In the name of Mental Health Awareness Week, singer-songwriter and campaigner, MIRI, shares with us five tracks that are personal to her and convey important messages about mental health in the midst of the release of her powerful new single ‘Good Ones’.
Known for her distinctive soulful and gritty vocal tones, spiked with socially conscious lyrics and classic British songwriting, ‘Good Ones’ continues MIRI’s brand of rebel music – this time, boasting somewhat of a reggae approach as MIRI roars over stripped back electric piano stabs and a bass line courtesy of Yolanda Charles (who’s credits include BB King, Mick Jagger and Paul Weller).
Inspired by feelings of helplessness to change both the external and internal world, it was the majority vote in UK’s Parliament to Bomb Syria which became the catalyst for the track. We find MIRI struggle to make sense of the world around her, as it can often mirror the struggle inside all of us. The song however is a bitter sweet lament, culminating in a message of love and one-ness.
MIRI is a campaigner and champion of all things LGBTQ+ and works extensively with mental health awareness charities and community projects, therefore we couldn’t think of anyone better to choose their favourite five poignant tracks which highlight important messages about mental health to commemorate Mental Health Awareness Week this week in the UK.
Logic – 1-800-273-8255 ft. Alessia Cara, Khalid
I watched Logic in the Netflix Hip Hop documentary series ‘Rapture’. He’s such an inspiration with everything he’s gone through in life. This song is so courageous and beautifully done in how it talks openly about mental health and suicide with a hopeful resolve at the end.
Sia – Breath Me
I first heard this in the TV show Six Feet Under. It got me. The lyrics are raw and intricate. For me they conjure up the feelings associated with loss and depression. She doesn’t need to belt out the message vocally in volume, she sings it so delicately and the music builds up into all those emotions. One of my favourite songs.
Bob Marley & The Wailers – High Tide or Low Tide
The whole vibe of this track is soothing. If I’m going through a particular challenging time this is my go to song. It really calms and reassures me.
Paolo Nutini – Iron Sky
This song is powerful on so many levels. Paolo Nutini’s voice reaches deep and the lyrics talk of injustice and moving into freedom. I interpret this personally as moving into mental freedom which feels empowering, it ignites a strong emotion within me, of standing up to those in life who try to inflict their wrongs and baggage onto myself and others.
Cyndi Lauper – True Colours
I loved Cyndi Lauper’s autobiography and have been a fan of hers since I was a kid. This song was a tribute to her friend Gregory who had sadly died of HIV/AIDS. She made a point to strip back the arrangement and almost whispers the vocal at times which feel so personable. True Colours became an anthem for the LGBT+ community, I read an article on the charity Mind‘s website that the LGBT+ community is more likely to experience mental health problems because of things like rejection and bullying. This song is like Cyndi saying, you may not be loved and accepted by everyone but you are loved and you are beautiful.