For many of us, music - the listening to, singing along with and creation of it - is therapeutic and has gotten us through hard times in our lives. The saying 'music is therapy' is true for many, myself included, to the extent I have the phrase tattooed across my lower back.
Music is also immensely theraputic for Ian Erix. Over the years, he has undergone a music transformation and evolution which has seen his creations hitting the top 10 on three continents while his music to date has received more than 20 million plays.
Currently working on his upcoming album Scream For Freedom slated for release in the coming months, Erix creates music and songs with true meaning - they're honest, at times immensely hard hitting, but ultimately, they're songs we, at one time or another, can all relate to.
In an effort to get the messages in his music across, he has produced a four part mini film, Graffiti On My Heart, showcasing the reality and hardship that came from the persecution he suffered at the hands and mouths of abusive family members and the people around him.
The first video in the series "Horse Of A Different Color" charts how the mistreatment and bullying began at an early age, with the hurtful comments from others lingering in his mind. Flash forward to his teenage years/early twenties, and, having undergone his own image transformation, it's a little distressing and upsetting to see that those who teased and tormented him in the past continue to do so, purely because they don't see him as an equal or worthy of their kindness.
As the music kicks in, so does the fight back. Standing in front of the mirror, singing lyrics such as "I'll never go under" and "I am gonna stand my ground", the video is suddenly injected with a power all of its own, led by Ian's strong performance as he voices his belief that just because he's different, it doesn't give anyone the right to mistreat him, and that he ultimately won't surrender to them.
It could be argued that far too many songs today have little to no meaning, but "Horse Of A Different Color" certainly does, and it hits you full force. Bullying and mistreatment are common-place in our society, but through his music and his videos, Erix proves that no one should have to put up with such cruelty and that it is very much okay for an individual to be different from those around them.
Check out the video for "Horse Of A Different Color" below and you can check out the whole video series here. For more information on Ian Erix, visit his website, give his page a like on Facebook or follow him on Twitter.