James Blake

James Blake Talks About the “Sad Boy” Label

James Blake has posted a note online about the problem he sees with the “sad boy” label.

But I can’t help but notice, as I do whenever I talk about my feelings in a song, that the words “sad boy” are used to describe it.

I’ve always found that expression unhealthy and problematic when used to describe men just openly talking about their feelings. To label it at all, when we don’t ever question women discussing the things they are struggling with, contributes to the ever disastrous historical stigmatisation of men expressing themselves emotionally.

We are already in an epidemic of male depression and suicide. We don’t need any further proof that we have hurt men with our questioning of their need to be vulnerable and open.

It is only ever a good thing to talk about what is on your mind.

Please don’t allow people who fear their own feelings to ever subliminally shame you out of getting anything off your chest, or identifying with music that helps you. There is no great victory in machismo and bravado in the end. The road to mental health and happiness, which I feel so passionately about, is paved with honesty.

Sorry for this “sad boy” letter, but I’ve seen enough friends drown in this, and almost drowned in it myself because I bottled everything up, afraid of being seen as weak or soft. I now see thegreat strength, and benefit for those around you in actually opening up.

Jason Tate
Jason Tate Jason Tate is the founder and editor-in-chief of chorus.fm. He can also be found at @jason_tate on Twitter and on Facebook.