Deepika Opens Up About Depression

India currently has the highest suicide rate in the world.

“In the eyes of the public, Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone has spent the last two years at the top of her career. She starred in two of the highest-grossing #Indian films of all time, picked up numerous awards for her work and embarked on her first-ever world tour. 

But Padukone revealed on Thursday that despite all of her success, internally she has found herself battling depression and anxiety. In a piece narrated to Hindustan Times, the actress opened up about struggling to get out of bed, seeking help and the urgency of addressing mental health in India. “I thought it was stress, so I tried to distract myself by focusing on work, and surrounding myself with people, which helped for a while. But the nagging feeling didn’t go away,” Padukone said. “My breath was shallow, I suffered from a lack of concentration and I broke down often.”” – Huffington Post.

I posted the above on my Instagram and had an interesting comment from someone who said: “Nihal from the BBC Asian Network spoke about this on his phone-in show yesterday morning. Some very interesting callers spoke about the issue. “You have all the fame, money, fast cars, looks, men/women chasing you. How can you be depressed”.

This was my response:

Comments like that is why I can’t sit on stuff like this. It’s such idiocy, as if material things define whether someone is happy or not? It’s so much deeper than that, so much else could be happening in their lives that the media/public don’t know. Just because you’re successful, that doesn’t automatically mean everything’s perfect. Artistic people, that love their passion, are rarely concerned about anything material. In fact, they’re quite often in a state of unrest for so many reasons – their passion can be what makes and breaks them, relationships, unwanted media speculation.. the list can be endless, with every individual having different reasons behind it. Unless you actually know the person, how can you judge them about being depressed? Unless you’ve personal experience of depression how can you assume it’s wrong for others to feel a certain way? Are famous people not entitled to feel sadness?

That kind of stance and belief is exactly why there’s such a massive misconception of depression, and that is exactly what needs to change. People – not all, but a large majority – need better understanding and education of mental health.”


RKZ – Visionaries


British rapper, singer, songwriter, artist, RKZ is a creative in every sense of the word, and his new single ‘Visionaries’ perfectly showcases his talents. This track was premiered on The Soul Diaries on Sunday and has gone straight into our playlist for First Ear Radio this week. Earlier this year we featured ‘A Song To Drink Tea To‘  from RKZ’s fantastic Science Vs Soul mixtape, talk of an album from RKZ has been around for a while now, hopefully Visionaries is a signal that something is in the works.

Cop visionaries via iTunes and stream on soundcloud below

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Movember, Mo’s & Mental Health!

I was recently approached by Men’s Fashion & Lifestyle magazine The Idle Man to talk about Movember, Grooming and Mental Health. Here’s an extract from the article:

“Day 11 of Movember: I’ve just passed that awkward early-growth phase and have serious beard withdrawal symptoms. The last time I clean-shaved was seven or so years ago – a fact my barber smugly pointed out, several times over, whilst getting my not-so-usual trim. Losing my beard was a decision I had been toying with for the entirety of October, (I have one of those faces that are really defined by facial hair). Starting November 1st baby-faced was a dreaded thought but I took the plunge with the intention of getting more people talking about the ever-elusive topic of mental health.

Since 2012, I’ve been part of CALM’s team of ambassadors raising awareness of mental health, depression and suicide in the United Kingdom; the latter of which is the biggest killer of men in the UK (2013’s figures being the highest in the past fifteen years). 5,140 suicides were reported in 2013 and alarmingly, 78% of those were committed by men: that’s 4,020 suicides, meaning there were 4 male suicides for every 1 female. It’s widely acknowledged that men don’t really open up so these statistics being a consistent trend come as no real surprise. What is surprising is the recent spike last year. It had me thinking about possible triggers (of depression) and the list is endless: money, relationships, jobs and careers, family, bereavement and illness are just the beginning of a downwards spiral to not wanting to wake up in the morning.”

Read the article in full, here:

Spoken Sessions #2: ART

To celebrate National Poetry Day, I decided to follow up Break You with my second instalment of the Spoken Sessions. “ART” was filmed, edited and recorded last night between 7-10pm, and stars the incredible Alex Stanley-Dower. It focuses on insecurity, self-worth, inner beauty and complex society.

Watch the video here, and scroll down further to read the piece:

You’re effortless.

You shrug your shoulders when I ask about your Art,
and brush off your masterpieces as simply as you brush your hair to one side.
You call your smile so-so even though it never rains when you’re happy.

Your laugh masks your fragility but the pools of your eyes tell stories untold to the world,
as if you wrote your tells just for me.
You have this aura, it draws the best parts of our soul into it and out of us.

Out of mind sometimes it’s like I’m in the presence of someone I was destined to meet.
To talk to you is like a blessing to me.

You never see your light because you’re too busy ensuring everyone else can see theirs.
You’re complex. You’re like a story that words could never do justice.
You’re a design of time. Of Patience. Of Poetry.

You see, you can be absorbed and critiqued and adorned and revered, all in one gaze.
It could be hell for most but you pay no mind because it’s unnecessary.
People will always say what they want and they’ll judge because they know no better.
An eye for an eye makes the world blind but a strong heart will forever beat to change it.

Out of mind sometimes it’s like I’m in the presence of someone I was destined to meet.
To see you here is like a blessing to me.

You’re like Art;
I may not feel you but I feel you.
I may not appreciate you as much as you need,
but you’ll never say that to me if what I was doing, was bless for me.

You’re like Art:


A Recap: The 2014 FIFA World Cup!

Germany 1, Argentina 0! The most incredible – and most expensive – World Cup of all time ended with Germany winning the final and Mario Götze scoring the decisive goal! Golden Ball: Lionel Messi, Golden Glove: Manuel Neuer, Golden Boot: James Rodríguez.

This year we saw the likes of reigning champions Spain, England, Portugal and Italy crash out, with underdogs showing an unrivalled strength (word to Costa Rica, Colombia, Chile, Algeria and USA for the heart attacks every other game).

We witnessed the last World Cup for footballing legends Andrea Pirlo, Xavi, David Villa, Rafa Márquez, Buffon, Drogba and Steven Gerrard, and the beginning for 22 year-old superstars James, Götze and Neymar. Another vet, Miroslav Klose became the World Cup’s all time goalscorer, ironically overtaking Brazil’s Ronaldo in Germany’s 7-1 Müllering of.. Brazil. We saw the home nation fail to recover after wünderkid Neymar broke his back, and the power subsequently shifted to Europe (this game has its own Wikipage, dubbed “Mineirazo”). It became the most tweeted about event in history. Fred subsequently retired from international football.

The tournament saw some of the worst refereeing (even with goal-line tech, cooling breaks and magic spray introduced), and goalkeepers became the superstars in one of the highest scoring tournaments ever (Howard, Navas, Ochoa and sweeper-keeper Neuer should probably form the new Avengers). Luis Suárez destroyed England, bit someone and secured his dream move to Barcelona – joining an attacking line-up of Messi and Neymar. Cahill, RVP, Schürrle and James scored some of the most incredible goals I’ve ever seen, whilst Louis van Gaal brought on goalkeeper Tim Krul JUST for a penalty shoot-out and it paid off.

The final was tense, but the beautiful game won in the end: the best footballing unit succeeded in the tournament of individual superstars. See you in four years, Russia. Expectations will be at their highest.

Breaking Down “A Song To Drink Tea To”

I wanted to touch on the thought process behind my latest record, as a lot of people seem to be taking it quite literally, ha.

A Song To Drink Tea To isn’t actually about tea, but rather the discovery of your inner self. All of us have vices, problems and external influences that set us back. What we need to do is reflect on these things and teach ourselves how to tackle them, how to beat them.

Finding your own personal peace/happy place is essential in restoring your life’s balance, for every cloud has a silver lining. Every bad has a good. This wasn’t written to expel bad, however, as without the bad we’d never appreciate good. Rather, it’s about your own interests and living in your personal space without negative thought creeping in.

For me, I feel relaxed listening to music and drinking tea. Tea is important for my mind and body, it relaxes me and allows me to regain focus and channel my energy correctly. For others it could be writing, reading poetry, taking long walks, being with friends etc. My song’s protagonist is the female musician who eludes criticism, knowing it’s of no value. She sits with her records to create, to escape. To be in her own world that allows for spiritual freedom. Her favourite place.

Essentially, this record was made with a purpose of sustaining discovery. Discover who YOU really are, and appreciate both sides of the coin to find your balance and peace. Be content with that, and continue down whatever path is necessary for you.

RKZ – A Song To Drink Tea Too (Prod Lowtism) // Free Download

My latest song gets featured on First Ear! You can download the song for free over on Soundcloud, as well as read the decoded lyrics via Rap Genius.


Nikita of The Soul Diaries sent me over the link to this track, so I was pretty sure I would like it before I had even listened to it. RKZ, Luton based singer/songwriter/rapper laces this outstanding production from Lowtism, a perfect song for to chill to, especially if you’re an Englishman.

Go stick the kettle on then enjoy this

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Let’s get away for a little while.

Away from early morning commutes.
Away from desks, computers and cigarette breaks.
Away from time restrictions, train delays and traffic.
Away from sluggish rain hitting a blur of black umbrellas.

Away from routine.

Let’s get away from unkind eyes, judgements and stereotypes.
Away from negative souls that’ll do anything to crush you.
Their lives have spiralled so deeply into the mundane,
it seems they’ll do anything to bring you down to their level.

Can we take a break?

Some time away from schedules would be nice,
away from meetings, interviews and deadlines.
Can we change our opinion of Monday mornings?
We could, but probably won’t.

Can we look at each other when talking, at least?

Let’s converse, in reality.
Let’s stop being socially anti-social.
Our phones aren’t needed sometimes.
Why not break away from our digital confinements?

It’s nice to be free from everything that defines us.
It gives us the opportunity to appreciate things we neglect.
Things we respect but never admit to,
people we love but would never admit to.

It’s a great world we’re in but we’ll never know,
because we’ll never look up.
Instead, we’ll escape into our routine,
and find ourselves escaping from where we wanted to escape to.

Because it’s routine. And routine is safe.

Picture Source: Tim Kavanagh

SF: Laura Wolfie Review

The following is an extract of my article for Sampleface:

“Concept projects seem to be all the rage at the moment and with ‘the seven deadly sins’ in particular being absolutely done to death, Wolfie really needed to knock this out the park. Fortunately for her, her originality coupled with incredible production and THAT voice, makes Laura Wolfie one of the most intriguing artists I’ve heard in a long time.

Remember the 7 Deadly Sins shoot on America’s Next Top Model a few years back? Well, this should’ve been the soundtrack for it. The 7-track EP kicks off with Luxuria (or Lust in layman’s terms). Wolfie’s vocal has depth and sharpness – reminiscent of Nylo/Maryann Vasquez – whilst hats are well-and-truly tipped to Craig Viera for the production. Gula (Gluttony) follows and as expected, it’s full of food-related, tongue-in-cheek innuendo. I mean, “it’s finger lickin’ good when he play with me”. Aaaaow.”

Read the article in full, here:

SF: Kaly Interview

The following is an extract of my article for Sampleface:

“One of the most decorated characters we’ve come across in recent times, US-native Kaly (who isn’t actually from Cali, by the way) is beginning to build up a reputation of speaking his mind via the interwebz. The NJ by-way-of Philly rapper spoke to Sampleface in March about his beginnings, his future, Twitter and everything in between.

Note: Kaly’s answers are written in American-English. The Z’s and lack of U’s are jarring as fuck, but we’ve left them in for authenticity. Word to you, bruh.

Sampleface: Let’s dance! Kaly, introduce yourself…

Kaly: Kaly. That’s my first and last name.

SF: Kaly Kaly. I like it. How did you get into music?

K: When I was younger, I used to watch a bit of Bollywood cinema here and there, and it got me thinking about how to approach women.  As a big-rimmed-glasses-wearing- bowl-cut-having Indian kid, I needed all the help I could get. I figured writing poetry, like I saw in the movies, would be my in. Needless to say, it didn’t quite work how I expected haha. Eventually, I started setting that poetry to music and realized I was pretty good at it.

SF: Big-rimmed-glasses-wearing-bowl-cut-having Indian kid. You got a picture of this or nah?

K: Fuck outta here.

SF: What’s the rap scene like around you, right now?

K: If you’re speaking about the South Asian rap scene, in America, I would say it’s non-existent. There’s definitely a lot of guys calling themselves rappers, not really putting in the work to be worthy of that title. Everyone goes for self out here, there isn’t really any camaraderie or outlet for our artistry like you see in the UK/Canada, so I can’t say there is much of a scene really. As far as the regular rap scene, it’s cool I suppose, a lot of “how did that get on the radio?” all the time. The game has definitely changed, to where before you needed talent to rock, that’s not so much the case nowadays.

SF: That’s interesting, definitely with you on the airwave questionability. What musicians ARE you feeling currently?

K: I find myself listening to a lot of Nipsey Hussle, and that new Rick Ross album, too. Nothing crazy on my end, but definitely Nipsey if we’re talking up-and-coming artists.”

Read the article in full, here: