We’ve all felt it, endured it, and grappled with it— the beast that is FOMO (the fear of missing out). Whether FOMO crept into your subconscious or dropped in unannounced, this feeling is almost as abstract as the solutions wielded against it. Alabamian Bailey Coats took a stab at describing this emotional phenomenon in her single “FOMO,” which is exclusively premiering on American Songwriter below.
“‘FOMO’ is about knowing that if you stay where you are at a certain point in your life, you will end up missing out on other, potentially even greater, things,” Coats tells American Songwriter. Coats is speaking from experience, because “FOMO” came at a tipping point for the artist. The single dives into places that Coats has yet to venture lyrically.
“‘FOMO’ started off as an ode to the fear of missing out on life; however, that quickly changed when the writing took a much more personal turn and became the catalyst for my looming break up with my then partner at the time,” Coats explains. “I had heavily resisted writing so personally because a) I didn’t want to fully acknowledge these doubtful feelings and b) everyone writes about breakups, why should I? After some much-needed reassurance from my producer and co-writer, ‘FOMO’ ended up becoming one of my most authentic and favorite records to date because of its honesty, vulnerability and truth.”
Her honesty paid off and “FOMO” rings out with clear emotion. Coats’ vocals wind through the journey that she’s already taken, and the track inspires listeners to take up their fight against FOMO; it can only hold you back from yourself.
“Be honest with yourself,” Coats advises. “This song was never intended to be as honest as it became. I tried to sugarcoat my true feelings initially rather than facing them head-on. I hope whoever hears this is encouraged to take an introspective look into their life.”
One specific step Coats took to banish FOMO was to simply admit her fears. I’m selfish, can’t help it. I keep you, cause I’m scared to leave you, Coats sings. When contextualizing these fears, Coats said, “The last thing any human being wants to be called is selfish; but, to acknowledge a quality about yourself and speak upon why you feel this way, that takes guts. I initially didn’t want to include this line, but ultimately it was the truth and to not include it would’ve gone against everything I stand for: authenticity. Rather than being a PC, PG songwriter, this line serves as my first step into taking accountability as a writer, artist, and human.”
Listen to the exclusive premiere of Bailey Coats’ “FOMO” below, which debuts ahead of her upcoming EP this fall.