Musical Therapy: Kid Cudi is Not Alone in His Struggle with Mental Illness

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Fans of Kid Cudi may already be aware of his announcement a couple days ago that he has checked himself into rehab for depression and suicidal urges, revealing that he has struggled with these feelings his entire life.

This may come as no surprise for anyone who has actively listened to his first single to receive major radio play “Day ’n’ Nite (Nightmare).” The song strongly alludes to his struggles with the lyrics “Day and night / I toss and turn, I keep stressing my mind, mind / I look for peace but see I don’t attain.”

 

Sadly, the tortured artist is not a new paradigm in the musical world. Former drummer of The Neighbourhood, Bryan Sammis embarked on a solo project using an alter ego he calls Olivver, after announcing his departure from the band.

Yesterday he announced that he was going to put this project aside to explore other avenues of music. Within the announcement, he admitted to having gone through a depressive phase after leaving The Neighbourhood and turning back to his alter ego as a form of coping. The first EP he released under the identity of Olivver was titled “Catharsis” as a tribute to that.

The trials these artists face are not necessarily limited to a solo battle. Many musicians understand the connection their fan base feels to them, and realize that these struggles can translate to their listeners. Cudi mentions in the note to his fans that he feels he has let them down and how part of his rehabilitation is to become a stronger person for them.

The sudden rise to fame of Twenty One Pilots is a testament to the bond between a band and their fans. They have a deeply rooted fan base referred to as the Skeleton Clique that strongly identify with the inner demons lead singer Tyler Joseph sings about.

Many have only recently become familiar with Twenty One Pilots from their chart hits “Tear in My Heart” and “Stressed Out,” but my first encounter was their music video for their 2012 single “Guns for Hands.”

 

While most would have been put off by two guys with awkward mannerisms wearing balaclavas, I was intrigued as Joseph handed drummer Josh Dun his mask telling him, “They won’t know it’s you. You can take it off when you’re ready.”

To me, that message was directed to their Skeleton Clique saying they could find solace in this band where no one else would understand. The lyrics of the song echo this sentiment as Joseph raps in a spoken word flow that, instead of directing their negativity to self harm, to direct it at him.

The archetypal artist is one wrought with inner demons which makes their art a form of therapy for themselves and for others. However, for those who need further support with suicidal urges, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

As Joseph sings in the Twenty One Pilots song “Truce”: Stay alive, stay alive for me.

 

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