Words matter. When put to music, the possible reach a song can have is endless. East Coast rapper Logic broke onto the scene in 2010 and continued to make waves for years, peaking in 2017 with his certified platinum, third studio album Everybody and its impactful lead single "1-800-273-8255."
Co-written by, and featuring guest vocals from singers Alessia Cara and Khalid, the song's title is the actual phone number for the American National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL), which provides free and confidential, 24-hour, multi-language support for people in distress.
Produced by Logic and 6ix, along with Drew Taggart of The Chainsmokers, the single received numerous nominations at the 2017 and 2018 MTV VMAs, taking home trophies for Best Collaboration in 2018 and Video with a Message both years. Also in 2018, the track received GRAMMY nominations for Song of the Year and Best Music Video.
According to NSPL, in the weeks following the song's release, calls to the lifeline rose 27 percent, while visits to their online material increased dramatically over the following months. The lifeline's Director of Communications, Frances Gonzalez, reported at the time that following the night of the 2017 VMAs, the organization experienced a 50 percent surge in calls.
A brand new study by the peer-reviewed BMJ medical journal has found that the song's message resulted in a 5.5% reduction in suicides among 10 to 19-year-olds during three specific time periods correlating to the first 34 days after the song's release, Logic's performance at the 2017 VMAs, and his performance at the 2018 GRAMMYs.
“To know that my music was actually affecting people’s lives, truly, that’s what inspired me to make the song,” Logic told CNN upon hearing of the report. "We did it from a really warm place in our hearts to try to help people. And the fact that it actually did, that blows my mind."
According to Thomas Niederkrotenthaler, the study's author, it shows "for the first time that if help-seeking and recovery from severe crisis is prominently featured in the media, this can have a positive effect of increasing help-seeking and reducing suicide." Logic adds that he believes people gravitated toward the message because they resonated with his authenticity in opening up about his own battles with depression. "They're like, 'Oh, this guy is like me.' And so I think openly discussing depression and anxiety and the darker side of life ... you just talk about life, people appreciate that and can relate to it."
Audacy's I’m Listening initiative aims to encourage those who are dealing with mental health issues to understand they are not alone. If you or anyone you know is struggling with depression or anxiety, know that someone is always there. Additionally, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-273-8255.