Race Against Fate – “Fearlessly” – Single Review
Some of our best moments creatively come from some of the most tragic events in our lives. The strength of an emotional connection can lead an artist into some of their most sincere songs…even if they’re only initially written with self-therapy intended, as a way out of the pain. And I say emotional connection because I think that largely, that’s something we all experience with the different celebrities & public-figures we look up to and admire; we might not always know the people that profoundly expand & enrich our lives personally. I actually think there’s something special about that too. It’s obviously awesome to know someone well enough to sit down and have a beer or coffee with…but I think it also really speaks to the charisma and pull of a personality when we admire it from afar.
Singer/songwriter of Race Against Fate, Vik Kapur, absolutely gets this.
And while hundreds upon hundreds have had these tragedies inspire countless cover-versions that relentlessly pale to their originals…few have taken these moments into their own art and created something new with it. We all know 2016 has been a VERY rough year for entertainers; the deaths of some of the most insightful artists have left us all a little empty inside and trying to figure out how to fill the hole left behind. Musicians…namely David Bowie, Prince, and the unfortunate looming prospect of losing Gord Downie of The Tragically Hip to terminal brain cancer at any moment…inspired “Fearlessly” to be written, in tribute of the innovative and courageous way that each of these geniuses approached their art throughout their careers.
And in my opinion…this is how you do it.
You could let your emotions ring out on a cover of “Purple Rain,” or pay tribute to Bowie with another version of “Space Oddity,” or salute Gord by performing “Courage.” You could do that. I’m not saying it’ll mean nothing…because it will certainly mean something to you, and I’d never take that away from you. Hell…if you nail it, from the association with the original title alone, you’ll score countless hits on YouTube…history has already proven that…mind you, it’s proven the opposite to be true as well – you can get those hits quite nicely even with a terrible cover…again, based on the strength of the original. And chances are…in doing this…that important moment to you, all those feelings, all those emotions, all that heart & soul you packed in over the entire half-day you spent learning the song to play live on your YouTube channel…will be lost in the storm of the sea of covers to follow and gone the moment that the world stops paying attention one week after the passing. You could do that. Everyone loves a cover.
But in almost every scenario out there…the person that has passed on, wants you or anyone else in their life throughout the adventure to continue on. The greatest tragedies I’ve ever witnessed personally are not the passing on of people I’ve loved, but how it’s affected those left here behind…and how some are incapable of ever moving forward in their own lives after such tragedies occur. I firmly believe that it’s no one’s dying wish for anyone to stop living…and somehow, that’s what I equate these cover tributes to…hollow moments of sadness that are somewhat stuck in the time it’s most important to carry on.
So my advice to you…is to take these tragedies, and turn them into tributes of triumph, expressed through your own art & sincerity. It’ll always sound better – Vik Kapur is complete proof of this on “Fearlessly” – this is what a tribute and honoring inspiration in life truly sounds like.
This new song from Race Against Fate really has the genuine, sincere emotions that can’t be expressed through covering a song of a lost artist. “Fearlessly” covers the hard-feelings of loss, of personal confusion, it covers the admiration of inspiration, and eventually of the acceptance that comes along with the clarity that, in time, resumes. I think Vik has honestly outdone himself with this song…but I bet if you were to ask him, he’d tell you he just let the song come out of him, rather that felt like he needed to sit down and ‘write it.’ You all know what I mean right? I’m not saying he doesn’t go back with a pen & pencil and adjust some lines or some notes…what I’m saying is that sometimes a song just comes out of us and really represents how we honestly feel inside. That’s what I’m saying…and this song is that.
A real songwriter’s song…every word is chosen carefully and presents powerful imagery of the dream that life can be as we grow up looking up to our idols, and the despair of missing opportunities to say thank you or get that chance to express our gratitude in person when they’re gone. “Fearlessly” is all piano-based and Vik’s voice…the clarity in this entire song is absolutely stunning…he sings with a courageous, trembling emotion that authentically communicates probably just how hard it can be for him to get through this song when he’s connecting right to the words. I get that. I’ve got sincere amounts of respect for that. I wish every band & artist out there truly connected to the words they write…but it’s a fairly even 50/50 split truthfully. And then there’s some that can do it…and others, like Vik on “Fearlessly” that excel when they really feel those words and let them flow from the inside of ourselves out onto the page and recordings.
Absolutely nothing I’d change about this song. I think Race Against Fate has really done the inspirations behind the song true-justice with this original, emotionally-powerful song “Fearlessly” – and that it’s a pure example of the amazing things we can create from our saddest moments. Kapur doesn’t try to sound like Bowie, Prince or Downie…the writing itself is almost closer to Elton John or Don McLean…but it’s just him, being himself at the end of the day, truly & freely expressing what’s in his heart and on his mind. what it has in common with them all and why this tributary song works so incredibly well is that all of these artists have been able to induce that moment of calm, though-provoking clarity in our minds…music that instigates the healing process in our hearts and minds. This spellbinding performance from Kapur is every bit as timeless as that…”Fearlessly” is as pure and honest as expression gets. Beautiful song, wonderfully sincere tribute – I loved every moment of this.
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