Ed’s has had a busy few days hasn’t he?
On Wednesday he played an exclusive concert for BBC Radio 2 and tonight, in a sold out room full of people leaving their anxieties about tomorrow morning’s Monday blues he’s opening for the inaugural Music 4 Mental Health concert put together by Jordan Stephens.
Yeah, the guy from Rizzle Kicks. That’s the one! After appealing to the younger market a few years ago with a couple of albums Stephens has now launched a new mental health campaign encouraging people to speak about mental health and spread the word by drawing a circle on the palm of their hand, taking a selfie and upload it on social media using the hashtag #IAMWHOLE.
Why is the dude you asked your mamma to do the hump involved in such an important subject? We will cover that in a bit, but first there’s the matter of tonight’s first act and it’s the biggest of the night.
Starting off with Castle On The Hill is quite apt for this evening’s show as Sheeran’s tales of innocent youth gently contradicts the reason numerous artists tonight have given up their time to raise mental health awareness at this sold-out event taking place at Camden’s Roundhouse.
‘Thank you for supporting this cause,’ Ed says after the first track. He goes on to tell us he first met Jordan in 2008, a year before he wrote the song which led his to global domination, The A Team which has hundreds of people singing back every word to him tonight.
With just thirty seven days to go until Christmas Ed jumps back a year and plays the festive song which topped the charts in 2017, it’s Perfect – in more ways than one!
With two of his own numbers under his belt Ed does something a little different as it’s a ‘One off event’ and covers Justin Bieber’s Love Yourself before returning to his familiar home territory to play Thinking Out Loud.
Ed is the first, but not the last, to praise Jordan for putting on this poignant evening. For the remainder of the night each artist will join Stephens on the balcony after their performance where they will talk openly about their own experiences with mental health, but for this very special opening act Jordan meets Ed on stage after his closing track, Shape Of You, for a hug and a group selfie in front of the crowd raising their hands with superimposed circles.
Ed Sheeran’s set tonight will help raise awareness for the Music 4 Mental Health event which is being supported by the YMCA, The Mix and CALM. Each charity will present a film throughout the show which highlights the support they give to people living with mental health. People like Olly Murs who reveals he often talks to himself and encourages those suffering from anxiety and depression to speak to somebody about their condition. This is the simple message which tonight’s charity concert is putting across.
Hussain Manawer knows how important it is to share his emotions. Last year the poet lost his mother, his world started to fall apart. Putting pen to paper his suicidal thoughts and depression turned into the sonnets he shares tonight before a second and more uplifting handful of verses take us back to our childhood memories.
Capturing anxieties on paper can be an extremely effective method of loosening the weight on your shoulders. It worked for Anne-Marie. The singer admits she struggled with insecurities growing up. Going into the studio she unleashed her emotions on paper and came up with Perfect from her album ‘Speak Your Mind’. Tonight she tells Jordan ‘Speaking to people helps so much. Just because your problem isn’t something as big as you’ve seen on TV or what a friend is going through it doesn’t mean it isn’t important to you.’
Evie had a problem. It wasn’t as dramatic as a headline news story or the same situation one of her mates had, but all the same it was important to her. She met Jordan last year on a poetry boat party event where she heard about the #IAMWHOLE campaign. Intrigued with the project Evie wrote a poem which she reads out on the balcony tonight besides her new buddy.
Louis Berry has never spoken about his mental health until tonight. The young performer whose website announces him as ‘Liverpool’s finest’ reveals he suffers from anxiety ‘every day’. ‘Describing myself as a lad’s lad I found it difficult to speak to my friends about it,’ He tells Camden. ‘And tonight is the first time I’ve spoken about it’.
So why did one half of a young hip hop duo devote his time to tonight’s cause?
Jordan Stephens suffered a blow after the second Rizzle Kicks album. Trying to find a way out of his psychological state he wrote a song called Whole. He didn’t realise it at the time, but the words related to his own battle with depression. In-between Professor Green and James Arthur’s closing set Jordan premieres this extremely personal piece of work, putting everything into perspective.
Tonight we have seen a number of established musicians opening up about mental health. Google their names today and we are pretty sure you won’t find one negative article about their stories. Bearing in mind the billions of people who go online every day and express their opinions…Doesn’t that tell you something? If you are reading this and feel depressed, unhappy or suffering from anxiety…Speak to someone. It’s 2018 and the stigma behind mental health is breaking down.
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