Grime artist Shocka has seen the highs and extreme lows of showbusiness. The Tottenham performer saw sudden success and sudden failure, from performing to packed out arena tours alongside famous names like Skepta to being dropped by his record company. He suffered a severe breakdown and is now trying to help us all look after our mental health. Here's his journey, is in own words.
The end of 2011 was when my mental health started deteriorating - where everything started going down. I had a breakdown and I ended up getting sectioned for the first time.
The breakdown was immensely scary. I remember the nurse coming to get me. I remember trying to fight them off. I remember even pushing my mum at a point. I remember my neighbours trying to hold me. It was a really serious breakdown.
From the start how I even got into music it’s a funny story. I used to be into football so I went football training one day and one of my best friends was rapping and I was like ‘what is he doing?’.
So from that day I’ve been fascinated by it. From then I just pursued it and I’ve been in a couple of groups. One group was called Chain Gang. I was with them for a couple of years and then it fell apart. And then I joined a group called Marvell and that’s when things got really serious.
We did amazing things. We toured with Chipmunk, we toured with Skepta, we toured with Diversity. And we put out this single called ‘We Know’. The single didn’t do so good, the label got cold feet then we got dropped from the label and then everything just went pear-shaped.
The reason why I think it went downhill for me looking back on it in hindsight is because I never had a balance of struggle and success I’ve always had just an uphill. So when you don’t have a balance and it starts going downhill you won’t know how to deal with that.
That’s what happened to me. It all crashed down and I didn’t know how to deal with it, it all got on top of me.
When my group broke up and I went solo I said this is my chance to do what I said I wanted to do and relate to people more.
I feel like my single ‘Self Love’ is another attempt of trying to give people keys of how they can deal with their mental health.
Self love is the most important key and it’s something we’re not taught in schools - it should be a topic in schools.
Self love should be on the board and it should be an hour discussion because if you don’t love yourself fully you can’t literally love anyone else in the world.
Another thing I’ve noticed about mental health and depression, most people who suffer from mental health and depression they’re suffering from a low self image.
So it means the image of theirself has become low due to certain experiences that they’ve been through in the world.
To bring their image back up you have to get them to love theirself and appreciate theirself. If they can love theirself they can raise their image back up and they can perform at a higher level.
My advice to anyone that’s going through what I went through or is in the place that I was in I would say keep positive. Try your hardest - positivity is key. Don’t be afraid to speak up. Talk to your closest friends. We’ve all got that best friend that we can talk about anything to - we all have that best friend.
Don’t be afraid to share it. If you can’t share it write about it. Get a journal write about it just so you can see it and get it out of your system. Whatever you do get it out your system - that’s what I would say.