'when i was seven' is a powerful piano and rap driven autobiography of growing up in a broken household. Through the song's narrative, we hear the artist recounting his childhood, and slowly understand the struggles of the mother in trying to and eventually leaving the family - but also the artist, left behind to pick up the pieces. Reminiscent of eminem's 'mockingbird', the confessional tone of the song draws listeners in and lends itself to repeat listens.
When I Was Seven is a pivotal inflection point in yams' growth as an artist, signalling his evolution away from his acoustic, singer-songwriter roots and toward a fresher, R&B-inspired sound. The narrative-driven, emotionally-laden lyrics are elevated by yams' thoughtful and tasteful production; with both coupled together, he takes the listener down a deeply personal journey of familial loss, heartbreak and trauma, revealing a powerful beauty in vulnerability.
yams' lyrical prowess is matched only by his ability to craft a story. In When I Was Seven, he takes us through a journey, filled with hopes and disappointments, without ever dropping the rhythm and flow of the song. It's one thing to craft a certifiable earworm that wiggles into your head, it's another to craft a narrative that echoes on the inside of the skull. Long after my first listening of When I Was Seven, I was humming the tune to its chorus while reliving the emotional experience the song brought me through. This ability to mine his personal experiences and transform it into such an eloquent and powerful song suggests only good things for the future of this young singer-songwriter.
yams' lyricism stands out in When I Was Seven, as his sincerity and honesty powerfully transports listeners through the melancholy that accompanies personal tragedy. The music production lends itself beautifully to the power of the lyrics by presenting a more contemplative narrative rather than one that is overly-dramatic, emphasizing the ongoing nature of personal tragedy. I am excited to witness the rise of such a thoughtful artist.
When I Was Seven is a masterful tightrope act: yams puts just enough of himself out there that we trust him, but holds enough back such that we start to wonder what happened when we were seven, or eleven, when we stopped questioning the way that it works.