‘Do What You Love and Keep Doing it’ – Events Mark Countdown to World Mental Health Day
A musical project, to premiere in Dundee today, literally kept one lady alive and focused over lockdown, marking her recount of ‘the most intense year in all of our living histories.’
Zoe MacKenzie (Zo Down Lo) (27) is fronting ‘Covid Collaborations: Lock down session 1’ alongside talented rap artists Sandy Pentland and Elljo McNaughton (both from Edinburgh).
Zoe, who lived in Dundee for a number of years, produced ‘Lock down session 1’, writing a hip hop beat for Sandy and Michael to rap over. As well as showcasing the track and video, produced by film-maker Nathan Inatimi, Zoe will be calling in the personal stories of musicians across the country, exploring their own experiences of lockdown and using creative forces as positive coping mechanisms.
Anyone can watch and participate in the event, hosted by Dundee charity Front Lounge, by visiting their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/frontlounge.org
Zoe said, “The project was born out of an inherent curiosity in me to want to explore the ins and outs of music production, coupled with knowing many talented musicians and having such free reign with my time over lockdown. With all of this swirling around in my mind, I-concocted the idea of writing a basic hip hop beat to be used by musicians to rap over, without any of us actually meeting – a unique challenge arisen from Covid restrictions! I pulled myself out of my mental health funk I’d been stuck in for a while and got stuck into learning the basics of music production from scratch.”
Zoe continued, “Creativity for me has been absolutely fundamental in keeping me breathing and as productive as possible throughout lockdown. Music and the scene have provided a kind of sanctuary and safe place for me, between watching live streams of gigs and orchestrating them myself, to liaising with artists about future opportunities and ideas, to meeting new people online with similar interests and passions, and ultimately creating this music project that has culminated in the song we’ll premier on the 1st, all of these things combined have kept me from the precipice of falling into a negative mental health pattern and habits. It has been so cathartic in times of the pandemic to just set everything aside and to focus on my passions, just because there is worldwide panic, does not mean that my love for music has diminished. If anything I’m more determined than ever to make sure that my impact in the scene is more now than it ever has been in the past. Music has always been a stable safe place for me, but this year in particular it has shone through the darkness.”
Zoe continued, “My hopes for the future centre solely upon the collective mental and physical health of my loved ones being the best that it can be, and for the creative arts industry being able to bounce back after such a catastrophic blow this year. I’m hopeful that in time that projects like this continue to blossom in the face of adversity, proving that creativity and togetherness will always trump all fear. I think my main take away for World Mental Health Day has to be, see that one thing that brings you sunshine even in the darkest of times, hold tightly and dearly on to that. Whether it’s poetry, painting, an instrument, your family, nature, singing, whatever it is, make sure you keep doing that as much as you can. Because its simple things like this, alongside the community it brings too, that will keep you alive, sane, and breathing in some of the most trying and isolating times in history.”