AJ Haayer’s musical release

Renee Burns

Multimedia Journalist

Senior music major, AJ Haayer, will be releasing an album featuring piano music on March 1, to benefit the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

The album, titled “Dissociative,” is intended to bring awareness to mental health, specifically, dissociative disorders. Haayer used research and insight from a friend to construct the album in a way that conveys what it is like to live with dissociative disorder.

Photo courtesy of AJ Haayer

“It is an album that gives an aural experience of what it would be like to experience a dissociative disorder,” Haayer said.

Haayer knows several people who deal with mental health issues and chose NAMI because they help individuals with a broad range of disorders.

NAMI is an organization that provides individuals who are struggling with mental illness help and access to specific resources.

“I could’ve chosen a charity that focuses on dissociative disorders, but I wanted the money to go to a charity which is focusing on everything,” Haayer said.

The idea to create an album came to Haayer after working on a project for school. He was instructed to make a presentation about how marketing on social media turns into sales. He decided to take this opportunity to create a product that would both satisfy his project requirements for the class and allow him to make a charitable donation to the nonprofit of his choice.

“Dissociative” will consist of 10 songs and will be released on all major streaming platforms as well as CD’s.

Along with the album, Haayer has designed a T-shirt featuring several names written in various types of handwriting to represent the different alternative personalities a person may experience with dissociative disorder.

Dissociative” T-shirt design courtesy of AJ Haayer

All proceeds from the “Dissociative” T-shirts and 50% of album sales will be donated to NAMI. You can purchase the album, T-shirts or other merchandise at www.ajplayspiano.com. You can also follow Haayer on Facebook and Instagram at AJ Plays Piano.

If you or someone you know needs help, you can reach out to NAMI at www.nami.org or by using their helpline 800-950-6264.

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