JJ McGuigan, VH1 Finalist & Mental Health Advocate
24 June 2017 Blog Interview
Artist/Musician: JJ McGuigan
L.Cook: Hi, JJ McGuigan! This is Star Music Radio Host, L.Cook. So Happy to be chatting with you. How has your day been so far?
JJ McGuigan: Hey. It’s going pretty good so far how about yours ?
L.Cook: It’s going great! Thanks.
JJ McGuigan: Awesome
L.Cook: Please tell me a little bit about the musical influences in your life? What drove you to become an alternative rock singer and songwriter?
JJ McGuigan: My love for music began at 13 when i started playing drums. I then went through some issues of my own mental health at 16 and relied heavily on music, especially rock music to get me through it. Bands like Live, Stand, Creed and Cold at the time. And at 20 I picked up guitar and a few years later started writing songs. The goal in mind mainly was to give back to others through my music what those bands and others had done for me in my darkest times.
L.Cook: That’s amazing. Music definitely sounds like it therapeutic. I m glad you was able to turn to music as a safe haven. Speaking of mental illness, I know that you are an advocate for mental illness awareness. Any words of encouragement to those who might be dealing with similar issues?
JJ McGuigan: Be kind to yourself and be gentle with yourself. It is hard going through something you don’t know really what it is at first, so be patient with the process of learning and growing. You will find you are not alone and that there are people willing to help if you keep reaching out. It might require a shift in the way you think and approach life but you will learn all this through that process of healing.
L. Cook: What great advice. Thank you for those encouraging words! Can you tell us a little bit more about your experience with VH1’s “Save The Music”?
JJ McGuigan: Yeah, it was early on in my career that I entered that contest. It was on online songwriting contest that VH1 did. My songs just progressed through each round and made it to the final judges and was awarded a finalist. It really helped boost my confidence and it did reassure me that I was on the right path with my songwriting. It was a fun experience that helped validate me in a way especially to myself.
L.Cook: That’s incredible that you was able to showcase your skills in such a life changing way. I did have the opportunity to listen to some of your music and I’d I have to say, I enjoyed it a lot. What is your songwriting process like? Do you write off of current emotions or previous thoughts?
JJ McGuigan: It can really be off of both, if an emotion comes up i just tend to try and find a way to express it musically mainly through lyrics. I don’t have a set process as I always just try to be open to any inspiration that may come and whenever it may come. usually though I’m in my apartment doing some sort of reflective thinking and then something may strike, a line or a melody and then I just go with it.
L.Cook: What motivates you?
JJ McGuigan: I would have to say a sense of compassion in a broad sense. My main goal is to reach people the same way I was reached by music and still am. Just to be able to do that for someone is priceless.
L.Cook: It most definitely is! Let’s talk about your latest project, the Dissociative EP. Can you discuss the meaning behind some of the songs on that project?
JJ McGuigan: They can go to iTunes or Amazon music and any other online retail stores that sell music. Or they can check out my website at jjmcguiganmusic.com and download from there.
L.Cook: Great! Well, thank you JJ McGuigan for chatting with us here on Star Music Radio. It’s been a pleasure!
JJ McGuigan: It’s been great chatting with you as well
Star Music Radio Host & Content Writer
Faith Based Author
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