Music as medicine

Music as medicine

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Shelley resident Alecia 'Licy Be' Beckingsale said she had been told her music had helped people worldwide living with a mental illness. Photograph - Aaron Van Rongen.

A Shelley resident who has charted on iTunes said she had found music to be an effective way to engage with people living with mental health issues.

New Zealand-born Alecia Beckingsale records under the name Licy Be as a rapper and poet whose music often makes reference to her religion.

Since moving to Shelley in December, she released her debut album Beautifully Broken which shot to number 25 on the Australian iTunes charts in the “inspirational” genre.

Two singles “One Life” and “None Like You” recorded with Perth artist Tiri Boy reached sixth and second on the charts.

One Life is the story of Ms Beckingsale’s own confrontation with an unfaithful partner and she said expressing her own issues through music was a way of talking to others who had similar experiences.
“Music has a wide reach and people relate to it,” she said.

“You can relate to songs that are about things you’ve experienced yourself – people can recognise that other people are relating to the same things.”

While her foray into music as a recording artist was just beginning, the 29-year-old said she had already been moved by feedback.

She recently performed shows in New Zealand and the United States and said she had been told her words had touched people thousands of kilometres from her Perth home base.

“I’ve had people from all over the world contact me who have gone through things, or who have lost family friends or members from suicide,” she said.

“I met a 15-year-old girl when I was touring New Zealand who had lost her mum to suicide and she travelled an hour to come and see me to say thank you for how my music had helped her.”

“I like to raise awareness of mental health and help to show people it’s easy to reach out when you’re struggling – that it’s something that affects everyone in some way.”

She also worked with Beyond Blue and said it was important to tell people there was no shame in talking about their problems.

“Losing more people to suicide is something we want to stop.”

Beautifully Broken and singles None Like You and One Life (both featuring Tiri Boy) are available on iTunes.

If you are living with mental health issues, Lifeline Australia can be contacted on its 24-hour helpline on 13 11 14.

There is also an online chat service at www.lifeline.org.au.