Why Do So Many Music Artists Seem Depressed?

Matthew Boyle, Staff Writer

According to a 2017 article by Forbes, Americans now spend nearly 32 hours a day listening to music on streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify. That’s almost 20% of someone’s week spent with their airpods in, or their headphones on. And it makes sense. The music industry is bigger than ever, with artists from all over the world making music for every niche and genre you could think of. Staple genres of music, like rock and jazz, are still made everyday, while new niche genres like LoFi and bedroom pop begin to take over the music scene. With all this new music, it makes sense for the number of people making music to drastically increase. However, there seems to be a concerning trend, and it’s one that starts with the mind.

It’s reported in articles by AAFP (American Academy of Family Physicians) and HealthLine that one in twelve adults suffer from depression in America. With this in mind, it’s reasonable to assume that some of our favorite rock artists or rappers would suffer from depression. But it’s more than just some. It seems that every music artist is, or has suffered from, depression at one point in their careers. It’s a disturbing trend, but one that once fully analyzed, seems unavoidable. 

In every medium of entertainment, from sports, to music, to comedy, it seems that a large percentage of those in the field have experienced some sort of depressive episode during their career. The reasons are incredibly varied, seeing as everyone’s life is different; however, what they do with this depression and these feelings is very similar . They put it into their music. But what is music? That question cannot be answered, therefore this article cannot be written.

I interviewed a fellow music lover  and senior in high school Aaron Tabuteau, a friend of mine, to question him about what he thought about the whole issue. I asked him questions to see what he thought might be the cause and effect of such a common occurrence in the music industry. When asked why he thought this was a common trend, he stated, “Well, it’s probably because artists are expected to produce music, dripping with all this emotion. It could stress artists out, trying to produce consistent, quality music with the substance that everyone expects.” 

When asked what he thought might resolve the issue, Aaron stated that, “We need to have listeners understand that artists need to take their time, because a lot of the pressure comes from the demands of the listeners.” In other words, stop stressing them out. With music being as big as it has become today, there’s more stress on artists to be consistent in output rate, rather than the  quality of their music. And isn’t that what music is really all about?