Rapper tackling stigma of suicide with debut record
In a day and age where bit by bit, the stigma surrounding mental health is beginning to disappear, one Enniscorthy-based rapper is doing his best to address the topic in a positive manner – through his music.
Twenty-two-year-old Podge Dwyer, who's originally from Moran Park in Enniscorthy and now lives in Glenbrien, is hoping to establish himself as a hip-hop artist and his latest single 'Demons II' is already quickly becoming one of the most talked about releases from a Wexford artist in recent memory.
'Demons II' has caused quite a stir across Wexford and further afield and Podge admits that the reaction has been 'overwhelming'. It deals with the extremely heavy topic of suicide. Podge himself has experienced the pain of losing a loved one through suicide, with his father Billy 'Hutchie' Dwyer taking his own life in 2002 when he was 11 years old, something he references in the song.
'I suppose what I wanted to do was get the positive story out there,' he said. 'I've heard millions of people jumping on the bandwagon and writing songs about it (suicide) and they're all really depressing. I wanted to show that there is a positive and you can come through it.
'I've been diagnosed with genetic depression myself and I've been through all that sh*t. Basically I'm just trying to say that you need to get up and get on with your life and do what you can.'
Podge is not the first Wexford rapper to garner quite a bit of attention from fans of the genre. Wexford town native Rob Kelly placed his home county firmly on the map having worked with some big names in the hip-hop industry across the water in the US. Podge says that Kelly has been a big help to him starting out.
'There isn't really much of a scene in the South East bar Rob Kelly,' Podge said. 'He's been a massive help to me since I started out. He's given me advice on songs before I've put them out there and that kind of thing and it's really helped.'
Asked whether he hopes to follow in Kelly's footsteps and get himself a deal in the US he laughs and says 'I'm not really sure if I'll get to that level. At the moment I'm just taking everything as it comes.'
With his name currently on the lips of hip-hop fans all over Wexford and beyond, Podge is now hoping to get back into the studio and record some more tracks for a mixtape. He confesses to being somewhat of a hip-hop nerd and is also influenced by jazz and blues and says that his mixtape will be 'more upbeat party songs and typical hip-hop stuff'.
Demons II is currently available on YouTube and if you're looking to see Podge in action, he will be performing at Benedicts, Enniscorthy on January 31 in aid of the Autistic Unit at St Senan's Primary School.