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"What's With the Cockroach?" - Daydreaming Artwork Explained

Updated: Nov 17, 2023

I was talking with my Mom on the phone about my new album "Daydreaming". She told me she liked the music, but didn't love the image of a cockroach featured in the cover art. Once I explained to my mother the meaning of the cockroach, she began to soften her stance on the unpleasant creature. I understood why she felt that way, and imagined that others feel the same. I certainly wouldn't include a cockroach unless I had a reason to. Perhaps explaining to those curious about the meaning behind the cover art will tie together some of the motifs throughout the album.

The idea for the design came from walking through the streets of Prague. I came to the Czech Republic to chase my childhood dream of playing professional soccer. I left with no certainty I would find a team, but I knew I would feel better about failing having tried than never trying at all. In Prague, there are many castles, and I was reminded of my childhood fascination with castles while wandering around the city. I used to draw them in class and always had this fascination with the idea of them floating in the sky. During one of my walks, I came across an art store, where these pictures captured my imagination with this idea.

I had a lot of music to choose from that I had worked on for the past few years. I knew that I wanted to release an album after releasing a few singles, but I didn't know exactly what the central theme of it would be until I came to Prague.

My friend Lukáš, who had been playing soccer professionally in Czech, was the only reason I was able to come to Europe and chase this dream. We currently live together and I was constantly bouncing ideas off of him for the album. He was a fan of my music and encouraged me to release the album as soon as possible, saying stuff like: "The world needs to hear this stuff!" after I would show him some songs. Based on his reactions and the conversations around the lyrics and themes of each song, I began narrowing down finally deciding on the 9 songs that would eventually make it onto the album.

Once I had the songs picked out, I sat down at a cafe to design the album cover art. Lukáš brought his chess to the cafe, despite us being able to play on our computers. It was noticeably more engaging playing with physical pieces. After playing a few games of chess and raising my BPM, I comprised all the symbols that had been present on my mind since coming to Europe to design the cover art.

This recurring theme of childhood kept resurfacing. I decided to put the face of a baby on the body of a cockroach. Lukáš and I had discussed the philosophy around how many unhappy people lose touch with their inner child and as a result lack curiosity, imagination, and spirit in their adulthood. At the age of 25, I had never felt so connected to my inner child and felt like he was thrilled to be on such a wild journey across the world. The reason for the cockroach is that they are notoriously hard to kill. It's said that cockroaches would be one of the few creatures to survive a nuclear explosion (not sure if that's true). I wanted the art to symbolize that my inner child will always be present in the decisions I make, forever guiding me towards a fulfilling life. During one of my walks around the city, I felt how happy my inner child was knowing that I had gone for it, and found myself in such a magical place.

The next symbol: The Castle, represents the daydream. It's everything I am working towards. Some kind of extraordinary future that my inner child is imagining for us, which includes my future home, where I can raise a family and grow old. Of course, the castle is on a floating rock with a glowing golden energy, highlighting the mystical nature of this future.

Lastly, there is a chessboard that lies beneath our protagonist's cockroach baby. Somewhere along the journey, my inner child realized that we can't just wish our ideal future into existence, we have to work for it. Not only work for it but continue to make the correct choices to "win the game". The beauty of chess is it teaches us ultimate self-accountability. If you lose a game of chess, it is because you made a mistake. There is no luck or chance involved. This artwork celebrates the beauty of chess and how it translates into life. Being thoughtful with our choices, delaying gratification, sacrificing immediate pleasure for a better future, and taking time to learn the rules and tactics to understand how to make better moves.

I hope that helps you all understand the meaning behind the artwork for my album Daydreaming. I appreciate the support I have received so far, it seems that people are enjoying it, which brings me lots of joy :)


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