- 09 Oct 18
Birmingham hip-hop and grime artist T8PES is a man on a mission to spread positivity with his infectious new track I Feel Good , which he's purposely releasing during World Mental Health Week.
I Feel Good moves away from all too common hip-hop message of money, drugs and violence, and instead focuses on his passions of “community, love and positivity”.
In creating the video to accompany the track, T8PES decided to offer the opportunity for people all over Ireland, the UK and elsewhere to submit videos of themselves ‘feeling good’.
T8PES was overwhelmed with the responses and the video collage of submissions includes none other than Ireland’s own Damien Dempsey and Foy Vance.
The ubiquitous Ed Sheeran also makes an appearance, as does former Nizlopi frontman, Luke Concannon.
T8PES is no stranger to mental health challenges himself, something that informs his focus on uplifting music that spreads joy.
“I got into experimenting with drugs in my late teens which led me down a dark path," he says.
"I'd smoked weed throughout my teenage years which would lead to meta health issues in future years but it was using heroin and crack cocaine which would eventually throw my life into turmoil.
"I was knocking around with a bunch of people who in no way wanted to see me elevate a a human being, in fact it was quite the opposite.”
T8PES adds, “I ended up homeless, abandoned by family for a time and addicted to hard drugs. After an episode with a stolen car, my older brother ended up at the place I was staying and saw the extent of the situation.
"It was at this point that I found an escape route and went to stay with my mother where I did a cold turkey and cleaned myself up.”
He managed to get back on the right track. “I slowly started to sort myself out and decided to go to college to learn as much as I could about music production," he explains.
"This was possibly the biggest challenge of my life as being a drug addict along with all the other things I'd been through had completely stripped me of my personality and confidence.
"I literally felt like I had nothing to say to anyone. I struggled with this for a good couple of years until I met some people at college who believed in me and began to instil some confidence in me.”
T8PES has some advice for managing mental health based on his own battles with it. He says, “Managing my own mental health relies heavily upon connecting with nature, meditation and mindfulness, exercise, human connection, and perhaps most importantly on being able to express myself creatively.
"I think all forms of art can be therapeutic whether it's enjoying them as a 'consumer' or creating the art yourself.
"We all have something unique to offer the world and a fountain of inspiration inside of us just waiting to be tapped into.”