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Friday, April 16, 2021

Bully’s Alicia Bognanno Talks Mental Health for New ‘Sounds of Saving’ Session

The singer and songwriter dives into a compelling conversation on mental health, music, and the freedom provided in using art as an emotional outlet.

In a newly released installment of the “Song That Found Me At The Right Time” series from Sounds of Saving (SoS), Alicia Bognanno (who records under the name Bully) covered PJ Harvey’s song “Dry” and engaged in a compelling Q&A on her mental health journey.

She shared: “A lot of musicians, like myself, are sober and dealing with mental health. I think it’s 85% of artists, or something, struggle with mental health. I have a link on my fridge for a suicide prevention hotline because you never know when people are going to need that. And people aren’t really vocal about it, so that should be readily available at all times.”

Over the years, Bognanno has been refreshingly candid about her own experiences with Bipolar 2 disorder, and has never shied away from participating in (even oftentimes, actually inspiring) conversations focusing on mental health.

Beyond Q&A’s or interviews, Bognanno has also challenged mainstream music themes, regularly opting for songs of substance and pushing the boundaries on otherwise atypical tunes. In fact, the third Bully album, SUGAREGG, reportedly came to fruition simply through Bognanno’s personal evolution, where she “navigated every kind of upheaval imaginable and completely overhauled her working process along the way.”

It’s apparent that for Bognanno, music isn’t just an art—it’s an outlet. Harvey’s song “Dry”—which she covered in the SoS installment—is meant to act as an example of how music can help us to navigate life and feelings. And the idea that Bognanno’s own work could act as an emotional resource for others, feels in many ways, like an achievement in itself.

“Writing and playing music is the only thing I know to channel my emotional state of being, [and] I haven’t found anything else that drowns it out the same way,” Bognanno exclusively told Green Living. “To think that by doing that not only am I helping myself work through things, but also the listener on the other end, is the greatest thing I could ask for as a musician.”

Sounds of Saving (SoS) was founded by Nick Greto and Charlie Gross. The organization successfully launched a campaign that placed free vinyl LPs throughout NYC that included mental health information, and has worked to create more space for discussions that matter not only to musicians, but also to their audiences.

For every one person that dies by suicide, 280 people think seriously about suicide themselves. Sounds of Saving created the “Song That Found Me At The Right Time” series in 2019 as a means to engage with musicians, and the series reveals how a song found each artist at the right time—additionally, how each artist has managed to cope and even thrive in the face of difficult times and emotional crises.

Watch Alicia Bognanno’s (Bully) full cover of PJ Harvey’s “Dry” along with its corresponding Q&A for the “Song That Found Me At The Right Time” installment, here.

Keep up with all of Green Living‘s original content online and on social media.

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