From Depression to Relatability: empty page’s Frontman Discusses the Inspiration Behind Their Music

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For centuries, art has always been used as a medium to channel one’s thoughts and emotions.

With the rise of artistes such as Lana Del Rey and Lorde in the early days of the Tumblr phenomenon, we’ve seen an increasing number of local and international musicians adopt a more melancholic sound.

Among those who have shifted their upbeat sound to a much more sombre feel is empty page., a four-piece band that is the current favourite of Malaysian youths.

To understand why this band is so adored by indie music fans, let’s begin by deciphering some of their songs

The members of empty page. (from the left: Hezza-Ezzickry, Amirul Iman, Hezza Ezzachary and Aliff Fadhullah)

Released in 2020, ‘bagaimana jika aku tiada (dunia akan terus berputar)’ embodies the feeling of not being valued enough.

In the slow-paced song, the band’s frontman and lyricist, Hezza-Ezzickry, more known as Zic, 28, wonders if his presence matters to anyone in his life.

Despite the love that those around him express, the singer comes to a pessimistic conclusion, expressing that even if he’s gone, the world will continue to spin as if he had never existed—a feeling that some of us struggle to shake off.

The band’s 2022 track ‘hancur’ also centers around heartbreak.

In this track, Zic realises that his efforts in making his lover happy aren’t enough, leading his partner to take out their rage on him when they argue.

Puaskan hatimu, lepaskan padaku selagi kau perlu, dan hancurkanlah hati ini lagi,” the 28-year-old sings, telling his lover to continue breaking his heart if it helps them feel any better.

(source: @emptypagex via Instagram)

To bring an impact to both of the songs, empty page. mixes a plethora of vocal backings to harmonise and deliver the sad atmosphere.

Their composition isn’t necessarily complex either, with instrument arrangements that move slowly and steadily, making it suitable for anyone’s ears.

But what’s with the sad tune? Is there a bigger message that the band wants to deliver?

To answer this question, we sat down with Zic and discussed the band’s purpose behind composing sorrowful music.

Let’s talk about your songwriting and empty page. Does the reality and message that you bring to your music stem from any sort of sadness that you personally went through?

(source: @emptypagex via Instagram)

“I don’t want it to come off as if I’m using mental illness for popularity, but empty page. is a melancholic band and we want people to feel like there is someone that relates to them.

“I’m diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), but I also see it as a blessing in disguise. It sounds very bleak, but without it, I wouldn’t be able to write these sorts of songs,” he said.

The singer went on to say that he believes it is important to remove the stigma that exists around mental illnesses, adding that if there is a silver lining to his mental condition, it is probably because he was made to write relatable and sombre music.

“At the same time, I feel very blessed with the fact that when I was honest through our songs, it was very well accepted and people could relate to it. So, that’s definitely a bonus for me,” he added.

But before empty page., there was Empty Page!, right? Why did you guys repackage and change the image of the band?

(source: @emptypagex via Instagram)

“We started off as a three-piece rock band but we truly started taking off when we rebranded in 2019 with the release of ‘jika’. Since then, we switched our direction because we wanted to make more relatable songs.

“It was never supposed to be an emo band, but for some reason, we were branded as that and we just went with it,” he said.

He went on to say that the band was actually formed in 2014 as Empty Page! (emphasis on the capitalisation and the exclamation point in the spelling) when he graduated from high school, but in 2019, empty page. was born to represent a new era sonically.

“We used to play rock music and the album at the time wasn’t bad, but we grew out of that phase. Luckily in 2019, Iman (the band’s bassist and composer) joined the band and the chemistry we had was the reason why we adopted the new sound,” he added.

How would you describe the band’s music?

(source: @emptypagex via Instagram)

“I would describe it in two ways. First, it’s pop songs with hopeless romantic lyrics, and second, pop songs with a hint of reality.

“Personally, I like to write real stuff, especially my own emotions because sometimes, reality can be a bit dark, which is why our songs are also more on the melancholic side to keep it real with our fans,” he said.

If you could pick three of the band’s best songs, which would you choose?

(source: @emptypagex via Instagram)

“The first one is sort of a given, and it’s ‘bagaimana jika aku tiada (dunia akan terus berputar)’, I think that song has become our one-hit-wonder.

“Other than that, is ‘cahaya’ and ‘hancur’,” he said.

According to Zic, out of the three songs, he particularly loved writing ‘hancur’.

“In ‘hancur’, there is one phrase that I really like, ‘Dan hancurkanlah hati ini lagi selagi suara kau yang aku dengar, dan hancurkanlah hati ini lagi selagi mata kau yang aku bayang,’ because of the level of desperation behind that line. The emotion it describes when you depend too much on a toxic person,” he added.

What do you hope for the band’s future?

(source: @emptypagex via Instagram)

“I just want to make songs that people will continue to relate to, I want them to feel like, ‘Oh shit, this song was written for me.’

“Other than that, maybe for the band to get a little bit more recognition locally, or even expand to the Indonesian market,” he said.

Zic also took the time to thank his fans and supporters who have been helping them out since day one.

“We’re very fortunate to have friends who are willing to talk about the band and our fans who are very supportive.

“I don’t think a lot of bands are attached to their fans, but we are extremely close to them and that’s why we call them the empty fan,” he added.

Follow empty page. on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

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Asking for help is not a sign of weakness.

If you or anyone you know is lonely, distressed, or having negative thoughts, please call these Malaysian hotlines:

Contact: +603-76272929
Email: [email protected]
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Contact: 15999
WhatsApp: +6019-2615999
Email: [email protected]
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Daily (12pm – 12am)
Contact: 1800-18-2327
Email: [email protected]
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For a more thorough directory of resources, head over to the websites of Malaysian Mental Health Association or MINDAKAMI.

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