Paul tells us why he is supporting our fundraising initiative MHF Live and why mental health is so important to him.
Tell us about your MHF Live event?
I study media and communication at Cardonald College, Glasgow, and for my end-of-year project I have decided to plan and co-ordinate an arts and music pop-up event in my local community to help raise money for mental health.
The event will be held in the East Pollokshields Quad. It is a communal garden area equipped with a stage, pizza oven, badminton court and seating, which makes the place incredibly inviting for everyone. Music from DJs will be played all day. Free entry with donations to the Mental Health Foundation encouraged.
Tell us why you are supporting MHF Live
I chose to support MHF live for several reasons. Firstly and most importantly I believe that mental health is one of the biggest issues in today’s society, especially in my generation and younger generations. I think that there needs to be more attention on mental health and more research and support provided as it’s barely understood by a lot of people.
Another motive of mine is a lot more personal: I have stood witness to countless people including myself suffering from mental health issues or being affected by them. This is why I feel the need to support MHF Live as I hope it can help people that are enduring similar issues.
What’s your earliest musical memory?
My earliest musical memory would be when I was a child in Colombia, listening to my mum’s music that she would play, like Salsa or Cumbia, drums and trumpets with all the rhythm.
My parents would often also play a lot of classical music, like Bach or Sergei Prokofiev who composed ‘Peter the wolf’ which I remember listening to as a bedtime story when I was really small.
I would also hear a lot of jazz being played as my Dad was quite keen on it. There was always something different being played so I grew up with a concoction of music from a young age.
What does music do for your mental health?
Absolute wonders. Music helps in so many ways. I feel like it can give peace of mind and let people relax and unwind. In the same way, music can pump you up for the gym or when you’re getting ready for a night out.
I think generally, music is a place where we all go to express our feelings whather we sing along and strut our stuff or just listen to and have a good old cry. It can ultimately be a source of motivation and peace when one struggles with their mental health.
Who is the musician who has most inspired you?
My inspirations could go on forever in regards to music and musicians.
But principally I would say Eminem, who is actually someone I don’t even listen to regularly anymore. But I remember that when I was a lot younger and I first came across him on YouTube I was absolutely blown away. And ever since, one of my biggest passions has been Hip Hop music and the world he introduced me to. So I have a lot of love and respect for him as an artist.
What makes you happy?
To put it simply; my family, my girlfriend, my closest friends, FOOD and just having the time to appreciate it all.
What’s the best sound in the world? And the worst?
Definitely one of the best sounds in the world is the ‘Lucas film THX’ sound effect. If you’re unfamiliar with what I’m talking about I would recommend giving it a listen. The worst sound… I reckon would be really high pitched alarms that don’t stop. But I’m also not very keen on the sound of a dry highlighter pen on paper.
What song is in your head just now?
Sunny, by Stanley Turrentine. Been listening to it all day.
Please tell us about (and share) a piece of music that has had an impact on your mental health.
In recent years I have been writing my own bars and rap songs, for fun, yet I’ve found it’s a nice release to express certain feelings in a way which I can give meaning to. So in a way it allowed me to explore my mental health for the better.
Paul’s community arts and music festival event ‘ Garden of Singing Trees’ takes place in Glasgow on 4th May from 3-9pm. All profits to Mental Health Foundation. Find out more.
Host your own MHF Live
If you want to host your own event for MHF Live, then all you need to do to get started is download your free event pack