Nadia Vaeh Premieres “Anxiety” to Benefit MusiCares and Obliterate Mental Health Taboos


On her new song “Anxiety,” Nadia Vaeh draws the listener into a dark, sticky web that not only taps into her own inner turmoil, but our collective unease as well, as the pandemic and quarantine have continues to threaten many Americans’ mental health. “Here comes the paranoia,” the pop singer/songwriter moans. “Anxiety is something many of us can, unfortunately, identify within this crazy world. I drew from my experiences in codependent relationships and my general anxiety struggles in writing this song,” Vaeh tells Audiofemme. “I continuously work hard to heal many of the issues where my anxieties are rooted. The thought patterns that create such a headspace can be hard to kick and can make it difficult to do even the simplest of things depending on the day, hour, or triggers. I hope this song helps those with anxiety struggles feel less alone.”

Written with producer Dion Shaw, “Anxiety” glues together Vaeh’s personal truths amidst a flurry of production, mixing sinister synth-work and various percussive elements. “Butterflies in my belly/This love can’t be healthy/Oh no,” she whispers. A ticking clock’s rhythmic pulse soon backdrops her emotional breakdown, adding on an entirely new layer of dread. Shaw also co-produced the song with Tyler Pratt, and together, they accentuate the tangible pain oozing from Vaeh’s voice.

A portion of the song’s proceeds are set to benefit MusiCares, an organization aligned with the Recording Academy which seeks to offer assistance to the music community in times of need. For Vaeh, it made perfect sense to team up with the non-profit for the single release. “They do some amazing work for the people in my industry, which is such a tough space to have as your livelihood. Before COVID-19, the entertainment business already posed daunting challenges, extreme financial struggles, and insecurities to anyone daring to enter,” she explains. “Songwriters and artists were already in a battle for their financial well-being before all of this.”

Add a global pandemic into the mix, and that spells further disaster for many hard-working musicians and songwriters. “What was already a difficult plight has become much [worse] with an industry ravaged by a pandemic that has changed every way we live and work,” she adds. “My peers need the support of such an incredible organization now more than ever.”

Vaeh’s commitment to mental health awareness unfortunately stems from a painful tragedy growing up. Originally from Atlanta, her mother taught her what it means to have compassion and empathy for others, as well as the power of words through poetry and music. When Vaeh was only 17 years old, she lost her mother to suicide and was sent careening onto dark path of self destruction for a number of years. It was only after her long-awaited return to music that she regained her footing and a healthier headspace.

She emerged in 2019 with a series of singles, including “Naked,” “Mirrors,” and the devilishly groovy “1,000 Cuts.” Music was not only her salve, but a way to push the conversation forward and help other people. “Anxiety” is the next link in her storytelling chain, and Nadia Vaeh’s daring vulnerability and brutal honesty in talking about mental health is part of what makes that story so magnetic. While society continues grappling with a new normal, it might be that songs like this that could save us ─ at least, it’ll make it all a little less unbearable.

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