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CHARITY REG. NO. 1110621 & SCOT SC044347



An exhibition that shines a light on men’s emotions. Provoking conversation through the medium of photography. Whilst raising awareness and funds for CALM.


10th May 2017


11th-19th May 2017


Getty images Gallery

46 Eastcastle Street, London, W1W 8DX ŠDavid Hughes - CALM Helpline London: 0808 8025858 Outside London: 0800 58 58 58


A NOTE FROM THE EDITOR Welcome to the April issue of CALMzine. The London Marathon is fast approaching and we’re about to put some steps in your Spring with this running special. We’re honoured to introduce you to some of The Runners (p14) taking on the ridiculous challenge of running 26.2 miles around central London for #TeamCALM and Heads Together on 23 April. If you’re wondering what Heads Together is, we’ve got you – we caught up with two clever young fellas, Prince Harry and The Duke Of Cambridge (p10) – they’ll let you know the craic. As an experiment, we forced reluctant sprinter, very reluctant cold-water swimmer and occasional comedian Jack Rooke (p6) out of his clothes, into a dress and onto the mean streets of Finsbury Park; the cold lochs of Scotland; and around the walls of Pentonville Prison respectively. All for good reason, promise. World-beating hurdler Colin Jackson (p18) had a few things to say in this issue: he told us the secret to looking 25 forever and urged us all to wear blue y-fronts in our next competitive run. That makes him sound like some bizarre, psychic personal trainer, possibly nicknamed The Clairvoyant Coach. But nah, the man has wise and practical things to say about your health based on actual evidence. Don’t get your own y-fronts in a twist if running isn’t your thing though (tbh it’s not particularly mine either), because we’ve obviously brought some art (p22), poetry (p5), piss-taking and dogs (p24) into the mix. Soul and reggae youngster Ady Suleiman (p26) tells tales from his UK tour, and will light up a shit day with his stunning Torch Song.

We’ve linked up with CLASH magazine to launch Love Yourz (p28), a series that will explore how bad ideas about success in the world of hip-hop can fuck with the heads of fans and artists alike. And oh yeah, we read through enough of your hate mail to bring back The Rant (p32) and your favourite agony uncle Dear Josh (p33) after last issue’s omission. Sorry, we won’t do it again. Relax. Enjoy and look after yourself.

CREDITS EDITOR: Paul Shiels DESIGN: Silvina De Vita COVER ART: Theobald Fox VAN DRIVER’S ASSISTANT: Bríd McKeown MISS MONEY PENNY: Celia Clark Contributors: Jack Rooke, Graham Goddard aka Oh Standfast, Joshua Idehen, Sarah Beetson, Ollie McDonald Oulds, Henry Garrett, Grant Brydon, Martin Bolomey. Special thanks to: Topman, Heads Together, Symbian Print CALMzine is printed on paper from sustainably managed sources. Printed by Symbian Print Intelligence, paper from Gould International UK. Want to advertise with us? Email WINNER of the Mind Media Awards 2017 for Publication

Need Help? Call CALM. London: 0808 802 58 58 - Nationwide: 0800 58 58 58 Webchat: Open 7 days a week 5pm - midnight CALMzine is the first port of call for all your manspiration needs. We all have issues at the end of the day, so what do you want to talk about? Who do you want us to talk to? We want to hear from YOU. Tweet us your ideas and views @CALMzine #CALMzineIdea, or send us an email at Or write to us at PO Box 68766. If you want the hard stuff, go to the CALM website or follow us on Twitter @theCALMzone.

Femi and mood indie duo, Hugh. But the real star of the show was a young man in school uniform: 16-year-old Halil Ibrahim Es. Halil kicked off the event by sending a wave of goosebumps through the Ace Hotel basement with this…

We disfigure ourselves to become men. Lay out our bodies on operating tables for plastic surgery to dismember our vulnerabilities.   They blowtorch the parts of our minds that teach us to feel Mummify our bodies with muscles Whilst breaking our bones to fit into caskets of masculinity. They force bolts of aggression into our knuckles Drill metal plates over our skin They rip out our veins that rush with humanity and replace them with copper wires Now masculinity conducts throughout our bodies.   So we dive into the emptiness of these streets Looking for tools to rip this re-construction off our bodies. We find knives and guns but that won’t unscrew the bolts and metal plates Our lives become collateral damage in desperate attempts to find relief. I hate seeing you like this. You’re in a sea of friends but fear your pain will stream into WhatsApp conversations and Facebook posts Don’t stuff your tongue into the back of your throat when I ask you how you feel Don’t hide behind arrogance Don’t try to chain your hardships in your bedroom. I can hear the shackles follow you into school. These mirrors hate you. They see your pain Your knuckles collide with the distorted image of your masculinity You leave mirrors in pieces That’s the only time they give you your true reflection   Your mind is the Garden of Eden. Thoughts flow through like blessings It puts you closer to paradise than this world But you just ate from the wrong tree. Grew thorns of being a man and tried to climb it It’s time to uproot this disease. Bury the copper wires and metal plates Leave your masculinity to decompose with them. Let the flowers of your identity open up like Holy Scriptures Reveal your weaknesses like they’re revelations declaring I’m only human Don’t worry From now on You’ll be free.

Art: Martin Bolomey |

January’s Save The Male show in Shoreditch was a sell out, hosted by Jordan from Rizzle Kicks and CALM stalwart and spoken-word artist Cecilia Knapp. The packed room was roused by stunning performances from London poet laureate, Caleb





Comedian Jack Rooke tells us about his upcoming BBC Three series where he meets men using weird and wonderful methods to find happiness. When I turned into an adult man at 18, I developed a relationship with hobbies such as exploring exotic branches of Wetherspoons, eating olives (sorry mum, I know that’s posh for you) and doing some pretty out-there things as an ambassador for CALM.  Now five years on at 23, I tend to cherish my relationship with the latter the most (sorry ‘Spoons and olives) and I’m super excited to be presenting a BBC Three series inspired by CALM and losing my friend Olly in 2015 to suicide when he was just 27. The series involves me meeting a range of men who feel failed by the current mental health infrastructure who’ve taken their minds into their own hands using radical methods to find happiness and choose life.

Jack and his frozen balls.

One of the first people I met was Finlay, a 19-year-old who lives in Oban on the west coast of Scotland. He has suffered two severe bouts of depression through his teenage years and tried counselling and medication. Then he discovered a rather radical daily activity he could do in his local loch that changed FILMED DURING everything. 

Theresa May’s speech on mental health in January WE was important, but personally STORM BARBARA, SO IT left me skeptical of the governments genuine interest WAS THE COLDEST MOST Finlay invited me to undertake one of the hardest tasks in improving the support HORRIFIC EXPERIENCE infrastructure. Whilst they OF MY LIFE. WE DIVED you can ask of a 17-stone comedian who won’t even take have pledged an additional INTO A FREEZING COLD his t-shirt off infront of his £25million over the next three years in mental health LOCH, FIVE DAYS BEFORE mum – cold water swimming. spending, it’s important to note CHRISTMAS AND I FROZE Unfortunately the time we filmed with Finlay was during that for the past three years MY BALLS OFF. Storm Barbara, so it was the they’ve consecutively failed to coldest most horrific experience of my life. We keep increased mental health budget pledges. dived into a freezing cold loch, five days before Christmas and I froze my balls off. Everyone said it So if the government aren’t willing to support vulnerable young men more, I wanted to meet would be rejuvinating, life-affirming, cathartic – but it was about as cathartic as a prostate exam. those who have a DIY approach. - CALM Helpline London: 0808 8025858 Outside London: 0800 58 58 58


Jack and Olly

That being said I could see how in normal weather conditions, the benefits of cold water swimming could be brilliant in tackling mental health issues. The cold water is said to give swimmers a euphoric boost – a feeling of vigour and life, with many doctors agreeing this is a brilliant treatment for depression.

What I loved most about Richard’s show was he performs the whole hour whilst running continuously on a treadmill, so he invited me to undertake one of the hardest tasks you can ask of a 17-stone comedian with a passion for bread, breakfast telly and sitting down on soft furnishings: early morning exercise.

Then I met a chum of mine, We met in Finsbury Park and ran for RICHARD TOLD ME fellow comedian Richard Gadd. a whole morning, not even stopping HOW RUNNING His comedy show Monkey See for a Greggs £2 bacon bap and Monkey Do explores the internal HELPED HIM PLUCK mocha deal. Soon enough I actually voice some of us have during UP THE COURAGE TO quite enjoyed it and genuinely felt a times of depression and anxiety OPEN UP TO FRIENDS sense of renewed energy. Richard that tells us we’re worthless. told me all about the benefits of self AND FAMILY. His monkey started to seriously reflection, having time to checkaffect him after he was the in with yourself and how running victim of sexual assault, and the honest, frank and helped him pluck up the courage to open up to family, inspiring show he wrote about overcoming this friends and a therapist. He fully believes that more men experience won him the 2016 Edinburgh Comedy need to open up in times of crisis.  Award. He’s now an ambassador for SurvivorsMCR – a charity dedicated to supporting male victims of I wanted to explore more than physical activity. A lot sexual abuse.  of the time a feeling of depression and anxiety comes 8

Amber Dextrous and Raven Mandella doing unspeakable things to a prison wall

from being unhappy with our personal identity and struggles to embrace who we are as men.


So finally I met up with Raven Mandella (Neil), a drag artist originally from Leeds who is probably the most inspiring person I’ve ever met. Neil was involved in an incident where he was racially and homophobically attacked, and he fought back, unfortunately to the punishment of him getting a prison sentence. Five months on, he served his time, fully accepted his mistakes and is moving on to help create a society where men don’t have to fight for freedom with their identity.

Meeting Raven was amazing yet daunting, because I had the task of coming up with my own drag queen alter-ego (Amber Dextrous) to then go and perform in drag with Raven outside Pentonville Prison. And at

first I hated being in a size 22 party dress from Dorothy Perkins, until soon enough I was strutting my stuff along the prison wall like a seasoned pro. It made me realise it’s just a persona, a part of Neil’s identity that is liberating and fun.

And that’s what I wanted this series to be about: liberating men from the bullshit traditional notions of masculinity and showcasing different guys doing a wide range of things to tackle their demons. I want to encourage us to do more than talk - but come together more as a community, starting even with more groups of lads meeting up in exotic branches of Wetherspoons, speaking openly about feeling down and then doing something positive about it. (Other pub chains are available). HAPPY MAN airs on BBC Three on 17 April. Jack is on Twitter @jackrooke - CALM Helpline London: 0808 8025858 Outside London: 0800 58 58 58


WILLIAM & HARRY IN THEIR OWN WORDS... On Stormzy, the trials of military service, and the British stiff upper lip.

Unless you’ve unplugged from news and media over the last year (we wouldn’t blame you), you’ve probably sensed a significant shift in the amount of talk about mental wellbeing, masculinity and, promisingly, male suicide. It feels like there’s been a sea change in awareness levels and discussion. CALM has played a part, you have played a part, thousands of musicians, artists, writers, comedians, campaigners and sports people have played a part. And the Royal Foundation’s Heads Together campaign has too – with the stated aim of ending the stigma and changing the conversation 1 10

on mental health once and for all. Ahead of the Heads Together campaign crescendo at the London Marathon we asked the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry about the message they want send to the world. CALM is excited to be a Heads Together partner. What do you hope to achieve through the campaign? Duke of Cambridge: Catherine, Harry and I have all been working through our charitable work with organisations dealing with the military, young people, addiction and homelessness. One thing that was clear to us was how many of

these issues have a mental health concern we launched Heads Together I’ve met at their root, but people can’t and won’t inspirational people who’ve given me get help because they are ashamed of confidence that we can all crack this what people might think. together and make talking For me, the tipping point “SUICIDE IS THE BIGGEST about getting help for our came when I saw the mental health as normal as KILLER OF MEN UNDER impact of suicide through talking about our physical 45 IN THE UK, WHICH IS health. Let’s remove the stigma my work as a helicopter pilot with the East Anglian ABSOLUTELY APPALLING.” to give people from all walks of Air Ambulance. My first life the confidence to be able call out was to a male suicide and I was told there were five suicides or attempted suicides every day in East Anglia alone. When I looked into it I was shocked by how bad this situation is - suicide is the biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK - which is absolutely appalling. I hope that through Heads Together and with CALM we can show how to tackle this – by helping men feel they can open up about pressures they are going through and get the help they need. Prince Harry: We will all go through tough times in our lives, but men especially feel the need to pretend that everything is OK, and that admitting this to their friends will make them appear weak. I can assure you this is actually a sign of strength. Since working with the rehabilitation unit in the Army, and my work with injured servicemen and women in the Invictus Games, I’ve realised just how important mental fitness is for men and women in the armed forces too. Some people experience issues connected to their military service but often it is related to things they were dealing with before they signed up. I think it reflects the increase in mental health problems across society. The support we can provide servicemen and women is getting better – as is our understanding of the issue. Since - CALM Helpline London: 0808 8025858 Outside London: 0800 58 58 58

2 11

MEET THE RUNNERS Words by Paul Shiels I can’t run. Well, I can but I don’t. I look at people taking on marathons and think, ‘why the fuck would anybody want to do that?’ But peel away that layer of laziness dressed up as “I just don’t get it” and I’m probably slightly in awe, and maybe a little bit envious of the dedication, discipline and sacrifices made while I lie watching The Sopranos with a beer.

Matthew Wythe

I wanted to hear from some of the 25 admirable people with little regard for their knees who are taking on the Virgin Money London Marathon for #TeamCALM and Heads Together this year. I hoped to find out what motivated them and maybe find some motivation myself. Here, I meet four of our athletes in training.

20, Gui ldf ord Lettings Agent How long have you been running for?

Interests Sports – mainly playing and watching rugby union and football

Reason to run


When I started running I weighed over 20 stone. I started to lose d to weight. Six months ago I reached a weight loss goal and manage lose seven stone. Now running is like an addiction; it’s the few hours every week where I can forget everything. The only thing to think on about is putting one foot in front of the other. Clearing my head finish you when ent achievem of sense the and , amazing the road is a long, difficult run is incredible. Running is my way of maintaining my sanity.

and suddenly I saw a Most interesting I went running down a country lane roadside. He spotted me coming and moved the on goose thing on your into the middle of the road. As I passed, he attacked my training journey ankles. I managed to dodge him but he chased me down so far the road for 50 meters or so. I was terrified. In 5 words - how do you feel after a training session?

Like taking on the world.

Training advice for beginners Don’t go too far or too fast, too soon. Every mile will count towards the end goal, so don’t worry only do three miles to start with. It will if you can 14 soon build. Always listen to your body! 

What do you put on your headphones for motivation? Staying Alive by the Bee Gees.

Interests I’ve always been sporty, playing football and tennis since I was a kid. I’ve completed a couple of 10k obstacle course races, but I have never run more than 10k in my life. Most interesting thing on your training journey so far

I launched a campaign called #MatesMatter. Each weekend, I’m joined on my training run by a different mate – we have a chat and see how life is. It’s been so much fun and I’ve been overwhelmed with the response.

In 5 words - how do you feel after a training session?

Exhausted, euphoric, hungry and proud.

Amalie Hughes

33, West Kirby Owner of Toddler Fun Learning, wHO make fun and educational videos for babies, toddlers and children.

Reason to run

chilI first started running to get fit for my wedding. I’ve had three finding dren since then and picked up running again in January after for me to out about my London Marathon place. Running allows time a good also It’s sane. me keeps It life. about clear my head and think you can go way of keeping fit; as long as you have a pair of trainers that’s out and explore new areas. I lost my dad to suicide in 2015, CALM. for n maratho the run to purpose real a given me

to run

I lost my brother Toby to suicide when I was 14, so I’m running in memory of him. He didn’t feel he could talk about how he was feeling, even if he wanted to. Until now, it hasn’t been something my family and I have ever talked about – an unspoken subject we hadn’t dared breach. I’m running to let everyone know it’s okay to speak up and tell someone you are feeling down. I feel that talking about your feelings is not a sign of weakness but one of incredible strength.

on your headphones? I alternate between Spotify’s ‘Indie Essentials’ and my own Dance playlist. I definitely get my running groove on when the Ryan Ribeck remix of Starly’s ‘Call on Me’ comes on.

Training advice for beginners Start off little-and-often and build up your distance as you start to enjoy it and get fitter.

4 4 , M a n sf ie ld

Co-Founder of Raise the Bar Learning & Development

31, London


Since 2009

Jonathan Stanger

Alex Stanley Business Development Manager working in Sports Hospitality. and CALM volunteer

How long have you been running for?

Interests Keeping fit, music, concer ts, golf, travelling, reading and per sonal development.

Reason to run

How long have you bee n running for? 6 MONTHS

I’ve been diagnosed with dep ression. At my lowest point I turned to CALM because I didn ’t know what else to do. CALM helped me regain perspective and seek out the right advice. The person on the other end of the preconceived ideas of your pred phone doesn’t have any icament. This really helped me. I want to do all I can to sup por t this wonderful charity.

Most interesting thing In November I got married in on Denver and your training journey so far trained at high altitude. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done but it has really helped. In 5 words or less how do you feel after a training session? Training advice for beg


Pick a marathon training plan . I use the London Marathon Beginner s plan.

Relieved, stiff, happy, tired!

What do you put on you r headphones for motiva tio


15 ection.

Renaissance - The Mix Coll

How to look good when you’re going to the


Face it: your mismatched activewear just isn’t that stylish. If you’re going to impress your gym crush, you need to step your game up. TOPMAN Junior Editor, Jacob Corner, shows you how It might just be that you’re dripping sweat and red in the face but looking cool and working out feel mutually exclusive. The kit doesn’t help either; those luminous trainers are hardly the easiest things to make look stylish. But with the gym increasingly becoming an essential part of our everyday lives, you’ve got to start thinking about how to look good at the gym and, most importantly, in front of your gym crush. Invest in these key pieces and you won’t have to be embarrassed.



You’re not the only person who’ll avoid the gym if only he can come up with the right excuse, trust us. Cut off the ‘it’s raining too hard’ reasoning by copping a proper waterproof jacket instead of just making do. Rains’ rubberised cotton designs will keep you warm and dry no matter what the weather throws at you. Plus, they look great with a suit so you only need to take one piece of outerwear to the office if you’re planning to go to the gym before or after work.

With the rise of Russian-inspired fashion hitting the catwalk, the full sweatsuit has gone from something you’d just wear around the house to an investment piece with real style potential. Tailor-made to be worn over your gym kit but just as good on their own after a workout, tracksuits are the key to looking good as you go to and from the gym. Try wearing yours under a more formal jacket for a sportswear-inspired look that works even if you aren’t planning on going anywhere near a treadmill.

Coach Jackets


The coach jacket is this season’s must-wear outerwear anyway, it’s just a happy coincidence that it looks great with the technical fabrics that you’ll be wearing to the gym. Our styling tip is to go for a neutral colour – activewear’s vivid colours and bold designs mean that if you want something that goes with everything, your best option is always going to be a black, khaki or navy.

Keeping your kit stored in a gym-branded drawstring bag is all well and good but if you’re wanting to keep your workout-wear dry and not stinking up the office, you’ll want to invest in a proper bag. Whether you go with a backpack, a duffel or a tote, a waterproof technical fabric is absolutely key.

I n sp ire d ? D e l ve de e pe r i nto o ur co l l e c t i o ns at TO PM AN .CO M


CALM sat down with the world record-beating hurdler to talk about the pressures of competitive athletics, his charity Go Dad Run and how ridiculous blue Y-fronts can help men take their health seriously. It’s been 24 years since Colin Ray Jackson set the 110m hurdles world record in Stuttgart. And 14 years since he retired from running, so it’s startling to meet him in the flesh and see that he could pass for about 32. This is in both appearance and demeanor. He’s chatty, unassuming, laughs easy and is full of energy. At a guess, this youthfulness might be down to the ‘residual fitness’ that comes from decades being the absolute best in the world at jumping over stuff really fast (he still holds the record for fastest indoor 60m hurdles). As you might expect from such an upbeat sports personality, Colin has remained a public figure since retiring. A regular athletics pundit for the BBC – we’ve seen him cover the Olympics in Athens, Beijing and London, he’s also coached several Olympians – written three books and even made the final of Strictly Come Dancing. But today we’re here to chat about Go Dad Run, a series of 5K and 10K runs for men and boys that Colin founded with friends in 2013 to raise awareness and funds for important men’s health charities. “We wanted to get men to talk about their issues. Two of my uncles suffered from prostate cancer. The uncle that didn’t say anything about it passed away and the one who was very vocal survived – he spoke to my mother who was a nurse and they got the ball rolling”, says Jackson.

KSON Words by Paul Shiels

After learning the shocking fact that one in four AfroCarribean men will deal with prostate cancer, Colin wanted to use his influence and unique experience to help men to feel more able to talk about their health. “In the world of sport, getting advice about anything is easy,” says Jackson. “If you’re stressed or strained you can always talk to somebody. That was part of the services provided for you. If you were physically injured you can go to see a doctor at the drop of a hat and you’re continually having blood samples. It’s very natural to seek help.” “But as soon as I came into ‘civilian life’ I realised how much more difficult it is for men to think about themselves and approach somebody. We’re terrible at - CALM Helpline London: 0808 8025858 Outside London: 0800 58 58 58


going to the doctor’s – it seems like it’s set in us that we find it hard to step out of the box and do something. There’s also that sense of being slightly scared of what results you’ll get, nervous that you’ll be on the bad side rather than the good.” “And with anything that involves ‘downstairs’, men are hopeless. They’re happy to brag about one part of their anatomy but anything else, not so much.”


Hence the attention-grabbing extra to the traditional charity run ensemble: Go Dad Run’s famous over-the- trouser blue y-fronts. So in the four years that the Go Dad Run team had been jogging about in blue pants, have those ‘suck 20

it up and get on with it’ ideas started to shift? “I do feel a real shift,” says Jackson. “We’re hearing more messages on men’s health all the time. We’ve got to keep driving that. I think sometimes people think because it’s men we should just leave them to it, but we still have work to do. When it comes to your health I think it should be one of the things that we take absolutely seriously. A problem aired is definitely a problem shared.”

Thinking back over bumps in the road with health, dealing with multiple injuries was part and parcel of competing at at a world-class level, but he’s also frank about the huge mental pressures.

“The key thing for me IN SPORTS, YOU CAN when I was in that SUFFER A LOT FROM situation was to listen THE NEGATIVE SIDE, to the people around me. Listen, listen, WHEN YOU FEEL listen. People would CONSTANTLY UNsay to me ‘you’re too DER PRESSURE AND thin’. And when you LIKE NOBODY’S GOT hear that you need YOUR BACK. THAT’S to look at things difAN AWFUL FEELING. ferently. It’s all about communication and having friends that look out for you.” It’s that same support network of family and friends that Colin drew upon when he hit another very tough point: losing his friend and fellow athlete Ross Baillie, who died suddenly after an allergic reaction to nuts. “Ross died when he was only 22. We knew he had a nut allergy and we tried to protect him. But he made one mistake and it cost him his life. It was really difficult for us. But what was really good in our friendship group was that when one of us was struggling, the others were strong and we really supported each other. Again it’s about having that support network. And most importantly, never be afraid to show your emotions, it doesn’t make you weak.” We couldn’t agree more. I almost felt motivated to go for a run myself after our chat, so I asked Colin if he could help me get past the biggest hurdle of all, actually getting out the front door. “I came out of a council estate in Cardiff. I grew up just very normal like everybody else and then at a very young age without preparation there was a huge amount of expectation. People expect you to deliver strong performances, to win medals and not just once but continuously. The pressure really has an effect and can knock your confidence. If you’re super successful it’s obviously really positive, but nothing is ever certain. In sports, you can suffer a lot from the negative side, when you feel constantly under pressure and like nobody’s got your back. That’s an awful feeling.” The pressure got so much that Colin dealt with an eating disorder at the peak of his career, when he felt he needed to lose more and more weight to cut his time. He admits he was bordering on anorexia and “a control freak” when he smashed the world 110m hurdling record in Stuttgart, but thankfully had a good support network of people around him. 21

“Walk. It’s important to start off with baby steps. That’s the most important thing. Leave your ego outside the gym or sports field. It’ll be more enjoyable. Start right at the beginning with the basics. You’ve got to learn your trade well, and then progress in a safe manner. And you always want to feel like you could have given a little bit more so you go back and do it again.” And what does he stick on the headphones to get pumped up? “I was just playing a bit of a grime with the lads. Skepta!” So there you have it. The key to looking forever young and all the inspiration you need to get off your arse and into a Go Dad Run near you. Go check out and get your blue pants on at: Cardiff 20th August 2017 Norwich 24th September 2017 Bristol 1st October 2017 - CALM Helpline London: 0808 8025858 Outside London: 0800 58 58 58


SARAH BEETSON Sarah Beetson is a nomadic UK illustrator and artist based mostly in Australia, creating and exhibiting at home and on the road with mini easel, travelling scanner and suitcase full of art materials, leaving a rainbow trail of art in her wake. She has exhibited in London, Paris, New York, Portland, Ottawa, Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Brisbane. To see more of Sarah’s work visit Say hello over @sarahbeetson

24 - CALM Helpline London: 0808 8025858 Outside London: 0800 58 58 58


Torch Songs shines on through 2017 and R&B star and CALM ambassador, Ady Suleiman has just released a stunner in the form of Bill Wither’s soul classic Lean On Me. We sat down with Ady to chat about touring, his new album and leaning on friends when you need them. Hi Ady! So you had a UK tour at the end of last year. How is life on the road? Any truly special or funny moments? I definitely had a couple of epiphanies. It was a special one. I struggled with my anxiety in and around this tour but learnt from the experience and it was hugely rewarding both professionally and personally. I’m always overwhelmed by the positive energy the audience gives at the live shows, there is no comparison. I love to perform. Funny story… my guitarist woke up in the middle of the night to go to the toilet (still half asleep and a little intoxicated) and accidentally walked out the hotel room door in his birthday suit with no key card! He spent most of the night walking around the hotel corridors trying to wake up the rest of the band members to let him in their room but instead ended up getting escorted back by the hotel staff.  Haha! That seems to be a common occurrence on tour hotel stays. So the new album, is it a new direction for your sound?


I don’t think so, difficult to say. I don’t feel like I’ve made a conscious effort to change anything, maybe a natural evolution has taken place but I don’t think people will be too surprised by the music that is released.   And how did it feel making it? Do you find the creative process therapeutic? Enlightening? The creative process for me can be pretty inconsistent. It can be enlightening and therapeutic but it can also be annoying and frustrating. When you’re on a roll or just in the zone it’s incredible and feels great but there’s no guarantee of how or when you’ll get to that place. I think that’s why it’s so dope when you do get there.

Why did you pick this Torch Song? I chose Bill Withers - Lean On Me as my Torch Song. I love Bill Withers and this song in particular is so special. It’s a feel good tune and always picks me up. The lyrics encourage me to reach out to people when I’m low which always helps. Often, especially men, we can struggle with opening up and feel it’s a weakness if we can’t deal with things by ourselves, so we keep a lot inside which can make the situation worse. This song tells it how it is – it’s very common to sometimes feel down and life is not always smooth sailing. It makes me feel okay not to be okay all the time.

“Sometimes in our lives, we all have pain, we all have sorrow. Lean on me when you’re not strong and i’ll be your friend, I’ll help you carry on.” Do you find it easy to open to friends if you’re going through a tough time? If I’m honest, yes I think so. I want to talk to people when I don’t feel good and feel very lucky to have great friends around me. It’s not always easy to open up. I sometimes feel concerned about my mental stability and fragility and at these times I just make the people closest to me aware of how I’m feeling which makes me feel more secure. I know this is reciprocated. I would feel hugely concerned if my friends felt they couldn’t talk to me or someone else about shit. It’s very difficult for any of us to deal with certain situations alone. Why do you think that we don’t have issue with men pouring out their feelings in a song, but some men still find it difficult just chatting to a mate? I think it’s probably stereotypes. I guess people expect singer songwriters to be in touch with their emotions. There’s a general stereotype in society that men in everyday life aren’t suppose to open up and talk about how they’re feeling but if I’m honest I like to think that’s changing. If society could break down some of these barriers that stereotypes create I think the world would be a more open, happier place. Agreed. There seems to be more musicians opening up about mental health struggles, do you feel a duty to be open and honest for your fans?

THIS SONG TELLS IT I feel a duty to be open HOW IT IS – IT’S VERY and honest to my fans and to myself. I think COMMON TO SOMEit would be more terrifying TIMES FEEL DOWN to try and project AND LIFE IS NOT something which isn’t ALWAYS SMOOTH me. In terms of opening SAILING. IT MAKES up about mental health, ME FEEL OKAY NOT I don’t feel it’s my duty TO BE OKAY but I somehow ended up talking about these things. ALL THE TIME. I’m always an advocate about people speaking out but at the same time I can respect if people want to keep things private. It’s difficult to come forward and if I’m honest, the only reason I’ve spoken so openly so far is perhaps my own naivety. I admire Professor Green and Hussain Manawer for what they’ve done, leading the conversation. It’s very important for people to break the stigma. I by no means think people in the public eye have a duty to open up but it’s an opportunity - massive respect to anyone who takes it. Massive respect to you too Ady. So, tell us some stuff you have on the headphones at the minute.​ Ady Suleiman, Outkast, Pharoah Sanders, Sampha, Anderson Paak, Amy Winehouse, Nick Hakim, Lee Fields, BJ the Chicago Kid, J Cole ... follow my playlist on Spotify #PICKNMIX. Finally, who else would you like to see performing their Torch Song? Because I’m reading his autobiography at the moment, Mike Skinner would be a treat. I’d also like to hear from Plan B. Michael Kiwanuka’s doing an awesome job on Radio 6 Music so he could surprise us with one on there. It’d also to be good to hear Heerdan & Black and if we’re really lucky Jay Alexander’s! Check out Ady’s Torch Song and dozens of others from the likes of The Vaccines, Mallory Knox and Enter Shakiri at English rock legends Elbow will release an exclusive 7” vinyl Torch Song on Record Store Day (22 April) – a cover of ‘August & September’ by The The, with a limited edition run of 1,000 copies in selected record stores! - CALM Helpline London: 0808 8025858 Outside London: 0800 58 58 58





explore hip-hop and mental health

Words by Grant Brydon Illustration by Oliver Macdonald Oulds @olliemacdonaldoulds 28


Grant Brydon is the hip-hop editor of Clash Magazine, and has interviewed all your favourite rappers from Future and Nas, to Giggs and Kano. With the ‘Love Yourz’ series, Grant will explore the impact that a career in hip-hop has had on the mental health of artists and other personalities in the hip-hop industry.


THIS SEEMS OBVIOUS NOW, BUT AT THE TIME I’D NEVER REALISED THAT CLIMBING THE CAREER LADDER AND HAPPINESS AREN’T NECESSARILY hard work would RELIANT UPON ultimately pay off ONE ANOTHER. when I arrived at the top of my career mountain and reaped the rewards and riches. Obviously this doesn’t happen, the inbox never empties, there is always some way we can do better, and I’d have undoubtedly found myself decades down the line wondering where all my time had gone, or worse.

My own mental health and wellbeing was never something I’d really considered until a As our conversation went on, it transpired few years ago, when an interview meandered that many of these ideas had been instilled in down that path. I was sat in an empty board- us by the competitive braggadocio that we’d room talking to J. Cole about his forthcoming grown up on as hip-hop fans; a culture that’s album ‘2014 Forest Hills Drive’ and he was largely built around hyper-masculine posturing explaining his intention to connect with the and competition. We’d watched Jay Z sign unthings that truly made him happy. “I was re- precedented endorsement deals and 50 Cent ally consumed with career and success,” he make millions from Vitamin Water (after dealexplained, of his previous albums. “My happi- ing enough lyrical blows to Ja Rule to ruin his ness being based on my success rather than career completely). It seemed like every rapper became an entrepreneur. And they boasted appreciating what I have.” about these deals in their lyrics, in the same This seems obvious now, but at the time I’d way that up-and-comers these days document never realised that climbing the career ladder their brand-endorsements, gifted products and happiness aren’t necessarily reliant upon and exclusive parties on their Instagram feed. one another. At that time, I believed that the We’re now fighting FOMO and living through two were linked, and I couldn’t have one with- other people’s images and experiences, or too out the other. I’d subscribed to the idea that busy showing off our own, to truly enjoy the sacrificing a few years of my life to stress and world around us and live in the moment. - CALM Helpline London: 0808 8025858 Outside London: 0800 58 58 58



My conversation with Cole sparked an interest in mental health and wellbeing, and I began to learn that by working to remove some of the anxieties that were being imposed on me by an inflated, egocentric idea of what success is, I could actually operate much more effectively on the work that I was doing, and enjoy doing it. I’ve observed the way breakthrough stars are marketed as teenage overnight sensations and the effect that this has on the artists around me: PR hooks and social media tricks infiltrating their minds, making them feel pressure instead of fulfilment from their creative process; more focused on how the end product will make them famous than the perfection of their craft.

The hundreds of conversations that I’ve had with hip-hop artists over the years - at various stages in their careers - have exposed me to the truth that these guys that I’ve looked up



Through ‘Love to for years, some since I was a teenager, Yourz’, a new inall have the same human conditions as I do. Many have learned to deal with them, and are terview series presented by CLASH content, and others seem fairly unhappy and and CALM, the paranoid, despite the success. I’ve found that there’s a lot to learn from their success intention is to strip stories; Big Sean has recommended me life- back the glitz and changing books, Wiz Khalifa instilled in me glamour, and to reveal the humans behind the art the importance of self-evaluation and Ander- that we love; to learn how high performers deal son .Paak implored me to trust in the pro- with their personal obstacles and to inspire us cess. I’ve asked artists about what they’re to all start thinking more about our own mental most proud of, what obstacles they’ve had to health and well-being, before being swept up in overcome, and what their ideas of success the rat race. are. Interestingly, I’ve never had an artist tell me that money has anything to do with suc- Grant is on Twitter @GrantBrydon cess, in fact, the majority go out of their way Keep an eye out for the next Love Yourz to dispel that concept before they answer. piece on the - CALM Helpline London: 0808 8025858 Outside London: 0800 58 58 58


Papercut: Silvina De Vita |

Is it me, or have we humans become obsessed with documenting absolutely F*CKING EVERYTHING?!

by Oh Standfast | @ohstandfast

You pay well over the odds to go and watch your favourite band yet you choose to watch most of the gig on your phone via its three inch and inevitably cracked screen! Oh, and don’t forget to slam it on a tweet with a direct link to so and so and whatever mate. “OMG that gig looked totes amazeballs, wish I could have gone LOL #sucks” It’s dinnertime, I sit at the table and yes it smells delicious, but what does it look like I hear you gasp? Never fear as I now have a photo of this food, food glorious food. Why have I taken this picture? Why have I added an effect to make it look like it was taken in the 1940’s? Why do I think anyone would care? Why is this delicious plate of food that my Nan has been slaving over for hours now cold? “OMG that roast dinner looks well tasty, where was my invite? #mmmbisto LOL” Charlie was currently in Australia as part of his once in a lifetime gap year adventure travelling around the world. All his family were very proud of him and his friends, though understandably jealous, were happy for the absolute ledge! At first the photos of his trip were received with great excitement, the wonderful scenery, the amazing sunsets and the endless beaches. Then like any other snap happy modern traveller came the inevitable bombardment of foreign signage (signs and that). There was one for penguins crossing, one for pancake tossing, one for bears dancing, one for aircraft passing, one for electric shocks, one for falling rocks, one for snow blizzards, one for endangered buzzards, one for shark infested seas, one for cheap strawberries, one for scuba diving, one for careful driving, one for migrating toads, one for potholes in the road and on and on and on it goes. “OMG I can’t believe there is a town called ‘Wibbly Wobbly’! #signs #classicmate LOL” Whether it is in the desperate hope to impress or encourage a smattering of laugh out louds, no matter how mundane the subject or how minor the occurrence someone will surely want to know…WHAT EGG ON TOAST LOOKS LIKE IN SEPIA #WEOTLLIS! P.S. You can follow me on instagram, twitter, YouTube, Facebook and... er LinkedIn? Thank you, you’ve been great. End.


DEAR JOSH Our entirely unprofessional agony uncle offers his entirely unprofessional advice… Q:Need to get beach body ready for Ibiza. Any effective diet plans much appreciated! Plump in Putney I recommend 10 Portions of Confidence, 20 portions of body positivity, probably a dash of Fat Girls Don’t Dance by Maria Ferguson and minus 1 shitty ad slogan by wasteman protein companies. Q: Hi Josh. All this global tension has me scouting out spots to build an underground bunker. Any advice on a UK location and cheap materials? Worried Father, Leeds Brethren, we got countryside for days, mate. There’s bare shires to hide out in, ain’t nobody wasting bombs on shires. Call your Nan. Visit your Nan. And send me an invite.

Yeah I know what you mean, man. Personally I think we should take it back to when we only had public phones. Or maybe telegram. Maybe when we communicated by scented letters in the post, or pigeon. Or smoke signals. Or what about we scream into The Nothing and hope a potential other catches our noise. I don’t have the answer. Ask Google. Q: Dear Josh, I keep dreaming about pulling weird stuff out of my teeth, nose and pulling out all my hair. It sounds scary to say it loud but in the dream, it’s almost quite satisfying. What does it all mean? Owen, Lancashire Someone once told me everything within a dream is a manifestation of you. So dream logic-wise, the weird stuff is you, and you are pulling yourself out of yourself. Like a snake shedding its skin, except the skin is also the snake. And there is only one snake, because the snake is both the snake and the snake that was the skin but is actually now the snake. Hope this helps.

Got a question for Josh? Email us on NOTE: Josh isn’t a qualified expert. He’s just a joker. Find out more at If you do need to talk to someone, call the CALM helpline: 0800 585858 London only: 0800 802 5858

Smart phones are sucking the fun out of my relationships! I’m sick of looking at everyone’s face lit up blue. And yet I can’t stop scrolling myself. What’s the answer? Do we need no phone zones or should we all go back to 3310s? Blue in the face, Yorkshire - CALM Helpline London: 0808 8025858 Outside London: 0800 58 58 58


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CALMzine 25: The Marathon Issue  
CALMzine 25: The Marathon Issue