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Indie Artist Taking Life’s Challenges Turning It Into Music

It can be a struggle when one has a long-term illness. It eats away not only your physical self but your mental health. Relation Ships is a new EP created by Vivek Mehmi, an independent artist who took his pain of sickness and emotional loss and turned it into music.

Vivek has been working on music for most of his life. However, it’s only been within the past three years he’s taken music seriously, quitting his corporate job and moving from Toronto back to his hometown of Mississauga, Ontario. Part of the reason for this shift was intense health challenges.

“I woke up one day and felt really, really lethargic and started developing this crazy skin rash.” This began Vivek’s arduous journey of managing his ailments, slipping into depression as his life crashed around him, fearing he would need a liver transplant. Luckily, Vivek was able to find a team able to manage his health condition. Through this demanding moment in his life, Vivek found music to be a therapeutic outlet, an opportunity to connect with himself and embark on a transformative healing journey. “Everything I do is fueled by that journey.”

Vivek’s hip-hop influences started when he was extremely young and were the foundation of his creativity, emulating dances from the film Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo in kindergarten. Vivek would rent the VHS tape and play it over and over again. His older brother would also expose him to A Tribe Called Quest, LL Cool J, Cypress Hill, and Wu-Tang Clan continuing his fascination and love for hip-hop culture and breakdance.

“You’ve got these elaborate costumes and expressive ways of dealing with oppression and political, social, and economic issues,” he says.

Although these aspects of culture have influenced Vivek’s musical style, it’s constantly evolving like all music. He has taken those influences and his struggles to create something unique and personal, a reflection of himself and the environment around him, leading to Vivek’s debut album Right as Rain is a collection of introspective tracks. In anticipation of Vivek’s new EP Relation Ships, he released a single titled Around Your Finger. Around Your Finger and his previous song, Love Myself, have explored the healing in different aspects of life, with the entire project about love.

“There’s the health healing I’ve done, but healing also has to do with relationships. Being aware of how you’ve acted in certain relationships and how certain relationships impacted your identity, how you attract other relationships, and how you feel about yourself. I found from a couple of relationship patterns that I was doing a lot of people pleasing. A lot of not listening to myself, and just for being in a relationship because that’s what you think you should do,” says Vivek.

These are the themes of his song Codependency. Although there have been some lighter and upbeat pieces, Vivek recognized his approach recently has been heavy and intense and realized he needed to channel that intensity in a light-hearted way. Tapping into spirituality and combining genres, Vivek has created something unique and relatable, leading to this new EP.

Vivek has this advice for those looking to create music: see what others are doing and find your own way, trusting you’re on the right path and even if you feel inadequacy or your music isn’t being heard. Any challenges are opportunities to learn, and you should always move forward, as you never might know what will come your way.

– Ryan Funk, U Multicultural

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of U Multicultural.

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