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Healing through music  

Milénio Stadium sat down with two young artists from the MDC/Arrival family, Schyler London and Victoria Azevedo, to share their experience of how abuse has had an impact on their life. Through music and lyrics in their songs, they are able to tell their stories and open people’s eyes to the unfortunate reality many people face on a daily basis. It is widely known that music plays a huge part for many on an emotional and personal level. Both artists are striving to inspire, educate and give comfort through their songs 

Schyler London 

What song from your EP would you say you connect with most on a personal level? 

Overjoyed – it’s really sad but it really digs deep into what I was feeling and everything that I was going through. Not being able to explain that in words speaking to somebody – me singing that makes me feel like I can let it all out 

Even that music video was super sad and emotional, deep and dark – tell us about filming that music video 

People would say that it would be hard. They would ask me if it was hard – no, it wasn’t at all. It was just the camera guy and me and we just played my song a couple times to get into it. I got myself into the feelings of the song.  

Have you ever been in a relationship where there was emotional, physical or mental abuse? 

Yes, definitely. A lot of mental abuse and some physical abuse as well. 

When you were in that specific relationship, did you understand what was going on? 

No, I thought something was wrong with me. I was trying to figure out what I was doing wrong. This whole growing process is understanding some people can make you feel like you’re wrong –they can keep you in a certain spot in your life if you’re not strong enough to overcome that and be able to understand that it’s not right and you’re not wrong – they’re wrong. 

Why do you think it is so difficult for people to break free from those relationships?  

I think resources. If you don’t have anyone there to help you and really get it into your brain that it’s not OK, if you don’t have anyone like that, if you just have social media and the world – that’s going to keep you in that. You need support, your mom, your dad, a friend, anybody. You just need really need someone and be able to talk, someone who has your best interests, not someone who is also trying to manipulate you.  

Looking back on that part of your life, what would you tell yourself then? 

I would tell myself to keep going, keep smiling and don’t give up. 

For those people who are in those relationships now, what would you tell them? 

As hard as it is to realize or to think that it’s hard to get out of that spot, not feel the way you’re feeling. I understand you really think that you can’t get out because it feels impossible, but you can and you will; you just have to keep going because you will get there. I’ve been at the bottom and I’ve felt “it’s over for me, it’s done, I cannot get out of this…” and I’m here right now. Keep going. I hope you see my growth and know that it can happen to you.  

 

Victoria Azevedo 

What song from your album would you say you connect with most on a personal level? 

 That’s really hard. All the songs on my album are things that have happened. If I had to choose, I would say “You Made”. It’s a very emotional song and it was the first song we wrote. 

 Have you ever been in a relationship where there was emotional, physical or mental abuse? 

 Yes, I have. I was a lot younger and it kind of made me more aware of the topic. It really opened a lot of bad things from it. I learned a lot from it. I wrote the song “You Made” so it has its pros and cons. Charlie and I worked really hard on it and I’m really proud of it.  

What was the thought process behind the song “You Made” and the lyrics? 

Everytime we are about to write a song, Charlie and I sit and talk about what’s going on in my life right now. We have a great relationship and I happened to tell him about this because it’s a very important thing in my life and I was going through a lot during that time. We talked about it – he said – “I can tell this means a lot to you and I know you want to put it into music.” I’ve always wanted to write a song about it because so many women go through this, especially with the #MeToo movement so that opened my eyes and I realized I needed to do it. We were working on it and the lyrics are very personal and honest. It’s not very metaphorical, it’s more “this is what happened and this is how you made me feel”. 

When you were in that specific relationship, did you understand what was going on? 

That kind of stuff happened to me when I was really young, so it took me awhile to really understand what was going on – “was it my fault…” – it was more getting educated on the topic because I didn’t really know what to feel. I did get help and started getting therapy and focusing on myself and figuring out why I was hurting. 

Why do you think it is so difficult for people to break free from those relationships?  

The biggest thing is having the confidence to speak up. Being scared that you’re going to get physically hurt. When you’re in that abusive relationship or anything like that, it takes a lot for you to speak up. You know that person really, really well and you spend a lot of time together. Majority of the time, the person is very controlling and it’s very hard to open up and speak up and not cause a fight. You just have to think about how you’re being treated, think about yourself. There’s no point in thinking about the other person if he/she is treating you like that. 

Looking back on that part of your life, what would you tell yourself then? 

Honestly, I wouldn’t tell myself anything. Everything happens for a reason. I think that it was good I didn’t really know exactly what was going on because I learned so much from it. Now I’m a lot happier and I know who I am now. That wouldn’t have happened if those things didn’t happen.  

How do you think the #MeToo movement changed the way people view abusive relationships? 

I think the #metoo movement touched a lot of women who were very quiet about this topic and didn’t have the confidence to speak up. It gave women a bigger voice. When you see people in the media and in the industry going through that – it makes you say, “woah…I’m not alone”. These people who are popular are going through the same thing I’m going through. It gives you more confidence to say, “hey…this is not OK. I should speak up and be heard.” 

You were diagnosed with depression & anxiety at the age of 14. How does a girl, at such a young age, come out from such a dark place? 

Honestly, I’m still suffering through it, still going through it. I don’t think it will ever die down. Depression is very complicated. It comes and it goes. I’ve learned a lot about talking to people. I was very shy and “to myself”. It’s very bad to be in your own mind and not be able to open up and say, “hey I need help, help me out.” I learned a lot. I know how to problem solve when it comes to that. I’m still working on it but I’m a lot better.  

 

Melissa DaCosta & Catarina Balça/ MS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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