Welcome to the "Starting The Conversation" Series with NVSN. Our goal is to sit down with youth in and around Toronto and (as you guessed it), start a conversation about Mental Health. For our first chat, we had the pleasure of sitting down with our new friend and Mental Health advocate, Mack Holden. Here's a little background on him:
"I am one of three Owners and Founders of BSMNTto. BSMNTto is an underground media company focusing on helping the careers of creative individuals get to the next level. That being said, we discover and promote underground creative such as musicians, photographers, artists, videographers, stylists, bloggers, and other aspiring visionaries. We were established in 2016, and took off running, gaining underground popularity within Toronto's music scene. We work day in and day out to find the next big artist, or innovative to make their mark on the world.
I've had the pleasure of connecting with Robin Banks, Aaron Fontwell, Fame Holiday, Monte Biggz, Romeyo Wilson, DJ Smokey, Peter Jackson, Conway the Machine, Eearz, and many other rising musicians in the game right now.
My goal is to become a curator and visionary within the Toronto culture scene. I want to build connections within the city, not only for myself, but with other artists, helping them build better ties, and lead to better opportunities. I have a vision to unify Toronto's scene and make it one big hot bed for music, and I'm working daily on my craft to do so.
I appreciate all the love BSMNTto has gotten so far, and can't thank anyone rockin' with it enough. We truly do it for you guys. We have a big dream, and the vision is coming in to place over time. I will not stop until my long term goals are met."
Q1. How did you first hear about NVSN?
Mack: "I first heard about NSVN through social media and decided to dissect the brand a bit more. I was on the lookout for underground Toronto fashion lines that could blow up, and I stumbled across NVSN."
Q2. What are your thoughts on the Nature Versus Nurture Debate?
Mack: "I am a strong believer that your environment can and will play a big role in your life, and your actions. But at the same time, I am also a believer that it's up to the individual and that you can overcome and put your mind to anything, no matter what environment you're in. I can relate to this myself, as my everyday environment can be very toxic. I made the necessary decisions to change my habits, and make a positive change in my life, as I had to."
Q3. What sparked your interest in the Mental Health movement created by NVSN?
Mack: "I really like the message you guys put out. Not only that, I really like the tie you have into the style and fashion world. Every single person has their own style, and as fashion has become more of a trend, it's great to see the two co-inside with each other. Humans are humans, and their mental health is so important; and the ability to have an outlet to speak out is massive, and can be life changing for any of these individuals. I immediately was intrigued with your guys approach to creating styles, and ending the stigma around mental health."
Q4. If you feel comfortable in sharing, have you or someone close to you experienced a Mental Health related illness?
Mack: "I actually grew up with someone who died by suicide after a silent battle with bi-polar disorder. He suffered in silence and never spoke out. As a trendy guy, an outlet like NVSN could've really made a difference. He was my best friend's older brother, and we had so many good times together. I didn't believe anything could get so bad that you have to end your own life, but mental health is so powerful; you really don't know what someone could be going through behind the scenes."
Q5. Why is it important that we start conversations like these?
Mack: "It's super important, as I said above, the more outlets to speak about what you're going through, and have an audience, the better."
Q6. What does the word purpose mean to you? How has it impacted you & the decisions you've made?
Mack: "The word 'Purpose' means a lot to me. For one, it's an amazing album from Justin Bieber... Lol. It's also exactly what I'm on the search for right now. I want to find my purpose in life, and as I've matured, made healthier choices and created goals, purpose seems to have a much stronger definition. You can have a dream, mine was to be in the music industry. I didn't know what my purpose was, but I knew I wanted to be there, and I followed my passion. I then used the skills I had, and put them to the test, and as time went on, I started to realize my purpose, and what I was good at. I can now say I think I finally have a purpose in this life."
It was an absolute pleasure sitting down with Mack. We will be keeping a close eye on his progress with Basement Toronto and we wish him nothing but the best. Follow along at the links below: