Declan McKenna says he suffers from imposter syndrome

"The most imposter syndrome I’ve ever felt is now"

Declan McKenna has admitted that he suffers from imposter syndrome.

The young star, who has been riding high ever since the release of his acclaimed 2017 debut album ‘What Do You Think About the Car?’, released his second album ‘Zeros’ on Friday (September 4). Although it’s earned him a lot of praise, he’s not sure he deserves it.

Speaking to NME for this week’s Big Read cover story, McKenna said he suffers imposter syndrome: “The most imposter syndrome I’ve ever felt is now.”


The definition of imposter syndrome is “a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments or talents and has a persistent internalised fear of being exposed as a ‘fraud’.”

McKenna continued: “I’ve just been sitting on an album for a year, and I have had too much time to ask myself questions about the musical direction I have gone in. When you get to that point, you begin to wonder if you are an absolute fraud.”

Elsewhere in the interview, McKenna spoke about the pressures of being on social media as an artist, describing it as “causing an epidemic of anxiety” for everyone.

The ‘Brazil’ singer 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.”

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.”