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Stephen Opens Up About Gaming Addiction in Exploratory New Single “TRACER”

Photo Courtesy Of Undine Markus



The indie-electronic artist based in LA, Stephen AKA Stephen Swartz, has been building momentum with another emotional single, “TRACER” out now on all streaming platforms. This is the second track unveiled from his upcoming album Akrasia with his first one, “I Never Stay In Love” still racking up streams to date. Continuing to touch on personal topics, “TRACER” explores Stephen’s struggle with gaming addiction and its long-term effects. He specifically recalls a time when he played Overwatch while he was home sick with Lyme disease in 2016. The official lyric video premiered last night at 9pm PST and was joined by a live AMA on Stephen’s YouTube during the premiere.

“I discovered Overwatch while I was sick with Lyme. At the time there was so much out of my control, and this game was my means of escaping into a world I could control. No matter how bad my symptoms got, I could always flick the game on and lose myself in this competitive fantasy. It became a problem when I started getting better. A year had gone by, I was physically able to get back to my life, but I didn’t want to address how uninspired I was. The game became a compulsive escape from my situation and a means of procrastination.” – Stephen

Akrasia will be Stephen’s sophomore album, and it will mark a huge milestone in his career as it is his first album release after a year-long hiatus due to his Lyme disease diagnosis in 2016. His debut album, Sincerely came out right before and featured his hit single “Crossfire” which ultimately put Stephen on the path to the forefront of the scene. That moment which was ultimately followed by his diagnosis, forced him to deeply reflect on a new way of approaching his methods towards creative success. The result of that self-reflection appears to be his forthcoming album, and the singles from it like “TRACER” have already put a lot into perspective for his listeners.

“’TRACER’ describes my conflict between two parts of myself, the gamer, who enjoys so much being dominant, competitive and escaping into this fantasy world — and my centered, intuitive self who is unfulfilled and handicapped by gaming and wants more out of life.” – Stephen

Akrasia is available now for pre-order on Apple Music’s Instant Gratification feature as well as on Amazon and Deezer. Be sure to stay tuned for more news regarding Stephen’s upcoming album!

Rising DJ, producer, and content creator, Ciara Graves, has been a dedicated Writer & Editor for The Nocturnal Times while simultaneously crafting her most electrifying projects yet. Having originally produced under the alias Graveheart for a few years, she is now working towards taking a more sophisticated approach with her music by focusing on the meaningful connection between the visual and auditory realms. Ciara studied Music Production & Recording Arts at Elon University '20 and completed Icon Collective's online music production program in Spring '21.


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