Queen Millz: Rapper on young people locked down in Leicester

By ITV Central Producer, Charlotte Horner

Queen Millz is a young singer, rapper and songwriter from Leicester.

She's been speaking to us about the story behind her new song "Lock Down Leicester" and what the Coronavirus lockdown has been like for young people in the city.

  • Mental health

Queen Millz says during lockdown she's had to "motivate her brain everyday."

The 22-year-old says "normally I'd be performing, going to meet people, going to interviews and things like that."

"That's slowed right down with lockdown. It's sad because it's just put a stop to everything."

She tells us that although she's just outside the local lockdown boundary, a lot of her work is now cut off in the inner city.

Queen Millz says it's "limiting" and "frustrating" that she can't see producers and crews, or make the most of studio space.

During the coronavirus pandemic many young people have had to change the way they work - or stopped working completely - which can put a huge strain on their mental health.

The charity Young Minds recently carried out a survey on over 2,000 young people who had previous experience with mental health issues.

Queen Millz says that socialising with friends is a massive part of her generation and taking that away from people can put them into "meltdown mode".

  • Separated from family

"The biggest thing for me was my niece and nephew and my sister, I couldn't see them for months."

"I think it affected my mum and my dad too. It's really hard when you're disconnected from people that you love."

She really sympathises with young people at university who found lockdown a challenge - forced to decide between staying in the city where they're studying or to return home.

Queen Millz says "obviously we have FaceTime and things like that, I think the internet and technology has saved us all."

"I think that's a lot of the reason why people are still actually sane, because we can contact over the phone and stuff."

Young Minds stresses how staying connected during lockdown is paramount for good mental health.

  • Bad habits

Queen Millz tells us that during lockdown she has tried to "stay motivated to write and perfect her craft".

The Leicester born rapper thinks that being locked down against their will is going to start "bringing out silly traits in people."

Drinking, unhealthy eating, smoking and reengaging with unhealthy relationships are some habits that could increase or resurface during lockdown.

  • Are people breaking lockdown to leave Leicester?

Queen Millz says she doesn't think so - but that some did leave when they heard there could be a second lockdown.

The rapper says a lot of people on her social media pages are jealous that she's from just outside the lockdown zone, and are desperate for it to be over.

  • Missing out on 'big moments'

Big birthdays, the final day of school, prom nights and graduations are just some big moments that have been taken away from young people by lockdown.

Some big events have been postponed, some have gone virtual, like this graduation day.

Feeling like they're missing out on important developmental milestones has been hard to swallow for many during the pandemic.

For Queen Millz, she's been able to find an outlet in her music.

  • What's your favourite lyric in the new song?

Queen Millz says that the coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown has brought out the worst in some people.

She says "sometimes we could be classed as the virus, we could be classed as the thing that is spreading, even if it's not corona, it's negativity and stuff like that."

"We all need to get better as one and work together to change the way that we look at life in general."

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