The 21st century has made leaps and bounds in acknowledging mental health and implementing programs within institutions to support it. However, a gap in public acceptance persists in the battle against lingering archaic beliefs.
Moving to close the gap, independent music artist GeoMike122 has bared his soul and inspired others to do the same through his single “Abyss.”
A community leader, a public teacher, and an icon for inclusivity, Michael Ciolino or GeoMike122 is a highly-followed figure shaping a better future for his global audience. From talks, lessons, and his sound, the artist addresses former taboo topics and, with a touch of whimsy, forges a healthier space by breaking the stigma around them.
This mission first saw the light when the inspiring creative was at a young age. As a multicultural child of divorce with an ADHD diagnosis, GeoMike122 has gone through several rough patches—leveraging music as his outlet in tough times. Things only took a turn for the worse upon the death of his brother and his realized gender identity.
“My experiences in the Fair Lawn Public Schools were mostly positive, and I still have amazing friends from middle and high school,” GeoMike122 recalled. “However, as a gay teen growing up, I faced a lot of bullying and personal and family issues.”
Often at the receiving end of a verbal stick, the artist collected a series of harrowing experiences. This led him down a rabbit hole of depression and anxiety—and, determined to crawl his way out, he decided to pursue higher education elsewhere.
With flickering optimism, GeoMike122 set off for an undergraduate degree at Rutgers University and his Master’s at Montclair State University. The new environment and his later travels exposed him to a world beyond his own - allowing him to develop a refreshing, whimsical take on life and a drive to further global inclusivity.
That was when he decided to come home. Brimming with a passion for sharing his perspective and elevating his community to unity and unadulterated happiness, he grew his impact. GeoMike122 became an elementary school teacher in a Passaic County public school, proud co-chairman of the eco-friendly Fair Lawn Green Team, and speaker at Fair Lawn’s Pride Month.
In 2021, GeoMike122 introduced his cause to an international audience. He released his debut single “Whimsical.” The single, along with its Spanish remix “Caprichosx,” promotes confidence and inspires listeners to stay focused in pursuing their dreams. With motivating lyrics, trap beats, and flutes, GeoMike122 successfully launched his career to the tune of over 15,000 monthly followers on popular streaming sites.
Barely a month later, he teased the instrumental for “Abyss.” This led to great excitement within his growing fanbase and, upon the track’s release, the audience was left in awe. “Abyss” carries raw lyrics that dove into GeoMike122’s experience with depression, anxiety, and creative blocks.
His struggles as a non-binary gay of a broken family strikes a chord in listeners and leaves them in introspection minutes after the song had played its final note. With its casually haunting prose and melody, GeoMike122 achieves his goal of furthering mental health prioritization through “Abyss.”
As much as the artist had bared himself on the track, the thousands in his audience are moved to do the same—sharing their stories and creating a space where scars aren’t buried under clothing but shown with pride.