Looking Behind The Label

Hosted by Rai Waddingham, someone who has personal experience of madness and distress, ‘Looking Behind The Label’ explores what it means to be a human in a world that can make you feel crazy. This is not a show about mental illness, it’s a show about the many different stories we can tell about our lives that go beyond these labels.

Episode 1: Finding My Voice

In this episode, Rai shares her own journey through madness to connection, including some of the songs she has used to express herself.

Mad Tunes: Music, Emotions & Mental Health

In Mad Tunes, Rai Waddingham – a singer/songwriter who hears voices, sees visions and has ongoing conversations with the nature of reality – invites other songwriters to explore the connection between music and mental health. Each episode features up to three songs that act as a launchpad, providing a window into some of the things that go on in and around our head when writing or performing music. This isn’t just a mental health podcast – it’s about people, stories and the way creativity can be as essential to life as breathing.

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify Podcasts

Episode 1: What I Was Trying to Avoid by Writing the Other Songs

In this week’s episode I’m joined by Doll Normal as we listen to tunes from her album ‘Dreams’ and explore the different ways she has processed a difficult time in her life through songwriting. From the quirky and fun ‘Take My Picture’ to the intensity of ‘That Night’, we talk about how songwriting can capture a moment or slice in time … crystallising both the precious and the painful aspects of our memories. We talk about how choices around the style of the song can make it more or less easy to perform and how – with collaborators – it’s possible to hear one’s songs differently and fall in love with them all over again. In amongst all this we explore the role of perfectionism and how to tame it, making space to appreciate aspects of a song that bring us pure joy.

Episode 2: The Right Song Could Save Somebody’s Life One Night

In this week’s episode I’m joined by Kenton Hall as we listen to songs from his former band – ist – and his solo project Kenton Hall & The Necessary Measures. We talk about the highs and lows of being a touring musician, filmmaker and human being. We explore songwriting; processing grief; bipolar; hitting rock bottom and finding a way through. Oh, and how the right song can save someone’s life one night – so it’s worth putting the effort in. Art matters. Now living and working without the highs, Kenton challenges the myth of the necessarily tormented creative genius and talks about how he’s finding a sense of balance.

11 responses to “Podcast”

  1. Genevieve

    This is so wonderful and inspiring! Thank you so much!

  2. Barbara Schaefer

    Thank you so much for sharing your journey, Rachel!

  3. Wendy

    This is beautiful. I love how you weaved your songs into your story. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Vida

    Maybe “symptoms” are just a crying for love or a voice telling a story where love is absent – this is how I link my own life to my listening to your experience.

  5. Sophie

    I loved your description of your journey into connection. It is so painful to loose connection with others and the self. Psychiatry often doesn’t help in the healing of connection, the labelling and medication can make it more difficult to reconnect with others and the self. Connection is what I still most struggle with thanks for sharing this it gives me hope, and some guidance.

  6. Andy Baxter

    Thanks for this – it was good to hear your story. I read your ‘Mad Skills’ article too, which set me off thinking a way I hadn’t done before.

    It would be useful to have a ‘follow on Facebook’ button so I don’t need to keep checking back here.

  7. L

    Thank you so much for sharing, Rai.
    I’ve had some similar experiences in my lifetime, it’s amazing to hear the similarities. I was lucky in that I was never given a psychiatric label or put onto medications, thus allowing me to make sense of the experiences myself, and to define myself on my own terms. I really appreciate your insights. Hearing your story and your music is really inspiring. Many thanks and best wishes on this evolving journey.

  8. L

    Thank you for sharing your stories with us, Rai. My story has a few parallels with yours, and it feels good to connect with kindred spirits.

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