Referred to as the “Warped Genius” by BBC Radio 1, James Kennedy is a Singer Songwriter, Producer and frontman of Alternative Rock band KYSHERA. We’re delighted that James has shown his support for the Plug’em campaign and has written this blog to be shared during Tinnitus Week 2019.
“I’ve had tinnitus for longer than I can remember. In fact, I can honestly say that I don’t know what silence ‘sounds’ like as I have never experienced it”.
“When I was 10 years old I was diagnosed with advanced Bilateral Cholesteatoma which ended up needing 3 major operations on both of my ears. I consider myself to be incredibly lucky to have come away from this with 60% of my hearing still intact, although it also meant that ever since, I have had this constant (and loud!) white noise which just hisses away day & night in my left ear.
“Going back to school was difficult because I wasn’t ready to admit that I now had hearing struggles & instead I just lived a life of denial, miscommunication & being misconstrued as ignorant or a bit slow. I wanted to fit in & be the ‘same’ as everyone else. I didn’t want special treatment or to be a liability so I just battled on. I’m fortunate then that my passion in life is for music because it meant that ever since leaving school I have been in loud environments & have, ironically, been surrounded by people with a similar hearing level as myself!
“When I was 20 years old, I got my first job as a music producer & I have been professionally involved in music ever since. Because of the extra difficulties with my ears, I had always considered my situation to be unique but the amount of people I have met along the way who have worse tinnitus & hearing than myself due to self inflicted noise damage is truly shocking. The fact that all of these people could have avoided this awful situation just adds insult to injury. I didn’t have a choice.
“Luckily for me, I have had tinnitus for so long that I don’t know what life is like without it so it’s ‘normal’ to me to have this constant noise in my ear. I can’t imagine what it must be like for someone developing it in later life though, who has a clear memory of life before”.
“Everyone of my peers who now has tinnitus & hearing loss because of noise damage begs others to use earplugs. Many of them can’t sleep & their careers have suffered as they are unable to hear things as well as they could.
“So for any emerging musicians, producers, technicians or fans out there who want to have a life of fully enjoying their passion, please learn from the irreversible mistakes of others and simply use earplugs! It’s not difficult or expensive and it’s totally not cool to destroy your ears. Plug’em today!”