L.A.-based 17-year-old singer/songwriter Avery Roberts shares the deeper meaning of the lyrics to “Wifi & I,” his infectious love-song parody about our constant search for connection in a world where we’re Velcroed to our devices.
I wrote “Wifi & I” during a period when I got inspiration by scrolling through Instagram and seeing what sparked an idea for a song. Around November 2013, I came across this image on rosy ruby’s Tumblr (Me+Wifi=Love, pictured above).
It spoke so much to my experience at the time. (Heck, even today.) It feels a lot of the time like people love their phones more than actual human interaction, and I thought this was a wonderful opportunity to satirize one of the most prominent human relationships we have today, but the one we seem to give the least credit to — ourselves, and our need for constant connection.
So, with this picture and the wonderful Sad Emojis in mind (a short play written by a friend), I started writing.
I actually started the song in the bridge — the lines “I love you with all my heart, I know we’ll never fall/except in those strange places where I can’t find you at all!” After all, the eternal struggle with Wifi is that when you need it, the place where you are doesn’t have it. From the point of view of a relationship with Wifi, it turned into this kind of sad idea of the relationship being very one-sided, of me being very involved and Wifi being unsympathetic and flighty.
So I built the song from there — in the chorus I talk about knowing “that I’m not your [Wifi’s] only guy,” and I sarcastically sing that “we’ll never be apart.” But I knew that any song called “Wifi & I” couldn’t be anything but a comedy, so I wrote Internet puns all over the place, and when I was satisfied with the lyrics, I gave them to my co-writer Kendra Celise to write the music. Normally, I write my own melodies for my lyrics, but I knew this time I couldn’t write it as bright and bubbly as it needed to be, and Kendra absolutely could.
On the way, I think I created something with (hopefully) some deep meaning — I want people to be able to listen to this and realize how silly our obsession with connection is. After all, if this were a relationship, as it’s portrayed in the song, you wouldn’t be rooting for it — you’d be hoping for a more healthy give and take. And while I know that isn’t possible with an inanimate force like the Internet in our lives, I also know that we don’t have to be so attached. Let Wifi be wondering where we went, not the other way around!
Avery Roberts is an L.A.-based singer/songwriter. His debut album, “Where Nothing Can Hurt Me,” released in 2015, includes an eclectic mix of styles, from EDM to country. Avery has been writing classical and pop music for several years, and has studied under Starship writer Robin Randall, Pasadena Master Chorale Composer in Residence Reena Esmail and L.A. Master Chorale Composer in Residence Shawn Kirchner. Avery’s latest single, “Love of Mine” was just released for Valentine’s Day. Listen and find Avery at: averyrobertsmusic.
Image: rosy ruby, via Tumblr