Dear Philomena Tour Diaries: On Stormzy

Pain has a funny effect on your mind. It makes you angry. It makes you depressed. It makes you erratic. It makes you restless. It makes you incredibly emotionally volatile. It makes it difficult to tell where you end and where the pain begins. I usually don’t ask for help from anyone because truth be told, there isn’t much people can do to help. Venting helps though. Writing helps though. Music helps though.

The angrier and more harsh the music, the better. Especially, if my pain is particularly violent. The music helps match my internal rage and frustrations. The music helps match my pain. Over the past few days I’ve been struggling health-wise and therefore listening to a lot of music. Particularly, I’ve been listening to Stormzy’s latest album “Gang Signs & Prayer”, especially the final track “Lay Me Bare”. Stormzy’s struggles with depression parallel my own. The following is a tale in Stormzy lyrics and annotations:

“Little bit of pain, I’ll paint the town”

The night before my show in LA I went out to a party with some friends and enjoyed myself getting to know people, eating, drinking and celebrating with friends.

The following day…

“help me, please, I’m breaking down”

Honestly contemplating whether or not I can physically make it to my show

“Like man’a get low sometimes, so low sometimes
Airplane mode on my phone sometimes
Sitting in my house with tears in my face
Can’t answer the door to my bro sometimes
Roaming around all alone sometimes
Don’t know sometimes”

My actual life for the entirety of October 13th

“I took this pain and made a boat
Lord knows how the f*** it’s staying afloat”

I think to myself as I plod into the shower in a half-hearted attempt to get ready for my show, not fully cognizant of what’s going on as a pain induced mind haze engulfs me.

“f*** letting go, I’ll keep the pain”

I’m going to my show. I’m going to my show. I’m going to my show. I can do this.

“One more time, I’ll make it clear
This some shit I hate to share
Escape this life or pay the fare
Grab this gun and aim it there
Shoot my pain and slay my fear
Before I die, I say my prayer
Don’t worry about the mess, just lay me there
This is all I got, so lay me bare”

Nuff said.

“The family all that matters, I’m just out here with my kinfolk” – Drake

Much love, appreciation and thanks to Doren Damico and the amazing team at Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural for hosting me and who did an absolutely incredible job of creating such a diverse, open-hearted and respectful space for the evening. Massive shout-out and appreciation to my LA family and friends for coming through en masse!
Next tour date write-up is for the UBC Slam @ Benny’s Bagels on October 18th 2017!

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