STACY Hart, aka Mama Chill is used to working hard to achieve her goals. After being diagnosed with myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) 22 years ago, she has battled her illness, channelling her experiences through her music.

Now she is set to release a charity single, Don’t Say Nothin if it Ain’t Worthwhile, in aid of charity Invest in ME.

Coinciding the release with ME Awareness Month, Mama Chill, from Watford, is hoping the single will raise enough cash for the organisation to establish a research centre for patients to learn more about the disease.

“We’re up to £89,000 and once we get to £100,000 we can make a start,” she explains. “There isn’t any government funding for this, but at least we’ll be able to make a start on the research.”
ME, also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, is estimated to affect a quarter of a million people and can vary in severity.

Despite promoting herself as a regular musician, Mama Chill admits that her illness has greatly impacted her life, and her music.

“I am limited by my illness,” she says, “I can’t gig and I get exhausted going to the studio. But I try to focus on what I can do, rather than what I can’t.”

Inspired by rap and hip-hop artists such as Grand Master Flash and Run DMC, Stacy started out by writing rock and indie music. But after being confined to a bed for two years she decided to use rap music instead to get her thoughts across.

“I wrote my songs when I was bed bound,” she explains. “I thought if I’m going to come back from my illness, I’m going to come back with rap music, something that I always wanted to do.”

According to Mama Chill, this single has a particular message, it’s a challenge to those who assume that sufferers are faking or using the undetermined nature of the illness to get time off work.

Mama Chill said she has had some pretty disheartening experiences with the NHS and feels that Invest in ME’s new research centre will increase awareness.

When asked about the lack of female rap artists, Mama Chill says misconceptions often come from people perceiving all rap to be “gangsta and aggressive”.

“A lot of people who have listened to my music hate rap,” says Mama Chill, “but then, they’ve said to me that they didn’t realise rap could sound like that.”

Mama Chill’s new single, Don’t Say Nothin’ if it ain’t Worthwhile is available to buy on iTunes, from May 5.