Badly Drawn Boy impressed by Zayn Malik's anxiety honesty

MusicBy Sunday World
Badly Drawn Boy impressed by Zayn Malik's anxiety honesty

Badly Drawn Boy has praised Zayn Malik and Ellie Goudling for sharing their mental illness struggles with the world.

The 'Once Around the Block' singer - real name Damon Gough - has battled depression throughout his career and he believes his symptoms were intensified by his gruelling touring schedule and the loneliness he felt on the road when he was away from his children.

Former One Direction star Zayn has been open about his anxiety attacks which have stopped him from performing as a solo artist, while Ellie has blamed life on the road on her 'Delirium World Tour' on her being signed off with exhaustion earlier this year.

Damon believes their openness about their problems will help any of their fans going through the same things and hopefully inspire them to seek the help they need.

When asked if the pop pair's openness is a good thing, the songwriter said: "I think in the last 15 to 20 years a lot has changed in a lot of ways, especially with regards to mental health ... People don't generally empathise with people in the public eye, whether they're Zayn Malik or anyone else, because they think everything is fine for them, they're like, 'You've got loads of money mate.' But money only does so much, it just facilitates things in your life, but it doesn't solve inner problems and everybody has got those to deal with no matter walk of life they're in. I don't think I was ever scared of my personal situation 15 years ago, I probably just wasn't aware of it, I think the depression was there before for me. I admit my life has been great and being comfortable financially does help you take the world on and its challenges. But you can only really take the challenges on when you're happy with you are and that can take a lot of time to learn. I'm getting there definitely, especially in the last few years ... Living the life you lead when your famous and touring the world and being away from home, intensifies the feelings you were having anyway. My kids are nearly 15 and 16 now and my early stages of being on tour in America and Europe and Japan was hard; it was tough being away from my children when they were young. Everything sort of happened at once for me so you have no way of learning what you're doing, you just have to deal with it and learn on the spot. It's the same for a lot of people in this type of job."

One of Damon's musical heroes is Bruce Springsteen and he was "comforted" to discover 'The Boss' had experience his own battles with depression.

The 44-year-old musician got to meet Bruce, 67, after a concert he played in Manchester and he took the opportunity to thank him for his honesty about his illness.

Damon explained: "Recently, Bruce Springsteen admitted he's had depression. I met him when he played in Manchester and I thanked him for bringing that up. I've been a fan of his since I was a teenager and when someone else mentions that they have a similar issue it's comforting."

Damon is getting ready to perform at the unique See Through Sound Concert at Cadogan Hall in London this Friday (14.10.16) at which he will be joined on the bill by Kevin Simm and Newton Faulkner among others .

The show is being held in support of Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) and audience members will be given 'sim specs' (glasses simulating sight-loss) to wear on the evening to give them an insight into life with sight-loss.

Damon intends to perform at least part of his set whilst wearing the 'sim specs' and thinks it will be a unique experience for everyone involved.

He said: "I think it's going to be such a rewarding experience. The audience is going to be wearing glasses to emulate what it's like to be blind and I think I'll be doing it on stage too. I feel like I'm there to learn and anything that helps you learn is worth doing."

Go to Ticketmaster.co.uk/seethroughsound for more information and tickets.