Artist: Orion Powell, singer
Band: City Of Ashes
Don’t Fret Track: Sometimes (released for World Mental Health Day)
The origin of the project dates back nearly two years now. We were in the midst of writing and beginning to record our current album, RISE, and going through the motions of carefully constructing songs, keeping some, throwing out others and enduring all the stress involved.
During this period, we received a message from a young fan of the band who was writing to thank us for our music which she said was helping her through a very difficult time. It turned out the girl in question was very unwell, severely depressed, had become bulimic and had been hospitalised for the severity of her condition. This struck a particular chord with me as, unbeknownst to her, I have been dealing with my own depression as far back as I can remember.
I know the constant battle and feeling that you’re treading water desperately trying not to sink and often not even sure why you bother to keep up such a seemingly inane act. Moreover I also know how the phrase “I know how you feel” is so flippantly used as a quick fix phrase from people who, given that people’s experience is so individual when dealing with depression, usually have at best a very faint idea of what it is that you’re experiencing. How it is further than just dealing with a life experience of bad news that comes to us all but how a person’s whole existence is coloured by an unseen cloud blocking out any conceivable light.
With that in mind I did the only thing I felt that I could: I spoke to her about my own experience and allowed her to cherry pick the bits that made sense to her. Hopefully, I helped her feel a little less alone in some way. That conversation (though dramatically paraphrased) became the basis for the some Sometimes.
As the touring year went on, I began to realise how many people around us were so afflicted by the condition and how something about our musical community was some kind of sanctuary to people like us. That inspired us to contact the UK Big Lottery Fund who were as keen as we are to draw attention to the issue, as well as support from Barclay’s Eagle Labs programme and the Coca Cola London Eye.
I’m proud to be able to say that today, the young lady responsible for starting this movement is in a much better place and to call her a friend. She remains a constant inspiration to me and a reminder of what we can achieve in spite of the reality we live with.
Depression is a demon I know too well and a condition that all of us feel an obligation to make a mark against.
It’s a lonely and an isolating experience and, although for people like us there is no magic wand, we are flying the flag to those in the deepest depths of the fight: You Are Not Alone.
The 'Sometimes' short film has officially just been released, coinciding… https://t.co/kQ1GJvzRhq
— City of Ashes (@CityofAshes) October 10, 2016