Upcoming musician VCage is hoping his debut single will raise greater awareness of male victims of domestic abuse.
The Mexican-born performer released Slam Me, ahead of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, which began on Monday, with the track exploring his own experience as a victim of a “toxic relationship”.
In 2019, 713,000 men were reported to have been victims of domestic violence and abuse, according to the Office for National Statistics in England and Wales.
Featuring such lyrics as “Make me believe that I am the one/ Then throw me to the floor”, VCage – whose real name is Victor Cohen – reveals his song explores “what I was feeling during my relationship”.
He says of the track, which has garnered 115,000 views on YouTube: “I had two or three actual events of physical aggressions, but mostly it was psychological abuse.
“She took advantage of how I cared for her and started playing with my mind knowing that I would be there no matter what.
“Eventually I realised relationships shouldn’t be like this, that I was hurting myself by staying there and that I am more valuable than what I think everyone else thinks about me.”
A graduate of Berklee College of Music, VCage says he became “obsessed” with music as a youngster and describes himself today as a multi-instrumentalist, providing the vocals, guitar and percussion for his music, with the help of a loop pedal.
“I love exploring new ways to make music, like playing the guitar with a violin bow,” he adds.
Having been affected emotionally by his past relationship and ahead of Mental Health Awareness Week, VCage empathises with those who may be struggling during this time under lockdown.
He says: “Try to do as much as you can, and if you don’t know what to do, get into a course online and find a new skill.
“The only thing stopping us performing to our full potential is a thought, so just do something and eventually you will start doing it with more inspiration.”
As for his feel-good track to listen to right now, VCage replies: “The best track to lift my mood, as it has always been, is Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen.”
With a 12-track album scheduled for release in October and his cheery outlook on life, there’s seems little chance of that.
Follow VCage on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @iamvcage or visit vcagemusic.com.