I have had tinnitus for as long as I can remember. I feel quite fortunate that I haven’t had to struggle with trying to navigate a new thing. I always thought that ringing in people’s ears was normal, which means that I do have a bit of an obsession with silence because I have never experienced silence before, so I will quite often ask people to explain what silence is, which is quite difficult if you can all imagine.
When the tinnitus is quite bad I can’t hear what people are saying, so I like to read people’s lips. But the most difficult thing to do as an artist with tinnitus is voice recording. You’re in a soundproof booth with noise‑cancelling headphones on, and that’s when the tinnitus is the worst. I detest it but I still do it because music is the way that I express myself.
Being a musician, I’m surrounded by noise all the time. I will constantly be singing in my head just so the only other noise around me isn’t this high pitch shrill. I am also an actor. When you’re on stage, everything else disappears. I love performing because I’m just focused on somebody else and I don’t notice the tinnitus.