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This was going to change my career”: The music industry is finally working on the mental health of the artists

This was going to change my career”: The music industry is finally working on the mental health of the artists

In 2016, Lauren Aquilina released her debut album. On the same day, he left the music industry and vowed never to return.

The pressures of the growing fame, the unity of the industry for the young pop singer, and the endless gatherings full of people (mostly men) twice her age at which she spoke had affected her mind and the only way she could think. He can recover is leaving without looking back. Now, she hopes to renew the industry's approach to care with a new independent community group and support system, Girl & Repertoire.

“Having this kind of community would have made a difference for me,” Aquilina says. She cites the scarcity of women as a central theme in her own experience and hopes to provide the "big sister" presence to young artists now. "This is something I didn't have when I was 16 and 17 and it's something that could have changed my entire career path."


Aquilina represents the artistic side of Girl & Repertoire, the brainchild of Georgie Wilmore, who was inspired by her own experiences working with a record company at the age of 18 to enhance the experience of the young women entering the industry behind. "When I started, I was surprised that the other girls around me would be silent if someone was talking to them," says Wilmer. "Why weren't these girls feeling strong enough to stand up and talk?" Even so, she acknowledges that there are consequences for speaking for herself. "It made me very unpopular; people thought it was controversial for the young intern to say, 'You can't do that' to a senior CEO."


The music industry has faced a slow appreciation for the level of attention its young staff and artists are receiving. Little Mix recently confirmed that they received no aftercare when they won The X Factor in 2011 and were pushed to the A-list. Every member has struggled with mental health issues, from dealing with racism and bullying on social media to anxiety and severe depression. We've never had anyone review us to see how we were doing mentally, everything was forward, forward, forward… "I personally don't feel like someone cares," Jesse Nelson told the Radio Times.


The tragic incidents led to increased scrutiny of how record companies, in particular, sponsored artists. Rapper Lil Bibb, Mac Miller and Jos W.RLD died in recent years from drug overdoses, while dance music superstar Avici died in 2018 of his wounds. In a statement, his family described him as a "fragile artistic spirit" and said the speed at which he worked "had put great pressure on ... Tim was not cut off from the work machine he was working with."

This business machine is powered by record companies, often large companies that are slow to change, but there are signs that artists' well-being is now a higher priority than ever Peter Robinson, who trains artists how to navigate life in and out of the public's eyes, stresses that The need for support from the beginning to the end of the artist's career (which may be short). "It's an increasing part of the conversation on posters," he says. It is not uncommon to find a manager whose first step when working with an artist is to connect them with a therapist or a life coach.


"We are discovering what we can do to provide more help," says a spokesperson for Warner Music UK, adding that the label is in a "large pilot project" with independent experts to provide mental health support to both artists and staff. Sonny cites his work with the mental health charity Mind Society. “We are now focusing on the next level of advice, resources and mentoring for artists, their management teams and their families,” said Jason Ely, President and CEO of Sony Music UK & Ireland.


“This is a generational change. Mental health was not part of the vocabulary of the older generation,” says Ryan Jones, author of a book called Sound Advice with Lucy Heyman, which was funded in part by record labels and live events (without editorial control) to kind of introduce A guide for artists navigating the music industry. The "tormented artist" metaphor has existed for a long time, indicating that there is a kind of mental imbalance inherent in good art, but there is a big difference between a temporary period of emotional pain and continued deterioration of health.