Matt Edmondson bravely shared the inspiration behind his latest song in a frank statement today, as he discussed the death of his father.
The 34-year-old Radio 1 DJ shared his new song, Your Car, with vocals sung by Aymee Weir.
Accompanying the release of the song, Matt opened up about his relationship with his father, and the grief he has battled since his death.
The Portsmouth-born DJ explained he rarely speaks about his father, who suffered from alcoholism, "not even with some of my closest friends".
Matt explained he found the experience of writing a song about his father, who took his own life when Matt was in his early 20s, as "unbelievably cathartic," hoping to help others with their grief in the process.
Writing in a Twitter thread, he said: "When I was 22, my Dad took his own life.
"It was exactly 12 years ago today. He suffered from manic depression and bipolar and he was an alcoholic. He'd been in a very depressed state for several years, however it still came as an enormous and awful shock.
"As a kid I wasn't really aware of what it meant for someone to be an alcoholic, or that my Dad was one, but I was aware of his drinking and I often felt worried by it.
"I only really clicked that he was suffering from alcoholism in the immediate months before his death, when I was an adult and I took him to an AA meeting. He'd been hiding the full extent of it for years."
Matt then reflected on his relationship with his father throughout his youth, saying: "I also didn't understand what it meant to have a parent whose moods could vary so differently. For a lot of my childhood my Dad was a hilarious, pun making, playful father, but he was also really difficult to live with.
"In my teenage years, we had a huge falling out, instigated by his behaviour. We were able to go some way to patching things up in the years prior to his death, but I've spent a really long time wrestling with my feelings about him.
"I loved him, but often didn't like him. I found it hard to grieve for him, as I was so angry with how he had died, and what it had done to our family that I couldn't forgive him.
"I never took the time to address my feelings properly. It was much easier to run back to my normal life and try and forget it had happened, which I did."
Through counselling and the songwriting process, Matt revealed he had faced up to the challenging emotions he felt, urging others to seek help if they are struggling.
He said: "I've been working through all of this stuff with a counsellor, and it's helping hugely. If you have had a similar experience, I really do think it might help you too. You can speak with your GP about it, and they should be able to recommend a mental health service to you."
The radio star then posted the contact information for Samaritans and The Calm Zone, adding his mother and sister had given their consent Matt to share the story with his followers.
He added: "If you would like help with alcohol addiction please talk to your GP or seek out a local AA meeting. Also, talk to your family about it. They love you."
Once Matt shared the difficult story behind the song, his fans praised his honesty and bravery in speaking openly about his father's death.
One said: "This song is phenomenal and it's incredibly brave to share your personal story like this. I'm sure it will help a lot of people with similar struggles that are not easy to address. Well done Matt and amazing work from @aymeeweir on this track."
A second added: "This will help a lot of people, Matt. My experience of my own Dad was not a million miles off and talking about it – with friends, in therapy and through making something (a book in my case) has been massively helpful. Good lad x."
And a third penned: "So powerful Matt. Nothing but love for your ability to open up like this & pour it all in this way. Well done for creating such a beautiful song that will touch so many people who listen."
Your Car, written and produced by Matt Edmondson, is available to stream on SoundCloud.
For emotional support you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email [email protected], visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.
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