Hundreds of thousands of Americans struggle with eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia nervosa. Those who suffer often do so in excruciating silence, seeing themselves in such harsh light that they do sometimes irreparable damage to their bodies. It's an illness that effects people regardless of ethnicity, gender, or class, and it's an issue that needs to be publicly addressed more often.
Matthew Koma, celebrated producer and songwriter, steps up to the plate with his latest release, "Dear Ana." A deeply personal tune, "Ana" sees Koma face his demons out in the open in the hopes that it may help himself and others.
"'Dear Ana' is a song about my battle with an eating disorder that nearly killed me," Koma is quoted in a press release. "I always had some issues around body image and body dysmorphia, but didn't have the strength to face it or talk about it openly. I became so mentally and physically exhausted, and it didn't get any better in the context of shooting photos and music videos, doing promo, etc. I finally hit a rock bottom when it was a matter of survival, but admitting it was only the first step of a very long and hard journey."
"Dear Ana" features additional production from Jai Wolf. It's hopeful in its musicality, though heavy in atmosphere and lyrical sentiment. It opens with a wonky synth line and builds strength over the course of its three and a half minutes. Koma is wide open as he sings about his hesitation to move on from a life he knows is only hurting him, though as the synths come back around for the hook, he finds the courage he needs to let go.
"I wrote this song during my first week of recovery," he says. "It takes conscious decisions every day to continue overcoming the thoughts, patterns, and fears… but with the right support and headspace, I'm grateful to be heading in the right direction."
Listen to "Dear Ana" from Matthew Koma and Jai Wolf below.