RL Grime‘s NOVA LP is already on pace to become a chart topper, garnering massive widespread critical and fan acclaim. But it wasn’t always a smooth road to success for the artist’s sophomore studio album. “I spent a lot of 2015-2017 depressed, anxious and unmotivated,” RL Grime shared in a Facebook post on the day of the album’s release.
“The music I was making for NOVA reflected that; it felt melancholy, but still hopeful. This album was made during a period in my life of growing up and learning how to deal with sadness, and overwhelming stress. I wanted my music to emerge from that darkness, but not to abandon the feelings that had shaped the project in the first place. I wanted to take the sounds that before seemed to emanate from somewhere down below, and bring them up into the skies, and into space. I wanted to find that same sort of power in something light.. ethereal but strong.”
Art, as it seems, is a painstaking and mentally draining emotional process, where artists often tap into their deepest, darkest subconscious issues in order to relate and relay them to the masses in a genuine, authentic way. Perhaps that’s why many artists have been so vocal about issues of mental health in the music industry specifically, particularly after Avicii‘s untimely death.
While RL Grime’s channeled his struggle with depression and anxiety into art, sometimes the road to happiness and fulfillment isn’t always so bright. Depressive life phases are a human inevitability, at least for most. When brave artists begin using their platform to speak up about their personal mental heath struggles, it sends a potent message to their fans. While it may seem easier said than done, this is one way music can — quite literally — save lives.