It’s always been said, music brings people together. In this case however, the saying rings true more than ever.
Thanks to a music video by grime artist Bugzy Malone, a mother has been reunited with her son who’d been missing for between six months and a year.
For his video for the song Run, the 27-year-old rapper took to the streets of Manchester and found a number of homeless people – not actors – to appear onscreen.
Speaking in an interview with BBC 1Xtra’s DJ Target, the rapper – real name Aaron Davies – explained how, shortly after the video was released, his management team received a message from a woman who recognised one of the homeless people in it.
Speaking to DJ Target, he said:
We got proper people off streets of Manchester, and I got an email off a mum of one of the guys, the guy had been missing for six months to a year.
He was on the missing list. And she said when she’d seen him in my music video, it made her go out and find him.
And now, a long story short, he tried to commit suicide and that kind of thing, and now he’s back with his family. She said when he was in his hospital bed after trying to commit suicide, she shown him on my Instagram – I’d written a caption and I said ‘you can’t judge people, you don’t know people’s circumstances, this is special no matter what his life is right now’.
And when he’d seen that I’d said nice things about him, it inspired him to get his life back on track, and now he’s back at home with his family. He’s got a girlfriend, he’s on track.
So for me, that was one of the biggest signs that I’d accomplished what I’d set out to accomplish this year.
This is an incredible story.
Here's how @BugzyMalone's music video for 'Run' helped to reunite a homeless man in Manchester with his family.
— BBC Radio 1Xtra (@1Xtra) December 12, 2018
The original video for the song involved using actors in place of homeless people.
However, the rapper decided to reshoot the whole thing, using real people and sharing their real stories.
View this post on Instagram
He stood up smiling, picked up his bags and and said “I’m going to go and book myself into a warm hostel for the night” and I swear the feeling was better than when I picked up my Lambo. Life might get you down, just do your best not to stay there for to long. My guy was special regardless of his circumstances, you never know what people have been through. Good to meet you my brother. 🖤❤️ . . . . Credit: @riadarianemedia
Sharing the image on Instagram, he wrote:
Today we went out and reshot the whole video, I told em I don’t want to pay actors I want to connect with and pay the real people of the streets. [sic]
I’ve been at the bottom it’s not easy, homeless or not you must treat people with respect rich or poor. People that have struggled are the special ones out ere! [sic]
Shout out the city that taught me all that I know I will help as much as I possibly can. [sic]
View this post on Instagram
Today we went out and reshot the whole video, I told em I don’t want to pay actors I want to connect with and pay the real people of the streets. I’ve been at the bottom it’s not easy, homeless or not you must treat people with respect rich or poor. People that have struggled are the special ones out ere! Shout out the city that taught me all that I know I will help as much as I possibly can. 🖤❤️
If you want to help homeless people this winter, get in touch with the homelessness charity StreetLink.
You can provide the charity with the location a person or people who are sleeping rough, as well as the date and time you saw them.
The charity will then send the details you’ve provided to the local authority or outreach service for the area, who will locate the individual and help connect them with the support they need.
If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.