PEACE and serenity might not seem like they go hand-in-hand with rap music, but for Tamworth artist Shannon Elliott - better known as IamSnap - it's all about nurturing mental health.
One of the city's only rap musicians, Elliott believes the power of the internet means people can live their dreams doing anything from anywhere.
His decades-long rap career has hit a proud high note this year as some of his songs clock top spots in the iTunes and Billboards charts, but the music is about much more than money or fame.
Elliott draws inspiration from his own struggles with anxiety.
"With music I guess that is my outlet, to vent about those issues that I have and I've used it for that and it works for me therapeutically," he told the Leader.
"Rap is not as censored as the other genres of music so you can really say how you're feeling and really open up topics."
He said his work resonates with listeners and he gets shivers up his spine when someone reaches out after hearing his powerful music.
"Sometimes I think that's the silver lining, because even if I don't make it huge or make a million dollars or whatever, I've touched the lives of many people," he said.
Elliott said relocating from the city to Tamworth and being surrounded by hills and open space has helped him find his groove.
"It's that serenity and it keeps me grounded," he said.
"I'm not here to be the rapper in town, I'm just here to live."
And Tamworth is certainly not short on talent, with Elliott regularly recording at a local studio and often working with local videographers for his projects.
He also has the power of the internet behind him and thousands of followers on social media.
"Without the internet I could not be doing what I'm doing ... we're living in an age where you can just about live anywhere and succeed in what you're trying to do," he said.
Elliott transforms into the rising rap star IamSnap when the beat starts, but even the name has a strong meaning behind it.
"Snap was my nickname in high school because I was really skinny and I hated it ... I took that name and thought hey, I'm going to make it with that name," he said.
The compilation Smoke Chronicles by DJ Cell featured IamSnap's Digital Smoke, which went to number 20 on the Billboard charts.
He's also looking forward to filming a clip for his new song Sick Love, inspired by tragedies he's seen unfold due to ice and heroin addiction.
Find him on Instagram at @iamsnapmusic
- If you or someone you know needs help, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: