Monami, a.k.a. “Monami Tsunami,” a young man at NY Sheltering Arms Children and Family Services Inc, partners with Viemma Nwigwe, a medical student at Columbia University to write this song, which Monami hopes “encourages people going through domestic violence and bullying that life is worth living.” Viemma found it “incredibly surreal” to hear how “incredibly open” Monami was in sharing his story.

In the words of Monami and Viemma (introduction):

Monami: This song is about things I went through with my mom and how she was very abusive towards me, and didn’t accept me and stuff, and basically not liking me the way I am…

Viemma: Why don’t you tell them why this song is called “Alright”

Monami: “Alright” is basically about things you’re going through with bullying, domestic violence at home or anywhere – it gets better, and letting you know it’s all temporary and stuff. I wanna show people things I went through my mom and everything. The things she did to me, I want to share that with other people. To show people and give people the courage that I got out of it, you can get out of it too.

Viemma: That’s also his favorite word, “alright”…

Monami: Yeah it’s my favorite word too, it make people laugh too.

Viemma’s Reflection

This was my first time participating in an HiH workshop and I couldn’t ask for a better experience! My partner was incredibly receptive to working with me and we enjoyed getting to know one another before diving into the song writing. We discovered that we had a few things in common which was great. My partner was really open with me, sharing some very personal things about himself and inviting me to have a conversation about it. I did not expect this at all, but I am super grateful to have been allowed into his world for a few hours. The song writing part was incredibly collaborative, and I felt incredibly welcome to chip in. While I had the context of our song in mind, the process of writing lyrics added a whole new dimension to my partner’s story. It was an incredibly surreal experience to see my partner’s raw emotions on paper. Our song lyrics revealed so much more than what my partner had originally shared. I felt like I knew more, and I couldn’t help but feel touched. Putting the lyrics and instrumental together to complete our song was incredibly satisfying as it was tangible proof of the time we had spent together. After the workshop, I was elated. My mood had improved drastically. Even now, as I reflect on my first HiH workshop, I can’t help but smile. I would definitely love to do this again.