet often difficult to decipher. He purposefully uses fonts that require effort to read. He has created his own media platform (Nebula) to be more accessible to his fans and supporters, yet he is known to take the space he needs to decompress. He deals with suicidal thoughts and feelings, even as he affirms life at nearly every turn.

He calls himself Airospace, even as he himself is the shining star, adored by his fans to a degree that I believe can be understood as devotion to an artist who expresses much of their own pain in ways that they find validating. It seems his biggest fans feel seen when they listen to his music. And isn’t that what it’s all about?

I am eager to see what collaborations and innovations he comes up with next, hoping to catch him live, in his own show, as soon as possible — even if there aren’t a lot of fans who look like me in attendance…

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