NEW PROJECT: Hussain Manawer
POET AND campaigner Hussain Manawer is fast becoming a prominent household name. In his efforts to challenge the stigmas attached to BAME mental health and channel emotions through creative flair, Manawer has captured the hearts of the nation and beyond.
In his latest lyrical endeavor, the creative presents The White Rose, a song that is dedicated to the passing of his late mother.
Through this powerful expression of bereavement, Manawer hopes to comfort others when they go through “the hardest challenge life will present to you.”
Q: When did you first start to use words to illustrate your feelings?
Hussain Manawer: When I was in school, I was always writing. I grew up on the likes of Dizzie Rascal, So Solid, and Eminem. At the time, I was really fascinated when Elton John touched 2Pac’s Ghetto Gospel because that was the first ever time I’ve heard a white person from England singing on a black guy from America’s rap song. That really captured my soul.
But it was only three years ago that I put myself out into the public eye and do things properly. I feel like I needed a lot of life experience to talk about the things I wanted to talk about.
Q: What inspired your first single The White Rose?
HM: Unfortunately, my mum passed away nine months ago. One thing it taught me was that people around you don’t know what to say and nobody really wants to talk about it. I come from a Pakistani background and luckily my family speaks about these things on a surface level, but sometimes that isn’t enough.
I was mad at the world but I realised I couldn’t think like that. I decided to use my emotions and put them out there so that the world could understand the pain I was feeling because one day, they’re going to feel too. This song was made for the people and I’m just glad they are connecting with it.
Q: What are you trying to channel in your messages?
HM: When people listen to my song, I just want them to understand that it’s absolutely normal. I want them to have their outbursts, and do whatever they need to do to get themselves back to feeling their best.
I want to put raw emotions into digestible words so that people can experience what I’m saying as a reference point. Sometimes, it’s hard for people to explain it, especially men from ethnic minority groups. For them, it gets even harder. So I want to be a conversation starter.
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