The writing process has healing qualities for my mental health

Tell us why you are supporting MHF Live

I knew about the Mental Health Foundation and its great work, and as a musician I was really interested to hear that it now had a new music initiative. I realised that it was something I would love to be involved with.

What’s your earliest musical memory?

I was very young and I was being coerced by my family to sing that Irish song ‘Tell Me Ma” on a long drive somewhere down south. Either that or Whigfield’s ‘Saturday Night’ in Menorca when I was 6. Both classics.

What does music do for your mental health?

I find it very relaxing both as a listener and as a writer. Its probably my favourite form of escapism. I can sit at the piano for hours and hours and this can be great for keeping my mind occupied. If I do ever find myself with poor mental health the writing process can have tremendous healing qualities. In the past it has forced me to confront issues or problems I was dealing with at the time.

Who is the musician who has most inspired you?

I really love Rufus Wainwright and when I discovered his music at 16 it made me even more sure that I wanted to write songs. The same can also be said for Brian Wilson, Kate McGarrigle, Randy Newman and Laura Marling.

What makes you happy?

I love playing my music to an attentive audience and the feeling I get when my music hass connected with them after a set. I also love playing football and keeping fit and having a wee laugh at things with your pals.

What’s the best sound in the world? And the worst?

I saw a small choir in Cornwall one time in which ten guys sang an old hymn. Nothing has ever sounded as good as that or ever will. The worst is a double decker bus finding its biting point pulling away from a traffic light, Its unforgivably loud.

What song is in your head just now?

A song by Grizzly Bear called ‘Deep Blue Sea’. It has been on an endless spin for about three weeks.

Please tell us about (and share) a piece of music that has had an impact on your mental health.

I recently released a song called 'I never made it' and that helped me out when I wrote that. 

Michael Cassidy plays King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut as part of Celtic Connections on 25th January 2019

Get involved

MHF Live is the Mental Health Foundation's new music fundraising initiative that aims to raise awareness, raise money and raise the roof for mental health.

Find out more about MHF Live