My name is F LION and I am a singer/ songwriter from the Netherlands. I write and sing songs about pain, depression and also hope. For some years I wanted to work as an artist and in 2019 I decided to take the leap.

Interviewed by Kimberly from Revive’s Interview Team.

What inspired you to become an artist?

As a young girl I really wanted to be an artist/ singer. I listened to the radio on road trips with my parents and imagined I was singing on a big stage. I started to take singing and piano lessons. When I was older, I took part in talent competitions. Then I knew this is what I really want to do!

What type of music do you sing?

My taste of music is very variable. From Edvard Grieg ‘In The Hall Of The Mountain King’, Nina Simone, Art Garfunkel and many more genres and artists. I enjoy singing many kinds of songs from different artists. So I cannot really choose what I really like. Though the music I write and produce are experimental/ avant pop.

Has music ever helped you with your mental health? If so, please explain.

Yes, a lot! It is basically the reason why I choose to work as an artist. When I was sad, I listened to many songs that would cheer me up or made me feel comfortable and less alone. The beautiful thing of music is that it helps people to let their feelings go if things are not going well. Or it can bring them to an higher state of happiness. I have developed my depression while I was studying at the University. I was fired from my internship, which really made me doubt about myself, who I was and where I belonged in this world and society. What did I really want? Eventually I came in contact with a producer. We started to write and produce songs. I decided to write about my sadness and depression. It helped me to deal with my pain.

Has being an artist affected your mental health in a good or bad way?

I think many artist put their emotions in their music. Even if it is about happiness or sadness. It also helps process negative emotions. Being an artist is a bit of a proces to process my pain. It gives the effect on my mental health in a good way so to speak. 

Based on your Instagram bio, you are a survivor of depression. How did you combat your depression/ how are you combating it?

I talked with a psychiatrist. Not my favorite thing to do. Antidepressants helps me too. Through my past I had developed PTSD. I therefore followed intense therapy. I also had the strong motivation to heal. With a bit of willpower I was able to overcome my depression. However, it was not an easy way. Today I am happy and grateful, but my past made me the person who I am today. Sometimes I feel sad and lonely. I recently had a relapse with my depression accompanied by severe panic attacks and lost a lot of weight. Despite I stay positive and get the best out of life.

Why do you think prioritizing mental health is so important, especially for youth?

It seems that our society has very high standards. We have to get high grades, have a good job and so much more. The image social media and some influencers have does not help either. It makes the youth insecure about their abilities and appearance. I think that this is dangerous. It is a part that can be very unhealthy. It is good that there is someone you can look up to. Think critically and do not imitate everything indiscriminately.

What does mental health mean to YOU?

In the past, the focus was always exclusively on physical health. But mental health also plays a role and that is just as important. I often find this being forgotten. Fortunately, people are waking up and they see that this is no longer acceptable. There is a need to talk about this subject and the taboo that still prevails must be broken.

Is there anything else you would like Revive’s audience to know about you?

I am working hard to be an artist/ singer in the Netherlands and abroad. I hope to release my first single at the end of this year and even make more music. As an artist I also want to do more for mental health awareness.

Check out F LION!

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