BILLINGS — For Billings rapper, poet, and singer Nick Bravo, creativity is in his blood. After contracting COVID, it’s his creativity that’s helping him overcome long-haul symptoms.
He’s now using his talents behind the mic to inspire others enduring similar challenges.
Bravo isn’t just a rapper with over two decades of hip hop experience.
“I want to create something new, or do something diverse, or get outside of the box,” said Bravo at his recording booth on Wednesday.
He’s a man of faith, an entrepreneur, and more recently, an actor.
But you wouldn’t guess that the go-getter has been living with ongoing symptoms of COVID-19.
“Most of my life I’ve been able to overcome anything. That’s what I pride myself in. Covid is the one that knocked me out,” Bravo said.
Bravo has caught COVID three times since 2020 and he hasn’t been the same since.
“Like having to sleep for two to three hours a day just to function,” said Bravo.
On top of the chronic fatigue, he gets brain fog, he can’t exercise, and has to get weekly IV treatments to mitigate symptoms.
“In January 2022, I was suicidal and depressed because my body was so sick and I couldn’t function and I couldn’t work,” Bravo said.
He said it was his creativity that allowed him to push forward.
“Lot of times I write through therapy. A lot of my music is really me just processing my own emotions. It’s my way of processing,” said Bravo.
It’s not just the symptoms that Bravo has to deal with, but it’s the struggle to make others understand what he’s going through.
“People see me out there doing stuff and they think oh this guy I’m just faking it cause obviously I’m doing this stuff,” Bravo said.
It’s part of the reason why he was chosen to speak at TedX Billings in October, a national organization that shines a spotlight on inspirational people.
“My goal is to stand there strong, even if I’m still sick. And for people who are really sick to go well that’s where he was in January 2022. This is where he is in October 2023,” said Bravo.
He said he credits his creativity, his faith, and his wife for helping him get this far.
“It’s been hard on her and the family. So I don’t think I would have survived and made it through this whole thing without her,” said Bravo.
He will be performing at the TedX Billings Salon event at the Yellowstone Art Museum on Thursday as well.
If you’d like to find out more about Nick Bravo, visit his website here.