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Hillcrest Futures’ resident chasing his dreams

Posted: October 29, 2020

A young musician from Edinburgh has used the experiences and challenges from his life growing up in Oxgangs to create a rap album.

Rory Bruce, known by his stage name RJAB, released the album titled EH13 last month which deals with topics such as mental health, drugs and homelessness.

The 21 year old explained: “If I don’t chase my dreams and become successful then I won’t be able to give back to those who are important to me, so that is the driving force that keeps me going.

“To begin with I wrote my raps based on rhymes, although more recently I have started using my own life and things I’ve been through as the main inspiration.

“I left home last year after an argument with my parents over financial issues I was having. I lived in a couple of B&Bs then stayed in a hostel in the city centre for nine months. I really struggled being away from my support network, especially during lockdown.

“I used this time to write my album as I find writing really therapeutic. I use any negative emotions I’m feeling to my advantage by creating music with them.

“In September I was over the moon to get a room in Hillcrest Futures’ Oxgangs service as it is a lot closer to my family and friends. The staff there are very friendly and take a real interest in me and my music which I really appreciate. I feel like my life is finally back on track.”

Hillcrest Futures’ Oxgangs service offers supported accommodation to homeless individuals in Edinburgh. The aim of the service is to enable people to gain independence, skills and confidence to help them move into permanent housing and maintain a tenancy of their own.

Joy Dunlop, managing director of Hillcrest Futures commented: “I am absolutely delighted to hear of Rory’s success in creating this album and hope it will be the first of many more productions and an inspiration to others to follow their dreams.

“I’m glad to hear Rory is feeling more positive and the support from staff has helped to build his confidence. The staff at our homelessness services provide vital support for some of the most vulnerable people in society. Day in, day out they are helping to change people’s lives for the better.”

Rory concluded: “The past year has been challenging for me and I definitely couldn’t have got through it without having supportive people around me. I’m extremely grateful for all they do for me.”

RJAB’s album EH13 is available to download on Spotify, YouTube Music or Apple Music.