During the general election, I was contacted by an eye-opening number of people about the stigma surrounding mental health. I was absolutely shocked about the abuse and vitriol people received from attempting to discuss their issues with their mental health. In response to this, I put this at the forefront of my campaign. However, I felt there was more I could do. Following this, I decided to write an album based on the music I wrote during the worst year of my life, in an effort to encourage other people to talk about their mental health and fight the stigma.
This album is a guitar-centric story about my year last year, one of highs and lows, laughter and sorrow. It completely changed who I am as a person and put me through at least two periods of mental health problems, where I’d previously had none at all in my life.
This is for all of you who’ve been told to “get over it”, that “it’s just a phase” or been cut off from friends of family. It is a reminder of the fact that you are not alone.
I’d like to personally thank, from the bottom of my heart, all of those who have stuck by me over the last year. Friends, family, everyone. Thank you.
I’ll be recording and mixing this album over the next few months and I aim to have this out on SoundCloud on January 11th 2018. It will be called “Caught in a Storm”. Any revenue I make from this will be donated to the mental health charity Mind.
My EP “Keeping My Sanity” was released early on in May 2017 – you can listen to it HERE.
I make no apology for the strength of feeling or language I may use in this post.
The murder of George Floyd is undoubtably a tragedy. You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t feel horror towards this situation. As I write this I feel pain, a great sadness. To black and minority folks across the world who suffer as a result of the great injustices that are happening because of racism, I am with you in solidarity. My heart goes out to George Floyd’s friends, family and indeed all communities who are suffering and have suffered from this and other, abhorrent, murders because of systemic racism.
There was a part of me who did not, and is still not comfortable about writing this. Why? Believe it or not I can’t stand conflict and controversy. I hate the psuedo-intellectual “debates” on social media. I hate the gaslighting by racist individuals trying to claim that black people are, by their own genetics, criminals with some dodgy statistics. I hate the lies and I hate the hate. I was brought up with the idea that we were past this kind of behaviour. I recognise this was a result of growing up in an area choc full of white privilege. Over the years, the haunting reality is that racism is still a problem, an awful one – to put it mildly.
I feel if I do not speak out or write something I would be a hypocrite to all the black artists whose music I have enjoyed, learned from and continues to inspire me. Even at a base level, I was named after the legendary Jazz artist, Miles Davis. I wholeheartedly agree with Mrs Smith that the very community the music I play birthed is the same community that is suffering today – “Electric guitar music is black music“.
From the end of 2018 to around this time last year, I was in Atlanta, GA. The very place where today, we are seeing mass protests against racism. During my time out there, I saw and heard things that made me uncomfortable. I was not silent about this. I made it very clear to folks that I thought it was not only strange to me, but also excessive that to pull over a black man in a pickup truck it took two police cars and four police officers to just talk to the guy (I was in a car driving past at the time). I made my views clear that it was NOT OKAY for someone I knew to use racial slurs to express their road rage (N****r and C***k to be precise). When I first got there in November 2018, I was fortunate enough to go to a “birthday show” by Emmanuel “Chops” Smith. Upon leaving the excellent show, a white man came up to me and said “Bet it feels weird to be in the minority, huh?” I replied “I didn’t even notice and now you mention it – what’s the problem?” without hesitation.
The scourge of racism is not unique to America, even though the whole country was founded on racial oppression. We here in the UK have our own problems with race, extremist Far-Right terror organisations hellbent on white supremacy have already murdered an MP (Have we forgotten Jo Cox?). Whilst also expressing solidarity with communities in the US, we must also do better ourselves too.
As I wrap this up, I want to make clear that my intention about this article is to speak out about racism and quite frankly I couldn’t give a flying shit about your dissenting opinion because Racism is never justified.
Black Lives Matter.
“Yes, all lives matter. But we’re focused on the BLACK ones now, OK? Because it is very apparent that our judicial systemDOESN’T KNOW THAT. Plus, if you can’t see why we’re exclaiming #BLACKLIVESMATTER – YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM” – (A protestor’s sign in the USA)
In between working a part time job (which I have now left), dealing with a flat that can only be described as “maximum dinge”, finishing my degree and starting a new band – it’s been quite a rollercoaster as of late. I’m set to move out of Brighton, for how long I don’t know, and my sights are set on one thing – music.
Caught in a Storm has received better-than-expected results, not just in terms of how much money it’s raised for Mind – but also how far it’s gone. Now understandably, when you’re not gigging it’s somewhat of a hindrance because obviously it’s a great way to increase your exposure as an artist. But the fact remains that during my final assessments it was something that needed to be sacrificed otherwise the three years spent studying in Brighton would’ve gone to waste.
However, because my Mac had effectively died and I had very little money to get a new one or get the necessary parts to repair it – I had be practical. Now at the time (this was about March), I worked with an incredible guitarist, Ash Purchese, at my part time job and I had a thought one week as I was fighting the flu “what am I waiting around for?” so I called him up and we decided to get to work on finding the necessary folks to start our quest for music. Indeed we did, in our (now) ex-supervisor, Tom Wilton as our bass player. Things have been in the works with this band which we named “Classic Tactic” and we hope to get some songs recorded very soon though as I write this we are still looking for a singer and drummer.
As of this moment in time, I am gearing up ready to move back to the home nest – unlike other moves I don’t know when I’m going to move back to Brighton, if at all, but one thing is certain in that I’ve got some other musical shenanigans in the work. A new album maybe while CT comes together? It very well may be a certainty.
The decision made yesterday to allow hundreds of homes to be built in Warsash can only be condemned in the strongest possible terms. While I am unsure of the background forces that encouraged senior Conservative councillors to vote in favour, one thing we can be certain of – it stinks. One thing we can take from this as a positive, is the inspiration from those who fought so hard against this shambolic decision – we must show them our thanks.
So where do we go from here?
Well first of all we must look within ourselves. We must realise that politics was the reason why this monstrosity and others (such as Welborne) went ahead. Democracy is only as strong as the means to facilitate it – if we shy away from discussion, decisions like this are made on our behalf by people who do not represent us. Politics caused this problem, but politics can also fix it – everything is political whether we like it or not. Secondly, groups that have fought this decision must unite with other groups across the borough. The will and determination of groups across the borough can only be effective if we all work together and unite to defend our communities, our quality of life and our environment.
If nothing else, the decision made last night is a wake up call to residents across Fareham – Get informed, get organised and vote against career politics.
You are now able to pre-order “Caught in a Storm”.
Pre-order via iTunes and Amazon and get EXCLUSIVE access to the track “The Way It Should Be”!
“Caught in a Storm” is the first album by Miles Grindey, proceeds from the album and other tracks will be donated to the UK mental health charity, Mind. The album will be released January 11th 2018 and available on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Tidal and more!
Caught in a Storm is the debut album of Miles Grindey, it will be available on all digital platforms on January 11th 2018. Pre-orders will begin on December 11th on iTunes. You can follow more updates by following Miles on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and his website.
Fracking, it seems to have fallen out of the public eye – for whatever reason. But the fact remains that this is not the answer to our energy needs. I mean, I’m not keen on being able to set fire to my tap water. That’s just the bare minimum of what is wrong with the process. Near Blackpool, fracking was deemed to be the cause of earthquakes that occurred. MEDACT even released a report on it stating that the chemicals involved in the fracking process have the potential to cause cancer, lung diseases and birth defects on newborn children.
Here’s what a senior Conservative politician had to say:
Yes, the leader of Fareham Borough Council really said that. Here’s a link to his tweet.
Suella Fernandes (The Conservative’s candidate for Fareham) had this to say about fracking on her website:
“I therefore believe that these regulations will provide suitable protection against any health risks, so I support them.”
Across the world we’ve put our faith into the regulations set onto the fossil fuel industry, yet they don’t always work… I’ll just leave this here.
Caroline Lucas said that the Conservative’s manifesto was “a car crash for the environment” – I’d personally go one step further and say this is a multiple pile-up on a dual carriageway for the environment.
When it comes to our environment and who best to protect it, when it comes to protecting our green spaces, when it comes to protecting animals from the pollution as a result of fracking – it is always the Green Party that has done so.
The Green Party will make sure that our air is breathable and our water is drinkable. Fracking is too big a risk to take for yours and your family’s health.
The Green Party today also released our Green Guarantee which you can view here.
I’d thought I’d take some time to comment about my experiences of trying to raise awareness amongst older-residents in the areas of our area. It occurred to me that I’m talking to a completely different world view with an obvious generational divide between us. Here I am, 22 years old, standing in front of groups of people who have possibly been retired for some time. When I start talking about ensuring the rights to democracy and encouraging the youth in the community to register to vote, I feel like I’m hitting a brick wall.
If you know of young people who can vote – send them here (register to vote – deadline is Monday – May 22nd)
If you are part of a community organisation or group – let people know you are voting and explain why. Regardless of your political views or your age. It’s a privilege you’ve had, let’s pass it on to the next generation.
Take action now, if you’re a parent and you want a better future for your children. If you are a lecturer at a college or university, if you run a youth group or organisation – send an email, a text, slide into their DMs, just take action.
Fareham can’t afford to have our future without a voice on June 8th.
According to Mind, nine out of ten people who have a mental health problem are stigmatised, discriminated against or isolated from the people around them. As someone who has suffered two mental health crises last year, I have experienced being told to “get over it” and found myself feeling incredibly alone during my struggle. I have also seen many loved ones around me struggle with their mental health throughout every stage of my life and have seen very little done to support them.
At the last general election, I pledged to make mental health a priority – and this hasn’t changed for this general election. That is why I have decided to make a stand and to make Mental Health a priority of our campaign. I will campaign to make sure mental health is treated the same as physical health. We wouldn’t tell someone with a broken bone to “get over it” – so it shouldn’t be said to someone with a mental health problem.
When I was selected by the Fareham and Gosport Green Party, there are many issues that we as residents of Fareham have to address. Mental health is an issue that affects all of us – whether you’re rich or poor, young or old. Every one of us will have gone through a crisis at some point in our lives, and I encourage everyone to speak confidently about their mental health – you aren’t alone.
After the general election, I will be working on a project with music that I wrote during my crises to encourage others to speak about their mental health.
When I stood back in 2015, I was grateful that over two thousand of you voted for the Green Party in Fareham and I thank you once again for that tremendous honour. When this election was announced, I was incredibly humbled to receive many messages of support and offers to help campaign should I stand again. I am pleased to say the Fareham and Gosport Green Party have selected me as their candidate for Fareham in the general election.
Fareham is an area with great character, a fascinating history and some truly inspiring people that I have come to know my time growing up here. I have met residents who are battling the Conservatives to preserve the great character of their areas from over development, residents who are tirelessly campaigning for better bus routes in the Western Wards. It is these great people who continue to inspire me every day. Fareham needs someone in Parliament that will put forward legislation that will put our communities in the heart of decision making. We need someone in Parliament representing them and this is just not happening, we deserve better than this. The Green Party is the party to make this happen.
I’ll be updating my website over the next few days as the campaign unfolds.
I’m looking forward to the campaign over the next few weeks.