Article by Megan Vineberg
In the entertainment industry, it can be difficult for an artist trying to build their sound and gain an audience as a musician. As an actor, I imagine you would have to figure out what makes you stand out among the sea of talent. It can be a bit uneasy, knowing if the next thing you do people will like, or if your career is riding on your last great project. Taylor Swift touched on this on her new album “folklore” in the song, Mirrorball, describing how she is “still walking the tightrope, trying everything she can” to appease the listener. She will be whatever you want her to be, and in that sense, it can be easy to lose yourself. She also goes over the topic of how people perceive you as a person, and how that has a grand effect on your professional and personal relationships throughout her album, “Reputation.” In the documentary, “Miss Americana” Taylor reveals her struggle with an eating disorder, which is much more common than we realize in young Hollywood stars.
Gustav Åhr, better known as “Lil Peep,” passed away from drug overdose at age 21, is yet another example of reputation being a big factor in the artist’s life. Lil Peep opened himself and his home to all of his friends out of the kindness of his heart. The public and the media judged him for his tattoos and alternative style but he was regarded as gentle, compassionate, and playful by those closest to him. It begs the question of, “are we getting the full picture of the artist, or judging them prematurely based on what we hear? Based on media coverage? It can be seen in the documentary, “Everybody’s Everything, which covers everything about Lil Peep’s rise as an artist up until his passing. In the end, he lost his money, time with friends and family, and energy taking care of others with not enough left for himself. All he wanted to do was make music, and help others by reaching them through it. Inspired by Lil Peep, my friend Cat Daisy (Amethyst) Coleman, was not far behind him and passed away from suicide. Unfortunately, she was 23, with a whole host of projects left behind to be completed and/or released, much like Lil Peep.
In life, Daisy was just beginning her journey. She was an extremely gifted musician and artist, as well as an advocate for sexual assault survivors. Like Lil Peep, she bore the weight of the fans’ struggles on her shoulders. Daisy was wrapping up and preparing to release the film project, “Saving Daisy”, which details her experience using the Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, or EMDR therapy method to facilitate healing from past trauma being stored within her. “Saving Daisy” is the follow-up to the Netflix documentary, “Audrie and Daisy'', where Daisy made her launch into the public eye. Her struggles regarding the negative attention she received for it were detailed in the song, “Savior,” written by Daisy herself, alongside Ella Fairon, and Tori Romo. It is set to be released on the film’s official soundtrack.
“Sedate Me” is another song written by Coleman, Fairon, and Romo, which discusses the topic of mental health. It dives into having to be medicated several times a day, and how emotionally taxing that can be on a person. In particular, anti-anxiety and antidepressants can make one feel numb to life. Fairon stated in an Instagram post, “I have never seen Daisy happier or more at peace than when we were making music. She found so much healing in writing lyrics, and just putting it all out there musically. We were working on so much that she was excited for [in the time before her passing]”. The same could be said about Lil Peep-- his fans would say he was happiest making music, probably because it was the one thing that provided him stability and comfort in life when there was none.
Mac Miller is another example of an artist who struggled with mental health in the entertainment industry. All of these artists are talented enough to have been recognized for their work, and yet struggled deeply within themselves. While these artists don’t have shared experiences, the feeling is the same. It can be a lot of pressure on an artist to act as a role model to others, young children and teenagers especially. When you have not fully healed within yourself, it can be tricky to know how to help someone else. The saddest part of all of these stories is that they are (and were) talented and driven enough to leave a legacy behind that cannot be erased.
Although not yet officially released, Daisy’s music can be heard here:
Daisy Coleman, Ella Fairon, Tori Romo - “Sedate me:"
Daisy Coleman, Ella Fairon, Tori Romo - “Savior:” https://www.instagram.com/tv/CDkiXXdjv-W/?igshid=idzghl6x3w3i
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