George the Poet: We should have the 'language' to talk about mental health
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George the Poet on how music can raise awareness of mental health

George the Poet has spoken about the links between music and mental health and how he believes music "can can do so much more than is probably academically recognised".

The spoken word performer, whose real name is George Mpanga, chose to focus on how music can raise awareness of mental health for an hour-long guest edit on BBC Radio 5 Live Afternoon Edition.

He told Sarah Brett and Nihal Arthanyake the reason he wanted to talk about mental illness stemmed from experiences he had as a teenager when he realised people he knew were going through something much bigger than he could "comprehend".

The poet said at the time he thought "wow, we should be speaking about this, we should have the tools and language to talk about this at an earlier age".

He added: "If you pay attention to the sentiment that's being expressed in a lot of rap music, grime music dancehall....the sentiment is very emotional, is very vulnerable, they talk about their deepest fears, friends of theirs betraying them, getting a raw deal with the law, all of this stuff is vulnerability, but when it comes to the recognition and articulation of that emotion, that then becomes divorced from the music."

This clip is from Afternoon Edition on Tuesday 4 October 2016.

  • 05 Oct 2016