In the last few years, the global music industry has lost a number of artists to anxiety and depression. Chester Bennington, Avicii, Chris Cornell, Lil Peep, and Mac Miller are just a few of the musicians who have lost their lives to a disease that Billboard claims affects more than 70% of artists across genres. The life of a DJ, band member, or music producer may seem glamorous – jet setting across the country, playing massive stages and arenas, with a hundred thousand fans screaming your name. But when the curtain comes down and it’s time to step off the stage, a lot of the time these artists return to their hotel rooms alone, welcomed by alcohol and drugs, hoping to just numb a pain that they are too afraid to talk about because of the stigma attached to it. It’s this very cycle of personal abuse that EDM duo Lost Stories explores in their latest music video for the track ‘Faking It’ featuring Matthew Steeper.
‘Faking It’ was released as a single in July 2018, however, the official video for the track was released 8 months later on March 3, 2019. Prayag Mehta and Rishab Joshi of Lost Stories are no strangers to the perils of the road, having performed across India and the world at festivals such as Tomorrowland, Marenostrum Music Festival, and Sunburn among others. Since rising to prominence over a decade ago, it is safe to say that they have experienced the highs and the lows associated with being world famous artists, and in their music video for ‘Faking It’, they have chosen to explore the side of fame and fortune that few are willing to talk about.
The video opens with a disclaimer cautioning viewers that what they are about to see is in no way a promotion for drugs and alcohol and that the characters are fictional. This dissolves into a black screen where a one-sided telephone conversation plays out. An artist manager is heard saying that none of the music festivals are interested in booking this particular musician. He goes on to say that if the artist does not “do anything good real soon”, he’s going to be dropped from the management as well. This leads to a POV of the DJ waking up in what looks like a hotel room. After getting out of bed, the pressure to deliver on a good track forces him to spring for a joint, and as he sits down at his console, a glass of whiskey. After struggling with the lyrics and coming up empty, he looks up a girl on his phone and decides to meet up with her in Goa. What follows is a drunken, drug-induced trip through the state’s seedy underbelly, complete with shady drug deals on the side of the road, and obscure hotel room hookups. After a brief run-in with the local police and a successful getaway, the next day brings a new perspective. The DJ is shown dumping all his drugs off a bridge, putting an end to this chapter.
The POV fades to black, and when he wakes up again, he’s back in his room – but this time there is no sign of drugs or alcohol. He sits down at his work station and completes the track, complete with lyrics and music. The file is exported and shared with the label management, and as the POV continues, you can see the DJ meeting up with fellow artists, proud of the work that he was able to accomplish without the use of substances. Post the drop is a montage of Lost Stories performing at various concerts to thousands of people, with the track itself blowing up on social media and music charts. The video closes with a note that talks about the effects of anxiety and depression on musicians, and how turning to substance abuse to deal has taken many of these artists before their time.
If you or anyone you know is battling anxiety and depression, reach out and talk to someone about it. You can contact the Better Lyf Foundation here. The ADAA (Anxiety and Depression Association of America) also has a number of resources online that help in identifying and coping with this silent killer.
Watch the video for ‘Faking It’ by Lost Stories featuring Matthew Steeper below.