For west Jefferson County high school student Micah Wilson, the healing power of music inspired him to explore mental illness in his debut album "The Departure," which will be released on streaming services May 22.
Produced in part by Robbie’s Hope, Colorado-based nonprofit with the aim of empowering teens to cope with the stress and the pressures modern society places on them, the album is being released this month because it is National Mental Health Awareness Month.
We spoke with the 18-year-old - who lists artists like Jon Bellion, Kanye West and EDEN as inspiration - about the album and the importance of its message.
(Responses edited for brevity and clarity).
Tell me a little about your background?
I’m a Colorado native. I got into music by stealing my mom’s laptop late at night and playing with loops on GarageBand. But sadly, GarageBand’s library is quite limited, so I started making my own loops and samples. From there, I began to fall in love with the process of creating, and I knew I wanted to do it for the rest of my life.
How was recording your debut album?
It was really tedious. I produce and record everything in my bedroom, where I’ve built my own home studio. Being in high school, the only times I was able to record was after school and sports (when I was supposed to be doing homework). While my peers were working on physics, I was captivated by putting this project together, and I have the grades to prove it. But in the end, I think those late nights were totally worth it.
Why the theme of mental health on the album?
I don’t think I had that in mind in the beginning. I think it slowly formed over time. Music is like therapy to me, and sometimes I use it as a way to cope with my own struggles. For example, I wrote the hook for “Anxiety” in the midst of an anxiety attack. From that moment on I really wanted that theme to be evident on the album.
How did you get connected with Robbie’s Hope?
One of my best friends is an active leader of their community. I always heard him talk about it, and I was extremely interested, because I was silently looking for some help of my own. And as soon as I met with Jason and Kari Eckert (founders of the organization), I knew that I wanted to do anything I could to work with them.
What do you hope people who hear the album come away with?
As I mentioned before, music is really my own form of therapy. I feel like being honest and vulnerable with who I am through these songs can hopefully communicate to others that they aren’t alone in their feelings. If my music can help someone else break past those chains of loneliness, or feeling anxious, then I feel like I’ve succeeded.
Let’s Roam — a leader in outdoor and indoor scavenger hunts, as well as game night activities — is trying to break the world record for the largest scavenger hunt on Sunday, May 24 (National Scavenger Hunt Day) in a digital way.
The shared, virtual event will include content and challenges that will allow players to immerse themselves in cultures from all over the world. Registration includes access to the scavenger hunt in the Let’s Roam app and much more.
The aim is to get at least 2,733 people to participate in this momentous scavenger hunt on the same day. For more information, visit www.letsroam.com/roam_from_home/world_record, and to register visit, www.eventbrite.com.
The Dave Matthews Band going on a summer tour is about as dependable an annual ritual as the Fourth of July. But like so much else about this summer, that familiar routine has been called off. In the meantime, the popular rock group has launched a weekly Drive-In Concert Series, which will allow them to broadcast full concerts from their archives. All the money raised goes to a different charity every week.
Concerts will be streamed on Wednesdays at 6 p.m. on YouTube. For more information, visit www.davematthewsband.com/drivein/.
For a fascinating, thrilling and romantic look at life in Cold War Britain, “The Hour” is a fantastic trip to the past. The two-season show focuses on a television news program that’s getting started by a group of passionate and dedicated journalists. Along the way there’s intrigue, conspiracy and all kinds of nerdy talk that history buffs and media aficionados will thoroughly dig. It has a stellar cast to top it all off, including Peter Capaldi, Ben Whishaw, Romola Garai and Oona Chaplin.
Find the series on your favorite streaming services, including Vudu and Acorn TV on Amazon.
Clarke Reader’s column on culture appears on a weekly basis. He can be reached at Clarke.Reader@hotmail.com.
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