Friday, October 31, 2014

Gordon’s music video tackles mental illness in wake of comedian’s death

By The Herald Staff | 8/18/2014

Using his personal experience as source material, Eric Gordon hopes to erase the stigma associated with mental illness with the release of his new music video.

Gordon, a Richmond native and former contestant on “American Idol,” announced Monday the release of his music video for the song “Fly.” The song focuses on Gordon’s journey to find hope while suffering with depression and anxiety, he said in a press release.

Using his personal experience as source material, Eric Gordon hopes to erase the stigma associated with mental illness with the release of his new music video.

Gordon, a Richmond native and former contestant on “American Idol,” announced Monday the release of his music video for the song “Fly.” The song focuses on Gordon’s journey to find hope while suffering with depression and anxiety, he said in a press release.

Gordon wrote the song in 2005 during his early college career, he said, having been diagnosed with depressive and anxiety disorders in 2001.

“Throughout my entire life, I have wrestled with depression and anxiety, and that first semester of college was an extremely difficult time for me,” Gordon said. “Consequently, I didn’t know why I felt so compelled to record a song I had written nearly 10 years ago, but last week, the purpose for recording ‘Fly’ became abundantly clear to me.”

The music video for “Fly” was recorded in July with Gordon’s history in mind, he said. With the recent suicide of comedic actor Robin Williams weighing on his mind, Gordon said mental illness is a subject that people don’t like to acknowledge or discuss. Gordon’s music video features volunteer actors who suffer from mental illnesses appearing in hopes of raising awareness, he said.

“I have an overwhelming burden to raise awareness about mental illness and erase the stigma and secrecy associated with it,” Gordon said. “[The video’s] message brings to light how ordinary, every day people, living with mental illness, experience a dark element of loneliness.”

The music video was posted on Gordon’s website: www.ericpaulgordon.com

Gordon, a Minnesota-based singer-songwriter, appeared on the 13th season of “American Idol” and is a regular music leader at Eagle Brook Church in Minnesota.

A Central Heights graduate, Gordon performed this summer at the Richmond Fair.

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