Photo: Erik Melvin

Alexander Stewart – I’m trying

The talented vocalist opens up about feeling everything and nothing on "I'm trying"

Alexander Stewart’s transition from social media star to mainstream star just may be complete. After years of musical experimentation and brand-building, Stewart has found his niche, and the result has been overwhelmingly positive for the up-and-comer. “Leave Me In The Dark” and “blame’s on me,” his most recent major releases (with a combined 75 million Spotify streams thus far), set the tone for “I’m trying,” his latest addition to a growing catalog.

He is currently on a solo tour of Europe and will serve as the opening act for Charlie Puth’s US trek this summer. A full-circle moment for a kid who covered Puth on his YouTube channel, and now gets to learn from the hitmaker behind “Light Switch” and “See You Again” up close.

While previous releases have focused on individual relationships, “I’m trying” sees Stewart bravely extend his emotional capacity toward a larger collective. Stewart is forthcoming and honest, admitting that the stress of feeling pushed and pulled by everyone around him has become overwhelming: “Tryna be everything to everybody / I feel so much that I almost feel nothing / Half of the time I’m just barely surviving / But I’m trying.”

Lyrically, the chorus is the bread and butter of the track, but his verses are just as potent. The first verse is particularly telling, allowing the listener in on his state in the midst of an emotional episode: “It’s been a week and I can’t tell you a thing I did / I can’t speak / All my friends are worried again.”

“I’m trying” begins as traditional fare for Stewart vocally, but, as the song progresses, he stays more grounded. Instead of shooting for the stratosphere, he is almost on autopilot through the back half of the song, repeating “I’m trying” with little to no variation. He allows himself to be caught up in those words, as powerful choir vocals sit warmly, but not overpowering, behind him.

The track coincides with Mental Health Awareness Week which, this year, focuses on anxiety. “It’s the first song I’ve ever released about my own struggles with anxiety, depression, and OCD,” said Stewart in a statement. “After years of growing, learning, and LOTS of therapy, I decided it was time to write about this side of my life. My hopes in putting this song out is to let others know they’re not alone. If you’re struggling, please reach out to family and friends.”

Find information on Mental Health Awareness Week here.

Stream “I’m trying”: