“We’re not voiceless. Pass the mic.”
With an especial focus on mental health, music, and celebrating black love, without further ado, let’s get to part two!
*Trigger warning: discussions of mental health, depression and suicidal thoughts*
I remember you saying in ‘Mental Diary’, nearly two years ago now, that you’d been experiencing feelings of emptiness. It’s something that has resurfaced over time in your blog posts. Could you talk us through this?
When nothing seems to get better or work out in any field of your life, you become empty. It’s then very hard to keep continuing because you’ve never seen results anywhere, and you almost become a zombie, living dead. That’s basically what it is, nothing has ever gone for me in anything, and not get anything back ever from what I put in makes me empty.
With such a lot to have gone through, I hope you don’t mind me asking how it has affected your mental health?
I’ve been pretty open about it on my blog. I think the first thing it has caused is me struggling to love myself. I used to really hate myself for a long while, like extremely bad, to the point I thought something was wrong with me, and I wished I was never here. It’s cooled down since then, but I still don’t think too fondly of myself, although it’s not the hate like before, and [I] don’t care about myself really. If you told me I was going to die tomorrow, I wouldn’t even bat an eyelid.
I would say another way it has affected me is I don’t necessarily carry good emotions into anything e.g. hope, optimism, etc. Before, it was because I [genuinely] didn’t think I was worthy of anything good in this life, but, now, it kind of all feels pointless as I don’t know any better than what I’ve been through.
I feel we all evolve through our life experiences. I’ve been in that place where I’ve wanted to kill myself, I’ve been to the place where I became numb to everything which is a very weird state, and now I’m kind of in autopilot.
I had this little boost towards the end of university after my breakdown, and I ended up “finding myself.” I was so excited to finally push on, but two years later, I’m in the exact same place I was even before I started university. It feels now I’m doing things because “it’s part of what needs to be done,” and not because it gives me a fire in my belly which life has caused. And it’s sad that I’m now this broken human really.
Where in your life do you want to be and what would your ideal situation be which would take away these feelings of emptiness?
All I truly want is to see signs of progression. I don’t have to be super rich, and living in a mansion or whatever, I just want to see the progression. Whether it’s getting an actual job, so I can finally leave Boots – I hate that place so much – or getting my music in small places, or being able to sustain myself wholly. As long as I can see the slightest sign of progression then I’ll be good because at least I know I’m getting something out of what I’m putting in.
Something that I know you love is music and rapping. Where do you find your inspiration? And which artists inspire you and why?
Interesting story this. So there was this girl I was basically in love with at university, and things went real left – which you can read on my blog under stories > university – and I went into this mad depressive state. So I did what any other sane person would do and started listening to R&B love songs. This was on YouTube, and, at first, I was typing each song I wanted to listen to, but that was getting long, so I left it on autoplay. After a while, the song Diced Pineapples came on, and Wale has this poetic intro before the song properly starts. Now I’ve heard the song and this part before many times, and maybe it was because of the state I was in, but I was hearing that Wale part differently, replaying only that bit in utter amazement, and, after a while, I was like “I want to write something like this.” Which led me to start writing poetry, which, after a while, gave me thought to start writing songs, which is weird because I hated poetry in school!
You’re great at writing poetry. ‘Full Circle’ has to be my favourite, it has an underlying sense of finding yourself directionless. Do you feel that there’s been a lack of guidance in your life that you could have benefited from?
Erm, I feel like when I was young I had this idea thrown on me [that] I was going to be a doctor, and when you’re a child, you’re like a sponge, so you’ll absorb anything. But as I got older I didn’t really like that concept, but yet it was still being thrown on me. So now I’m lost because I have no idea what I want to do, and then I find out I want to do marketing, but I can’t get a proper job from it, and it’s all a bit “duwbjkbdcbfdsbncosnc.”
Berry dating app – talk me through what the app is about and who the target audience is. What makes it different? What are your plans for the app? Will we be seeing you on The Apprentice U.K. maybe?
Essentially, Berry is a dating app for black singles. All the dating apps out there are mostly filled with white people when you’re swiping through, which isn’t a problem by the way. But we feel it would be nice to have a place where it’s just for us, making it easier for Black people who just want to find Black Love.
I feel like our main aim is just to fly the flag pushing the narrative for Black Love because I feel within our history there [has] been a lot of tragedies which has [caused] a lot of conflict between us, and we kind of struggle to unite like the other races e.g. light skin vs. dark skin. Yes, we are [a] dating app, but we’re looking to expand to become so much more within the black community, being that beacon for Black Love, which is so much more than just relationships, so look out for that in the future.
*(FYI, the app is now out!)*
How would you describe your relationship with the black community? What are some of the things that you think that are working well for the community, and what are some other things that you think could be improved?
When I was younger I mostly hated everyone, but that’s because I got it from every type of race – but it was mostly black people. When I got older, I found my place within people, so I became more comfortable with my settings.
To me, being black is like being part of an exclusive society/group. I’m not even trying to be cocky or anything of the sorts, but we are the life of this whole word. Africa literally feeds every other country with its natural resources. We are the trendsetters from music, to fashion, you name it. And the fact we have been stolen from so much just shows how influential we are as a people, so I’m glad to be part of the black community.
On the other hand, we are so divided as a race compared to others, we are hindering our progress massively. I’ve actually explained this in more detail in my blog post “My Black Peopledem,” but I just feel like we should collectively know better by now, and we can’t keep using the same excuses when there are other black people that have excelled from the same situations.
And, finally, tell me three goals you want to achieve for this magnificent year of 2020, and three things that make you happy!
Well, the three things I want to achieve in 2020 are:
- To release two songs officially, with two music videos
- Get a marketing job that pays, so I can finally leave Boots
- Get closer to more peace in my life
It might sound a bit sad, but there isn’t really anything that makes me “happy” per se, but there are things that put me at ease, and make me feel calm, so:
- Spending time with good friends – this actually makes me happy.
- Listening to a good beat to write a song to.
- Sleep, most importantly.
For Part One, click here.
If you have been affected in any way while reading this, please contact your local/national helpline, GP or, where possible, a therapist.
Connect with me: