Firstly, what made you start the Mentis foundation?
Mental health has always been an issue in the music industry, however, this has only come to light in recent years with more and more people speaking openly about it.
I myself have suffered from anxiety and some forms of depression throughout my daily life. This stems from bullying during school mainly and it led me to become very reclusive in my younger years.
I turned to music and DJ’ing to help boost my self confidence and in the early stages of my career, it did just that. However, after being in the industry 9 years, I’ve started to realise that this can also have the opposite effect.
Regular gigging, sleepless night and travelling alone really does affect your mental state. I think people have a glazed view of what being a performer is like, it’s not all glitz and glamour.. there is definitely a dark side.
I had a day where I was feeling really down and thought to myself “do I even want to do this anymore?!” I came up with the idea for MENTIS as following me publically posting about suffering from anxiety, I received hundreds of messages from other people, both in the industry and out who was also going through the same.
I realised that I wasn’t alone and why not use this for something positive. I set up the facebook page and within a few days it had hit over 1000 likes, plus endless messages about people wanting to support the cause.
How do you want this to benefit other musicians?
Firstly, I want to stress that there is no pressure for anyone to talk about any feelings they may have. MENTIS is supposed to be an open community and if people want to talk then they can.
I feel like talking definitely helps me personally, but some people find it very difficult to open up, it is a delicate subject. i receive messages every day from people either wanting to help support or wanting to tell their stories. it’s really heartwarming to know that awareness is being made on the subject and people really want to help.
Eventually I will be running conferences and also some workshops for people to attend on a yearly basis. I am working with a few mental health professionals to put these in place as we speak.
Talk to us about the Mentis parties…
The first MENTIS event will be held next year in Manchester. Ive picked a venue, probably one of the most renowned in the city. It’s a beautiful building and 2,500 capacity so plenty of space for everyone! I don’t want to say too much about it as it’ll spoil the suprise, but it’ll be worth waiting for I promise you!
What artists from the scene have been supporting the foundation?
The list is endless to be honest, but names like Sasha, Dusky, James Zabiela, Yousef, Medlar and also the mighty Defected Records… I could go on. It’s great to see the big guns supporting and promoting the foundation!
What do you hope to happen for 2017 with Mentis?
2017 will see the first major event take place, it’s going to be huge. I’ve given myself 12 months to plan it! Aside from that, I’ll be doing some interviews with DJs ahead of the event and also some live Q and A sessions via a live feed on Twitter or Facebook.
I just want to take the opportunity to thank everyone for their support so far and keep an eye out on the Facebook page for details of the event!
Original post: 14th October 2016January 8, 2018