I’m using EML as a platform to raise awareness of mental health because I’m a big believer that music can have a profoundly positive impact on wellbeing and mental health.
In my own experience with anxiety and depression, I always find that listening to music can disrupt a negative thought pattern or state of mind. Going to a gig and sharing the live music experience with an act and an audience of like-minded people is also hugely helpful - like a form of emotional escapism.
There’s a growing body of evidence to support the anecdotal beliefs about music for wellbeing and I’ll be sharing content around the topic as it emerges.
Beyond EML, I believe musicians and the music industry are well placed to help raise awareness of mental health and change the stigma that is often associated with it.
When a young influential musician like Stormzy, for example, uses his voice to talk about his battles with depression, that can have a huge impact on a young generation of fans in a way that mental health charity or government work simply can’t, no matter how well-intentioned.
One of the reasons we booked Kojey Radical to play in Edinburgh in 2018 was because he is very outspoken about mental health - as well as being an amazing artist.
SAMH, the Scottish Association for Mental Health is our partner. As EML develops, I’ll be sharing SAMH content and signposting to their resources. In future, I also hope to raise funds for SAMH through donating a percentage of ticket purchases to EML events and other activity.