Declan McKenna on the pressures of social media: “It’s causing an epidemic of anxiety”

The pop star has spoken about the impact online comments have on people

Declan McKenna has spoken about the pressures of social media as an artist, describing it as “causing an epidemic of anxiety” for everyone.

The star released his second album ‘Zeros’ today (August 21), but said the response from fans to his social media posts between the record and his 2017 debut ‘What Do You Think About The Car?’ had an impact on him.

Speaking to NME for this week’s Big Read cover story, McKenna recalled posting one photo of himself on holiday last year and receiving comments saying: “So this is what you are doing instead of releasing the album!”


“I’ve been very fortunate to have my music spread widely via the internet,” the musician explained. “I wouldn’t be in the position I am now without social media. It has put a lot of power into the hands of creators and artists to just do things on their own terms, but I think that this is what is causing an epidemic of anxiety; people just constantly need information.

“I know those sorts of comments about the album are obviously a little bit tongue-in-cheek, but they really, really get to you.”

McKenna added that due to “the voice of a generation” label he was given on his first album, people expect him to be constantly speaking out on his platforms. “I have a tiny bit of pride in myself for the fact that I do stick up for things I believe in, but social media is so good at making you feel like you’re not doing enough,” he said.

In a four-star review of ‘Zeros’, NME‘s Rhian Daly said: “This record is full of ideas and never fully settles on one genre for long; it hops from finger-picked and folky (‘Emily’) to stomping space-rock (‘Daniel, You’re Still A Child’). Sometimes it does so in one song – as when ‘Eventually, Darling’ opens it sounds like it about to channel the most fringe-worthy emo, but instead turn into a shimmering piece of experimental pop.”