Accepting oneself can be a huge challenge for many of us.
For Nick Ward, a nineteen year old singer-songwriter from Sydney, this is no different. But he bares his heart and soul on this latest track about learning to come to terms with his own identity.
'I Wanna Be Myself Or Nothing At All' is about his struggles with sexuality and gender identity, having grown up attending an all-boys school where he faced homophobia. The confessional lyrics are backed by lush piano, acoustic guitar and gorgeous vocal harmonies.
The single also features fellow LGBT artist Lontalius from across the ditch, who delivers a beautiful verse offering a similar perspective on the issue of struggling with self-acceptance.
Ward, the former Triple J Unearthed High finalist, has just recently signed with Good Manners and Honeydew Recordings, and this is his first release as a signed artist with this new label.
He also recently took out the 'Solo' category of the Triple J Unearthed Level Up Grants, which allowed him to upgrade his home recording studio and video equipment.
“I used to have so many ideas that couldn’t be realised with the resources I had,” Ward said. “It was crazy that Unearthed had enough faith in me with the grant.”
This grant helped him to create both this song and its music video. The song is a lot more polished than most of his previous bedroom pop tracks, and the video is his first that wasn't recorded in his backyard.
The video juxtaposes Ward's performance of the song with home video footage of him as a baby, showing the viewers just how far he has come as a person and an artist.
Although it was written specifically about Ward's own personal journey with his sexuality, the core message can be related to by anyone out there who is struggling with self-acceptance. "I think the central message is a lot more universal", he said.
It's an inspiring ode to staying true to yourself no matter what, and the message as well as the track itself will no doubt reverberate around the Aussie music scene.