An Interview With Poet Hussain Manawer (@HussainsHouse)

hussainmanawer

Welcome To Hussain’s House…

Men­tal Health advoc­ate, Olympic torch­bear­er, You­Tuber, poet and future astro­naut Hus­sain Man­awer has been using his tal­ent to empower and edu­cate masses through dif­fer­ent medi­ums. His efforts to end the stig­ma of Men­tal Health have not gone unnoticed; this month the 25 year old Essex-born cam­paign­er broke the Guin­ness world records for organ­ising the largest men­tal health aware­ness les­son with 538 stu­dents in attend­ance. Hus­sain gets ready to release his debut EP ‘Am I Going too Deep?’ dur­ing Men­tal Health Aware­ness Week this May. I am Hip Hop Magazine catch up with Hus­sain to find out more… 

How did you get into spoken word?

I star­ted writ­ing when I was in year 9. I had a sup­ply Eng­lish teach­er called Mr Noakes, who showed me the ropes (that wasn’t meant to rhyme haha!). He pushed me to enter a poetry slam com­pet­i­tion in 2006, and that’s really when it all began. I have been writ­ing ever since.

You focus quite a lot on men­tal health, why is that an import­ant top­ic for you?

 I feel as if men­tal health is the root cause of a lot of the prob­lems we face in today’s soci­ety. If we can learn to tackle these cent­ral issues, a lot of oth­er things will nat­ur­ally fall into place. It is also some­thing that affects a lot of people close to me, as well as the sup­port­ers I have all across the world.

 I have also heard you address the issue of cul­ture in men­tal health. Its well-known someone from an eth­nic minor­ity back­ground is less likely to get sup­port for dif­fi­culties. Why do you think there are bar­ri­ers are for minor­it­ies to get help?

 I think because this is all very new to us. It’s some­thing that was not addressed prop­erly by the gen­er­a­tions before us. There­fore, there is a lack of under­stand­ing and know­ledge on the sub­ject, which makes it harder for us to address it in the home.

Do you think the recent polit­ic­al cli­mate, and the resur­gence of cul­tur­al pre­ju­dices, has been impact­ing on the men­tal health of young people?

100%, I couldn’t agree more. I think being a young per­son in today’s world is very dif­fi­cult and often over looked. There are dangers and pres­sures com­ing in from vari­ous sides of soci­ety.

What would your advice be to an eth­nic youth out there strug­gling but not want­ing to seek help?

 What your feel­ing is abso­lutely nor­mal. There is noth­ing wrong with it at all. There is no shame in how you are feel­ing and you should not feel guilty about it. Reach­ing out for help can be the best thing you do!

 We hear you have an EP com­ing out soon. Can you tell us what your inspir­a­tion behind it was and what we can expect?

 I’ve been inspired by loads of dif­fer­ent out­lets. The main ones being Chan­nel U (from back in the day), and acts like Krept & Kon­an and The Streets. I have also been inspired by dif­fer­ent gen­res such as Andrew Lloyd Webber, Enya, and Hans Zim­mer. I wanted to blend all my inspir­a­tions into one, and I hope that’s what you’re going to get!

Being that this is a Hip Hop magazine, we got to ask. What is your favour­ite gen­re of music and who are your highest rated artists?

By a mil­lion miles its UK Rap, Grime and Gar­age. My highest rated artists are Lowkey, Wretch 32, Krept & Kon­an, Art­ful Dodger, Giggs, and many more.  There are hon­estly so many great artists; I couldn’t just name you one.

We have heard you talk about being from a humble back­ground, nev­er being a “high achiev­er,” yet you man­aged to become an ambas­sad­or for voice­less youth. What advice would you give aspir­ing artists try­ing to get their voice heard?

 I would just say if you feel some­thing and are pas­sion­ate about it, go for it! Noth­ing can beat or over­ride your pas­sion. Noth­ing!

Okay, now tell us, are you really going to space?

Haha, yeah well I hope so! I’m set to travel towards the end of 201819. Let’s see what hap­pens!

 What is next from you (oth­er than space travel)?

I might even drop a movie…

Hus­sain Manawer’s debut album ‘Am I Going Too Deep?’ releases this May. Fol­low his jour­ney and find out what else he has in store by sub­scrib­ing to his You­Tube chan­nel. 

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Merz

Merz

Merz is No Bounds’ well-being lead. A long­time hip hop head with sev­er­al years exper­i­ence in men­tal health. He is also founder of a vegan Mac & Cheese food truck @lazyboykitchen .

About Merz

Merz
Merz is No Bounds' well-being lead. A longtime hip hop head with several years experience in mental health. He is also founder of a vegan Mac & Cheese food truck @lazyboykitchen .