• Clodagh Meaney

Exclusive premiere: MA-KA opens up about overcoming trauma which inspired new track 'Better'

MA-KA hopes to empower other women who have been through similar experiences

Dublin-based Alternative R&B singer-songwriter MA-KA has released a brand new single, 'Better'.

EMPWR are delighted to premiere the song, following a sneak preview of the track on Tara Stewart's 2FM show earlier in the week.

'Better,' is an empowering song about overcoming trauma and mental illness.

Speaking to EMPWR, MA-KA said the song was written at a low point in her life.

"At the time, I was seriously struggling with my mental health. The song is a cry for help, a prayer at a time when I felt so alone."

"It’s me begging somebody to save me," she said. "I couldn’t save myself, I'd tried everything: partying, suppressing it, but nothing was working.”

“For so many years, I suppressed the trauma of being sexually abused as a child," she explained.

"I never allowed myself to fully feel it, I caged it in my mind, compartmentalised it."

MA-KA said she created a separate person from herself, someone else who had experienced the abuse, and not her.

"She was a part of me, and she didn't want to be caged up. Eventually, she tried to escape."

"16 years later, I was triggered, which put me into a dark, depressive place. Everything about the abuse came back in vivid detail, it was like it was happening again, there and then.”

'Better' is about the feelings that come with trauma. MA-KA makes reference to substance abuse, and lines like, “feel I'm chained to the bed,” are about being held, against your will, with no escape. “I don't wanna look at me right now,” is about the shame and guilt felt by abuse survivors, even though it's not their fault.

But the song is also about overcoming trauma, said MA-KA: “I started seeking help. I moved home to be closer to family."

"I quit my day job and began living my truth by pursuing music more seriously," she said.

She also got on touch with her spiritual side and began leaning into a higher power: "I knew I couldn't do it myself, so I completely let go and gave my life to God."

"I was set free, I was delivered from pain, I found acceptance and peace.”

Explaining why the song is entitled 'Better', MA-KA said: "I went through a battle, and I won."

"The song is called 'Better', because I am better, I’m better than the things that have happened to me.”

She hopes that her story and this song will empower other women who have had similar experiences: "I know now that I went through this so that I could share my story, so I could help other people. I survived it, and I’m surviving it every day."

The launch will be celebrated through a virtual launch party at 7pm on Friday evening. It will feature a live performance, Q&A, as well as a premiere of the 'Better' music video.

MA-KA has been involved in the Dublin music scene for the past several years. She has released two singles, and has performed across Dublin in several support slots, as well as gigs such as Whelan's Ones to Watch earlier this year.

Last year she founded S.U.A.S (Stand Up Against Suicide) a collective of artists from the Dublin hip-hop scene who came together to raise funds for suicide prevention all while breaking stigma surrounding mental health, self-harm and suicide.

Last October the group held a concert where they raised €1000 for Pieta House. Celaviedmai, Aaron J and Sean X were all involved. A second event was planned for April, but due to COVID-19 it was cancelled, however, S.U.A.S hope to reschedule the event for later this year.

Listen to MA-KA's brand new track, Better, below. It will be available from all streaming platforms from July 17th. To attend the launch party, all you have to do is pre-save the single here.

© 2020 by EMPWR

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