This month, after a series of court interventions, a 13-year conservatorship ended for pop star Britney Spears. I couldn’t be happier for her. She’s been famous and harassed by press since the age of just 16. Her hectic lifestyle arrived before adulthood led to a lot of stress, and got to her head. In the mid 2000s she experienced mental health crises. And then, in 2008, courts temporarily granted her father Jamie conservatorship.
After that, she so often struggled to speak up for herself. It’s somewhat believed Jamie chose to use her wealth like it was his own as well. For some reason, she was charged $16k per month for him to be her conservator. The media irregularly mentioned her for quite a while, and, to be honest, I’ve never been a big fan of her music. Therefore, I didn’t know what she was up to, and somewhat forgot about her existence in the music industry.
She’s not alone.
Like her, though, I’ve had my mental health problems. But I’m so lucky to say I have such a great family too. My parents believe the idea of doing what Jamie did to Britney is ridiculous. Because my mental health problems caused by stress occurred due to my disability when I was around 17, I can’t help but feel I’ve got something in common with that popstar. Her fame within media disabled her carefree lifestyle, which is common when you’re a celebrity. I know my parents would never control me like her father controlled her – and Britney believes they shouldn’t be able to, either.
‘I’m here to be an advocate for people with real disabilities and real illnesses,’ the singer said, just a few days after she was let free from her conservatism. She now hopes her story effects change in the corrupt system disabled people manage.
It thrilled me to hear those words from Britney Spears. She’s clearly willing to support disabled people, as I am with my music now. On 18 November, I started my journey of playing songs that speak about gaining equality for disabled people at The Fitzgerald bar in Manchester. It was one of many open mic night events I’m aiming to play across Greater Manchester. Although I decided to not play at their open mic night their tonight, I can see myself playing at The Old Abbey Taphouse in Hulme, Manchester, on 6 December. I never fail to mention gaining equal human rights for all people is a must-do for me as well.
A New Home Music Studio
Plus, playing music that sends a message out to the audience on open mic nights isn’t the only part of my upcoming plan. There are other ways in which I want to pass my song’s messages to others. However, to do this, I’ll need a bit of funding.
- After writing songs promoting the lives of disabled people and playing at open mic nights around Greater Manchester, I want to record, produce, and publish songs I’ve written, too.
- Money should fund quality studio equipment that can create a home studio. We can make it available to disabled musicians if their music somewhat promotes the lives of disabled people or equality as a whole.
- Between 2006 and 2008, I studied a BTEC ND in Music Technology at City College Manchester. Now a part of The Manchester College, it involved a lot of learning about how to use music production software. Interestingly, around that time, I also received £2000 in compensation. A guy broke my nose, I couldn’t breathe as easily for six months, and then had to head into surgery for a nose job. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Well, I also purchased a new MacBook, £800 Fender Telecaster and 60 watt Fender Amplifier around that time, as well.
- After getting a grade of Distinction/Distinction/Merit (320 UCAS points) in college, my next attempt at a music course in university ended due to depression after just three months. However, I eventually made my way to The University of Salford in 2009. Epilepsy continued to lead to stress and depression throughout university. So, after hard work, I was proud to gain a BA Popular Musicology degree in 2012 with a 2:1 grade.
After Rehab, the Magic Begins
- However, long- and short-term memory problems have led to severe memory loss. I know I will be interested in learning more about music production. However, it’s been 13 years since I gained my BTEC national diploma. So, after paying for online video tutorials, I’m currently refreshing my memory in order to use music production software once again.
- Disabled people should benefit from the studio more than anyone for sure. However, after getting this project up and running, I don’t believe we should wipe non-disabled people out of the picture. We can let them use transferable equipment if it’s clear they’re ‘broadly supporting equality’ too. And by broadly supporting equality, they’ll fully need to understand disability is very much neglected in society. It’s arguably the least protected characteristic within the equality act 2010.
- To gain more popularity, we can professionally set up some new groups online. Websites may well be born that advertise the birth of new songs supporting equality by bands and artists. One may be for people to be a part of if they’re writing songs promoting disability rights. Another one will be available for those supporting equality as-a-whole too. Afterwards, fully open-minded disabled people can obviously be a part of both groups – and will have to if they use the home studio! Plus, if a group that specifically supports equality gains popularity, bands and artists may well be frowned upon if they’re not interested in joining it.
- I called one poem I wrote last year ‘The Festival of Equality’. I wrote it during the #WeShallNotBeRemoved movement. Around that time, disabled people were aiming to get attention of people online by exploiting various arts during the pandemic in Summer 2020. However, if this project progresses, then who knows? Maybe festivals of equality can occur in the future too.
Sound a little optimistic?
These thoughts I’ve had regarding the outcome after we build one suave home studio may well sound extremely ambitious. Well, I’m sorry about that – but I’m an extremely ambitious person. I will probably mention this more next month, but I think disabled people have been more noticeable this year – and I think we’ve gained the interests of others with our creative abilities. It’s a good start, and I want to see the best outcome for us all. However, if we’re going to get that outcome, I think it’s clear we’re going to have to be more innovative with our actions.
Political matters discussed via music haven’t managed to gain too much attention from people in the past. However, songs speaking about our issues aren’t regularly explained by an artist on stage, are they? After gaining more popularity among the media, we can talk about why we’re promoting disability rights and equality in front of an audience too.
Is Britney willing to help?
After turning a few heads our way this month, maybe pop star Britney Spears will speak up even more about our issues. The media and her fans never stop glaring at her life, and too much attention from the press is likely to bother her again. But, who knows? If I was her, I’d tell journalists to leave me alone, and start looking at disabled people’s difficult lives instead. We’be got plenty of talents to share with them, after all.
After that, she’ll sense some relief, and maybe a trend could begin. She’s certainly not the only harassed celebrity, and none of them seem to despise us! Hopefully many of them can slap the press backwards, speak more about gaining human rights, and push more media attention towards us too.