In the interest of promoting mental health awareness and empathy, music label Safe Space Records, Inc., tried rebranding the blues artists it represented as "creatives struggling with clinical depression," and blues music itself as "depressive melodics" - only for the the rebranding to flop terribly.
"Unfortunately, sales plummeted for the very artists we were seeking to validate," said SSRI executive Ronnie Lowell. "And the loss in sales only exacerbated their depression. Not what we were going for at all."
He noted that a parallel endeavor to rebrand hard living and drinking songs as "addiction channeling orchestrations" proved similarly unsuccessful.
According to Lowell, Safe Space is committed to supporting and encouraging blues musicians through tough times, and strives to avoid minimizing trauma as merely a case of "the blues." And, for that reason, he expressed concern that some blues songs make heartache and despair seem bearable or even cool.
"What if people start wondering why their depression doesn't suddenly disappear when the right woman walks in the room?" he said. "Or what if lonely people start thinking that alcohol really is the answer? That attitude could be extremely dangerous to people with mental health issues.
Nevertheless, said Lowell, for financial reasons, the blues are back to being just the blues at Safe Space. "The numbers don't lie. Emotional well-being is one thing, but profits are another. We've got our priorities straight here at Safe Space."