In the pandemic’s aftermath, it’s a great thing that more people are speaking out about mental health issues. With everything the world has experienced over the past two years, putting mental health in the spotlight could not have come at a better time. It’s now more crucial than ever to remind people they are not alone. If you’ve walked that hard path and conquered it, talking openly about your mental health journey can help ease the pressure of those who are struggling. Rising rapper Abran Lopez uses his music to talk about his experience with anxiety and depression.
Lopez didn’t take up this challenge because it was easy. He did it because he wanted to show other people who are struggling that life gets better, as he learned from his experience. Lopez’s battle with his mental health didn’t start with Covid-19. He can’t pinpoint when it did exactly, but he remembers trying to commit suicide when he was only 15 years old. On that fateful afternoon, Lopez had come home to the news that his mom had died earlier that day. He says it was the worst news he has ever received. Though his mother had been battling cancer for over a year, he had not allowed himself to think she could die. And then she did, and Lopez slit his wrists.
Lopez knew his life would be difficult when he regained consciousness at the hospital and realized he was still alive. His parents had divorced months before his mom’s diagnosis, and his dad had already moved out and remarried. With his mom gone, Lopez moved in with his dad and stepmother. Though his father tried to connect with him, music was the only thing that didn’t make Lopez feel alone. He fell asleep wearing his headphones and woke up with them on every day.
In his junior year of high school, Lopez started expressing his emotions on paper at his therapist’s insistence. He channeled all the grief and pain he was holding in and wrote “Chaotic Paradise,” his first and most terrible song. Music was a good outlet for him, and he actually discovered he enjoyed doing it. He wrote “Winter No More” in his senior year as a Mother’s Day tribute. He posted it on his Instagram page and woke up to 1K likes. Nothing had felt as great in the 3 years since his mom died, so he took that as a sign.
Right after graduation, Lopez moved to LA and started pursuing music. Without a musical background or training, it took him a while before he found a venue that would allow him to perform at their open mic events. Then, in a chance encounter, Lopez performed a freestyle that caught the attention of DJ Dart, an award-winning LA-based producer. DJ Dart offered Lopez a deal and thus began their 3-year collaboration.
The duo worked together on Lopez’s successful EP, The Midnight Train, in 2019. Since then, they’ve released “Tis Mornin, Again,” “Rising,” and “One More Breathe.” Lopez’s music touches on taboo topics, with special emphasis on suicide and depression. He hopes his music will save at least one soul, just as other people’s saved him.