"Truth Serum": Kosine Strives To Destigmatize Mental Health In The Black Community With Debut EP & Short Film
GRAMMY-nominated producer Marcos "Kosine" Palacios has gone full circle, stepped onto the other side of the glass and released his debut EP Truth Serum in May, which also included a cinematic short film by the same name.
The EP and film showcase Kosine's stream of consciousness about mental wellness. Together, they also navigate relationships, religion and his career in the oversaturated music business—and act as his "coming of age story as an Afro-Latino man."
On June 23, MusiCares offered a special screening of the short at the GRAMMY Museum, followed by a panel discussion moderated by actress Carla Earle with Kosine, pop/soul singer MAJOR., psychologist-photographer Austyn Wyche and KEM saxophonist Darryl Wakefield.
This event came on the heels of MusiCares' extensive programming produced in May for Mental Health Awareness Month, dovetailing with an overall increase in discussion around mental health and wellness in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kosine noted that despite the stigma surrounding mental wellness among Black men, he found the strength to share his story in part thanks to a meaningful conversation he had with fellow Chicago artist Rhymefest.
Therein, Rhyme described not letting the fear get the best of him when releasing music that envelopes truth and covers tough topics—because his music is his "ministry."
Wakefield remarked on the relatability of the EP and short. "It really told my story on another level," he said. "Not necessarily the high, prestigious home—it was a lot less glamorous—but the process was very much the same in the acceptance of others."
The panelists also discussed how important therapy is to the healing process. They noted that more Black men need to become vocal advocates of therapy and mental healthcare benefits to overcome the negative stereotypes that seeking help is a form of weakness—which MAJOR. stated has long overshadowed the Black community in America.
Kosine continued by underlining the importance of being in tune with oneself to avoid burnout—a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress—something much of the world has now collectively experienced due to the pandemic.
"Mental health is the consciousness to be working toward [happiness] constantly, and I think it's also a form of self-love," he said. When you just give and give and give, you know, you're out of order … if you don't love yourself, you know, if you don't take that time to take care of yourself and take those moments, you burn out, you burn out.
"I've just fallen in love with the process," Kosine continued. I've made peace with the fact that this is a marathon, and we are supposed to endure through the marathon and just enjoy the process."
Check out the complete program above to learn more about mental health and the music community—and be sure to watch and listen to Kosine's Truth Serum.