“2-0-1-6…..Pain is one of the most impactful emotions a human can feel next to love. That’s why like love, so many people have written songs about painful experiences they’ve had. in that event, I am no different. On March 20th, 2014, I felt a pain I had never felt before. The loss of a loved one. My oldest brother, Orlandas Banks. He wasn’t just my brother though, he was my role model, my rock, my main support system and the person I always went to for advice. Just as quick as he came back into my life after a 10 year self imposed hiatus, he was gone again, but this time he was gone for good. Suicide was his choice of exit from the physical world. The reason? He suffered from Schizophrenia, a mental illness that is highly stigmatized and overlooked .Like many who suffer from some form of mental illness he reached a point where he just couldn’t take it anymore and decided to end his suffering.
His death inspired me to write some of the most personal things I’ve ever put in my music. After doing a lot of research on Schizophrenia I realized I needed to use my voice to bring about more awareness to this subject especially in the hip hop community . I also wanted to keep the memory of my brother alive by making music that could connect to people and quite possibly help inspire them or others around them. The creation of this EP as well as the work I’ve done for my upcoming album has been a roller coaster experience, but I never imagined it would receive the support of Charles Hamilton, someone who has been a huge inspiration to me. A couple hours before the 2-year anniversary of my brothers death, Charles debuted ‘A Beautiful Prelude EP’ on his blog Enter The Hamilton. Anyone who knows me, knows that was a very special moment for me. Much love to CH. What excites me the most though is I finally get to share this project with everyone.
So here is my offering, ‘A Beautiful Prelude EP’ (Produced by CZA).
This project tells the story of how I found out about his death and my experience while getting ready for his funeral. My upcoming album ‘The Beautiful’ goes one step further, but more on that soon. Please enjoy and help me start the conversation needed to help break down the stigmas around mental illness.” –Alfred Banks