In the first in a new blog series, Hill Valley High’s Phil Marsh talks in-depth about the songs that’ve helped him deal with his own dyspraxia, anxiety and OCD.
Artist: Phil Marsh, singer/songwriter
Band: Hill Valley High
Don’t Fret Track: When The World’s Fast Asleep
On writing our last record, one song we wrote really sticks out to me as my Don’t Fret Track.
A little about me first of all; I was diagnosed with slight dyspraxia whilst at university which means I struggle with certain things; organisation, memory, emotional and social behaviour and anxiety. That’s just the half of it and for some people that know me, it can be hard to believe.
On top of that I suffer from OCD, as well as dyslexia and dyscalculia. It’s fair to say growing up I’ve had my struggles. I was bullied at school to a horrendous level and when I was growing up, home life wasn’t great either. After my parents separated and my dad lost his business, I was taken away from my dad and moved in with my mum and stepdad, but again that didn’t work and suffered abuse so I ended up moving in with my nan and grandad throughout college and then my aunty before eventually heading off to university.
It’s safe to say that the ingredients to becoming a problem child were there.
However music was always there for me! Whether I was singing and writing or just listening to an array of different genres and artists, music got me through.
As funny as it sounds, I owe a lot to Dashboard Confessional, Busted, McFly. *NSYNC, Funeral For A Friend, and even Britney f**king Spears! Through the years of problems there was always an artist, a song, a voice to get me through the screaming nights of arguments, the abuse and the bullying.
As a singer/songwriter I know there’s a part of me that has some serious material I want to get out and create, however it’s not time yet.
Our last release, When The World’s Fast Asleep, is a song for me that touches on how it can feel to lose hope and to feel all alone at the loneliest time and realising mistakes made.
Within the process of writing that song – co-written with Alex Davies of Elliot Minor – it felt like a weight had been lifted and I guess we tried to put an upbeat spin on a low subject. Still, for me, it goes to show no matter how dark something is you can always uplift it and turn it around.
I don’t let my learning difficulties or dyspraxia stop me (Daniel Radcliffe didn’t and he’s also a mild sufferer). The only way is up!
So believe to achieve. Never give up. Everybody is fighting a battle you don’t know about.