Singer to share story of mental health and addiction battles

Kaz Hawkins (Picture by Carrie Davenport)
Kaz Hawkins (Picture by Carrie Davenport)

Soul and blues singer, Kaz Hawkins, will relate her own personal battles with addiction and suicidal thoughts at an event in Derry next week.

Kaz, who has performed to rave reviews at the Playhouse during the recent City of Derry Jazz Festival, will address local people at the Holywell DiverseCity Community Partnership on Bishop Street on September 6.

‘Towards Understanding and Healing’ and the North West Community Network have teamed up to organise the free event, which begins with a light lunch at 12.30 pm, with Kaz speaking at 1.00 pm.

A spokesperson for the event said: “Kaz is coming to share her story, a story of ‘fighting to survive’. “Kaz has ‘Survivor’ tattooed on her neck, symbolising her own hard won victories overcoming addiction, mental anguish and suicidal thoughts.

“Kaz is an artist who truly connects with her audience on an emotional level.”

Kaz said: “Music saved my life, it is why I have survived and music will take me where it needs me to go. I want to inspire, educate and give hope that music can also be someone else’s saviour in dark days.”

The video for one of the artist’s songs - Lipstick & Cocaine - has gone viral and currently sits at over 640,000 views on Facebook. In 2016, Kaz accepted an offer from Northern Ireland’s national depression charity Aware NI to become an ambassador for them. In 2017 during Mental Health Awareness Week she released the charity single, ‘Don’t Slip Away’ to address suicide in Northern Ireland.

Using her music to help others overcoming suffering, Kaz hopes her no holds barred approach will help break some of the taboos around mental health.

Kaz now travels the world, proving that music can be used as a tool in mental health.

Anyone wishing to attend the event is asked to book in advance by contacting Eamonn Baker or Roisin McLaughlin on 028 71261941.