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James Blake says major labels “should be required to provide a therapist to their artists”

James Blake has said major labels “should be required to provide a therapist to their artists”.

In a new X/Twitter thread, the musician has called for labels to provide therapy for their artists. In response to a tweet posted by Butterz label head Elijah, Blake wrote: “Labels should be required to provide a therapist to their artists. You shouldn’t get to profit from our trauma without helping with the pitfalls of it.”

Blake further clarified it was “major [labels]” that should do this, adding: “Live agents and managing companies too. All of them have a vested interest in the artist becoming more successful, which means disconnected from support systems/family/friends by being thrown into a strange disconnected world of touring and parasocial media.”

He went on to say: “I’m not suggesting a label provide their sanctioned therapist to be clear just that they should fund therapy. Guess I shoulda worded it that way.”

Last year for World Mental Health Day, NME reported that those working in the music industry “more prone to mental health problems than the general population”, with “musicians being up to three times more likely to suffer from depression”. We spoke to Editors guitarist Justin Lockey and others about the unique challenges of touring for musicians – and what can be done to solve these challenges.

We also spoke with mental health charity Tonic last year, which has been championed by the late Specials frontman Terry Hall, about the services they provide. Tonic’s mission is to “promote good mental health through music”, having “helped many isolated and vulnerable people in our community”.

Blake himself has been open about the struggles of touring on his mental health, discussing his experiences in 2019: “There are a lot of musicians just starting out now who might not be aware of the pitfalls of touring, and the pitfalls of a musician’s life. Mental health on the road is something which has generally been left until this generation to really deal with.

“I think we’ve seen the effects of the artist’s life laid out for us in previous generations, and I think we’re just starting to go, ‘Maybe I shouldn’t use these methods to cope with it, maybe I should talk to somebody.’”

In other news, James Blake has launched his own platform Vault after speaking out against the impact of TikTok on the value of music.

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