“I’ve always wanted to be a successful musician and I’ve been working at it since I was a teenager” says Leeds-based alternative multi-instrumentalist and singer, Aiden Hatfield. Ahead of the release of his debut EP Chapter One, I interviewed the founder of In Music We Trust about his love of music, what motivates him, and how it felt to achieve #1 on the Amazon Rock Album chart.
“I encourage everyone to be open about their mental health issues. Not just because I feel it will help them but it helps others to realise that it’s not something to be ashamed of and it is something we can talk about. Musicians and public figures being open can only be helping with that.”
Aiden Hatfield has dedicated the last four years to raising mental health awareness; donating 50% of the profits from his clothing brand, In Music We Trust to mental health charity Mind. Though music appears to be the newest string to his bow, Hatfield has been playing guitar and writing songs since long before he began working with clothing.
“I’ve played guitar since I was 13 and ever since then I’d never wanted to stop. This is not a new venture for me, it just so happens that it’s my first time going solo and it’s my first release since becoming quite popular with my clothing brand.
Hatfield openly suffers with depression and wants to normalise mental health issues in music; but his passion for music has driven the creation of his new five-track EP, Chapter One, released on March 15th.
“The message from my brand is not the lyrical content for my songs. I think a lot of people seem to assume that, because I openly suffer with depression and run a brand that supports mental health awareness, I write songs and release them with the whole ‘this song is about depression’ description. But that’s really not the case. I do have depression and my songs come from my heart so the issues I’m dealing with have and always will impact every song that I write.”
Chapter One is full of powerful alternative rock tracks that take influence from several pop-punk bands of the last decade. With soaring choruses and emotive lyrics, Hatfield’s debut foray into the music world demonstrates an impressive instrumental and compositional set of skills from the Leeds singer.
It’s really no surprise that in February this year, the EP his number 1 in the Amazon Rock Albums chart – before it was even released. Understandably, Hatfield was elated.
“That felt really amazing. Knowing that the work I’d put out there was good enough was truly great. But it was even better to know that there are people there that support me and my work. No matter how good my songs are, if I didn’t have that support then it would have never happened. I’ll be forever grateful for those people.”
Musicians have an enormous amount of power thanks to innovations like social media and Hatfield thinks that this can be used to generate a better understanding and awareness of mental health.
“I think it’s important that everyone can [communicate feelings of mental health] regardless of whether or not it’s a musician or a public figure. They’re not the only people that can have an impact on the lives of others. If we don’t talk about it, we give the impression that we shouldn’t and that’s really not the case. It’s great to see so many people supporting others and I get the impression that’s only going to improve things over time.”
Though most of his career has been in his clothing business, Hatfield is excited to make what he sees as the inevitable move into music.
“I absolutely love what I do. I have a real passion for music and, as selfish as it may sound, it feels really great to be doing my bit to help other people. So my brand being ‘In Music We Trust’ and supporting the world of mental health awareness, I can’t see anything making me want to stop any time soon. I’m also really bad at doing as I’m told so I don’t want to go back to not working for myself or having someone else be my boss!”
Chapter One, released through IMWT Records, will be available on CD direct at Aiden’s shows and available for download from iTunes, Spotify and all major platforms.