Like most well-meaning people, recent world events have given us cause for many sincere moments of reflection. Personally, I have spent some time considering the greater purposes of what it is that I, myself, am doing to contribute to a world which seems to be repeatedly kicking itself in the face while screaming "It's not my fault!" I've spent a lot of time deeply questioning what my music means to me, what benefit it really has, what it is that I am selling and to whom.

The music industry is binary. I, like most working musicians, believe in the revolutionary power of art and creativity; that it is possible to change society and make it a better place for all people, through music. Though my feet are deep in the industrial world of untruths and appearances, where profit and capital take precedence over reality, creating a false image of the world we see around us. This is what Guy Debord described as the age of the "spectacle" where "all that once was directly lived has become mere representation"; it is "the decline of being into having, and having into merely appearing."

Trump is the perfect incarnation of this spectacle. As we desperately try to accumulate our little piles of capital and contribute to the outer image of our society, defining the happy-family regime of a "that's how the world works" mentality, most of us can see beyond this. But what can we do to challenge this narrative? Now we have an old, rich, white, racist, misogynist, elitist representing the sum-total beliefs of an entire nation (sorry America!). This, for me, is the true sadness of capitalism and it's got me by the balls.

So, as I sit struggling to grasp the true intentions of my music, the Formation album I've worked on for over a year is being packaged in a European factory by lower-paid workers. It will then be freighted to the UK and sold to you at a substantial markup, using strategically planned and targeted sales campaigns. You, the consumer, are well aware that this is how the music reaches you. Although I could get in trouble for admitting it, or at least it could put a nasty little dent in the image of the band. This means a lot when the status of your image in the music industry is imperative in keeping housed, fed and in profit.

I wonder what effect music can really have on an audience in an ever less "real" and somehow more frightening socio-political environment. Why would you even start a band? I mean, the music lessons, the instruments, they all cost money, which leaves the poorest in our society at a severe disadvantage in accessing these opportunities. Appearances would have us believe that musical instruments/products are getting cheaper and cheaper. But those who might actually have something to say are losing access to music at an early age; funding is continuously being cut and the value of teaching music in our education system is on a general decline. Even my state secondary school shut down their Music Tech A-Level before we had a chance to ask why.

The outcome is that we will lose some important stories and disconnect with voices that exist in entire sections of our communities. Again, I'm probably not dispelling any myths for you in this text, but it is no wonder that the music industry is full to the brim of middle-class/private school kids who have been afforded the time to sit around perfecting their "talent". While relaying to us consistently banal, thoughtless messages of privilege that, tragically, seem so relevant to disconnected groups of young people who want out of the reality of their situation.

If you've read this far and feel as depressed as I have been recently then you'll be asking yourselves the same question: "why did we even start a band?" Well, as a group of people, Brothers, we came together to achieve something amongst ourselves: to communicate through music an immediate, positive affirmation of our beings, interest and connection as people. It was a very simple and literal "Formation" -- a "coming together". I guess it's a fitting name, the irony of which is that it was just plucked from the air (and definitely not from a Mighty Ducks film.) Remembering the original intent behind Formation, also reminded me of a great passage from the philosopher, and our homeboy, Arthur Schopenhauer, who was also schooled in Wimbledon:

"Music is as immediate an objectification and copy of the whole will as the world itself is, indeed as the Ideas are, the multiplied phenomenon of which constitutes the world of individual things. Therefore music is by no means like the other arts, namely a copy of the Ideas, but a copy of the will itself, the objectivity of which are the Ideas. For this reason, the effect of music is so very much more powerful and penetrating than is that of the other arts, for these others speak only of the shadow, but music of the essence."

If there is something that can be, contentiously, described as "essential" about human beings then it must be explored. If it can be found in the immediacy of music, as a language, that for some reason exists and appeals to us all and as a connective tool that has the power to summon the whole of our being, then it is one of the most important things we could share as people. As a disaffected teen, I was driven to abandon pre-defined social structures in favour of creating music. So much so that at the age of 17 I was kicked out of school. With a lack of substantial options at A-Level they had nothing left to offer me anyway, so I turned to my friends and my music to understand the situation and it was extremely empowering. We did whatever it took to find new and alternative ways to express ourselves, with as many people as possible and from many different cultures. I mean, we jammed with anyone and everyone, all the time and it was ours!

NOW THAT IS PUNK! And as much as it's punk, it's Hip-hop, grime, disco, jazz, blues and even psychedelia because at their roots, the same intention is present in forming all these exciting musical pathways. Throughout history music has connected us from one side of the globe to the other, overcoming any political and financial obstacles of separation. It's what connected French military musicians to slaves in Congo Square, Ravi Shankar to John Coltrane, white English northerners to black American Soul music, West African Igbo and Yoruba claves to Latin American Merengue dance, DJ Kool Herc to the gangs of the Bronx, American Heavy Metal to Moscow, Roots Reggae to Skinheads, Balanese Gamelan to Western Minimalism and Formation as a band.

See, through the battle of trying to get noticed in an ever more competitive music industry or getting lost in a bubble of social media algorithms or just watching the world slowly fall apart as the rhetoric of fascism and right-wing politics takes its cue, it's easy for me to forget about Formation's original intention.

But reading this passage from Schopenhauer, again and again, affirms our objective.

Believe me, even inside this system of profiteering and alienation, there is something we can always do to contradict and subvert; to see through the veil of untruths and appearances. In fact, I believe, that we can fundamentally display truth itself. By creating sound, using our bodies, appearing as our reality, being present, in the moment, with people. Communicating in that essential language of music. Think of it not only as the positive affirmation of the connection we can all share but also as a revolutionary imperative.

This is what Formation strives to achieve. But what can you do right now? Well, I demand that you go and start making music, TODAY! And by any means necessary. The resources for learning are at your fingertips. Don't let appearances stop you anymore; capitalism can no longer get in your way. You beg, steal, borrow or make the instruments if you have to. Start on this adventure now and through music, you will tear down the old boundaries and create new, positive and powerful connections. Just, please don't ever forget that's why you started.

This article was written by Will Ritson  from the excellent  Formation, who release their debut album, Look At the Powerful People, tomorrow. Watch the video for 'Powerful People' below.