Blackpool rap artist Young Blood is back performing songs after years of struggle
A talented Blackpool rap artist who was tipped to make it big but then faced a struggle with mental health is back recording again.
And Jamie Hardman, 29, hopes his songs and his story can offer some help to those who have also struggled with mental health issues.
Back in 2015, Jamie was performing under the stage name Young Blood, with a growing fan base and had also formed a popular duet called BloodNSoul with singer Daniel Whittaker.
They were performing in venues across the country, switching on Christmas light displays and had signed a management deal with a North West company.
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Jamie had dreams of following in the footsteps of global stars like his idol Eminem.
He had been honing his skills since he was a pupil at the old Beacon Hill High School in North Shore , where he began performing rap routines on stage.
After managing to bounce back from a troubled teenage spell with drugs and petty crime, he looked to be on the threshold of an exciting career in music.
Jamie was featured in the Gazette as a future star from the resort, and had already appeared on Granada Tonight as a young man whose talent and ambition had seem him overcome his drug and crime issues and was trying to help other youngsters.
But despite the promise and hope, Jamie’s career did not pan out as he dreamed it would, despite recording an album of original music.
He began to struggle with severe mental health problems which meant he couldn’t deal with day to day life.
Sadly, his career petered out after a promising start.
Now working as a mental health team leader at Blackpool, he says: “I think, looking back on things, I snatched at the opportunity too soon, I was was trying to run before I could walk in the music business.
"I was already struggling with my mental health and some of the pressures of trying to make it as a young person in a tough industry didn’t help.
"One of the biggest issues was that my grandmother died when I was 23 and I was there when she passed away.
"That affected me in a big way and pushed me over the edge.
"When I was at my most ill, I was really anxious and even thought about taking my own life.”
Fortunately he was able to pull back from the brink, thanks to the support from family and friends and medical help and has just recorded a duo with singer ThatDax on social media platform TikTok, where Jamie has 14,000 followers under the name ‘youngbloodrap’.
Jamie, who has two young daughters with girlfriend Sophie Powers, said: “Four years ago I was finally able to settle down and find myself as a person again, and now I’ve started to write songs and perform them online.
“I think the lyrics of the songs touch on things that a lot of people out there can relate to, because most people have their struggles.
"I hope it can help people in a way, because music can do that.
"There is still some stigma over mental health issues and hopefully we can overcome that too.”