Mental health worker turned singer says ‘caring for people inspires me’

A former mental health worker is set for pop stardom after being plucked from obscurity and landing a deal with a major music label.

Keir, who has been compared to Prince, once helped care for people with autism, learning disabilities and mental health issues but he is now playing to packed crowds and has a single and album out this month.

The 29-year-old said he has been leading a “double life” as he juggled both roles but his demanding job has inspired his new track.

He said: “I feel a deep connection to the people we supported and the darkness they felt.

“I feel I’ve seen first-hand some of the struggles people deal with on a daily basis. This is why I feel it’s a running theme through a lot of the songs and especially “Voices” (his new single). My intentions are not to glamourise darkness but to shine a light towards it.

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He added: “I think it couldn’t not inform my music. It really forms you as a person and changes how you think about everything. How can you go and work a 24-hour shift with people who could have a life-threatening seizure at any moment, and they’re having a good time, and you go home and be upset about something trivial?

”I really miss it now. I think I would still be working in that industry if I wasn’t doing music. There’s kindness there and you’re constantly reminded of kindness.”

The singer has now signed with Universal and performed on a major German talk show, Late Night Berlin, and the contrast to his normal life is not lost on him. One critic raved: “It’s only a matter of time until he’s regarded in the same realm as figures like Beck or Prince.”

He went on: “It’s kind of a funny time, it’s a double life I’m leading at the moment. Over to Berlin for a TV show, then back to a normal life, then off again and it is rockstar mode.

“I’ve never been interested in the bull***** that surrounds the world of music. I just really love doing it and have been lucky enough with hard work to be in the situation where I can.

“For me, success is creating interesting music that I think tells a story in a new way. Music that doesn’t sound too much like other things I’ve heard. If you’re worrying about streaming figures then you’ll die a creative death over and over again.

“I don’t really [think about how quickly it all happened] because when you’re in the shoes it feels slow. Slower than maybe an outsider sees looking in.”

Keir’s single Voice will be released on 23 June, and his self-titled debut album on 14 July.

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