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Singing for Sanity

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This Sunday (November 13), singer-songwriter, Melissa James, is staging a Big Sing at London Piccadilly’s Caffe Nero store in a bid to promote awareness of mental health, and unite those with an understanding of mental health illness, through song.

The singer is calling on anyone to join her in singing and performing her song, Live Again, which is currently on release as a charity single for mental health charity SANE as part of the SING4SANE (S4S) Big Sing project.

This planned performance of Live Again is the third milestone in the SING4SANE series of events. The first took place at Heathrow's Caffe Nero store in February this year when Melissa (who based Live Again on her own experiences and first-hand accounts of those she has witnessed with mind-related health struggles) asked people to take part in a live performance of the song. The second S4S Big Sing happened this summer at RAK Studios, when more amateur singing participants joined the line-up to sing backing vocals on the song.

She had been so moved by the support of those who joined her at both events that it has led her to organise another event at another branch of Caffe Nero, which has offered support towards the project since its initiation alongside Mental Health First Aid England, which has backed the SING4SANE recording.

A keen number of responses to Melissa's call for singers resulted in 27 volunteer singers arriving at the studio, famously founded by the late producer, Mickie Most, to stand with Melissa and her line-up of professional musicians, to sing backing vocals on Live Again encouraging togetherness and attempting to highlight the stigma, and other issues, surrounding mind ill health.

The record (produced by MPG executive director, Andrew Hunt, and engineered by three-time Grammy Award-winner, Robbie Nelson) wiill see all sale proceeds go to the mental health charity SANE.

Melissa recalls a story of a man who came direct from LA to see her perform a show in London so he could tell her how – at a point when he was seriously considering taking his own life - her music saved him:

"A story like that stays with you and makes you truly realise the positive effect, and power, that music can have. When you combine that with a number of voices coming together for no other reason than they believe in the cause and want to sing to support it, it sends an incredibly powerful message. What I realised from staging the SING4SANE Big Sing is that the people who stood alongside me did it because they 'got' what I was trying to do, and that's why they gave their time. I hope now that the release of the SING4SANE version of Live Again will also encourage a bit more mind health awareness, and more open talk of the importance of the healthcare of our minds."

To join the SING4SANE Big Sing performance of Live Again this Sunday 13 November, please email sing4sane@gmail.com.