Music

Self Esteem's “F*cking Wizardry” Is An Anthem About Knowing Your Worth

“I succumbed to jealousy and fear and I didn’t feel good enough.”

The Meaning Behind Self Esteem's "F*cking Wizardry" Lyrics
Karwai Tang/WireImage/Getty Images

If you’re not already familiar with the unstoppable Self Esteem, the Rotherham-born pop artist is one of this year’s breakthrough stars. Originally a member of the indie-pop duo Slow Club, Rebecca Lucy Taylor broke off alone in 2017 to pursue her bright, bold new solo project Self Esteem — releasing her second album under the moniker this year and channelling both empowerment and strength. Though Prioritise Pleasure came out almost a year ago, the momentum hasn’t slowed, with the singer putting out new single “F*cking Wizardry” just last month. But the question is, what inspired this stand-out pop banger?

According to its author, “F*cking Wizardry” is all about knowing your worth. “If I had my time again, I wouldn’t put this on because I feel so overwhelmed singing it back. But it was very much where I was at when I was writing,” Rebecca Lucy Taylor explained, elaborating on the real-life events that inspired the song with Apple Music.

“I was in a relationship. I really, really loved him and we could have had a really good relationship, but his ex didn’t leave him alone during it. I had to get a thicker skin and build myself back up and say, ‘Do you know what? I’m not doing this.’ I did feel really hurt. I succumbed to jealousy and fear and I didn’t feel good enough. I’m embarrassed by my spitefulness, but it’s also very human and it’s important for me to show all the sides of myself on the record.”

It’s a song about trusting and believing in what you already know,” she added elsewhere, in a statement about last month’s new swear-free “Block Them Edit” of the track. “If it feels like someone is taking the piss, they usually are. Not to be all ‘you deserve better’ about it but it’s very likely you do, indeed deserve better.”

And these themes of self-acceptance, flaws and all, ripple across the entirety of Self Esteem’s second album Prioritise Pleasure — one of the front-running bookies favourites at the Mercury Prize. Originally supposed to take place on Sept. 8, the prestigious awards show was postponed following the Queen’s passing. Following the show’s cancellation, Taylor stayed behind to help salvage and redistribute food from the event’s planned sit-down meal.

“I’ve done years of therapy, done plenty of work on myself, and read every f*cking book you can f*cking read about it, and it comes back down to true self-acceptance and self-love,” Taylor told NME, speaking to her album as a whole. “It’s the answer to everything, but it’s still something that you’re meant to not do. I go down this road a lot, and I get quite upset. But then I think, no — just keep in my little part of the world, my group, accepting myself, loving myself, and then make my little silly songs and do my little silly dances. And if someone can learn from that and pass it forward, at least I’m doing something?”

Read the lyrics in full, below.

We're still texting then?

But I'm certainly not your friend

I don't know where this began

But I know where it ends

What could you possibly be gaining

By asking how my day has been

And forwarding things that you've seen?

I know you want me back, I know, I know

But you, you can't say that, 'cause you yellow

My hunger times my impatience

Makes me feel reckless

So I let ya, let you be selfish

And careless with my head

No one believed in you

Can't be sure why I did do

The ex got back in touch

To be sure you couldn't see this though

So shе's jealous of me

You should have wrotе better songs, honey

Make yourself the sun

And not just be a waiting daisy

And I can see it now, I see, I see

What it was all about, and it ain't me

My hunger times my impatience

Makes me feel reckless

So I let ya, let you be selfish

And careless with my head

Part of being funny is having some sincerity

And using both of them wisely

I hope one day you'll finally see

So I'll leave you on read

I don't care how you feel about it

I wish you all the best

It was almost fun while it lasted

I say almost, I mean it

I say almost, I mean it

My hunger times my impatience

Makes me feel reckless

So I let ya, let you be selfish

And careless with my head

My hunger times my impatience

Makes me feel reckless

So I let ya, let you be selfish

And careless with my head

I cannot stress this enough

You'll never know how to love

To learn it like this was rough

It's not something I'm proud of

To even get near to me

Was some f*cking wizardry

I ignored the warnings

But from that, I'm learning

My hunger times my impatience

Makes me feel reckless

So I let ya, let you be selfish

And careless with my head

My hunger times my impatience

Makes me feel reckless

So I let ya, let you be selfish

And careless with my head

I cannot stress this enough

You'll never know how to love

To learn it like this was rough

It's not something I'm proud of

To even get near to me

Was some f*cking wizardry

I ignored the warnings

But from that, I'm learning