Behind The Song
It's only natural that we rely on our parents being there for us, fixing our problems, easing our anxieties, picking us up when we fall or break down… it's easy to forget that they too endure the same issues, unaided.
So it came as a shock to me when I began to see the "cracks" starting to show in the strongest man I know - my own Father.
Anxiety can affect anyone, at any age - and it needn't be a significant event that kicks it off. It's often a gradual build up over time, hidden away until it eventually reaches the surface. It was tough seeing my Father trying to hide it from me. He didn't want to "worry" me. He didn't want to "add to my problems." He kept it to himself and internalised it, wouldn't discuss it, when all I wanted was to comfort him and repay the 20+ years of support, guidance and love he has given me.
So, I wrote 'Hero' as a plea to my Dad - to let me in, to know it's OK not to be OK. The last line of the chorus says it all: "You're only human; we're just the same."
My Father first heard 'Hero' at a live gig that I played, and I know its message hit home and opened his eyes. Up until then, he didn't think I knew, didn't realise my concern and my frustration from being blocked out.
'Hero' has opened the door. The conversation in the song has led us to be honest with each other, it's brought us closer and made us stronger.
I am releasing, 'Hero' on June 22nd, in collaboration with
'International Father's Mental Health Day'.
In England, 1 in 8 men have a common mental health problem. The pressure to maintain the traditional masculine demands of control, strength and stoicism is all too prevalent – and results in men being unable to share their problems. They bottle them up, and over time, they fester and grow.
I want 'Hero' to encourage us all to reach out to our Fathers and offer them support and a shoulder – should they need it. Remember, mental health issues are not a weakness, but an illness that can be managed - at whatever age.
To find out more about
International Father's Mental Health Day
please click on the link below