In many places in the world, mental health is still a taboo topic, but artists like BTS are paving the way for change, according to Epik High‘s Tablo.
In a new interview with NME, Tablo discussed Epik High’s new collaboration with Colde, “Rain Song,” and how he has dealt with his own dark, rainy periods in life.
I always felt like – and it sounds very cliche – I was living with a dark cloud over me. But I also realised that it was up to me to build the strength to protect myself and my loved ones from that rain, or from the rain cloud that I brought.
A worldwide mental health crisis is thriving in the shadow cast by COVID-19. As people struggle to cope with the pandemic’s lockdowns, losses, and financial strain, the need for mental health support has never been more apparent.
For years, conversations about mental health were “swept under the carpet” in South Korea, but thankfully, that is changing. In recent years, K-Pop celebrities have encouraged a healthy discussion about the topic by publically sharing their own struggles.
“There’s definitely progress being made, where people are outright saying it in public,” Tablo told NME. “This wasn’t the case when I was growing up, or even when I was growing up within this industry.”
When asked what changes still need to be made in the entertainment industry for mental health, Tablo expressed how important it is for musicians to express themselves through their craft.
It’s a difficult thing to find a solution for, but I think it’s important for people to do what they do best, to speak through what they do best. Musicians should speak through music, artists through their paintings, through dance, through whatever medium that they’ve been blessed with, and speak about their emotions.
“I know for a fact that [artists like] BTS are very open in their lyrics about how they feel inside, and that’s connected with, obviously, tons of people across the globe,” Tablo went on. “That’s important. You know they’re doing [it] through what they do best. [And then, from there], I think conversations will happen.”
By writing about mental health, singers like BTS and Epik High are helping their listeners know that they are not alone.
Even if conversations don’t happen, there will be people listening or watching, feeling like they’re not alone, and that’s a very important thing. Like I’ve gone through long periods where I felt like I was completely alone. And it’s important that you find some way to not feel alone.