The Open Mic UK competition has recently crowned its new winner…Natalie Lindi.
Taking time out from celebrating her well-deserved victory the performer wrote for ABLE2UK about the impact her winning song had on others and a personal tragedy which has motivated her to help those suffering from mental health.
‘Why is it that when we are feeling low we long to hear a sad song? Not because we want to feel worse, but because we want to feel less alone. Although sad songs are described by some as “depressing” or “downers”, they can be crucial during tough moments. Music is a way of sharing our pain for others to relate to. Relating to the emotions expressed in a song can help us feel less isolated.
I wrote my debut single Peace at a very low moment; I was feeling overwhelmed and like I needed an escape from the difficult feelings I was experiencing. Performing it for the first time was nerve wracking. I was apprehensive about putting my emotions out there for an audience of strangers to see. I felt overcome by emotions and cried on stage… At the time I was embarrassed, but after the show people came to tell me how they could relate to the song, and how they have felt the same emotions I was describing. This was one moment that made me realise by showing vulnerability in music we can connect more deeply with others.
There can be heart-breaking repercussions of bottling up emotions, and not seeking support. It leads some people to make fatal decisions.
Recently someone I know committed suicide. It was a huge tragedy and completely unexpected. I wasn’t very close to her and we didn’t speak very often, but I remember thinking how sweet and kind she was. This girl did not strike me as someone who would be the “type” to commit suicide. From movies and TV we tend to believe that there are certain types of people who decide to take their own lives. Troubled people, sad people, who walk around with a gloomy look on their faces. But she was often smiling. She was friendly - she made an effort with the people around her. Her death made me realise that we don’t truly know what suffering people might be going through internally. It made me feel afraid and worried for those in my life. What if someone I know is feeling this way? Or feels so far gone that they don’t see the point of seeking help.
Her death compelled me to research the causes of suicide, to understand how to help if someone is suicidal. One cause that kept coming up was ‘chronic feelings of loneliness/isolation’, and mind.org.uk state that to alleviate these feelings it is crucial to share. A quote from their website says "sharing that I felt suicidal with close friends, although scary as I worried they'd be angry, has helped me in subsequent black times. They said they'd hate to lose me having not been given the chance to help." And another states: “tell someone how you're feeling. Whether it's a friend, family member or even a pet, telling someone else how you are feeling can help you to feel less alone and more in control.”
This girl’s heart-breaking death made me even more conscious of how crucial sharing is for our general wellbeing. Music is definitely not a cure for mental health issues such as depression, but it is undoubtedly an avenue for emotional vulnerability. By expressing vulnerability people will feel closer to one another, more people will get the help they need, and many will feel less alone. Sharing our struggles through music can be helpful for musicians and also for the people who hear the songs. When we are emotionally struggling we often have a hard time expressing how we feel through words but through relating to the experience of the singer in our headphones, we are reminded that maybe we aren’t as alone as we thought.’
Natalie’s winning performance
Applications to audition for Open Mic UK 2020 are open now for more information visit the official website.
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