With these Artist Spotlights, I will be discussing artists that have influenced and inspired me in my own journey both in music and in life. I have decided to start with Mac Miller because he is an artist that has touched my life in a way no other artist has.
Back when I was waiting for the bus to pick me up at 6:50am to take me to middle school, you would never catch me without earbuds in. A lot of the time, I was listening to Mac Miller music. At the time, he was making more traditional party hip-hop music. It was fun to listen to and I hadn’t yet started making music myself.
As I matured, so did Mac Miller’s music. It started to become more artsy and thought-provoking with his albums Watching Movies with the Sound Off and GO:OD AM . He was getting experimental with his sound and it aligned perfectly with what was going on with my life. I was starting high school and trying to figure out who I was as a person.
Figuring it Out
After already being one of my favorite artists for nearly my whole life, Mac Miller dropped his album Swimming the summer before I moved to college. In fact, it came very soon after I released Pineapple Szn. Swimming was and still is the most important album of my life.
I was struggling throughout high school with numerous long periods of depressive symptoms. I’ve never gotten diagnosed for depression, but I also have avoided so on purpose. I was struggling with appreciating life and coming to terms with my mental health. Coincidentally, much of the content on Swimming related to these topics.
Listening to this album gave me, for the first time in my life, the feeling that everything would be okay. It helped me accept what I was going through and start to take steps toward improvement.
This interview Mac Miller did around the release of the albums just shows you why he was so inspiring to me when it came to topics like my mental health: https://youtu.be/Uuj39gHDakE
Then, on September 7th of 2018, I got the news that Mac Miller had died. It was absolutely heartbreaking to me. It was hard for me to continue to work on myself knowing that one of my idols was no longer with us.
However, his family gave me hope when they announced they would be releasing one final album under Mac’s name. Apparently, he was nearly complete with it before his death. Jon Brion, a friend and collaborator of Mac Miller was tasked with crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s of his final album, Circles. This is an interview where Jon Brion discusses the album and Mac Miller’s legacy: https://youtu.be/faEKDnNXt4o
Circles gave me much needed closure. The subject matter has had a similar effect on me that Swimming did. Essentially, it inspires me to be a better person and to take care of myself. Please visit his website and check out his music: https://www.macmillerswebsite.com
R.I.P. Mac Miller. Thank you for everything you’ve done for me.