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Vicksburg musician on a mission to heal through music

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Andrew Brittingham plays a single off his debut album "Reverie." (WWMT/Jorge Rodas)

For a boy to become a hero, he must first overcome a powerful enemy; Andrew Brittingham's enemy was alcohol.

Brittingham, 28, Vicksburg, has been winning that battle and he's hoping to inspire others to become their own heroes.

"I haven't had a drink in over two years," said Brittingham.

Brittingman performs as Boy Becomes Hero. He describes his music as post-hardcore. He said his music is rooted in love.

"Less about me and my own happiness and more about how I could help other people," he said.

Brittingham writes music with a message; his message is about triumphing over any obstacle life throws in your path.

He feels music has allowed him to reach people in a way he never imagined.

"It gives me the proper platform to really be able to reach people in a different manner and be able to tell my story and hope that they can latch onto that and see hope," Brittingham said.

Brittingham worried he had lost music altogether.

"The first year of my sobriety was really hard for me to touch an instrument without feeling my body was gearing up to drink," he said. "I know that there's millions of other people that are going through the same feelings and feeling like they may never get their inspiration back or be able to have their passions again that they had while they were using."

He's come a long way in two years. Brittingham no longer feels the desire to drink when he picks up his guitar or starts laying down melodies on his MIDI keyboard.

He's releasing his debut LP, Reverie. It comes out Feb. 28.

He's collaborated with vocalists from throughout the U.S., including one who is nominated for a Grammy. That ceremony will be on CBS Feb. 10.

"It's a concept album," Brittingham said.

The album follows the story of a boy named Tsukuyo. According to Brittingham, the central character battles with the evil that consumed his past, present, and future.

Brittingham said the story can almost serve as an autobiography. He hopes sharing a story that is so closely tied to his own life experience would help others battling addiction, depression, anxiety, or any other struggles seek the help and support necessary to overcome them.

He said he feels sobriety is a privilege, and he treats it as such. The same goes for his music, which he doesn't take lightly.

"I was able to create this space for other people to kinda lose themselves in in this world and to be able to take their minds off those sad things as well," he said.

He said what helped him overcome his alcoholism was the realization of the effect his drinking was having on those around him. He said the moment of truth was when he realized he could lose the love of his life, his wife, if he didn't change his ways.

"If I lost her, I would have lost everything," he said.

Part of recovery is forgiveness, according to Brittingham. He said that's also part of Tsukuyo's story.

"Moral of the story is that the character is able to give forgiveness to someone who he thought had ruined his life who actually, in the end, the events that happened in his life made him who he was to that day," he said.

While alcohol may have almost pushed away the love of his life, it also forced Brittingham to discover a new version of himself.

"I'm truly happy," he said.

Brittingham said a portion of all music sales on his website goes to the organization To Write Love On Her Arms.

According to the organization's website, To Write Love On Her Arms is a "non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide."