Masilva is Peacefully Flipping the Finger at Self-improvement

By 05 April, 2023

“Canción de Autosuperación No.1” (Self-improvement Song No. 1) is a refreshing, honest and laid-back personal mantra about not crushing under the pressure of social media and the urban obligation to produce.

On Masilva’s new single, the fourth on the upcoming acoustic album, Lucecita del Tiempo, he asks: “Aren’t you tired of the pressure we put on ourselves to ‘be somebody’? Of having to ‘make it’ in the world?”

Masilva attests that he has “grated” his soul, mind and body with this issue for years, bringing him suffering and pain: “I am a child of the Western capitalist civilisation that indoctrinates us to produce, to break our backs striving to achieve more and more, to be accepted, to be recognised. With the advent of social networks and the ‘democratisation’ of platforms for promotion and diffusion, this has been magnified to unprecedented levels. Not only are we witnessing in real time the telenovela of ‘success’ and ‘failure’, but we are inundated with courses, tutorials, coaching, images with tips, instructions, keys, secrets to achieve success, happiness, the perfect body, the perfect partner, the perfect musical hit, etc, etc, etc, etc, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah…”

So, in the face of this bombardment of coaching, books, methods, courses and talks on how to achieve success and happiness flooding the media, Masilva asks pertinent questions through this liberating, acoustic composition like “What is success?” “What is happiness?” “Is it necessary to achieve all this?” “Is that our life goal?” And “Who defines these things?” In a world where our affairs are made public, our “triumphs” and “failures” are sounded out, aired on social media and commented on by a virtual audience, Masilva sticks two fingers up to it all, in a beautifully simple composition which upholds the grace in looking up to the sky and falling asleep in a hammock.

“We artists, who are largely dependent on public acceptance, are affected by the pressure to be popular, famous, accepted, and this puts us under high levels of stress and makes us judge ourselves. ‘Self-improvement Song No.1’ digs into this very sore spot, and with a touch of humour, invites us to send it all to hell and relax peacefully in a hammock.”

So how did the song come about?

“In 2014, when Cristobal Jodorowsky came to Bogotá to give psychomagic workshops, I had the opportunity to attend as a ‘patient’. I mapped out my family tree, introduced myself, posed my question and the students made their diagnosis guided by the teacher. Finally Christopher ‘prescribed’ two incantations, two acts to free me and heal me. It took me eight years to do the first. The second I never did… until now. It’s this song. The funny thing is that when I wrote it, I didn’t know it. I only realised a few weeks ago, years after I wrote it, a year after I recorded it and months after Cristobal’s departure – but just before I made it public.

“This song is an act of psychology, of personal healing. It does not seek to be liked or to get anywhere. Its function is purely therapeutic and personal. It does not try to give answers or to guide, because in that case I would be flooding these networks with more second-rate coachings.

“Thank you Cristóbal wherever you are …. I’m singing it into the vía pública, the public realm of the social networks, the streets of our 21st century, as you told me to do, before artificial intelligence composes a similar song or diagnoses these psychomagic acts.”

“Canción de Autosuperación No.1” (Self-improvement Song No. 1 – or perhaps, Getting Over Yourself No 1.) is the fourth single to be released from Masilva’s acoustic album Lucecita del Tiempo (coming later in 2023). Other singles include “Amanece en Chapinero” (featuring Linda Habitante), “Heliconia” and “Araña Plateada”.

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