by Peter Cowlam
Jackie Marua, songwriter and music producer, has announced his latest project Thirteen Eleven, an autobiographical piece that has arisen, phoenix-like, from the ashes of his wife’s death, who after a struggle with depression took her own life in 2018. The couple were childhood sweethearts, and had been married for under two years when she died. In the three-plus years since that awful event, Marua has immersed himself in music-making, with his project Thirteen Eleven the eventual result. It features a line-up of carefully chosen artists: Dan Dare (Slang), Ryan Keen, CD Spinz and HJJ. The Thirteen Eleven EP explicitly describes the producer’s story through rap, poetry and spoken word.
The project details the songwriter’s journey of grief after his wife’s death, and falling in love again (positive sign that it is possible to survive and rebuild). One of the tracks on Thirteen Eleven features his late wife Holly speaking, and recalls so many plans for the future the couple had had when she died.
But who are Suicide & Co, and what is their connection with Thirteen Eleven? Suicide & Co are a suicide bereavement charity. Marua explains that he and his new partner Ruby made the decision to contact that charity once the Thirteen Eleven project was complete. In telling them his story Suicide & Co felt enough of an impact to enlist Marua as one of their ambassadors. Taking on that role was not a difficult decision. Marua had experienced for himself how arduous a task it is navigating the support that is and isn’t available in the wake of a loved-one’s suicide. Suicide & Co have a highly responsive Help Hub on their website, and a helpline open from nine a.m. to nine p.m., Monday to Friday. As foremost a suicide bereavement charity, Suicide & Co also make application for counselling services available via their website (suicideandco.org). Marua’s great regret is that he knew nothing about them when tragedy struck.
Jackie Marua is a songwriter and music producer. His Thirteen Eleven project was mastered by Christian Wright at the Abbey Road Studios, who have just presented Marua as one of their featured artists. The bereavement charity Suicide & Co have lent support to the project, which goes on tour throughout the UK (2022–23) as a listening exhibition, with featured photographs. Its aim is to build awareness of events that surround the tragedy of suicide, in reaching out to others marked by similar catastrophe. Find out more about Thirteen Eleven at jackiemarua.com.