GIN overcomes mental health challenges to reveal 'This is Me' to the world

By Mana Wikaire-Lewis

GIN The Artist has worked with many well-known kiwi artists such as TEEKS and Pieter T, including performing backing vocals for Stan Walker, as well as being an accomplished violinist of the classical kind.

Last week saw the release of her own gospel version, along with the accompaniment of the best gospel musicians in Aotearoa, of the hit song This is Me from the musical The Greatest Showman.

It would make sense for Gin to have a musical career, coming from a musical whānau where her siblings are mostly singers and a family string quartet called Ebony Strings. Performing with whānau is a favourite in her career.

Choosing The Greatest Showman song had “personal meaning” for GIN, who told teaomaori.news that she went through anxiety and depression in 2014.

“I got on anti-depressants which I’m still on, I find them very helpful. But I found that I had quite bad side effects. One of those was weight gain, which made me develop other health problems, which I’m still dealing with.”

She says she’s on a journey to love herself “as I am”.

“What I think is quite hard is the harsh words of other people. I think people just judge us on our appearance rather than what we can offer beyond that.

“I’m more than what people see when they look at me.”

Her advice for others in a similar journey: “You are incredible as you are. You’re more than enough.

“Surround yourself with safe people, people that embrace and love you as you are.

“Be kind to yourself. I think we can be very harsh the way we talk to ourselves, so I think that helps.”

If you need help, or are concerned about someone who may need help, contact Lifeline, 0800 543 354, or the Suicide Crisis Helpline, 0508 TAUTOKO.