Rapper Dan sheds the tears behind the smile

THE signs are all there – teenage snowboarder Ellie Soutter who was raised in Oxted taking her own life, a record number of young girl self harming, singer Demi Lovato talking openly about addiction, Will Young quitting Strictly Come Dancing because of axiety attacks.
Watching Westerham raised rap star Tierz – aka Dan Andrews – in action at events like the recent Westerham Rocks festival where he owned the stage with local singer  Maxine, no one would believe there are any malfunctions going behind that confident, cocky, feisty exterior.
Yet Tierz the rapper, Tierz the music maker who has thousands of followers on social media has problems when he hands back his persona to Dan Andrews, the former Oxted School student, who works as a chef in a cafe three days a week in Oxted, his adopted home.
Dan, the everyday day man, suffers from anxiety and panic attacks and in a 69,000 word book he is about to publish, Tears Behind The Smile, he gives a raw, honest, no holds barred account of living with the condition .
In his book, Dan a father of two, lays it on the line: “Anxiety and panic attacks affect a lot of people in the UK. About one in 20 people have an anxiety disorder at any one time. It is the most uncontrollable scary feeling that can affect any one of the strongest people in the world, it can come out of nowhere at any time any place and with anyone. People that I have spoken to that suffer from panic attacks have mostly agreed that they are afraid of having one in a busy place due to what other people may think of them,
“They like myself are afraid of the sick feeling you get as you start to sweat becoming a reality and vomiting in front of people that you don’t know. It is the thought of passing out in the middle of a crowd and just being trampled on by the crowds of people passing by you at the time.”
Tears Behind the Smile is probably the only book Dan Andrews will write as the music he makes is his engine but he does have a past life to look back on that, like many people in this modern era, has laid the foundations for any mental or health aberrations – he has gone through the death of a stepson, attempted suicides by girlfriends, the split up of his parents and his self harming and excessive drinking . All have led to the person Dan is today but the anxiety and panic will always be with him and that is why he has chosen to write the book.
“There’s not a book written by someone who actually goes through it” says Dan. “So I thought maybe Tears Behind The Smile can help. It is as in-depth as I can be and I haven’t written about things I know nothing about. It also for people who don’t suffer so that perhaps they can understand. I can’t get anymore raw to be honest.”
Save for a handful of people, readers of Tears Behind The Smile, and most likely his legions of fans will be surprised at the content when on the outside Dan as Tierz is an outgoing personality who dishes up large slices of his colourful life in his lyrics.
The book takes the reader into the dark world of the anxiety and the panic.
“Writing this book has helped me big time” says Dan. “I’ve been so ill with panic attacks but writing has taken my mind off it. The hardest thing is to find something that will distract you. In my case music picks me up again.
“I have learned a lot since I started rapping as a teenager. And Ive done a lot of growing up both as a person and as an artiste. I have my own sound now and the music will go hand in hand with the book. Anyone reading it will understand me more and also I have written it to help that one person out there who needs help. That person could be anyone.
“I wrote it to help and people can reach out to me if they want. The only way a bicycle can move forward is if you get on the bike and start pedalling. You have to make it happen. If you just sit there and don’t move the condition will grow. At the end of the day the anxiety is in your head.”
Tears Behind The Smile, Dan Andrews’ unique guide to dealing with anxiety and panic attacks will be available to download from iTunes or at £25 hard back. A percentage of proceeding are for mental health charities including Oxted’s Clockwork.
Words and photos by kevin black – Dan Andrews and Dan in concert at Westerham Rocks with singer Maxine.
See The Daniel Andrews (Tierz Official) page on Facebook.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.