The Common Artist Uses Music To Shed Light On Mental Illness

Suicide, depression and similar mental illnesses have been a silent plague in our communities longer than anyone would like to admit. While it’s clear that mental illness does not discriminate, many of us have silenced our experience with mental illness due to fear, shame, and guilt. When I made my way toward the Good Times event on a Monday night in Brooklyn, I thought it’d be another event where we’d be blessed by IET band, when in fact it was an evening of transparency, vulnerability and support. Through music, we were able to unite for a great cause and for a good time at Good Times Unisex barber shop. Guests were welcomed to celebrate life with good music and good people.

Bob Marley’s words “when [music] hits you - you feel no pain.” reigned true when Oya Noire, Phyllisia Ross and Zaxai sang original selections along with their favorite covers. We forgot about our personal obstacles and let our love for good music united us. While there was plenty of time to sway to the music, there were also moments of awareness and education. Medical professionals Ralph Thomas of the Haitian American Caucus and Anne Tallegrand Cajuste provided resources both adults and adolescents can use to help us through our experiences with mental illness. Cynthia of KillherCore Fitness shared her unforgettable testimony about her family’s experience with suicide and how she’s been able to defy the all odds through self-improvement. It was important to Jackson Chery, founder of the Common Artist music label to deliver an experience that would last longer than a few minutes in a song. It was important that we understood that our community is stronger when we are together and when we put our positions of influence to good use, we can create a change for the better.

I had lots of fun while learning about making a difference in my community - the selfies with my favorite Haitian artists were just a plus! Keep up with more events brought to you by The Common Artist by following them here.

Shameless plug: Make sure you vote for Zaxai during this season of NBC’s The Voice! Every vote counts!

Thanks for reading!