Tobasco charts the impact of mental health on four of his standout tracks

German artist Tobasco goes track-by-track through four standout tracks, and how his mental health journey influenced them

Mental health has rightfully become a topic of national importance, particularly as it pertains to the music industry.

Below, German musician Tobias “Tobasco” Karutz charts the influence that mental health played in the creation of four of his stellar tracks; ‘Love It’, ‘Lemonade’, ‘Le Voyage’, and ‘Leave a Light On’.


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Listen to those songs below, and scroll down for Tobasco’s full track breakdown.

In the face of rising numbers of psychiatric illnesses, mental health more and more appears to be a luxury good, although it is crucial to a self-determined life.

Mental health status may not only affect everyday life, but also the way somebody listens to and processes music – and for sure the process of writing songs and working out ideas.


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I would like to show how my personal mental health history affects the process of music making and how my depression affects the creative process. Let’s focus on 4 different songs:

‘Love It’

This song is a kind of exception in my repertoire. It is not 4 to the floor but has a laid-back hip-hop beat as its basic element. It deals with experiences I made in real life and a certain self-concept that evolved over many years.

In the intro it says “I will cry” – not perhaps. No, I find myself in a situation, where it seems clear to me, that things will come to a bad end. But I try to change things, desperately.

The following verse shows this desperation, the feeling that nobody understands who I am. “Insecurity appears like arrogance” is a described state that feels familiar to me when interacting with people.

I know there are many good things in life, like love and coherence. But often the good things seem to be locked behind bulletproof glass and it doesn’t seem like I could ever reach them.

“I couldn’t say I love it from you” could mean, to ask somebody for help, good advice or a warm hug is hard to do. And a human with depression probably finds it particularly hard because he does not feel worth it to do so. But he is still longing for love.

“Le Voyage”

My country of origin is Germany, although I use English in 98% of all songs I make. In this case I had a flash of inspiration, making me use the French words “le” and “voyage” together.

Where are we from, where do we stand and where do we go in the future? These are the questions the song deals with. Indeed, I had some French speaking relatives in the family tree. This marks the past.

The presence is shaped by, unfortunately, lots of negative thoughts I get when I look at my environment. You can find them in the short verse-raps.

Depressive people often see things in a negative way. So do I. But I try to bring up hope in the chorus, where it says “to an island in the sun, to the paradise we’re from”.

Life is a journey and I want to keep the hope that things will get better, I almost try to enforce it and do not want to be a victim of my own dystopia.

“Leave a Light on”

You might call this a classical love song, although there are aspects that differ. The protagonist’s heart is “broken”. A miracle is not “likely to happen these days”.

This is an expression of self-doubts and pessimistic thinking. But it is important to me, that hope also has a place.

I want to set the small light of hope against all the negative feelings, wishing that everyone can find somebody whose light shines for him and shows him the way to safety and love.


Finally, there is “lemonade”, which puts a wistful focus on the past in the first verse. You might find a hint at a pretty popular grunge-song of the 90’s.

Easiness is the feeling that follows, washing away the sentimental thoughts and letting you swing to a light rock’n’roll and piano pop song, whether you have a glass of lemonade or something else in your mind (or hand).

Taste the sweetness of the good times and forget all the sour lemons life gives us from time to time, only for a moment. This is what the song wants to express.

In conclusion, music is a journey that has accompanied big parts of my life so far. It helps to process negative thoughts and can initiate a process, in which self-efficacy, attention, self-reflection and focusing can be strengthened.

Being creative to me seems to be an essential part of human expression, no matter what your passion is. It helps to feel yourself and seems to me like a workout for the soul.