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Jazz alumnus asks ‘What if’

Mon 13 May 2019

Lily Carassik releases new song for mental health awareness

A 2017 study commissioned by Help Musicians UK to explore the effects of a career in music on musicians’ mental health found that musicians are three times more likely to experience depression, panic attacks and anxiety than non-musicians, pointing towards a potential mental health crisis in the UK’s current music industry.

This is an issue that trumpeter Lily Carassik is all too familiar with, and she’s turned to song-writing to help others who are suffering –

“Having battled with depression for seven years, it hasn’t always been this smooth sailing and I wanted to write a song to reflect on having come through a tough mental health journey, and to reach out to others who may be going through it. I’m lucky enough to say that now I know how it feels to come out the other side. It can get better. I’d like to raise awareness for what is such a big issue, especially amongst musicians.”

Lily has collaborated with a host of professional musicians on her debut track ‘What if’, produced by James Wyatt, and all proceeds from downloading the song are being donated directly to The Samaritans, a charity dedicated to reducing the feelings of isolation and disconnection that can lead to suicide.

On writing and recording her song Lily comments – “I’ve grown in confidence and felt more a part of the London music community than ever before.”

On Monday 6 May, many of the musicians Lily has worked with or been encouraged by – including trombone giant Trevor Mires and members of Ezra Collective – showed their support for the song by posting videos on Instagram of themselves singing to the backing track, soloing over the bridge, and interpreting the track in their own styles.

“The support on social media has already been incredible,” Lily enthuses, “and I hope people continue to spread the question ‘what if it gets better?’”

Since graduating from Trinity Laban in 2016 with a BMus in Jazz Performance, Lily has enjoyed a career as a freelance musician and is part of Apex Horns with fellow Trinity Laban alumnus Yasmin Ogilvie.

Excitingly, both Lily and Yasmin are currently touring Europe with pop giant George Ezra, having played at the BRIT Awards in February in a collaboration between Ezra and the Hot 8 Brass Band. Following the tour, they will play Latitude Festival, the Isle of Wight Festival and the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury this summer.

Lily comments – “Getting the call for the tour brought a wonderful change and an exciting new experience!”

To find out more and download ‘What if’, visit

Monday 13 – Sunday 19 May 2019 is Mental Health Awareness Week.

Image: Yasmin Ogilvie & Lily Carassik