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 2018⁄19. 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.