Smiiffy is a 21-year-old rapper from Birmingham who is looking to challenge attitudes and raise awareness of mental health and disability.
For 30 Under 30, he spoke with us about how he is using his music to spread awareness of mental health and what he hopes his music will achieve.
It’s really important to be open about impairments as it can help break down barriers and end stigma.
I have Bilateral Perthes’ disease which means my cartilage is degenerating. It’s quite painful now and again but I’ve learnt to live with it. I’ve had around 15 operations and probably a lot more to come in the future.
I also have depression, anxiety, memory loss and probably a long list of everything else!
I’ve been quite open about it, however I haven’t always been confident in talking about it. I always had the fear of being rejected by people if I told them. Lately, I’ve become a lot more comfortable from support online and have opened up a lot more.
I find comfort through using humour and writing music. My music is all about my experiences but I sometimes also write songs about experiences of people I’ve met.
Knowing that there are people listening to the lyrics and finding them relatable is brilliant.
You wouldn’t believe I have anxiety when I perform on the stage, everything just kind of goes away. I’m in my element and absolutely love what I do.
An exclusive rap for 30 Under 30
It’s time I show some clarity
I face facts and reality
Every single person is perfect the way that you are
Don’t let any physical or mental issue break who you really are
I’ve had shackles on my wrists and I’ve been scared to speak
I’ve had times where I’ve let tears take over my cheek
But now I’m stronger than that, that’s what you call unity
And when I feel this strong there’s nothing that anything can actually do to me
Smiiffy is sharing his story as part of 30 Under 30. Throughout June, we have been sharing one story a day from disabled people who are doing extraordinary things. Visit our website to see all of the stories in the campaign.