Country music put Nashville on the map as Music City, but it’s not the only genre you’ll hear in this town. If you listen hard enough, you’ll notice an undercurrent of hard and fast rhythm sections, syncopated with distorted guitars and melodic leads. This is the underground music scene: a hodgepodge of punk, grindcore, metal, hardcore, straight-edge and anything else you want it to be. And the focus has always been community.
Brittany Mullins uses the community driven culture of the underground music scene to reach out and assist young people in need. Her non-profit, Beneath the Skin, helps youth acknowledge and overcome anxiety and depression through peer-to-peer mentoring.
At first, it sounds snobby:
“This is the only music scene where there is true community.”
It’s a big blanket statement that might not always be true. But if you’ve never been to a show in the underground music scene, you should go. Stand in the front row and let people jump on top of you; let people pick you up. The whole point is that it’s real. The musicians, the audience. It’s one giant collective of friends, even if no one knew anyone. Nobody’s holding back. It’s all out there for everyone to see.
Each and every one of us has problems, but quite often we slip into thinking that we’re the only ones dealing with them. It’s easy to get stuck in our heads. But once we realize that others experience the same emotions that we do, much of that burden is lifted. And that’s that Brittany and Beneath the Skin has tapped into.
Acceptance. We need it for ourselves, and we need it from others. Feeling understood and loved helps us get through the pain and struggle of our lives. We can move on knowing that we have a community beside us that believes in who we are. Growing together makes it all worthwhile.