An aspiring young rapper tormented by rare chronic pain has opened up about his battle with depression and addiction.
And he told Lanarkshire Live how music saved him from almost ending it all.
For the past five years, Jamie Wood, aka RPRX, has suffered from cluster headaches which can flare up for three to seven days a week, causing him to pass out and have multiple attacks daily.
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The pain left the 20-year-old from East Kilbride unable to work and in need of round-the-clock care from his mother.
Indeed, it became so unbearable that he fell into a deep, dark depression, ultimately taking his own life in April 2019.
Lockdown then hit sending Jamie spiraling again, this time turning to drug addiction.
Deciding to write down his innermost thoughts and fears into lyrics to ease the boredom, Jamie found solace in music and began writing and recording tracks and posting them on the music streaming site Soundcloud.
His first outing “Work for the Devil” reached 10,000 visits in a few days and is now over 100,000.
Now, seven months sober after battling cannabis addiction, Jamie is keen to show off her talent on the concert circuit.
“I made music years ago just to see how it would sound, but never did anything with it – I was still at school,” the former St Andrew’s pupil tells us. and St Bride.
“But a while later I was diagnosed with cluster headaches. Mine became chronic meaning it never goes away which is very rare and baffled the best neurologist on how to help .
“It’s been chronic for about five years so there’s a good chance I’ll have it for the rest of my life. With the condition I can’t work so I knew I had to do my own thing.
“I tried designing clothes and shoes to no avail. That’s when I pretty much gave up and started being very self-destructive and eventually attempting my own life – to which fortunately I survived.
“For months I felt the same, then the lockdown hit. Along with not being able to work, I am now stuck at home, bored, depressed and struggling with drug addiction.
“I decided to write a song, record it and post it on Soundcloud mainly for entertainment. A few days later I checked the number of expected streams to three or four, so you should have seen my face when he said 10,000 streams – I thought that must be a problem.
“A few other tracks have all had similar success, so I decided to put my music on the big streaming platforms – Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer – and that’s when I knew it was was my true calling.”
Inspired by rap and hip hop artists such as Lil Peep, Juice Wrld, XXXTentacion and Ski Mask the Slump God, Jamie sees music as a safe haven where he can express himself and free his mind from the trappings of his own sanity.
His rap name RPRX is a nod to his late idols Lil Peep and XXXTentacion (“RIP P and RIP X”) who tragically died around the same age – Lil Peep from a drug overdose at the age 21 and XXXTentacion who was shot and killed in an apparent robbery aged 20.
Jamie releases a new album on April 22 each year to mark the date he survived his suicide attempt.
“Not only do I love making music, but it’s like a free therapist,” Jamie added. “I rap about my emotions, girl issues, and mental health. I think it’s good that more men are talking about these things – but it’s never in a very family-like way!
“But that’s not all I rap about, I also rap about what I hope for the future, the thoughts I’ve had – good or bad – just trying to manifest my life and show my skills.
“My latest album ‘Simulation Entertainment 3’ shows what I can do very well. I’m so proud of this album and I got so many positive messages about it.
“I’m proud of myself and how far I’ve come in the space of three years. I went from a rock bottom suicide attempt to a serious drug addiction and now I feel on top of the world doing what I love.
“Even though I still have cluster headaches, struggle with mental health and stay sober, I’m so grateful for everything I’ve achieved in my short life.”
Check out RPRX on all major streaming platforms and rprx_music on Instagram.
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