News March 2, 2021

Music industry talks mental health in Support Act’s Tune Ups series

Music industry talks mental health in Support Act’s Tune Ups series

High profile musicians and music industry names confront their demons on music charity ’s second release of Tune Ups, a communal sharing and brutally honest video series on mental health, premiering on March 4.

Over seven parts it looks at how isolation and financial anxiety due to COVID-19 worsened things.

G-Flip recalls how she didn’t get out of bed for three days, “It’s scary, very scary, because you think you’re never going to get out of it.”

The Teskey Brothers are on the up escalator of their career but bassist Brendan Love admits, “You hear the claps and the lights come on and all I want to do is get off stage as soon as possible because I think I’m dying.”

Love was lucky enough that his band and management look after each other’s mental state and how he relates to becoming a mental health advocate for Support Act after contacting its Wellbeing Helpline.

First Nations singer-songwriter Ziggy Ramo is another rising spokesperson. Among the issues he tackles on his AMP shortlisted album Black Thoughts are mental health.

“Depression and anxiety, I got a whole cocktail of stuff,” he says on Tune Ups.

Frontier’s tour director, Sahara Herald, and chief of the roadies and CrewCare co-founder, Howard Freeman, started out relatively young in the biz.

Freeman, who accepted resorting to violence to protect his charges was a way of life of going on the road explains, “In that hour (of the show) you would go as hard as you could, as fast as you could…I had to ignore my headspace because I was looking after other people.”

Herald, who quips that putting on a show is far from finding the cure for cancer, fought grief, loss and alcoholism said, “I made an active choice to live. I hope that my story might help just one other person.”

First Nations hip hopper Barkaa, a proud Malyangapa, Barkindji woman, talks about homelessness and drug addiction, and the resilience she found through her “sister girls” to rise up to be the artist and mother.

Country performer Fanny Lumsden, also a Support Act mental health advocate, discusses how she balances family, touring and success, whilst keeping her mental health in check.

View the Tune Ups video series here.

According to Support Act, the series aims to demonstrate that mental health issues can affect anyone, but that there are healthy ways to pursue a career in music and that support is available through the charity.

“Now more than ever we need to ensure that conversations around mental health happen publicly and regularly, especially in the music industry which sees alarming rates of mental illness persisting,” says its CEO Clive Miller.

“The Tune Ups content series is not to sensationalise, but to show people they are not alone and that there is support available.

“We are working with both individuals and the industry to remove stigma and put in place strategies to increase support and resilience, including delivering mental health first aid training, increasing capacity of our Wellbeing Helpline, and developing a new online mental health portal with critical music industry-specific resources.”

“These programs are potentially life-saving.”

Release dates are Brendon Love (March 4), G-Flip (March 11), Howard Freeman (March 18), Barkaa (March 25), Fanny Lumsden (April 1), Ziggy Ramo (April 8) and Sahara Herald (April 15).

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