New app SPOKE merges music & mindfulness to help solve mental health epidemic
06 January 2021
In a world of constant uncertainty, music has always been the perpetual reassurance in our lives that things can get better, accompanying the highest highs while soothing the lowest lows. The cryptic power of music transcends boundaries and acts as a universal language with qualities that we won’t ever fully understand beyond knowing that it’s extraordinarily powerful in altering our moods.
This past year, the world has turned desperately to the tender comfort of our favourite artists more than ever. Musicians have channelled the anxiety and mundanity of lockdown life into records, with artists such as Charli XCX, Barney Artist, and Little Simz releasing albums in the height of the pandemic, sharing their intimate thoughts and experiences around life in isolation, in an attempt to offer a shimmering glimpse of escape.
But while musicians are breaking their backs to offer even an ounce of support to their fans during this dire time, within this industry exists a mental health crisis. The music industry is a hotbed for burnout and other mental health problems, and the very people who have the influence and capability to offer hope to fans are currently suffering with their own demons. A report from distribution platform Record Union last year found that more than 73% of independent music makers suffer from symptoms of mental illness.
In order to see change among music fans, the commitment to revolutionizing how we deal with mental health has to start at the top. Multiple scientific and psychological studies have shown just how powerful music can be in lifting our moods, but so far, it’s only acted as a balm to soften the hits. But now a new movement is bubbling under the surface, where music can be the solution, where the musicians and their influence can be the catalyst for change.
New mindfulness app SPOKE is hoping to bring a fresh new approach to meditation – inspired by hip-hop, backed by science, delivered by artists. It combines music and science to enhance lifestyle for a new generation of world changers that are passionate about music, self-growth, goals, and the mindful lifestyle. Still in the beta phases, the app will feature some of the UK’s best hip-hop artists and producers, combining music and mindfulness in a way that’s never been done before.
The app was created in response to the crisis of poor mental health that young men in particular suffer, in an attempt to change the culture around wellness that up until now, has not been totally inclusive of all demographics. Combining intelligent rhythms, buoyant beats and honest words, the concept behind SPOKE is that it’s a place where anyone can learn, grow, reflect and heal without expectation and judgement.
Utilizing the power of music, the various episodes feature poetic verses that send shivers down your spine and elegant lyrical riffs that speak a raw truth. It features a collection of carefully curated experiences that will target exactly how each person is feeling. From endorphin inducing drops, mellow runs, to robust beats decorated with raw affirmations, SPOKE delivers each experience with profound interpretation.
Spokesperson Ariana Alexander-Sefre said: “We’re here to show you there’s something different. A totally new world of self-improvement that hasn’t been tapped into till now. SPOKE’s fresh new approach to meditation could be a game-changer to many who want to unleash their happiest and most creative self, where other solutions just haven’t hit the spot.”
The app presents a new subgenre of sound, combining lo-fi, hip-hop, and chill-hop – acting as the enlightened supplement to the mainstream, boldly defying traditional music rules and revolutionizing how young people approach growth, goals and lifestyle. Alexander-Sefre added: “Forget what you know about meditation, because this is meditation for the new generation.”
Wellness, mindfulness and meditation has been commodified to the point where it’s out of reach for many. But SPOKE aims to build something never seen before to completely rewrite the previous ideas that surround wellness and the culture of “reaching out”. To see real change it has to start at the top and become a habitual part of life – this is the first mindfulness app that can work alongside mainstream music but is designed with a greater purpose to redefine the rules surrounding wellness culture. SPOKE is a platform for artists to become positive role models committed to good mental health. When the ones with influence and impact commit to being vocal and proactive about mental health, the ensuing ripples of change will be pivotal.