The news of Mac Miller’s death on Friday shook our generation. Another artist so young taken away by addiction and drugs, in the wake of so many others who have faced the same fate, feels like it can be too much. Many artists shared their own testimonials of Miller’s effect on their lives before his passing, including Ookay who had much to say about depression and drug abuse.
One of the ways we can de-stigmatize issues around mental health and addiction and begin to address them is simply by talking about them. With the death of Mac Miller and now Hardwell announcing an indefinite hiatus from touring, it’s more important than ever to be aware of these issues.
Ookay addresses his history with cocaine and alcohol, as well as depression and the overbearing pressure of success and relevancy in the musical world. When music is your passion and your career, separating the two and can be difficult and it often feels like no more than a job.
“I felt like I was going crazy after the Fonda [show in LA on 9/1],” admits Ookay. “I was home for 15 hours after that show back in LA before flying for 17 hours to Asia. I haven’t spoken to a single person since. Or have had a decent conversation with another human. I miss it. I miss life. I don’t know anything else. I understand why Hardwell retired.”
Ookay’s story is not unique to him, and the more artists that come forward about their own experiences, the less that anyone will feel like they’re alone.
You can read Ookay’s entire message below.