Hayden Thorpe – Going Through The Emotions

In May, following 15 years as the singer in Wild Beasts, Hayden Thorpe released his solo debut, Diviner, a collection of candid piano ballads. We caught up with Hayden to go through the emotions. What has been your biggest life challenge so far and what did you do to overcome it? My truth is I […]

Hayden Thorpe – Going Through The Emotions

By Ellis Toner

In May, following 15 years as the singer in Wild Beasts, Hayden Thorpe released his solo debut, Diviner, a collection of candid piano ballads. We caught up with Hayden to go through the emotions.

What has been your biggest life challenge so far and what did you do to overcome it?

My truth is I can’t really select one challenge as the biggest, so it doesn’t feel quite right to tell the story of a particular event being so. But I think of all the rocks that have needed to be pushed the the hill my disposition with depression has needed a painstaking and consistent effort. And there is no magic bullet for that other than the willingness to discover the mechanics of your own workings.

What do you think affects your mental health positively?

Community, people, love. I’m a recluse by nature but we are all beings that need union with our like kind to feel belonging. So I work on that.

And negatively?

Social media and alcohol inflict the bruises quickly and brutally. I have to be vigilant with those ornate trappings.

What role does creativity play in your wellbeing?

I’ve come to realise that the realms I have access to in my psyche are quite wide reaching, I can summon things in dark places and I can get very high from inner resources. I’ve learned, as best I can, to befriend the whole spectrum, it is that ability to feel the all the things intensely which might fuel my work. I say might because my creativity isn’t something tangible to me, it’s just a compulsion. But to make something where before there was nothing cannot help but bring you a sense of meaning. Creativity is an offering, an act of generosity to yourself and therefore others.

What are you reading, watching and listening to at the moment?

I’ve just read the novel “On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous” by Ocean Vuong. It’s a sublime piece of work. It’s the American Dream told from the vantage point of having woken up.

What’s your go to music if you need a boost?

Right now it’s the record “The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane”

What are your favourite foods?

I basically exist on a dough based diet.

Do you like to exercise or meditate at all?

I try to mediate every day. That wisdom truly works. And yeah exercise is pretty key to my being remotely sane. I’m a singer, my livelihood is found in connection to my physical self. We disregard what I’d call “body knowledge” so much. That is our intuitive knowing and sense that the body makes of the world.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received in regards to your mental wellbeing?

If I am not for myself, then who am I for?

How have you changed since 15, and what advice would you give to that person?

I’ve changed less than I think and more than I’ll ever know. Whatever happens, it’s going to be okay.

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