Drug abuse is not a new trend in the music industry, we’ve lost musical icons from Jimi Hendrix to Amy Winehouse to Whitney Houston to Mac Miller, and JuiceWrld. Let me just point out that these artists deaths has been stated as intentional and unintentional accidents and overdoses but that is not to say that one is better than the other, it’s just to say that the opioid crisis is still lingering on today. The new trend is how drugs are much more normalized in artists’ music and into their lifestyles and how it has a big influence on a lot of its consumers. This new generation of artists indulges into pills and lean way more than any other artists ever has.
Some reasons why I think this is the case is because artists wants to take some of the edge off and feel better about whatever situation that they are going through internally and in life. It gets worse when artists indulges in drugs and becomes the worst version of themselves where they fall into depression or become suicidal. Since this is a music blog, there needs to be solutions starting with the artists that will trickle down to their consumers.
ASCAP got the hint and decided to be proactive in artists well being. “On December 10th, 2019 ASCAP, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, announces the official launch of ASCAP TuneUp — a member program to meet the evolving wellness needs of music creators. With TuneUp, ASCAP becomes the first US performing rights organization to focus heavily on its members’ physical and mental well-being to support their creativity, life balance and longevity” (ASCAP, 2019). Kudos to ASCAP! They are leading the movement for artists and their members receives great benefits like, Aaptiv: music-powered, coach-guided digital audio workouts, BetterHelp: easy, affordable, anywhere access to therapists and mental health resources via your digital devices, Daily Burn: access to thousands of workout videos available from your home, Motiv: a fitness and sleep tracker housed in a ring and Shine: a self-care app with easy exercises and a supportive community.
ASCAP is a non-profit membership organization that serves songwriters, composers and music publishers. According to ASCAP, they serve over 725,000 people and I believe some of them are our favorite artists that we listen to daily. I would hope that artists take this great advantage. For the artists who don’t that that advantage, I believe that is where the labels come in. Maybe a lot of our favorite artists aren’t involved in ASCAP but they are most definitely involved with a label. Since labels play such a great part in an artist’s musical career which could also be their personal life, I believe that they should offer mental and wellness health benefits as well! The idea of having an inhouse therapist is so innovative and I feel like it will be very helpful. It would be amazing to see an inhouse therapist grow with our favorite artists as artists come across many difficult battles in their career.
From watching VICE/Noisey program The Therapist and other interviews, a lot of artists has never since a therapist in their life and that could be for different reasons… To have a therapist or some other program in place for an artist’s well being would be great and artists will feel even more appreciative to their label for the service. Labels already gets a bad wrap because of how they treat some of their artists so for them to implement something so personal and healthy would mean a lot. Whether you are an artist of a consumer of music, we have to start taking
drug abuse more seriously. It’s not fun, it’s not cute or cool. People are dying when they haven’t even reached the age of 18. I don’t know how many more kids, adults, or artists are going to die because of a mistake or the misuse of drugs. Regardless, people need to start standing up for themselves, one another and just be that positive influence that someone else may need.