OLDHAM born rapper UK-Craigie is releasing a brand-new album this week that explores topics of mental health and grief in the aftermath of the pandemic.

The 31-year-old rapper from Hathershaw, who has been making music for 11 years, describes his latest album Ghosts in Time, set to be released on Friday, as an “arm around the shoulder” for listeners “looking for company in dark times”.

UK-Craigie, who studied music at Oldham College, calls his unique sound “guitar-based story telling hip-hop” that is light on the drums and heavy on emotion.

The rapper, who is currently based in the Wirral, lists Kanye West and Morrissey as musical inspirations but considers day-to-day-life his biggest influence.

He said: “Growing up as a teenager without a father figure in the house, dealing with dyspraxia and being misunderstood had a massive influence my music.”

The track What Matters is Your Heart (Kev) is a powerful tribute to a friend of UK-Craigie who sadly died of cancer. The song ‘Stale Cigarette Smoke’ meanwhile draws on the rapper’s relationship with his grandmother and covers themes of grief and regret mixed with childhood nostalgia.

The music video for the song The Five Rules was directed by his 9-year-old daughter, Lily.

The track is about “not shying away from who you are” and “living life in the way you want while impacting people in a positive way”, according to the rapper.

His youngest daughter Sky ,6, meanwhile features in the song Marching Down the Street, which is a “joyful counter” to the more introspective tracks on the album.

UK-Craigie said: “I feel like if you can show your kids how to do something and how happy it makes you that is just as important as financial security. If you find something that makes you feel really alive you should cling onto it.”

Ghosts in Time follows the rapper's two previous albums, Sombre and I Can’t Sleep, and is available on Spotify.