On Uncommon: Inside one student artist’s reflection on how music is a picture of the soul.

Dressed in grey sweats and his signature vibrant shoes, Simeon Walther describes his journey towards becoming a songwriter. He describes his discovery of the music world and the struggles and inner turmoil that inspired his lyrics.

Simeon Walther’s stage name is Uncommon. He calls himself this because “Uncommon” was the name of the Christian camp he attended in seventh grade that resulted in his salvation. “Uncommon” is defined as something that is out of the ordinary. Christ was out of the ordinary in the eyes of the world, and Walther desires to be uncommon, like Christ. In the world of music, he is Uncommon, but the Simeon Walther behind that name is someone who has wrestled with confusing emotions and passivity in his walk with Christ. The confusion in his role as a follower and servant of God heavily influenced his lyrics.

Walther is inspired to write his lyrics spur of the moment. He defines his lyrics as being raw; they are a condensed version of his emotions. He writes his songs in generally two ways. He outlines his confusing and conflicting emotions in lyric form, and, as he writes, he finds clarity. These songs show a process of finding clarity amidst the confusion. The second way he writes lyrics is by simply verbalizing his feelings.

Walther’s goal as an artist is to be “a participant in the conversation” of music, not an authoritative figure. His lyrics are aimed at calling others out and also “checking in with” himself and examining his own life. He attempts to portray what he thinks without being condemning or authoritative. “I am not super scientific with my lyrics. If they fit, they fit,” Walther said. He cares less about the verbiage and more about the “vibe.”

His first song, called “Departure,” which he wrote in his junior year of high school, laments the fact that nothing comes for free. He desired to be free from himself, his parents and his responsibilities. In high school, he deeply struggled with relying on his responsibilities and attempting to be perfect in every respect, and this resulted in an override in his mind.

His song called “Silence” is a representation of his lowest point. He recorded it while he was home alone, and it was pitch black. He was filled with feeling, and, in describing it, he said, “it was just me and my microphone.” He admits that it is the “most unattractive song” he ever wrote and ever will write, yet the lyrics display intense vulnerability. It was him giving up on relying on himself to honor God and complete his responsibilities. “I admitted that I am broken,” he said. As his mind-set changed, he slowly began the learning process of trusting God and living by that trust. He began to fight to actively love God instead of being in a passive relationship with him.

Walther desires for his albums to be paradoxical projects that “you need to contemplate to understand.” His goal is for his music to inspire wonder by encouraging people to think about his lyrics. In describing his ideologies, he says, “Art is meant to put someone in a state of wonder, not distraction.” He does not want his music to simply be background tunes but words that make people wonder and question. Giving people an awareness of reality is at the forefront of Walther’s mind as he formulates lyrics. A song he is working on now, called “Demons and Distractions,” is about distraction corrupting our minds in the same way demons corrupt our souls. He writes about people finding their identity in their phones, but he says, “The same things I use to make this song [since he uses Apple products to make his music] I call people out for.” He calls himself and other people out for the hypocrisy that we all are so susceptible to.

When asked about his future in the music industry, Walther says, “I do not want the profit to taint the message.” He feels as though his music is a means that God wants him to use to communicate a message, but he does not want it to be his livelihood. He does not want to live off his art, but he wants to use it to glorify God.

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