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Maddox Jones uses music to talk mental health

It’s one thing to perform for teenagers. It’s another to use your music and your personal story to break down barriers and talk real issues with them. Local talents Maddox Jones and producer Dave gave a special show at Hall Green campus on Tuesday 8th March – inviting students to sing, and talk about drugs and mental health.

For Maddox, music was a strength in his life when he needed help. Now he uses music as a way to break down barriers with students.

South & City College Birmingham students got a setlist of soaring Maddox Jones original songs, Backstreet Boys, Ed Sheeran, Lewis Capaldi, John Legend & Lindsay Stirling. One student even came up and sang a song that she wrote.

But it was the Q+As between the tunes that made the session special. 

At the age of many of the students at the show, Maddox got a record deal and toured for 5 years. He turned to drugs to replicate that performance high, and then lost his deal in his mid-20s. Music and friends helped pull him back.

“What are some of the things that get you down?” Maddox asks. “Negative energy,” a student shouts back, and with that it’s become a talk about TikTok and the illusions of influencers. With a bit of banter about if Maddox could do a Wiz Khalifa song.

Student talks went from peer pressure, positivity, jealousy, moderation and the need for strong friendships.

As Maddox says, it’s about being authentic.

“I’ve had a girl tell me before ‘I feel down even when I’ve got friends around me’. It’s hard to open up, especially if you’re a guy. For guys, when was the last time you cried? For many students I ask, it won’t be in the last month.

“It’s important for me to get to the kids out there, this is the way I can do it. Music helps break down the walls and I can just have a talk and hopefully inspire them to be more. Doing these shows is a great way to connect with people and be honest and genuine. I’m all about being myself, and kids buy into that, really.”

After the show, many students were queueing not just for autographs or to connect on TikTok, but also for a quick 1-2-1 with Maddox about an issue.

“It’s different everywhere I go… but we always end up with people staying behind afterwards to have a personal chat. Feelings are hard for young people to talk about so seeing them at the end, I know it’s important.”

South & City College Birmingham wants to thank Maddox and Dave for the authentic chat and the great music. You can find Maddox’s upcoming tunes and tour dates on his Instagram and his Youtube, with a new tracking debuting on the 17th March.

And if you’re ready to start jamming with us, see what Music courses we have available!