Lessons learned while working the night shift:
This morning I gave my usual space for a timely but indirect post about World Suicide Prevention Day, following the death of one of my favourite artists: Mac Miller. I reflected on the music I loved, memories I made, and memories I recalled, but immediately realized that his life was about more than just his art. His music was part of my journey, stepping back from a metaphorical cliff or two, but what does that mean as the artist – to carry the weight of your world, and that of others, in your words?
See below for an excerpt from my earlier post, including links to the all of the music I mentioned.
I’ll just use this space to celebrate an artist that really gave everything to uplift everyone around him. For the umpteenth time, if losing someone to mental illness/addiction makes you feel the need to check on the folks in your life, actually do it.
He was only a year older than me, so listening to his music over the better part of a decade was what my friends and I grew up with. Just figuring life out as young people do, alongside Mac and his music. When you hear an album like Swimming, it kinda felt like we made it out. All the dark corners were thoroughly explored and we’re standing in the sun, on the other side. But for now, we’re still moving. Slowly. Mac gave us more than good music. He exemplified loyalty and selflessness better than anyone I know. He was a bright light in the industry, and he made sure everyone had access to come along on the journey with him. It feels weird to talk about him in the past tense, because Swimming felt like the beginning of a fully realized musician. The thing is, the art doesn’t make itself.
Artists are as human as the rest of us, so here’s to the man — rest easy, Malcolm McCormick 💫
Listen to Mac Miller’s NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert, where he performed alongside his close friend and talented artist Thundercat, and many old and new friends. The story of ‘2009’, the last song performed in the video, Mac explains how he was able to get four string instrument players to join in the concert upon arrival following unforeseen logistical issues with the usual performers on strings. Very few people would give you that chance, and that platform, to share your talents having never met you before that moment. That’s his selfless nature, and it was apparent in his music.
If you need to talk to someone, or if you know someone who might need a listening ear, here is a list of global suicide/lifeline hotline phone numbers. Don’t be weary to ask for help if you need it, and don’t be hesitant to offer to listen if you’re able to do so.
Following the end of my mandate at the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa, I was given a fantastic opportunity to submit a guest blog, in line with the theme ‘Towards fewer dropouts’ from …