THE AUGUST WOMEN

In the August Company of Kenishaa Francis

Juliet Black Handloom Ikat jacket-1

The August Co. is glad to cover yet another story of a substantial woman. This time on board with us is an astonishing and gifted singer and songwriter, Kenishaa Francis. We had the chance to have an up-close and heart-to-heart conversation that tells us the inspiration behind coming up with W.A.A.H.M., and her journey as a Singer.

We all know that you are a versatile Singer, but only some of us know about another side to you that contributes to Mental Health. We’d love to know more about that…

“I am a singer, songwriter that basically writes Afro-Cuban music and I sing in a couple of different languages as well. Apart from that, I am also a therapist administering this firm called W.A.A.H.M which stands for ‘We’re All Mad Here’. It is a mental-health start-up that aims at getting people to vocalize mental health. It apprises that it is completely fine to step out of the whole arena of being in a judgemental space that some of us have been brought up in. It also advocates ‘Happiness’ as the ultimate priority. We’re crazy not just with our name but even with the work.”

What drew your attention to Mental health? 

“When I moved to L.A., I perceived the fact that people were quite comfortable to speak up about their mental health and the stigma related to it in the common world didn’t create any sort of hindrance there. Slowly, I developed a keen understanding of the concept of self-care and the amount of gravity that it holds, which was exceedingly inspirational for me! Then, when I started volunteering, I realized that everyone we meet has their own story and their own baggage to carry and all they need is assurance and someone to hear them out. That urged me to talk to people and invest in mental health.”

Does your journey as an artist have anything to contribute to Mental Health?

“I think so! I have been an artist for a while now, and have worked with a lot of people, but then you realize the world is not a kind place to be in. I had my battles to fight, and so I moved to L.A. where people seemed to be caring about the talent way before the glam factor. And since I got an opportunity, I grabbed it and began to think of the entire mental health aspect.

How has your journey been, post the Stage show? Any glimpse to share from Ellen’s show?

“O! How do you know about that? It’s like one of my pride moments. I was called to be a part of the crowd on the show, and I was so excited, almost crying! That trip was no less than a surprise. I got gifts including this phone I speak from, a fully paid trip to Abu Dhabi, and an indelible star-struck moment where I got to see Jennifer Aniston across the stage giving away gifts to the communities in Africa. They truly are the deserving ones. It was my best going away present!

Any instance from your life that moved you?

For me, the epitome of music and the need to create it was coaxed by my mother who was also an Artist, Singer, and Therapist. When she passed away, she took a part of my soul and so every time I sing, I feel the need to sing in a way where I get to feel that part of me she took away. The turning point was when 3 months later, I got a call from the Stage, which was truly a magical experience and for which I am ever grateful.

What are your thoughts on sustainable fashion?

“One of the things that this pandemic has taught us is that minimalism is the way to go. If I can wear something sustainable that helps not only the environment but is comfortable as well, I would go for it. I feel like it can inspire a lot of people, especially by propagating that sustainable clothing can be fashionable as well. So I truly believe in its potential.”

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