Jonathan Cooke Talks About Songwriting and Mental Health


Jonathan Cooke is a songwriting student at my teaching practice and also happens to have experience of living with mental health difficulties. Encouraged by his key worker, Jonathan has been using songwriting to help tell his story and also to encourage other people. His amazing song, Split the Rocks, was written to help people who have experienced loss through suicide. So let’s get to know Jonathan…

Why did you get interested in writing music, Jonathan?

I had taken singing lessons for so long before I got into writing and got a level 1 in creative writing so I thought why not write my own.

What led you to write this song? (Split the Rocks)

I once had a good friend who committed suicide and I thought If I could help others
deal with it in some way as to show them that it’s not all bad then
that’s what I would try and do.

What sort of music do you listen to? Are there any artists who have
really inspired you?

I’ve listened to lots of different music though my
life but the past few years I mostly listen to Christian rap or hip hop. A
few artists I have found inspired me in some way were NF or Sevin but
the artist I have found most inspiring has been Bryann Trejo of
Kingdom Music for his truth and moving lyrics. I don’t think he’s quite
like anyone else.

What would be your advice to anyone who wants to start writing

Find a teacher first of all to look over your work and give you
feedback and get your music out there so others can listen to it too.

Thanks so much to Jonathan for sharing his songs and his songwriting journey with us. You can hear more of Jonathan’ ssongs on his Soundcloud page. Artists who have recorded his work include East Belfast legend Jim McClean, English vocal powerhouse Alf Red and me.


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