During their unprecedented year of online learning, many RLS students found creative ways to fill their free time while not on campus. Aidan Carr ’21 wrote, recorded, and released an album of his own songs, entitled, Dear Whoever. The album is now available to stream on a variety of online platforms. (Linked on Apple Music here and Spotify here.)

Music has always been important in Aidan’s family, but it wasn’t until he took Stevenson’s songwriting and music production course his freshman year that he began to write his own songs. While he had no formal musical training, the class allowed him to experiment with a variety of instruments and their sounds, and ultimately, he was able to pick up the piano, vibraphone, ukulele, kalimba, guitar, and electric bass to utilize in his tracks.

The songwriting class at Stevenson was just the start of Aidan’s musical journey. After the class, he continued to write his own songs independently, and he also participated in music in a variety of ways while at school. He explains, “I was lucky enough to be a TA in the songwriting and music production class during my junior year at RLS to help guide the other students. The experience was definitely a highlight in my years here, as sharing the joy of creating music with others, regardless of their experience, is a wonderful feeling. This year, I’m also honored to be a TA in our choir, and I am finishing up the AP music theory class, as well.”

When asked what inspired him to produce an album of songs during the past year, Aidan explains, “Dear Whoever is a project that explores the idea of a person living in between two realities. The concept was created in the feeling of isolation I experienced at home in the pandemic, alongside many others. I found myself having both energy and emotion inside with nowhere to offer it, and I enjoyed the idea of somebody daydreaming to take advantage of these feelings while they escaped the harshness of their current situation. For this reason, Dear Whoever consists of high-energy tracks, inspired by the joy one finds in imagining a different reality, alongside more emotionally driven ones, which take on the feelings which can confront you after you realize how stuck you truly feel.” Aidan handled the entire album creation process from start to finish, as he explains: “The album was recorded, mixed, and mastered 100% in my bedroom ‘studio’ in Marina, then distributed to stores through a lovely company known as DistroKid.”

Ultimately, Aidan credits the encouraging, open, and welcoming atmosphere at Stevenson for giving him the confidence to make and share his art with the world: “One of the most important lessons I’ve learned here has to be the value of confidence and looking out for one another. People can excel if they do away with the embarrassment or shame that limits them from learning, and cultivating an environment that supports this kind of unrestrained expression is common at Stevenson. I’ve found myself in circles that reward those who leave their comfort zones, allowing for communal growth and a widespread positive attitude.”

Check out Dear Whoever today on Spotify, Apple, Amazon, Deezer, or Tidal.