Updated: Jun 23, 2021
Mental Health & The Industry: Q&A with Rapper Majiri
When it comes to mental health and struggling with mental illness for decades it has been something that people try to handle on their own, showing up on days they may feel low, putting on a happy face to mask the pain and at times using recreational drugs to shut out those unwanted feelings.
The music industry is no different as many artists struggle with mental health issues too. We continuously see artists use their music as a therapeutic outlet as well as a way to connect with their fans on a deeper level.
Music not only helps artists express themselves during hard times but it has helped fans fight through mental battles while not feeling alone.
Eargazmic Media spoke with Rapper Majiri Odudu also known as Maj on the topic of mental health within the music industry.
As an artist what do you struggle with the most ?
I would have to say, what I struggle with the most as an artist would be the everyday battle of just being the best version of myself. Meaning battling everyday with the matter of am I doing enough, am I going as hard as I should be.
How do you juggle your mental health and your art ?
For someone like me whose mind is on a thousand, a thousand percent of the time the art is an outlet. Without the art, without music, I don’t know how else I would really express myself in a manner of what it does for me right now. That’s what the art is to me at this point, compared to the music I was making when I first started rapping to now my music is more personal. Like if you want to get to know me all you have to do is listen to my songs.
Does making music help clear your mind? Would you say music is a form of therapy for you?
Yes, it helps me in the sense that I know there's other people who might share the same feelings I do, or same thought processes I do and sometimes they aren’t really able to articulate that within themselves. As someone who has been there before where I didn’t really know what I was feeling until I heard a song and hearing a song can help you start to do the shadow work that you got to do for yourself. So it gives me joy knowing someone else may get something out of my music and inspiring others in turn is me inspiring myself.
What are some things you do as an artist to handle everyday life and the mental battles you may face?
What I'm really trying to do now is schedule out what I'm going to do, so basically writing things into the world, which I feel could possibly help with not wallowing in depression or anxiety because then I know what I have to look forward to throughout my day.
The past month of May brought awareness to mental health as it was mental health awareness month, but we know people battle with mental illness year round and though music may not be the medicine subscribed, it's sometimes all we need.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with mental health or substance abuse disorders, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's National Helpline 24/7 at 1-800-662-HELP(4357) for confidential treatment referrals and information. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255.