James Blake may frequently sing songs imbued with melancholy and heartache, but he’s got something to say about the “sad” characterization of his music.
The English crooner released a new song, “Don’t Miss It,” on Thursday (May 24), and the tone of the song is one of the heaviest he’s released yet. (Its first lyrics: “The world has shut me out/If I give everything I lose everything.”)
Now that “Don’t Miss It” has made the rounds, Blake has a problem with the feedback focusing on his “sad boy” qualities, and he posted a statement on Twitter Saturday (May 26) that explains why this concerns him and why he finds this “contributes to the ever disastrous historical stigmatization of men expressing themselves emotionally.”
Please read. I’ve wanted to say this for a long time, and now seemed as good a time as any. pic.twitter.com/1fSPt7SJnx
— James Blake (@jamesblake) May 26, 2018
“I’m overwhelmed by the lovely response to ‘Don’t Miss It’ today,” he begins. “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.”
He goes on to say that he believes women in music don’t face the same scrutiny — “we don’t ever question women discussing the things they are struggling with” — and stress that it’s “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,” he continues. “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.”
Listen to “Don’t Miss It” below.