What a time to be alive. The entertainment industry continues to thrive, we are all more connected to our favourite artists through social media, and up to date with the latest news with the pings and beeps of notifications from our smart phones. Imagine what it must feel like to be a celebrity (specifically, a musician) living in this climate. Chances are the pandemonium of fans hasn’t changed all that much in the last 20 years, but that window of personal time has definitely become smaller and smaller. And while it is all good fun, we are seeing more artists taking time off – going on hiatus. In 2016, Forbes reported One Direction, Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, and Sam Smith as taking a break, and those are some of the biggest names in pop culture today. So this week, we’re tackling the top 3 reasons your fav bids a temporary farewell to the public eye.
Whether one is a whimsical instrumentalist with an angelic voice, or a production driven artist, the fact of the matter is creativity is a major key in this thing we call art. With their hectic schedules of studio recording, label meetings, touring, press conferences, charity work, exclusive parties, and general life, it’s safe to say that breaks are a necessity for musicians. The hours they spend in the studio creating content is can be extremely taxing: writing or co-writing an album, finding the right melody, production, and the list goes on. Ed Sheeran is the perfect example of this; prior to the recent release of his third album, ÷ (Divide), he took a full year off to travel the world. Without a doubt, you can hear some strong worldly influences and inspiration in the melodies and themes throughout various songs on the album. The challenge with being a musician is putting out content that will appeal to your fan base, as well as attracting new ones, while still trying to have it be a success. Fans expect something refreshing, while artists try to grow and develop their sound. Time off, and shifting focus is necessary.
Finding inspiration isn’t something that happens overnight; the process needs to be organic. Of course, not everyone has the same formula, but the main component seems to be escaping from the public eye, getting back to life away from the glitz and glam, and creating new experiences in the name of renewing creativity.
- Avoiding the Public
As previously mentioned, there has been a shift in publicity thanks to social media and instant notifications about what a celebrity is doing, whether it comes straight from the source or a third party media source on Instagram. Let’s not be mistaken, social media is a great too for an artist to connect with fans ( i.e. Nicki Minaj paying tuition for several fans this past weekend), but it can also be overwhelming- publicity as a whole an take a toll. Tabloids constantly circulate fake news for the sake of a trendy headline and getting more people to click on their content, which generates more clicks and revenue.
It makes sense that artists like Beyoncé want to keep their private lives very distant from the public eye. Most of the news that we end up learning about The Carters is controlled by them, mainly through Mrs. Carter’s Instagram account. It seems that the distance is necessary to keep not only the private life, but the work and creativity nurtured and genuine, without any external influence.
- Mental Health
It’s amazing that discussing the importance of mental health is slowly becoming a staple in our society. Whether you are famous or not, it is important to take care. Looking at it through the lens of being a celebrity can only be that much more important because they are the ones in the public eye, constantly being watched. One can imagine it to feel very suffocating sometimes. Kanye West once described himself as feeling like a “caged animal” and always expresses the need to protect his family from the public.
As a musician living in the public eye, dealing with your professional life, as well as your private, you have to wonder how much you can handle when you have so much going on. It seems like juggling all of these things requires a great deal of mental strength and a lot of assistance from others. Some find that help in people, others in substances and/ or behavioural changes. Does Britney’s head shaving fiasco of 2005 make sense now?
With all of that, you should know that when your fav does go on hiatus, it is as much for you as it is for them.