Living Through Lyrics (Best Use of B-roll 2016)

Timia Raines

As the warm lights shined down on her, the audience became almost invisible, only indicating their attendance with the occasional rustle of seats. It was the moment she had been longing to experience for years. With her friend and fellow singer by her side, she took a deep breath and began to sing.

Her nerves instantly went away, and confidence flowed through her veins. Before she knew it, the audience erupted in cheers. She stood for a few seconds, taking it all in.

Photo by Ethan Iverson

“We got off the stage and I busted out in tears because I was so happy that we finally did it,” songwriter Timia Raines said. “I never before thought we could write a song, let alone perform it.”

As she exited the stage, she could still hear one person clapping and cheering. That person, unknown to everyone but her, was who she longed for support from more than anyone else. It was her mother.

Fourteen-year-old songwriter Raines grew up in a musical family, listening to her uncles and mother singing around the house. She herself discovered her devotion for music in elementary school when she used the spare time to write poems.

“[During] free time, I would sit there and just write rhymes that came into my mind,” Raines said. “Lyrics would always be in my mind, no matter what.”

“We got off the stage and I busted out in tears because I was so happy that we finally did it. I never before thought we could write a song, let alone perform it.”

Still, Raines was missing the approval of her mother to make songwriting a career.

“My mom wasn’t supportive at first,” said Raines. “She was like, ‘No, that’s a waste of your time. God gave you intelligence, you need to use it.’ She wanted me to be a lawyer, doctor, something that’s going to make money.”

Finally during the summer of 2015 at the Otis Music Camp, her mother changed.

The final performance of camp was also the first time she heard her mother’s support long after the rest of the audience had gone silent. It was the boost of confidence she desired for years.

“The thing that really made me cry was my mom; she was the loudest one in there,” said Raines. “And I could still hear her when I was walking off the stage.”

This year, Raines draws from personal experience to create her song “What If.” She drew from her memories during her middle school years when she struggled with depression.

After treatment, she looked back on the difficulties she endured and the effect it had on her life. She explains her desire to turn back the clock and relive the happier days, before the emotional damage.

“I’m trying to leave you with a message of hope. You may be hurt now, but things will change. I wish we could rewind to yesterday because sometimes yesterdays are good; they’re like the best days. But you also have to remember that you have to look forward to the future.”