I’m really happy to have this safe space to speak. I have so many things I carry and writing them down in a diary is one way for me to release them. The next level up from that is song lyrics. That feels like when you lift the lid off a boiling pot. Kind of like the steam released is a physical thing, like I can feel it releasing from my shoulders…But writing something, for others to read? With no necessity to do it in rhyme or rhythm or to make sure the words are going to sound ok when they’re sung…That’s a whole next level of freedom. I’m basically offloading here. I really appreciate you reading.

I want to talk about suppression.


I grew up really loud mouthed and funny. I always had something to say. Although, unexplainably I really had a shy side to me that I battled with even from an early age. I am still battling her now. I have a quiet alluring mother and a really boisterous father, and I felt I had to have a personality for each person as they were completely separate. I can only think of a handful of times that we’ve been in the same room. When I was with my mum we’d listen to SEAL and have incense and candles around the place while she sang in her gentle voice to me, and then I’d see my father and he’d be blaring Rock & Roll music out the windows of his Transam and pretending that ‘Rock & Roll’ was driving the car whilst his foot was off the pedal (Obviously at 7 I was totally unaware of cruise control). I wake up day to day not really knowing which one I’m going to feel, but many people are accustomed to the louder version of myself because I generally put her forth.

Both parents really let me be really freely creative though. My mum let me dress however I wanted. I wore a sarong, swimming costume and clogs with a leather jacket to the cinema once. With about 20 coloured beads around my neck. I’d paint. I write in a diary all through my life. My first diary entry aged 5. (Couple squiggles signed off with an N).


Now, the reason why I open with this is because my two personalities were really triggered when I started working in gentleman clubs at 19. I had no money at all. I didn’t come from money and I wanted a life where I could afford whatever the hell I wanted, and also pay rent, and not have to rely on a man to do that for me. Plus, I needed to get out of my family home because it was really toxic at the time. So, there I was. At 19. Fresh faced and completely unaware of the weird and wonderful journey I’d set myself upon.


I suppose I lived an upside-down life. I’d sleep all day and work all night, many nights a week. I had created this huge personality under the name ‘Scarlet’. She was gorgeous with long blonde hair. No tattoos. Just smelled like D&G red and was covered in shimmer oils. Scarlet leaked into my real life eventually. I remember I’d be really quiet all day until I put a full face of make up on and then suddenly, I’d just become Scarlet. Full of confidence and charisma, and I tended to get away with murder as long as I chuckled a grin and batted my green eyes covered in bronze glitters to accentuate them.


I met someone and quit it immediately. This was probably the dumbest move I ever made. He was really mentally and physically abusive and I lost myself entirely. All the inner core work I’d done wasn’t really there anymore and I got myself in a situation where I was truly just doing what I was told to avoid another explosive argument. I won’t go into it all.


This then led me to dive headfirst into the only thing I knew and that was music. My parents were heavily musical in my life and it was a safe space for me. That’s when I met DaVinChe. I was 21. A really young woman with a huge smile on her face with no one having any idea at all about what was really going on in my life. I didn’t tell my mum I didn’t tell my dad, my friends. I deal with things on my own. It felt so right being in that room. The microphone, the huge speakers…I didn’t want to never see it again and I chased after it with two hands and all of my soul. I sent so many texts to D to make sure I had secured my spot in a girl group he was creating.


That girl group was so much fun, stressful, but fun. But it was yet another extension of me unable to be fully myself. I had a lot of media training and had to say I loved certain music genres and particular artists that I’d never listened to in my life and I found myself spiralling a little into yet another level of losing myself. If I was angry, I couldn’t really express it. If I hated a song, I couldn’t express it without it being problematic. DaVinChe slowly got pushed out of the team and I remember then being put on X-Factor which went against every gut instinct I could possibly explain. But there I was, standing there singing. Playing my character.


The next stage of this was the breakup of this group. I was absolutely devastated and fled from London into the arms of some dude who promised me he’d fix everything. I ended up pregnant and engaged and feeling totally suffocated in this new life that wasn’t me. I was lost in my own life and I cannot even begin to stress the confusion of that. I was again living life as I thought I was meant to. A girl and a boy, having babies and getting married. You know, like the story books tell us. The movies.


I lost the baby and we broke up and you know what, I went through the greatest depression of my life. I won’t go into that either but let me just explain the reasoning behind this story.


I found music. All over again. It was like bumping into an ex you’re still in love with and instead of a fight, they stand there with open arms and envelope you into a safe embrace. It never left me; it was just waiting for me to learn lessons. Find experiences. It was waiting for me to find myself and drop the rest of the baggage.


Now I speak my mind. I speak my truth. I don’t really care if someone doesn’t like the way I react to things or whether my tongue can be a little sharper than it used to be. I know what I want.


I met a woman. I’ve known since I was young that I liked girls too, but I didn’t know at the time that my thought processes were different to anyone else’s. My friends had posters of Britney Spears on the walls, so I didn’t think anything of my passing mini obsessions with women as I grew up. I went to an all-girls school, but I never fancied anyone. I went to an all-girls high school, I never fancied anyone. I never fancied my friends. I just knew that boys are supposed to be with girls and that’s the rules. If I found myself thinking otherwise, I’d just push it to the back of my head really.


But Kay? She’s opened a whole new part of myself. A softer part of myself. I don’t feel the burning anxiety I used to feel all the time thinking I was always with the wrong person. I always knew at the time I was with the wrong person, but I’d attach myself to that male energy because I felt it was missing in my life. My Dad isn’t around at all anymore.


So, I just wanted to share with you things I’ve learned along this strange and beautiful journey so far…and hope that they resonate with you somehow. And perhaps bring you some peace too.


Sex doesn’t need to be a performance of how good at it you are. I can’t believe I spent so long with that mindset just so boys could tell me I was good at it.

Love doesn’t need to come from a person that society thinks it should come from.

Dancing (actually, sex work in any form) doesn’t need to make you feel like you’re a bad person who deserves to feel any type of guilt or shame from it.

You should speak your mind. As often as you can. MORE SO if you’re the only woman in a team of men. Don’t let yourself feel silenced.

You do not have to pick a personality and keep it for the rest of your life because you outgrow the people around you. Release yourself.

You are free to be the person you choose to be at any time. No matter what. If you wake up and decide you want to change, do it.

Your history does not define you, unless you want it to.

Trauma can be healed in many ways. And you will find your healing if you keep looking.


Sometimes I feel Scarlet pop out more recently and I welcome her back with open arms. She’s a very strong part of myself… And I’m so proud of her. Look at us now xoxoxo




Click here to listen to NAHLI’s latest single ‘Catch 22’ featuring Big Narstie