For Nolay, a UK-based grime emcee, making music is therapy—it’s everything.
As part of Mental Health Awareness Month, Nolay opens up during an in-depth interview series curated by Noisey, and explains how making music has helped her cope with her father’s schizophrenia and own mental health demons throughout her life.
“I feel like all my demons leave when I enter the studio,” the rhyme-slinger says during the short film. “I just feel like with my music, it’s very therapeutic. It’s all I’ve got.”
Nolay takes the conversation to a very personal level, discussing what it was like grieving after her father lost his battle with mental illness and how she’s consistently turned to music to get through the hardships she’s experienced.
The emcee’s lyrical material is drawn directly from her own experiences, and in turn, her music has become a platform for her to work through her own depression, which she details on the very personal track “Netflix and Pills.”
Nolay talks about how she wasn’t going to release the tune originally because of its content and feeling it was “too much” at times, but taking the risk to share it ended up paying off, as it shaped up to be one of her best songs to date.
“I’m not here to consider how people feel,” the rapper says. “I’m here to tell my story.”
Nolay is currently recovering from a serious car accident that almost took her life and is turning to music once more while recovering by readying her new EP, Grime, Guts, Glory.
The EP drops June 10.
Also be sure to check out the lead single, “Gotta Love It” off her forthcoming EP below.