This month I have focused on musicians who are passionate about mental health. If I could give a megaphone to them, they’d all speak strongly in these subjects that they believe in.
The first week I wrote about Sarabean. Sarah is a 16-year-old musician from Florida, and has been open about her struggle with depression and loneliness in her music. She wants to make music that other people her age and/or are lonely too, and let them know they are not alone.
The second week I wrote about Trish Discord. After Trish graduated from college with a degree in psychology, she integrated her love in psychology and music by making songs that talk about mental disorders. She did this by writing about what people with a certain mental diagnosis go through both symptomatically and emotionally. She did this as a way to raise awareness for those disorders.
Last week I wrote about Seepeoples. After Will Bradford and the band decided to halt their music journey in 2011, Will went into rehab because he was struggling with addiction. When he came out of rehab and decided to return from Seepeople’s hiatus, the band continued to be a voice for their fans who have very different opinions and views than most of the society. The band stood for something that others are afraid to stand for, just like how so many who struggle with mental health are afraid to stand up for themselves.
This week I am writing about Elliot Lee. Elliot stands for a lot. She stands for mental health, stigmas, and much more. If you browse through her Instagram, she has been very vocal about standing with the Black Lives Matter movement too. Her music is for the masses as she says in her song Dirt, and if I could give the megaphone to anyone of these musicians I’ve mentioned above.
I wouldn’t hesitate to give it to her.
Music has always been a huge part of Elliot’s life for as far back as she can remember. “My earliest memory is of laying in a red flyer wagon & listening to music on my portable CD player while my mom pulled me around the parking lot on a warm, humid night in Hawaii,” she tells me.
As a child she had to move on from many homes and friends who were her people/things to lean on. At one point she found it hard to open up to people and kept everything bottled up inside her. According to American Songwriter, Elliot said that “I started listening to music that really spoke to me and I realized that I could use music as an outlet for myself”. As a result, she pulled out her ukulele and put her thoughts and feelings on paper as she played various chords.
Today Elliot doesn’t only have music to help her with her baggage, she also has fan base that is like a family. “It feels like life put us through so much & one of our rewards for surviving so long is this comfortable little community of fellow misfits, a place where we can finally feel understood & safe. That’s what it is for me, at least. I hope others feel the same,” Elliot says about her fan base.
(At one point) I went through a really dark time in my life, music felt like the only friend I could turn to. I started using songwriting as a means of venting & coping with my experiences. Since then, creating music has kind of become a survival tactic for me.Elliot Lee (8/5/2020)
I have a little food for thought for you….
If everything was upside down, who would be on the bottom? If there was never a bottom, then who would be on top?
There are many people in society that struggle to keep a smile on their face without masking their emotions. There are also many people in society who don’t struggle to keep a smile on their face without masking their emotions. But what music does for everyone rather they like it or not is so powerful. Music finds that happy medium.
Elliot explains that Upside Down is “a deep dive into what it feels like to go through hardships & continually struggle to get out of bed while grappling with all the ‘what if’s’. What if l didn’t care so much about others’ opinions? What if l didn’t always feel inadequate? If I didn’t struggle with all of this, maybe 8 would be strong enough to lead my bubblegum soldiers to the top of the world, but for now I’m content with keeping them company down here. :)”
Music like hers is why so many people like myself consider music as an essential piece of their life, if there was no music then there is no coping strategies, no meaning to life, no purpose to share our thoughts or opinions, etc. This is why I admire her so much, and even the word “admires” doesn’t do the justice of how much her music means to me and so many others.
Four years ago I saw so few reasons to live. I felt like my voice wasn’t worth being heard, so I kept everything behind a closed door. But since finding this outlet, I’ve been able to help people, and that alone is my new reason to live…. I want people to hear my music & know that they deserve to be heard too.Elliot Lee
Elliot wants to continue making music that allows her listeners to have a safe space, but she also wants to try new things as well. “I sort of just plan to go in whatever direction feels fun & true to who I am as a person!” she says.
But for now, the pandemic is quite literally putting a pause to everything. She wants to meet her fans, but right now she’ll have to wait. However, that is not stopping her from writing and other creative things.
I emplore everyone who enjoy her work as much as I do to click on the links below, and keep an eye on them for more content in the future!
Not to make Elliot feel bad, but this article literally took over a year to prepare. The reason why it took so long was because Elliot had a lot of moving pieces happening within that year. Long story short, I eventually tracked her down through her record label (Photo Finish Records). Who may I say are very nice and professional people! At the end of the day, everyone including myself is happy and I wouldn’t of had it any other way.
Elliot Lee’s links:
Photo Finish Records:
Unedited Music Blog’s Links:
Have a wonderful week, and remember to respect other people and to stay safe. If you feel sick then stay home until a doctor or medical professional clears you. If you have to go into public also remember to wear a mask.