The Living Record

The People’s Music Collective: UnLocked

A sung time-capsule of hope, camaraderie and far away connectedness

Hannah Dunster

Join the People’s Music Collective for the launch of their debut EP – ‘UnLocked’!

The People’s Music Collective (or the PMC) are an eclectic mix of individuals connected by two key things in life – a passion for making exciting and genre defying new music and a desire to create that music collaboratively. Oh and they all happen to share lived experience of mental health challenges.

It’s not about mental health and yet… also it is. The PMC is a place of safety, welcome and understanding for people facing mental health challenges. The group was set up originally in Worthing as a Soundcastle music programme with the key aims of using music making as a tool for building wellbeing and connectedness in mental health recovery. Everyone is welcome no matter what their previous musical experience and we spend time together exploring sounds, textures and harmonies in a non-pressurised way – enjoying that mystical, indescribable endorphin rush from musically grooving with others. We work to draw out the best in people and to celebrate their creativity and resilience, changing the narrative around mental health. But ultimately at the heart of the PMC is a collective desire to make meaningful and impactful new music – a desire to transport listeners to other realms on a harmonic wave of poetic lyrical imagery and flowing rhythmic textures.

In our brand new film, People’s Music Collective – UnLocked, you will hear a story of friendship, hope and camaraderie, held together by and interwoven with the stunning melodies, rhythmic grooves and lush harmonies of their debut EP.

Listen to the band members tell their story in their own words, the magical, connecting impact of collaborative music making on their mental health recovery and their determination to musically thrive in the face of multiple lockdowns resulting in the entirely remote, online creation of their EP. Recording vocal and instrumental sections into their phones and then sending them over to Soundcastle facilitator Fernando to layer up week by week, the band were able to bring their ideas to life through patience and perseverance, bringing their voices together despite being physically far apart. 

The results? Whether it’s the captivating escape from the gritty darkness of feeling ‘like a cog in a machine’ in Machine and Marshlands or the luminous imagery of ‘fractures fused with golden fire’ symbolising recovery in Wabi-sabi, this group know how to focus on the resilience of the human spirit during what can sometimes feel like desperate times. This sung time capsule is an honest and emotive response to lockdown life, channelling surreal inner meditations as well as outward frustrations and ultimately finding rays of hope on the horizon.

The Covid-19 lockdowns have raised public awareness of the fragility of mental health when faced with loneliness, social isolation and grief. Through UnLocked, the PMC share a creative message of empathy, resilience and ultimately hope which draws from their own lived experience and celebrates marginalised community voices.

Come and join us on our latest journey and celebrate PMC: UnLocked at Brighton Fringe!

You can join us any day of the Brighton Fringe from 28th May – 27th June 2021. Book tickets here:

All profits go towards sustaining Soundcastle mental health and music programmes. To find out more, visit 

If you find yourself affected by mental health issues, please do seek support. You can find help and advice here:


Samaritans: or call 116 123