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These are my words. Mental health awareness week. Look after yourself & remember you are worth more than your mistakes.

it’s a funny life, innit?

So, I’ve been doing a few courses to keep me going with the pandemic and to keep my mental health in check. I’ve just completed a 6 week drama course and for the final week we had to perform a monologue that started out as a few questions about our favourite scripts, actors, the masks we wear in real life. The course is an online one and its free to enrol – it is called ‘Being Different Together. Last week we had to read out our drafted monologues. I was so inspired by my fellow peers work that I decided to push myself -creatively and have my character speak more colloquial. I found my character from my initial draft spoke too eloquent. This monologue is based on true events. It has helped me come to terms with an experience I had in May 2020.

Thanks for reading, take care.

CAST MO – Maya’s husband and daughter to MIA
MAYA – mid 30/40’s mother and wife to Mo
MIA -young child-daughter

SETTING
(MO lying on what could be a sunbed /hospital bed. Spotlight -Bright lights -glaring down on her. Darkness all around her)

MO: There’re so many ways I could start what happened that day, so many ways… Sometimes, I think the best way to start is at the end -the tubes down my throat, the experiments, the torture (beat) or at the middle: You’re mad in the head, you are. Summit wrong ya. We filmed it. Caught ya red-handed, silly bint. (beat)
What happened? She didn’t! I’m calling the coppers. Then I think to start at the beginning but my mind -it struggles- it’s addled -it struggles to find an entry point that can start linearly if ya know what I mean. … A beginning that will justify, lend a decorum of (hesitates) credibility for all those who was involved in a moment that changed me Mo and Mia’s lives for… at least a few weeks.

I’ve never claimed I was perfect or do I wanna be. Always say..Well- not always, Its not summit I say. Its a motto -like something I’ve adopted as my own. Who doesn’t know the lyrics to Bob Marley’s Tune? (sings) I shot the sheriff but I didn’t shoot no deputy -ooooh ooooh ooooh. To get back to what I was on about. I’m not perfect, yeah. Mo mask ever is. I stick my hand up whenever I (have gone) wrong in my life. And I sure as hell will say when I’m not.
Them lot. Them next door- Neighbours supposed to friendly like – not mine. They refused to take responsibility for the barrage of abuse on their part. Harassing me like I was the only one in the estate doing cuckoo shit, man.

They didn’t see me get abducted by them aliens -Truth: Illegal aliens. They weren’t imprisoned by our laws. These lot they didn’t want me to come to this world even when I begged them. Well, I could only blink. They could hear my thoughts. They knew I had been tossing a coin over the worth of my own life for many a year. The day it all kicked I was trying to be on my best behaviour- not screw things like I usually do. It was a proper sunny day, I had my bikini on, Mo blew up the pool. We sitting in the garden. I had a few drinks and summit snapped in my head. I thought right I’m gonna get on the phone to my regular geezer and score me a hit. Mo comes into the kitchen knowing full well summin was up, so I just said my usual spiel and before he could answer I flew out the door and ran over to his car. I turned around to go back to my house and there she was. Number 1 -Miss neighbourhood watch or should I say miss curtain twitcher filming me. Things had been building up in my head for a while, the pressure, my mind felt full of cottonwool most days.

I wasn’t happy. I didn’t think about it and before I knew it: boom, the glass window -her glass window shattered and…I was holding this great big hunk of Yorkshire stone in my hand. It took both hands to hold it. Shit hit the fan and police sirens were whirring, Mo said summit about getting Mia up to my mom’s house. They arrest me in front of her. She was crying. I was begging them to give Mo a chance to take her around the corner. Cos of Corona like we had to wait for 5 hours to get me booked in. My brain snapped in that cell. The police thought I had ADHD. I screamed for 4 hours. I was restrained by 5 police officers. I screamed until blood was coming out of my mouth.

The crisis team was called and they said it wasn’t there are. I’m well known to them -my social worker said -Well, I can’t remember but everyone was passing the buck from one Flippin pole to the next. I got cautioned and was told by the copper to come back in a week. The next day Mo went to work on the day shift, Mia well. she was staying with my mom and I knew I had enough to do it. Do it properly. I had read the manual, it might as well have been titled ‘How to escapy Plent Earth’. It was informative. I bought it online.

I bought myself a one-way ticket to another realm. that was it for me. I followed t every step of the manual and then I blacked. Found myself strapped to a bed with aliens looking down on me wearing spacesuits. It didn’t stop. The torture didn’t stop. I even started to pray to a God I don’t even believe in. It was hell.

I thought to myself. This is it. I screwed up again. Its never going to end. The strangest thing was I kept on seeing this image of my mom. I tried hard to keep the image of Mia and Mo in view but it was my Mom’s face that I could focus on.

One minute I was trapped in this spaceship and the next I opened my eyes and I saw all white, even the people and no they weren’t aliens with big eyes and scary faces, they were smiling and perfectly human just like you and me. I tried to move my head to the left and there on a table, I saw a picture of Mo, Mia and.. my mom. 11 days later Mo was allowed to check me back into a familiar place: Earth.

He was mad at me for disappearing like I did but soon after he hugged me and we had a right giggle about me trying to convince him I’d been abducted by Aliens. Cos of Corona it turns out that the aliens with their headgear and silver suits on were people. They weren’t aliens, I mean they were strangers to me but… they weren’t trying to suck out my brain: my thoughts, my feelings, you know? They weren’t trying to take my life
They were trying to save me.
It’s a funny life, innit?

Spit out the PIP

My word but moving house is super stressful.
I’m happy because I’m moving to new pastures.

Life has been a mind haunting experience over the past 2months.
My anorexia nervosa reared its ugly head because I needed some form of self medicating after stopping toxic self medicating.
I lost over  2-3 stone!
I love food.. I have recently  been bingeing on food. My husband can’t stop me. After a binge,I’m verbally abusive to him, because I feel so ashamed and disgusted with myself.
I chew  the foos and spit it out.
  My weight has gone up to 8stone 10 from 8stone.

I’m  angry because I  rely on government money for my illnesses.
I’m trying to get better.
I have an assessment award review in 3weeks time and, well… I feel like I need to lose the wight I’ve gained to justify I’m  ill.

I attempted a serious suicide overdose in , May 2020.
I was in a coma for 5days on life support and a further 5 days in critical ICU care.

I’ve  done 4 serious suicide attempts   in 2 years and 2months.

I tried to jump off a well known bridge.

I had 5 people hold me down so I couldn’t  jump.

Now my gut instinct says try and kill myself.

I’m  tired of my illnesses.
I wish I could have a job that covers my bills.

My daughter who is 9 years old has never been on holiday-not even in the U.K. because I can’t afford it.

I’m bricking it. I have a lot of paperwork to prove I’m  ‘seriously* ill as my family and husband states.

I can’t move time ahead nor make the assessor re approve my  extra income.

Not having control over my world is debilitating  but i have to focus on my new life and have a plan B if I am not awarded PIP.

These voices

These voices in my head gossip it’s a constant source of bedlam.

They never stop,

They never leave.

Their constant trolling,

There incessant banter

Sparks a hell-raising fire

Until I kick out from cracking up from all of their heckling.

I imagine a dark horse rescues me so I can canter away, breathe in the ocean air.

Keep up this distraction forever.

These voices make me pull at my hair, I see I have a few grey hairs now.

Droopy disproportionate boobs.

I fear the larger breast a whole 2 cup sizes bigger needs to be stabbed, squeezed, cleansed from the infected fat.

If only this would quell these voices in my homely self made asylum.

Perhaps my patients would snap back into reality

Snap out of their various maladies.

Even when my glass house shatters

These voices know I’ll glue back each piece bit by bit in an attempt to make myself better.

These voices know they can always come back.

Rent-free

The foods on me.

Feeding on the folds of my imperfect flaws.

That emotion I can only describe as fatness.

A feeling, a thought, a moment, an eternity, a sense of a loss of control.

It comes and it goes

It takes a second glance

Catches me off guard.

I have to take pictures to believe I am not hallucinating. Pictures lie.

They do and then a second glance and they don’t.

They do and they don’t.

They do and they don’t.

They do and they don’t.

This is what these voices chant.

That fatness comes

That fatness goes with a second glance.

Another thought pulls through for me

One second glance

One more chance to be lucid.

To survive another day

To survive another day

Only for these bastard critters to gorge on my mind.

Make all their fears mine.

These voices, they scream at me.

They yell at me.

They tell me to go away.

Often when I wish to disappear I dissociate

Have a rest

Go on autopilot.

Leave the carnival of freaks to cast me out.

I want to process what I hear, what I watch, what I read, what I see without them humming their filth in my head.

I want to be present

Tune into my world

Reality.

where it truly matters.

I don’t want to miss connecting with my loved ones.

These mouthpieces…

I have nothing left to say.

GRADUATE OF LIFE

 haven’t had my graduation ceremony yet and with all that has happened this year, I totally forgot that I have finally finished my degree. My other half was going ballistic (in a good way) and looked at me and asked me why I looked so down. I guess either I am still in shock or I don’t think it is that big a deal compared to what other goals and shit I have had to focus on this year. So let me high 5 myself and reflect on how the path to get my degree became – the successful one.

Way back in 2007,I had just come out of the hospital with a BMI of 16. I enrolled at my local college in the U.K. to do my BA in acting performance.

I was with a lovely group of talented individuals and managed one term. I was quickly losing more weight again and my mental health went down. I could not maintain a low BMI. I either had to go lower or higher and I went lower. I managed to get merit (when they still called it that) for my classical acting. How amazing is that?

I wanted to engage with my group but I couldn’t shift the anorexia. I had become a sub-host to it.

Back in 2008, I decided to have another go at it. I had gained a normal amount of weight. I met a seemingly lovely man who swept me off my feet. He worked in the army and ended up going on tour for 3 months in Canada. I went to live in Barcelona with my Aunt for a few months and partied hard. Hit Ibiza with my cuz and when I came back to the U.K I was ready to piece my life back together.

The night I arrived back in the U.K. was the same night the army guy got back and he came straight to see me, bringing me little gifts back from his tour. I was so touched and couldn’t believe we had another chance to get to know this one another again and give him my heart. I invited him for a meal at my Nan’s house the following evening as he was rather ‘fatigued'(such an elegant way of putting it)  from his flight.

The following day he texted me to tell me he was getting his car serviced and would see me later. Later turned into 6pm And 8pm and then 9pm. The curry was losing it’s cool. I rang him asking him why he hadn’t pitched up and he completely dissed me on the phone and told me he was with his family and I can’t make him choose his family over me! WTAF?

If he had explained that he wanted to be with his family then I would of got it.-The lovely army guy broke my heart. He didn’t want to be with me. I internalised all this as my fault. I had put on weight, I had been homeless and had recently found somewhere in the U.K. to live and I thought I wasn’t good enough. I remember walking my Nan from my new home to the bus stop and I broke down. I didn’t know how much I liked this guy until I felt my heart tearing. Each sob caused another tear and another.

In 2009 I was finally in a better place and I was ready for another attempt to get a degree in the arts arena. I started a  two Foundation Degree with 24 students. By week two that had whittled down to 7 students. Again a totally different bunch of lovely people. I fucked up. I stopped taking my meds. I was trying so hard to fit in but I guess I felt a bit intimidated by all the talented actors and talent. I didn’t know then that they were all just as frightened of failing as me. At first I  was coping and I managed to go out get wasted and silly and form friendships. Standard uni stuff. One night a girl on my course rang me and told me to come out. She said the night was on her. I got dressed and put on my party face even though at that time I was taking 100 laxatives a day.

When people asked me out I would say ‘Awesome. I will be there’  I had a bad habit and once I had taken those tablets I was ill. I mean of course, I had the shits. Haha. Never thought I would be typing this but the moment before I purged I had stomach cramps that pushed and pulled and stabbed at me from the inside. I couldn’t walk from the spasms. SO that night I gave a big fuck you to Anorexia and went out to have some fun and bond with some friends.

My taxi pulled up at ‘the only reputable club’ in that locality and I saw my college friend wave at me and she was laughing and she gave me £50 and told me to come with her. It was a bit. Well, I was sober and everyone else was hammered. I didn’t find it funny. I wasn’t in the zone yet. I went to the bathroom and then I went to look for the pack and I couldn’t find them anywhere.

My mobile battery died and I turned around to the first person I saw to ask that person if I could use their mobile. I happened to bump into the person who went on to degrade and disrespect me in the most colourful and inventive ways. I couldn’t find anyone so we went back to mine and drank until………… I passed out mid-sentence.

This guy wouldn’t leave me alone. He was lovely at first but really full-on. I tried to back away. My friends told me he looked creepy.Leave him alone.

A guy from uni came up to me and told me that creepy ex was well and truly creepy and to stay away. Did I listen? no, I let my insecurities get the better of me. I melted into his world. At first it was flattering that someone would want to be around me so much. I didn’t think I was going to get in a relationship with him. I was trying to make friends and I had my eyes on someone else.

Out of respect to my daughter, I won’t go into a diatribe of events. He tried to take my soul. When he couldn’t have all of me he came up with a cunning plan to try and take my life away from me. Our daughter. During this time I could feel Anorexia clawing it’s way back inside. Cold, damp and merciless. I couldn’t allow it home again. I reached out to a couple I know and went on to meet my future husband to be. Before you judge- I have had my karma. I nearly lost my daughter as you may know from previous posts.  I had time on my hands. Instead of being a full-time Mom to my daughter, I was a 10 hour per week Mom instead.

I decided while I battled it out in the court arena with social services and my creepy ex I would resume my studies. This time not in a mainstream uni but an online one. I worked my toosh off and today I can say I am a graduate. I couldn’t have done it without the support of my partner and my family.

DON’T JUDGE -if you can help it.  That is a huge lesson I’ve learned. This piece of paper means so much more than the letters printed on it. It is a symbol – a tangible piece that reminds me of how I got to this place where I am today. I’m a bride to be with a gorgeous daughter who will be four in October. I’m working with mental health charities and I am a stable weight- super healthy. I don’t smoke. I drink mostly water ( with the odd cocktail of course) , I exersise. I am a success. I am proud of me. No one can take that from me. I won’t let them. Always be ready to learn a bit more. I may have officially finished learning but I will not let that stop me from learning in other ways. I treat every experience in my life as a learning curve. Always look for the silver lining no matter how bleak.

Passions by a self -defined Humanitarian

Write to Recover is an approved therapy called Bibliotherapy. It is used on people with Eating Disorders, PTSD, Depression and other illnesses. They are prescribed relevant material such as certain poems, novels and encouraged to write to find their inner being. Poetry as a form of healing dates back to Egyptian times in the 4th Millennium  BC. Shamans used to write words on bits of papyrus and get their patients to swallow the words on them for the most speedy effective result. 

In Roman times -A greek Born physician called Soranus of Ephesus was employed to come to live in Rome (in the 1st century AD) – to treat people with mania and melancholy with words. 

The word Mania originates from the Grecians. Melancholia is can be interpreted as meaning ‘black’, bile or gall. Whilst Mania is was broken down into two words Ania- is interpreted as severe mental anguish and the word  Manos is attributed as meaning a relaxed state  or an extreme  preoccupation of  the mind and soul. Soranus was the first person on historic record to suggest that mental illness of melancholia and Mania were separate independant entities – it makes sense to understand why in later years Bipolar was referred to as ‘Manic Depression. It is documented Soranus, treated people with Mania by prescribing Tragedies to read and conversely prescribed those displaying a  melancholic temperament with Comic works.

During the American civil war- American poet, Walt Whitman, used poetry recitations to treat the wounded before Morphine became the popular choice for pain relief. The humanitarian poet ( author of ‘Leaves of Grass’) also wrote a poem about his experience as a nurse on the battlefields of the American Civil War,

Thus in silence, in dream’s projections,
Returning, resuming, I thread my way through the hospitals;

The hurt and the wounded I pacify with soothing hand,
I sit by the restless all the dark night — some are so young;
Some suffer so much — I recall the experience sweet and sad;
(Many a soldier’s loving arms about this neck have cross’d and rested,
Many a soldier’s kiss dwells on these bearded lips.)

Walt Whitman, “The Dresser” (1867, later titled “The Wound-Dresser”)

In modern times Poetry therapy is used to help people express themselves through self-reflection. So,the saying, ‘Words Matter’ – indeed do matter and have a powerful effect on our emotions and cognitive faculties.

Poets such as Alan Watts, Walt Whitman, William Wordsmith and Antonin Artaud works are prescribed to patients as an alternative form of therapy. 

An article was written by, Igor Goldkind, called ‘Towards an Uncommon Sense: the Practice of Poetry Therapy goes into greater detail of the breakdown of the three types of the most common approaches used to help people with Mental Health issues. 

Receptive/Prescriptive,

Expressive/Creative,

Symbolic/Ceremonial. 

Towards an Uncommon Sense: the Practice of Poetry Therapy, Igor Goldkind

I  identify as a humanitarian, I’m currently doing my TEFL (Teaching  English as a Foreign Language) training. I  think I have found my new calling. Perhaps my next career move will be to do training to become a poetry therapist. 

So, I will carry on with my ‘Write to Recover’ posts because I benefit from using this creative outlet to consolidate my Emotions and feel energised and purged from the unravelled thoughts I have in one day. My thoughts have a way of discombobulating my emotions and I become ruled by my emotions and thoughts that are not necessarily based on evidence and truth. I have made an ambitious start at using self-therapy DBT  (Dialectical Behaviour Therapy)to practice emotions distress tolerance, Wise mind and many other techniques to have more moments of Emotional Wellbeing than non.

I’ve downloaded many helpful apps to help me stay focused -The DBT therapy app, Happily, The recovery app because   I do live in my head a lot. Perhaps too much and too often. and in the past when I have been unwell with my Bipolar, Chronic Anorexia and Emotional Unstable Personality Disorder.

Please, can the word labellers of the world reclassify the title of this illness because I hate the Stigma and connotations conjured by the term EUPD?

A post for another day… 

I’ve also begun to throw myself into reading and educating myself across the entire spectrum of the Humanity & Arts subjects- Music, I have a Music blog, Photography, Art and reading up about different philosophers -all the subjects I have a great passion for and I never thought I was intelligent enough to grasp.

Reading back on these words,I find this tragic to put myself down to the point I feel that I am not like “normal” people who can enjoy these subjects and write about them (with a degree of credibility).

Momentarily I shall blow my own trumpet to state that I have a post-graduate certificate on the humanities I worked my booty off and received high merit. I received high merit towards my first year studying my MA degree in Advanced Creative Writing focusing on stage scripts! Writing about themes I want to shine a lot on – Homelessness, eradicating the stigma attached to mental illness.

Morality plays covering historical themes- the Russian revolution being a prime example.

I am compelled to volunteer my time in my community on the therapeutic benefits of creative self-expression and the connection with Mental wellbeing being. I have done this in the past. I’ve stood in front of Social workers, schools, NHS workers doing Anti -Stigma Workshops. Co-producing them. I don’t want chuffing letters after my name. I don’t want fame. I loathe it. I’ve been asked many times what it feels like to have so much insight into my mental health issues and “suffer” from them. Sometimes, I scream in frustration, I choose Ignorance! 

Perhaps this is the reason why  I’ve sought out “bliss” by self-medicating or trying to take my life because I have two live in my head. 

I will wrap this post up by affirming my saying 

Write to Recover or die to live the day of another

Bank of sound with Fin

North Carolina born, Johnathan Wyatt, came under my radar under one of his alias names- Fin. His music is a diverse mix of instrumental hip-hop. Jonathan has released house music under the alias, Kaepora Gaebor. He has also released Vapour wave beats under the Alias, Fiji, and prompted me to find him on Instagram.

His collaboration on the track ‘Obsession Depression’ with his close friend, Skyler Nelson, (PKSkyler) a rapper based in San Diago, California on ambient Agape Records vol 1 album for U.K. based label Agape records -all proceeds went to MIND (mental health) Charity.
His dedication and maturity for his passion to create music in the past 5 years are astounding. Fin is 17 years old. He has released 3 albums, 6 EP’S and several demos and his next album –Näherin due to drop on 6th November 2020.

‘Tower’  is taken from his latest album.

 

 

When I asked Jonathan to what words came to mind when on MENTAL HEALTH & CREATIVITY) (CREATIVITY his answers were -Process, Inspiration, Expression. Frustration, Anxiety and Depression.

ON DEPRESSION OBSESSION

For Depression Obsession, the song I produced for PKSkyler on
(AGAPE Volume 1), Skyler just messaged me one day asking if I was interested in making a track for a charity compilation. We didn’t have a theme to start with, other than that it was mostly ambient music on the compilation and the person who started it was doing it as a tribute to a friend of theirs who had overdosed a few months prior. The song came together really quickly since we had a deadline to submit.

It was great to be a part of a project that feels so personal, with so many talented musicians as well. I’ve dealt with anxiety since a pretty young age, and have had some issues with depression over the past couple of years, so the links between mental health and creativity are very important to me.

I started with a sample from a song by one of my favourite bands, Azeda Booth. I laid some drums and bass down and had the rough bones of the beat. I sent a snippet of this to PK, and we both figured it should go in a more ambient direction, to fit with the other songs on the compilation. That’s when I thought of the concept of the track having two halves, with the first half being a normal rap structure for his verse and hook, and the second half being entirely beatless and ambient. I put some airy vocal chops from a Frou Frou song, some details, and the droney ambient section for the outro. I sent the instrumental to PK, he liked it, laid his vocals down, sent them back to mix, and the song was done.

pfp

FIN ON FIN

I make a lot of different kinds of music, but the sound that’s compelling to me is anything sample-based. I’ll usually buy cheap records from thrift shops and record stores, skim through them, and try to combine as many elements as I can into a cohesive piece. I do play a handful of instruments and write original music, but sampling is something I’m really, really passionate about. I think it deserves a lot of credit not just as a compositional tool, but as an art form all its own. It’s almost post-modern in a way, with the constant recontextualization of recognizable material.

BACKGROUND

When I was young, maybe around 7 or 8, I was obsessed with Micheal Jackson. I don’t even remember how I got interested in him, lol. I listened to his music religiously, had all the costumes, took a few dance classes, everything. This was before I ever considered playing an instrument, it was probably a big part of me getting deep into music later in life.
I started playing the guitar when I was 11, and about a year later I got obsessed with the idea of writing and recording my music. I got really into the idea of not needing a band or recording studio and doing everything myself. I started taking piano lessons, got a cheap bass, and took over my sister’s drumkit. I made about 3 albums worth of really crappy indie rock before getting interested in electronic music. I messed around with drum & bass, synthwave, and chiptune sounds before I got into sampling and beat-making. This was also around the time I met a few rappers and my friend Skyler (PKSkyler) on Facebook. I was super into the then growing vaporwave and cloud rap scene and was making loads of beats in that style. Those beats ended up on PKSkyler’s first album,Life of Skyler ). I would’ve been around 13 years old at this time.

fin1

 

Probably around age 14 is when I got into buying and sampling records. I was taking drum lessons, and it turned out my teacher was a huge hip-hop head and producer. He really pushed me towards where I’m at musically now. He’d bring stacks of records for me to sample, let me borrow his SP-404 sampler for a few months, and was a massive influence on my album Berkeley.
I’m 17 now, and ever since then I’ve been constantly working on and releasing new music. Over the past 2 years, I’ve released 3 albums, 6 EPs, and 4 beat tapes.

ON CREATIVITY

For the stuff I make as Fin, it was lo-fi artists like Mndsgn, Knxwledge, and of course Dilla. About halfway through the production of my first album, Berkeley, I heard DJ Shadow’s Endtroducing, and that changed my path. I was obsessed with the idea of making structured songs out of samples, instead of short beats. Even when I didn’t have the skill or knowledge to pull it off, I’d try to work in shifting structures and distinct sections in my tracks, for better or for worse.

I always try to have a theme to each big project I do, whether it’s just a palette of sounds that the tracks share, or something more focused. My EP, Substance for the Shadow was based around the idea of making something influenced by soundtracks, post-rock, and krautrock, and writing everything from scratch without sampling.

For the beats I was making for PKSkyler as Fiji, it was a lot of cloud rap and vaporwave, like Yung Lean and Blank Banshee. I was also sampling a lot of soundtracks, mostly old JRPGs and Earthbound.

ON INFLUENCES, THE MUSIC INDUSTRY

(In my hometown) the music scene basically non-existent, lol.

It’s a rural area with a pretty small population. It’s not far from Raleigh, which is a pretty big city with plenty of local bands, musicians, and venues, but obviously, I haven’t been able to go to any shows for the better part of this year. I try not to let that stop me, though, I’ve never really collaborated with anyone in person anyway, never been in a band either. I’m very much used to collaborating online, sending stuff back and forth through email, etc.

I’ve met some of my best friends through the internet, and there are so many niche artists and scenes that would’ve never found an audience through the internet. Things like vaporwave netlabels, obscure lo-fi hip hop releases, and the culture surrounding Bandcamp could’ve never existed 20 years ago.

On the other hand, there’s so much music being released right now, it can be hard to break through and find an audience. If there’s a genre you like and want to hear more of, there are hundreds of albums being released online every day in that style. It’s a blessing and a curse.

As far as finding success in music right now, it goes back to what I said before about breaking through the sheer amount of music being made right now. I’ve seen the lengths musicians go to gain listeners, it’s kinda sad.

I’m not the biggest fan of the things a lot of artists are doing right to be seen, like gaming the Spotify algorithms, hiring ad agencies to make songs go viral, etc. It doesn’t feel very genuine. Either way, commercial success isn’t really what I’m looking for in music, that’s never been my goal.

ON LATEST ALBUM AND UPCOMING PROJECTS

I have some songs I’m working on right now is a bit more of a downtempo and electronic-tinged direction. Still sample-based hip hop, but more atmospheric, with a big focus on texture and lo-fi sounds. I also produced and mixed a bunch of the songs on PKSkyler’s newest mixtape, which should be out very soon.

My new album Näherin is out now on my Bandcamp. It’s a 13 track instrumental hip-hop album touching on some elements of trip-hop, boom-bap, and downtempo. It’ll be on Spotify and Apple Music within the next week or two. I’ve also got cassettes that I did in a bootleg-y DIY style. I hand recorded each tape and printed the labels and J-cards myself, instead of going through a duplication service. I also produced 10 of the 16 tracks on PKSkyler’s newest album Lost in Darkness, which came out in April.
Thank you for listening.

Fin Bandcamp

FIN DISCOGRAPHY & RELEASES

Feature: Staghorns on music, Mental health & creativity

Staghorns a part of  the metropolitan  sound of  music  subculture in Tel aviv talking about Mental health , creative outlets, life and his music ventures.

I’ve been sitting on Staghorns for a couple of months – another great Soundcloud discovery. I connected body, mind and soul with Tel Aviv native-born Staghorns -Shlomi’s track -Outfluence.
The track’s title is the opposite of influence listening to this track conjures colours, soft textures, a breezy summer house tune. It is playful. ‘Outfluence’ and a couple of his other tracks ‘Uneasy Dave’ and another track yet to be released take you on a journey into the very heart of Tel Aviv’s thriving electronic dance music culture.

Staghorns music is inviting the world to enjoy the sounds of Tel Aviv’s music subculture: the message seems to be about Freedom. His sound is infectious without the unwanted side effects of living in a COVID 19 World. Staghorns other tracks are typically optimistic, he experiments with ambient sounds and swings right over the sensual acid synth sounds of electronic dance music.

I love the track Outfluence – it has so much energy and bounces.

Hello Staghorns! Thank you so much for doing this Feature. Firstly I want to say I love the new video for your track ‘Outfluence’. Can you tell me more about how it came about?

 

A page   LoDisco makes videos for hobbies and wanted to make a video and I appreciate it very much.

(LoDisco  promotes upcoming artists in the LoFi disco and LoFi House scene  -Join channel on LoDisco

How did the name Staghorns come about?

Okay, my family name is Zvi (pronounced Tzvi) which is a stand for Stag and a Staghorn is a very interesting plant.

(Okay I’m going to have to look that one up. I am such a geek haha! )

Me too -lol

What if anything inspired your track and your music?

My interest comes from my own trying to make sense of life and living, through the game of parallel sound channels, learning through a playful process.

When/What made you start playing music?

When I was young, I had a Yamaha PSR e413, which is an entry-level keyboard, it had some cool sounds on it and I learned how to record songs into it.

What genres of music do you like to perform in?

House music

What kind of people connect with you and your music?

Most of the people I know feel open with me, and they also feel open with my music, even though some of them are not familiar with electronic music.

What quote/sentence would you say best describes you and your music?

Looping the loops

Going back to ‘OutFluence’ I was drawn to the Alan Watts-esque sample 

Actually in Outfluence I sampled a Psychiatric from YouTube who talks about how to handle with anxiety. but maybe he cited Alan Watt? I don’t know. 

Who are your influences in music? And why?

Tiga, Four Tet, Booka Shade – They came through my mind when I thought “wow I want to make something like this!” while listening to them.

When you think/see the two words Creativity & mental health what 3 words come to mind for each one.

Creativity – Art, Sex, Ideas
Mental Health – Anxiety, Depression, Addiction

How does being creative help you?

Being creative helps me express myself.

What are your experiences or views with on mental health issues and the music & entertainment industry?

Music can be something to lean on, especially if you create it yourself…mmm I’ve been struggling with anxiety all my life, 10 months ago I decided to take care of it seriously.

Have you had negative experiences in your life that drew you to a creative outlet like music? And if so how did exploring your creativity help you?

Sometimes when I have bad dreams it affects the mood of my next creation.

(I think I can relate. When a person’s Mental Health becomes unwell -for myself it feels like I’m under the Influence of my Illnesses. Your track ‘OutFluence’ is the opposite of how I would describe the symptoms of Mental Health -isolation, fear, etc.)

Is there a bigger message you are trying to send out and what is your message?

The bigger message is an oldie but a goodie…
Telling my story as a legitimate one and hoping the effect is contagious…

It is a crazy world we live in. What is life like for people living in Tel-Aviv with COVID?

It’s hard to see the city shut down during lockdown, especially after you experience how vivid Tel Aviv is.

Are you trying to do something or create awareness with your music career or hobby?

it’s a work in progress.
I’m figuring out what is in the core of my creative process.
Basically, I’m trying to make myself feel more “at home” in the world.

What is the weirdest job you have had?

I was an Escape Room operator

(Haha! Funny & cool too. That is ironic in the sense that Anxiety is about escaping form what we are trying to feel as opposed to embrace our fears and conquer our goals.

Your new track ‘ Uneasy Dave’ (Big Momma’s House Records) has a great acid sound to it. It’s an intriguing title.

Uneasy Dave is a pun
It’s like Uneasy Day

but Uneasy Dave stands for a character who feels uneasy and shy. if you hear the first 2 seconds of the track, you’ll hear a “heh…” a sound of discomfort

(The first words that came to my mind when I heard the track is that is creative, innovative, sensual – the title seems to tie in with the anxiety and mental health issues yourself and many other people can find deliberating to live with at times…)  

 

 

Are you trying to do something or create awareness with your music career or hobby?

 

it’s a work in progress.

I’m figuring out what is in the core of my creative process. 

Basically, I’m trying to make myself feel more “at home” in the world.

(I think I can relate.In my opinion when my Mental Health becomes unwell – it feels like I’m under the Influence of my Illnesses. Your track ‘Outfluence’ is the opposite of how I would describe the symptoms of Mental Health-isolation, fear & other symptoms people can find debilitating to live with at times)

(It has been fun and pleasure collaborating with you and finding out something about Israel’s electronic house scene and I appreciate you opening up about your own Mental health issues and how creativity has helped you embrace and improve your Mental Wellbeing).

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The quest for inner Happiness

I can’t put roots down in a home that feels alien to me. I blank out my world. I dread the familiar haunting of this abode called my home.

How it represses me and chokes me. Yet,I  come back to it like a castrated casualty of  Love’s wars. Conditioned to part my lips for misery….

Misery is the strangest bedfellow.

Assumes multiple faces.

Finds solace in one;

 then toys the mind into trickery.

Absolute in believing the worst.

The quest for inner happiness is insatiable.

Risqué  life impulses

hover to the centre;

reflective to reveal the self

absorbed.

Truth becomes lethargic to express.

Denial in a tangible form is easy to confront.

 Fluid is Something

a perpetual change in reason or emotion won’t be summoned into entertaining with a mere appearance.

Who really has it together?

The innocents shake up this universe.

People’s culpability to surprise succeeds in frequent currents.

Inner warfare barely contains the raw diet of pain -self-inflicted.

faltering when an impromptu glimpse outlines  Guilt slack at the shoulders.

How to do better?

How do we balance every eventuality?

From the withstanding of spirit, affection, carefree joie de vivre?

to never waiver to out compromise sacred boundaries.

A crave to fly

Be at liberty to roam and murmurate with free agenda.

Yet acknowledge the need for the skies and physics reminder of my limits.

To reveal the divine order that is Nature.

Simplicity,

Uncomplicated preambles, snapshots of existence;

must respect

complexity,

staggering through the wilderness, a  heart-

beating… though composed of wood.

Daedalic  to the fracas of life.

Be happy or die trying challenge

Life is tough at the moment for many of us including myself. I have become very unwell and I’ve been knocking on doors for help from the Community Mental health team who have been unhelpful. Tried to throw myself off a bridge on the 23 September. I have and Eating Disorder and because I have put on weight I stabbed my breast and my thighs.  

I have decided that while I’m still living I am going to try and help myself so this what I have done today. I also have a voice and I won’t be ignored.

Your actions make a difference. https://10daysofhappiness.org.
 
What act of kindness will you do today? #Happierworld
 
Have started to read Ruby Wax’s ‘Sane New World again
 
 
It is a fascinating book as she goes into great detail about how she found by getting to know the inner self that we need to know how our brain works. She goes into neuroscience and explains all the parts of the brain and what they are responsible for. She also goes into detail about  what is in your mind and how each part works. She also explains the different chemicals in the brain and what purpose they serve.
 
She believes that we can rewire the brain to find  of some medium Happiness.
 
I have also made a start on restarting my WRAP plan -Wellnes Recovery Action Plan
 

The Wellness Recovery Action Plan® or WRAP®, is a self-designed prevention and wellness process that anyone can use to get well, stay well and make their life the way they want it to be. It was developed in 1997 by a group of people who were searching for ways to overcome their own mental health issues and move on to fulfilling their life dreams and goals.  It is now used extensively by people in all kinds of circumstances, and by health care and mental health systems all over the world to address all kinds of physical, mental health and life issues.

You can download the WRAP app for free -IT explains what how WRAP  can help you. You can make your own WRAP plain and email it to yourself.

What it is and https://mentalhealthrecovery.com/wrapapp/

Follow WRAP on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/WRAPYourWellnessYourWay/

 

An interesting article to read ‘In the worlds ‘Happiest’ countries- the Happiness gap and how it has an effect on your Mental health.

The Nordic countries are meant to be the happiest countries in the world however according to new studies and analysis 12.3 % of the population are still struggling and the article goes in to detail of the the reasons why.

I’ve also started doing the Happify app again. https://www.happify.com/home/

Art helps you recognise your strengths, gives you activies to do help you achieve your goals and it explains the science behind the activities. It has a community forum for support. It gives you daily activities you can do and there are instant games you can play -Guided meditation, Negative Knockout, Acts of kindness. You can keep a track of where you are at and it it activates your Dopamine levels -that are responsible for the reward/pleasure part of your brain & this helps to keep us motivated .

You can find out more about Dopamine at Psychology today https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/basics/dopamine

I’ve also started engaging with the unmasked campaign – it is a leading Suicide prevention charity started in 2019

Unmasked Mental Health provides support to like-minded change seekers in a genuine and personal way. Helping them to feel secure and live life confidently.

Find out more on their website https://unmaskedmentalhealth.co.uk/about-us/