Michael Angelakos can’t stop moving his hands. With every word out of his mouth, his coffee eyes light up as if he won a prize at the state fair and he gestures as if he’s telling the greatest story ever told. In a way, he is. Sitting across the table from Angelakos in the rustic Mediterranean eatery Mezetto, the Passion Pit ringleader is opening up for the first time about what he’s been working on privately for the past year: The Wishart Group, a company dedicated to spreading mental health awareness and providing “legal, educational and healthcare services” to artists.
Angelakos believes in fate. On April 7, 2017, the World Health Organization proclaimed that “there is no health without mental health” the same day Angelakos’ Grandma Wishart passed away. The artist services group is dedicated to Angelakos’ grandmother. “My great grandmother was a poet, orator, and she taught English and History; Her knowledge of world history became pretty useful when, after leaving my great-grandfather and gaining custody of my grandmother, she kept her ex-husband’s name,” Angelakos explains. “Upon arriving in America, it was changed to Wishard, but it was originally Wishart.” The 1930s only complicated matters for a single mother with a daughter in central Pennsylvania. “She kept the name to protect herself,” notes the 30-year-old musician. “My grandmother was amazing. She was a very early mental health advocate without actually understanding it -- she didn't need to, she just was.”