Mental Health and the Power of Charity Music
Mental Health and the Power of Charity MusicOctober 12, 2016
Quite Great work with a number of charities and good causes in order to help fund raising efforts through the medium of music and the key for these sorts of campaigns is making sure the message is simple. Heartfelt soul-singer, Melissa James, encapsulated this idea with her SING4SANE campaign that aimed to raise awareness and knowledge of mental health issues.
What can be said for sure about Melissa’s musical blend of jazz, gospel, soul and blues is that it evokes a true sense of emotion and deep feeling. However, what we can never know about our favourite artists is the mind and the story behind the music that we love so much. What goes on inside their musical-genius brains, and how have they come to be the way they are? Mental health is a particularly pertinent topic at the moment in the media and Melissa’s story can teach us a lot whilst also raising awareness through the ever powerful platform of music.
Realising mental health
A few years ago, Melissa wrote the beautiful ‘Live Again’ which speaks for the voiceless psychological suffering encountered by many, but unseen by even more. The track mixes feelings of isolation, loneliness and the notion of wanting to talk to someone, but inevitably not knowing how to. At the time, Melissa based the song on someone very close to her, but over time, it became hugely significant not only for herself, but for raising mental health awareness too.
The simplicity of the stripped-back, acoustic style recordings resurfaced buried feelings for Melissa and the lyrics conjured new meaning, becoming all the more clear. Although the song had been written with someone else in mind, Melissa found she was the voice behind the lyrics.
Campaigning for Good
Consequently, Melissa began the SING4SANE campaign which eventually took place in February of this year at Heathrow’s Café Nero, where she was joined by around thirty other singers to promote her cause.
As is evident from this, the support of others is vital when conducting a campaign like SING4SANE, and it had to be from people who truly understood the cause, who were really on the same wavelength. The majority of people are affected by mental health in one way or another, and so it was not long before Melissa was joined by a skilled group of musicians and twenty-seven participants who wanted to sing for an issue that they felt strongly about.
The Potential of Music
At the end of the day, Melissa’s determined campaign proved worth the hard work and also demonstrated the power of music as a tool of activism and awareness that can unite people for a communal cause. It can sometimes be difficult to judge the effect of campaigns such as this, but Melissa’s ultimate reward came when a man from Los Angeles came specifically to see one of her London shows to tell her how her songs had saved him when he was feeling suicidal. Melissa managed to promote her own music through the campaign, but more importantly, she succeeded in raising awareness and she saved a life. As a result, the potency of music as more than just a pleasurable commodity came to fruition.
Melissa’s Website: http://melissa-james.com/