How the Music Industry is Impacting Conversations About Mental Health

Various musicians in the music industry are taking action to normalize conversations about mental health through their music, music videos and platforms such as their social media and interviews. Artists such as XXXtentacion, Billie Eilish are one of the many few who have become known for their ‘sad teen’ aesthetic. Some say that this has been beneficial in terms of removing the stigma around mental health while others argue that this may be promoting the trend of the ‘sad teen’ vibe. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are approximately 800,000 people that are lost to suicide annually. Considering that a single conversation could have the potential to kick start the process of preventing an individual from ending their life, any step towards regularize this conversation should be deemed positive.

Billie Eilish, a 17-year-old singer with 12.7 million Instagram followers, has been very open about her struggles with depression. In her latest music video for her track ‘bury a friend’,

Eilish uses elements of horror movies to depict her inner battles by showing herself in a rather demonic form. She does so with the aid of the director, Michael Chaves, who is most notably known for directing the upcoming third installment of The Conjuring and The Curse of La Llorona.

Eillish explains that the song “is literally from the perspective of the monster under my bed” in an Altpress article. The music video begins by the rapper, Crooks, jolting up from his sleep at night. He says ‘Billie’ as he lies back down and the shot shifts to Billie lying under his bed. The song begins with the eerie chorus, “What do you want from me? Why don’t you run from me? What are you wondering? What do you know? Why aren’t you scared of me? Why do you care for me?”.

Eillish also repeatedly sings the line “I wanna end me” and is vocal about her suicidal thoughts as she sings, “Today, I’m thinkin’ about the things that are deadly”. The music video also contains various visuals of suicidal methods such as her gesturing cutting her neck open. There is also the frightening shot of multiple needles piercing Eillish’s back which could be perceived as an allusion to suicide through medications. These visuals are followed by the line ‘The way I’m drinkin’ you down like I wanna drown, like I wanna end me”.

Some may say that she is planting ideas in viewers heads on different ways to suicide. However, various depressed watchers are finding comfort in the fact that they are not alone in what they are going through. In the Altpress article, Eillish also says that “I also confess that I’m this monster, because I’m my own worst enemy.” Thus, it encourages individuals to confront their feelings and inner struggles rather than suppressing them.

Check out the music video at this link:

Post By: Vanshika Khanna

Posted in Blog.