#MusicMonday Artist Feature: Ajanai Hughes

In June, Each Mind Matters held the first Music for Mental Health event on the CSU East Bay campus in Hayward, Calif. Each week, we’ve selected a talented young artist who attended the event to put in the LIME-light to hear more about how they use their music as an outlet to help themselves and those around them overcome mental health challenges and other struggles.

ajanai2Ajanai Hughes is a 15-year-old inspiration out of Richmond, Calif. At first glance, you may think that Hughes is a shy girl, but once she steps up to the microphone, she is a burst of light and energy. At the #MusicForMentalHealth event, Hughes was eager to share her talent during the open-mic session providing honest rhymes of her experience.

This teen has a lot to say to those who are struggling with mental health challenges. She has lived through immense challenges in her life and she wants to encourage anyone who will listen to focus not on life’s hardships, but instead on how you make it through them.

Why is music a good outlet for talking about mental health?

In my opinion, music is a good outlet for talking about mental health because you get to show and express your feelings, and it helps you cope with a lot of stress and pain that you have going on.

When did you start expressing your feelings through music?

What got me into expressing myself through music is because when I was 5, I was being beat and raped by my little brother’s dad. I just decided to put it into music instead of going with suicide or any other stuff.

What would you tell somebody else who might be afraid to spread their message?

I would tell somebody that’s afraid to spread their messages, don’t be afraid. Be real with yourself. Be true to who you are, and be true to your story because somebody else might be going through the same thing that you’re going through.

Ajanai is featured on the #MillionsLikeMe Music for Mental Health album. Click the link to download the album and hear songs from other young artists from across the state, and check back next week for our next featured artist!


Check out our other #MusicMonday features: