Meet Our Mental Health Ambassador: Naz Deloach: "Mental health through music"

Thumbnail Naz

Naz Deloach is an Artist, Writer, Audio Engineer, Producer and Business Owner. You probably know him as “Nazzy” and have heard him on the radio! As one of our Mental Health Ambassadors, Naz shares what his mental health journey looked like from high school, figuring out his next steps, relationships and relating to and finding strength in music.

Here is Naz’s story…

Feeling that he needed to solve his problems alone 

From a young age, Naz did not feel comfortable going to anybody. Whether it was his mother, brother or sister, he felt like when he had problems it had to be himself to solve them. He put a lot of that pressure on himself, keeping it all in. He felt alone, like no one understood him and it was just him facing things in his life. 

The pressure continued to build for him as he felt everything being thrown at him at once: “Hey, you have to grow up now,” “Go to college,” “Get a degree.” He struggled with this and even though he HAD support, he felt he didn’t.

Photo by: Daniel Deloach

Finding Music

Finding music was transformative for Naz. From dealing with heartbreak or issues with friends or societal pressure, he found and connected with lyrics that covered what he was going through. He learned to express himself through music, he would write the lyrics and sing along with them. Whenever he was in a rut or dark place, the way he’d get through it was music in all ways. 

Joining the high school band was great for him and he found himself expressing himself through playing different instruments. He said the energy from playing helped him. He had a band teacher that taught him that he could get really good and playing instruments and he could do good with his music. Naz says he loves music because of the way he can make people feel and bring people together.  

His first relationship problem sparked his interest in writing his own music. He didn’t know how to talk to girls, or whoever he was interested in at the time or deal with the rejection and heartbreaks.It hit him hard when someone he gave his trust and love to took that away from him. “I thought I wasn’t good enough… that nobody liked me.” He started listening to and singing Chris Brown songs 24/7 and thought to himself “wow, this is amazing - he is saying everything I want to say but don’t know how.”

Photo courtesy of Levitt AMP Utica Music Series

Fueling His Music

He started listening to R&B music, understanding the language and bringing that into his repertoire - those artists just “get it”. He gives credit to the genre as the inspiration behind how he writes his music. 

Because of music, he finds himself being able to talk more with people about his feelings. He was always the one to be there for his friends, whenever they needed. He would go to his friends’ houses in the middle of the night to support them through whatever they needed. He now feels like he can communicate better with his friends on what is going on in his life and fun fact - his girlfriend always tells him that when they’re talking and communicating, it sounds like he’s laying down song lyrics!

Today, Naz is an accomplished artist and performer with impressive streaming numbers and many hits that appeal to lovers of hip hop, R&B, pop, local music and everyone in between. Stream his music on Spotify or wherever you prefer to listen!

Photo courtesy of Greater Utica Chamber of Commerce

What's Next!

Recently, Naz opened Dreamer Studios in South Utica where he plans to produce his own music along with other local musicians, giving them a professional space, equipment and guidance to make their music the best it can be. Naz’s skills as a musician AND a business owner and mentor are sure to grow and strengthen the local music community, along with inspiring more and more young people to use it as an outlet AND a career.

Find what makes you happy and do it every day

Parting words from Naz, and the thing he says over and over again to youth…

“Find the thing that makes you feel, find that thing that makes you feel good, makes you happy and keep doing it. Whether it’s running, taking the dog for a walk, boxing, MMA, singing. Find that thing and do it everyday, especially on the days you're not feeling good.”