#StayHomeDiaries: ABANGSAPAU on dealing with grief in a time of isolation
Hey, how are you doing?
It has been proven that prolonged periods of social isolation — something we collectively experienced during the circuit breaker period — can have a negative impact on mental health. For this installation of #StayHomeDiaries, we checked in with hip-hop artist ABANGSAPAU as he reflects on his time in isolation, and how he had to deal with the loss of a family member during this already-difficult period of time.
Describe your day in quarantine
Wake up, do my Home-Based Learning (HBL) classes for school (I'm a year 2 student at Nanyang Polytechnic), eat, play FIFA and Call of Duty, write music, chill with the family... did I mention eat? Yes plenty of that.
What is your latest quarantine creation?
The last full quarantine creation I made was my Maaf Zahir Batin freestyle on Instagram! It was written, recorded and edited all in two days and I'm glad I challenged myself to do it.
What have you been pondering about during self-isolation?
We complicate things for ourselves, so much. We hear so much of the term 'essential' nowadays, and it is now that we truly realise what matters. In search of purpose and success, we tend to complicate things and make life difficult for ourselves, forgetting to be in the present during moments that matter. Hopefully we'll have a greater sense of gratitude for these moments and learn to be in the present.
What is the best thing that happened to you since staying home?
Just our daily family dinners. [Before this] we were all so caught up with life that we could barely find the time to really sit down and catch up. Staying home has made this possible and it feels really nice to just be around the family, proper. It feels like I'm getting to know them all over again. It's sad because my sister who lives with us has been stranded in Morocco since March since there's no flights back, but thankfully she's safe and doing good there!
What is the worst thing that's happened to you during CB?
My father passed away. That hit me really badly and being stuck at home wasnt exactly good for my mental health in processing that grief. But thankfully, I have a strong support system that never fails to remind me that I am not alone. The circuit breaker also allowed for the funeral to be private and peaceful, so that was something I'm grateful for.
What do you miss most about the outside world?
Performing and just being around people. The energy, sharing vibrations through music... it's a magical experience that I cannot put into words. I miss that very much.
Is there something you had hoped to achieve before CB ended?
To lose a lil' weight (bought weights and a punching bag!) so I can bounce back into the world a less bouncy man.
What do you think the post-coronavirus world will look like?
Honestly, I dont know. But my gut tells me it's gonna be much better... I personally feel that everyone will live life with a greater sense of appreciation for the simple things and no longer view non-essential things as entitlements, but rather, privileges. And that we're lucky to enjoy these privileges.
What is the first thing you'll do after this social distancing ends?
It's straight to my recording studio for me! Gotta release all this artistic tension that's pent up in my head. Hahaha!
ICYMI, ABANGSAPAU is one of the 14 artistes that have come together in a song to drive home the message of strength in unity, in support of nationwide efforts to overcome Covid-19 and, well, to remind you to stay at home. It features Charlie Lim, Yung Raja, Iman Fandi, ShiGGa Shay, Alif, ABANGSAPAU, Tosh Rock, Fariz Jabba, Aisyah Aziz, Shye, Zadon, YAØ, Hashy and Dee Kosh. The artists wrote, recorded, and filmed the single and music video from home, completing the project in just 11 days. Watch the music video below: