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Kanchan Daniel Addresses Mental Health for Musicians with New Campaign

The Mumbai vocalist is hosting a panel discussion and gig on the subject tonight at the city-based antiSOCIAL

David Britto Oct 09, 2019

Mumbai vocalist Kanchan Daniel. Photo: Bryan Daniel

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Apart from fronting Mumbai blues-rockers Kanchan Daniel & the Beards, some folks might not be aware that vocalist Kanchan Daniel’s side gig is being a clinical psychologist and a professor of psychology. Now, the singer is combining her two worlds with a new initiative called Mental Harmony which is aimed towards raising awareness and promoting mental health for musicians.

The vocalist launched her campaign late last month with artists such as guitarists Warren Mendonsa and Ehsaan Noorani, vocalist-guitarist Siddharth Basrur, rapper Enkore and more also voicing their opinions on the subject. “I believe that mental health is very important for musicians, considering the unique circumstances that musicians might face on their musical journey,” says Daniel, adding, “I’d hear about musicians all over the world and from different eras and how psychological factors such as depression, anxiety, substance use and suicide had become synonymous with being a musician. I also realized that a lot of times these factors or delicate issues are brushed under the carpet, they can be easily overlooked, stigmatized, stereotyped with being a musician.”

Tonight at Mumbai’s antiSOCIAL, Daniel will host a panel discussion on the topic which will include speakers Havovi Hyderbadwala (clinical and forensic psychologist) and Basrur followed by a gig featuring singer-songwriter Kamakshi Khanna Collective and guests such as musicians Tejas, Azamaan Hoyvoy and Daniel herself. Some of the topics to be discussed at the panel are how to recognize mental health, threats, reasons behind the problems, common challenges faced by musicians, how to look after their well being and more.

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Daniel tells us that she has not experienced a mental illness, “but I have faced a few challenges myself that we are all prone to and susceptible to as human beings.” Ask the singer what according to her are ways for musicians to cope with mental illnesses, and she says, “Talk about how you feel and what you are going through. Get enough rest and throw in an exercise routine when you can. Take a break when you need it. Take time out to do the things that you love or channelize your creativity into something else that you love. Try and take criticism constructively. Stay close to your friends and family, don’t take social media too seriously and celebrate small victories.”

With this being the first edition of the campaign, Daniel tells us that she hopes to have many more in the future. “I wanted to raise awareness so that we as a musical community are able to understand each other better,” she says. “This conversation has only just begun and I intend to make it louder.”

Click here for more details on Musicians For Mental Health at antiSOCIAL Mumbai tonight. 

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