Rest In Peace, Keith Flint from SapphiraSapphira
While worldwide music fans are reeling with the news of the tragic passing of UK band The Prodigy’s enigmatic vocalist, Keith Flint, it has also shaken my world and the world of my loving husband, Antony Silcock aka Tonestepa.
We have been personally inspired and experienced a lot of positive mental health benefits from using music as a platform to express angst and rebel. That is why we identified with The Prodigy’s tunes but above all Keith Flint’s performances and persona were larger than life and gave us all permission to cut loose in the mosh pit or on a dance floor listening to his amazing voice and high energy contribution as front man of the stage show act.
I, in fact, heard the news of Keith’s death whilst I was in Essex this week and had only just driven passed Braintree which I knew was an area he lived near so he had crossed my mind and this made the sad news even more devastating as I was in such close proximity.
Since January last year The Prodigy’s work had been at the forefront of my mind. I was writing my autobiography Burlesque or Bust with Trigger Publishing a global publisher dedicated to giving mental health a voice. My story was difficult to write because it involved reliving some hard experiences including a dark time of experiencing a bipolar breakdown and hospitalisation with psychosis which thankfully was a one off episode and has never returned. My story, was, however also about how important music and songwriting had been as a lifeline and it felt only fitting to tribute my favourite band by naming all the chapters of my book after songs by the group. I wanted to make the link between mental health and music, amazingly I was also supported by Maxim, another band member whose interests outside of music including making art particularly with a butterfly theme titled Lepidop Terror. As butterflies were such a symbol of my mental health recovery it was amazing to be fundraising supported by him on such an important topic.
The news of Keith’s passing illustrates how important it is that we still continue to raise awareness and destigmatise reaching out for help. If it was hard for me to write my story and confess my time of need, it can only be harder for someone with a high profile and together we can help by all share more honestly what we are going through so others will speak up and not feel ostracised or left to battle alone alone.
It has made me think what more the music industry and we as a community can do to actively prevent suicide which is prevalent among artistic industries with creative people being all the more sensitive and experiencing emotional changes deeply.
I am vowing to continue my crusade to speak boldly and to support charities like Shaw Mind Foundation, the parent charity behind Trigger Publishing because they have pledge to reduce suicide through a powerful commitment to education in schools and the workplace. http://www.shawmindfoundation.org/
I will also be sharing the methods I learnt with non-profit education charity, More To Life, that radically shifted my ability to manage my mental health by teaching me to notice my emotional state in terms of positive above the line emotions and negative below the line emotions and look at the narrative in my head when I had a negative life event so I could write out my thoughts and decipher what was true and what was untrue. www.moretolife.org
To Liam, Maxim, Leroy and all fellow fans of The Prodigy worldwide you are in our thoughts.
Rest In Peace – Keith, the fire you started in our hearts will continue to forever glow.