Stanley Sibande gets brutally honest on mental health and self-harm in his moving new video, “Cuts”

Stanley Sibande’s innate honesty in his latest single and video, “Cuts”, manifests as a driving clarion call to anyone who’s battled their own demons for far too long. Candid to the point of fearlessness, the track navigates Sibande’s ongoing mental health challenges, multiple relapses and self-harm experiences. 

Penned during lockdown, and fuelled by a decision to leave his homeland of Zambia and head down to Cape Town, “Cuts” was Sibande’s cold, hard reflection on himself and how to move forward. “We can’t filter or sugar coat our individual stories for the sake of palatability,” he explains and I’m well inclined to agree. While the track’s premise and the accompanying Adam Hansen-directed video is harrowing in some ways, it’s also incredibly powerful. 

Eerie, dark, acoustic chords lead from the front, while Sibande’s husky vocals spin his tale. “Slowly dripping and trickling down/ I feel lighter and I’m alive/ And don’t be sad boy, no don’t you cry/ Just slowly mend that, that broken heart,” he sings against the minimalist sonic backdrop – while the video outlines his visceral and heart wrenching mental struggles with colour-soaked shots that cut between a breakdown on the bathroom floor and an emotion-fuelled performance of the song at M-PIRE Music. 

It’s searing, raw, and cuts to the core, but it does so with such searing authenticity and weighted emotion that it carries off as utterly beautiful – a remarkable feat in honest songwriting.

Feature pic by Laham Photography