To anyone that doesn’t think that music saves lives: read on.
We get fan letters quite often from people who tell us about how Strange Music’s artists and songs have pulled them from the deepest throes of depression, anxiety and other life-debilitating forces.
The letter we received most recently came from a fan in New Zealand named Reegan Simich, who told us about how he was one step away from committing suicide before the songs of Tech N9ne, ¡MAYDAY! and Prozak changed his life forever.
We talked to the fan to get a glimpse of his story and see what it was about those records that got him to make the change from negative to positive.
Tell me about yourself, how old are you and what do you do?
My name is Reegan Simich. I grew up in the music industry as my father DLT is the godfather of hip hop in New Zealand. He brought hip hop here in the 80s and became a icon and rockstar.
I’m a musician as well as an artist (drawing and graffiti). I play the drums, DJ and rap. I’m living in Hamilton, New Zealand where I’m studying music. I’m 22 and my birthday is March 10th.
You wrote us talking about a very deep depression that you went through, saying you’ve tried to kill yourself numerous times. What was it that you were going through that brought you to these points?
It has been a very long time coming out of this depression for me. Ever since I was child I was exposed to abuse, both physical and verbal. I was also exposed to a lot of drugs and drinking, so when I reached the age of 16 I was smoking cigarettes, smoking weed and other drugs and drinking all the time. I lost 10 of my best mates to suicide and I’m the only one left from our tight-knit group. I turned to self-harm and drinking more and more with pills included. I eventually got that far into darkness that I tried to kill myself five or more times. I never had any support from my family and all my friends were fake. I was always giving and never got anything back. I pushed myself to the limits and nearly lost. No one ever cared about me and that just really fucked me up more so I closed off to the world. The only thing that was there was music.
You said that listening to Tech, ¡MAYDAY! and Prozak helped turn your life around. Describe that moment when you made the turn and decided to pull yourself up.
It happened all at once really. I was in my room thinking about killing myself again, crying and taking drugs to numb the pain. I decided to just listen to some new hip hop and just listened to all the Strange Music stuff but mainly Tech, ¡MAYDAY! and Prozak. What stood out to me about this stuff was the realism behind those vocals and raps on their albums. Then I just stopped crying and really thought deeply and really listened to the lyrics and all those songs and words, almost to the detail, described my life, my feelings and told me I’m worth more than this. At that moment I told myself here are guys that know exactly what’s going on and listen to them you can get through this. You’re one of a kind. From that moment on I grew up and found my voice. It is still hard, but it is a new journey and I’m enjoying every minute of it.
What is it about the music from Strange Music that helped you get through what you were going through?
The truth behind those words, the meaning behind the songs and the emotion all of them put into the songs. There is no lying or hiding behind the money and bullshit and that’s what hip hop is about.
Where do you think you would be now if you hadn’t heard the music from Strange?
I would be either dead, in the hospital or cutting, drinking, and taking drugs to cope with everything.
What are some of your favorite songs from Strange?
If you could say something to the artists on Strange that pulled you through, what would it be?
Honestly thank you so much guys all of you. I know you really don’t know me at all, but honestly you guys came through for me. You guys are amazing you guys saved my life and saved from making the biggest mistakes in my life. Thank you, thank you, I will always be a believer. Love you guys.
Is there anything you want to say before we wrap this up?
All of you guys please pretty please come to New Zealand on tour, all of you. And hook me up with some gears! (Laughs) Jokes, but seriously, come to New Zealand.
(Later Reegan sent us this e-mail)
Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.