Updated: Nov 19, 2019
Written By: Katie Bresnahan
Scroll through any feed and you’ll see a lot of posts talking about the importance of mental health and practicing self-care. Learning how to be gentle with ourselves is something that we’re historically not great at, but now at least we’re acknowledging it. Artists of every genre have been showing this growing need to focus on mental health through their lyrics. Ariana Grande’s song get well soon was written after an emotional breakdown and shows that even big stars can lose it sometimes. “If you need someone to pull you out the bubble/I’ll be right there just to hug you/I’ll be there” is a promise to her fans that she and her music will always be here for us. Rapper, Logic, released his single 1-800-273-8255, titled after the suicide hotline. He encourages his fans that may be struggling with suicidal thoughts to seek help.
Julia Michaels has made mental health a priority in her message. This resonates with many fans including Jenna and Mel. Jenna and Mel decided to put together a fan project to thank her for using her platform to promote a healthier way of thinking. They connected with each other through Twitter, both with project ideas. They settled on creating paper signs. Jenna first heard Julia Michaels when she released her single “Issues” in 2017 but became a fan when “Inner Monologue Part 1” was released earlier this year. “I’m very drawn to lyrics, so when I hear a song and I can relate it to a situation I’ve been in, I connect to it,” says Jenna. When asked about the music that inspired the project, Mel’s feelings painted a beautiful and thoughtful picture of what it means to be a fan of Julia Michaels:
“As her fandom knows, Julia deals with mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. Although it can be hard on her, she never gives up. Julia shows fans an incredible amount of strength and inspires us to keep fighting. She’s not afraid to be honest in her music and show her fans that it’s okay to have the same issues and we're all here to support each other. Julia talks about the hard stuff in her music and makes it easy for fans to relate as well as speak up about their own issues. This is very admirable since it’s really hard to do this, but she gives us a safe space. Julia has mentioned that a lot of fans say things to her in meet and greets that they can’t say to anyone else. She keeps our secrets and gives us so much patience and respect in those moments. I’ve had friends talk to her about bad breakups and I talked to her about how her music helped me through a rough patch in my life. Julia gives us so much time in meet and greets and lets us say whatever we want. She listens to you like you’re her best friend. She trusts us and we trust her. This tour was about being able to be 100% yourself and be able to dance and sing and laugh etc. During the show, she has the audience yell “SAFE SPACE” and she says “THIS IS OUR WHAT” and that means everything. We wanted to remind her that we appreciate her being that safe space for us.”
This is what fan projects are all about. They are a powerful way to show artists how much their work means to their fans as well as fostering friendships and community. We as music fans hear their voice. Their message is important and their voice matters because it brings us together.
Special thanks to Jenna and Mel for letting us interview them! Continue to spread your love and positive message!
Photo & Video Creds: Mel & Jenna
Watch this video to see Julia Michael's heartfelt reaction to their fan project.