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Spotlight Interview

Guest Contributor:

Ashton Martin, Musical Artist & Songwriter


With his lyricism, deft arrangements, and pristine songwriting abilities—Ashton Martin puts a brand new shine on Hip-Hop. As "One of Florida's most diverse artists on the rise”, Ashton Martin, grew up around a variety of genres of music with a close family tie to Hip Hop, Gospel, and R&B- all of which have a great influence on his sound today. Since 2015, Ashton Martin has made a significant impact in the music industry while garnering critical acclaim from outlets such as Voyage Magazine, Hip Hop Xclusives, WWE TV Network, and Rap Fiesta.

What are some ways that you promote mental health and wellness through your area of expertise?

As a rapper, I have observed that in our community, many people don't know how to properly express themselves. I use music as a healthy outlet for myself, but more importantly, I use it as a way to begin important and usually, uncomfortable conversations with my audiences. I mostly rap about past and present struggles and how I overcame those obstacles.

What event(s) have you lead, that promote mental health and wellness, that you would like for our Black Mental Wellness audience to know about?

I have an EP, Care Package, that was released on July 11, 2020. Care Package is a 6 track EP I wrote while battling depression and the chaos that was occurring in the world as a result of COVID-19 and the recent Black Lives Matter protests. I decided to give the world this “Care Package” and use it as a way to express the importance of mental health illnesses and the healthy ways to cope and heal. For this reason, I decided that instead of hiding this reality, I wanted to share my experiences in hopes of encouraging others.

For the album campaign, I hosted a live experience where I discussed and debuted my new “I Care, Talk to Me” campaign. The aim of this campaign is to discuss my personal experiences to give others an opportunity to learn more about me. During some of my IG live sessions, I invited therapists to join for Q&A sessions. To keep the momentum of this campaign going, my team and I plan to create a virtual community via Zoom where we will be discussing issues in the Black community on a regular basis. We also will be encouraging participants to use the live meetings as healthy outlets. This conversation will provide an opportunity for people to feel heard and supported. Our team will also send care packages to participants of the Zoom sessions. I am extremely thrilled for the “I Care, Talk to Me” campaign!

How can we encourage more people to seek mental health treatment?

I believe that before anything, we need to have more education about mental health and mental illnesses. In order for someone to seek treatment they must know that there is an issue at hand. Next, I feel that we can encourage more people to seek mental health treatment by making it more relatable to them. For example, we know that mental health treatment is needed so it is important for us to emphasize the benefits. I also believe that people need to see more therapist and counselors in the music industry. When speaking with others, they often say seeking mental health treatment are things that only “wealthy, white people” do, rather than for all. We must show how accessible and essential treatment is. This is why it is so important to me as a rapper to show my audience the benefits of obtaining mental health support.

How do you make time for your own wellness and self-care?

The music industry is fast-paced and because “time is not a luxury,” I have to manage my time wisely. I make a point to implement self-care into my schedule daily before I dive into any work to ensure that I keep my mindset strong and positive. Every morning, I pray and meditate, write in my daily journal, and exercise. One day out of the week, I take time to reflect and focus on myself. It is critical for me to dedicate time to focus on myself especially because I spend so much time focusing on others.

Guest Contributor

Ashton Martin's EP, “Care Package” is an album that discusses mental health in the black community. Care Package is aimed specifically at black men, in language that is familiar to the black community: music. Ashton’s overall goal is to pave the way for better futures for the next generation and to ultimately, bring unity and to begin the process of healthy healing within the black community.

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