My Inspiration: RJ Thompson – Forget About The Day | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Newcastle’s RJ Thompson is an artist who has made no secret of his struggles with mental health, a message that is particularly poignant in this current climate. His new single, Forget About The Day (the third in a series of releases leading up to RJ’s new album) is an honest narrative looking at mental health, social media and our digital interactions with friends and family. Here, he tells us more about what inspired his latest track…

Over the years I’ve tried to talk about my own mental health issues, mainly anxiety related, regularly with family and friends. I’ve attempted to normalise it in my own life, but until recently I’d never really addressed it properly in my music. I’m not sure why. Fear, probably.

When I set out to write Lifeline (the new album, due out 4th September), I had a clear vision that I wanted this album to be my most autobiographical and my most honest. Delving into my childhood, the loves of my life and my own mental health. “What shaped who I am? Who in my life stabilizes me? What drives me?” So that led to a lot of painstaking writing sessions where I’d delve into my past, my best and worst memories, my views on everything (and I mean everything!), my relationships and my relationship with how we communicate today.

Forget About The Day is really the first time I’ve ever taken on mental health head on. “There’s a boy I knew in second school… they found him in a lake”. No secret meanings, just straight to the message. I, like most people nowadays, know of someone who has really struggled and taken their own life. I wanted this song to be straight to the heart of that issue. We need to talk about these things more openly, and with actual purpose. Not with meaningless gestures in our news feed, but by actually extending a hand or ear to the people in our lives who need help. It’s easier said than done, but I wanted this song to be a clear message to offer hope to people. Hope in the knowledge that many people suffer with various issues, but that through talking, honesty, humility and a removal of the stigma surrounding it, we can all make positive differences.

The music video is, kind of accidentally, very poignant. I’ve worked with filmmaker Ian West loads of times over the years, and we’d planned for this video to be an exploration of the complexity of mental health in relationships. About the difficulties in communicating even with those closest to you. Amy Cook and Matt Walker did an amazing job of portraying a couple experiencing these issues. We shot it in early March, not realising what life was about to become. The final edit of the video is as much about the isolation of these last few months as it is about mental health.

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