Caleb Hearn Opens Up About Anxiety, Escaping His Small Town and Newest Single “Klonopin”

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Photo Credit: Stephanie Siau

In the music of Caleb Hearn, you’ll find music that is multi-layered, profoundly personal and fueled by incredibly honest songwriting. However, the Nashville-based star, who originally rose to fame via TikTok, says his music always told the personal experiences of others – never his own. Now, Hearn enters a new musical era with his new single “Klonopin” where he’s finally telling his story.

Hearn’s newest musical effort, “Klonopin,” was released today alongside a music video. While Hearn collaborated earlier this year with New York-based singer-songwriter ROSIE for the single “A Little Bit Better” – a raw and poetic track that opens up about living a life with mental health struggles – “Klonopin” marks the first time that Hearn is turning the focus on himself. The single travels down a darker and more personal path as the star expresses his own struggle with anxiety – something that he’s been hesitant to talk about until now. In light of this release, the small town North Carolina native sat down with Melodic Magazine to discuss his new single, the importance of tackling your mental health and what “Klonopin” represents in terms of his musical journey.

You’re originally from a very small town, where things like mental health or the arts aren’t always encouraged. How were you inspired to express your vulnerability through the arts despite coming from a small town?
I have a really supportive family and that helped a ton, if I didn’t have them I may never have tried it. But I will say, as much as I love where I grew up, it was tough. There came a point right before I moved to Nashville where I just had to get out. It was the place that shaped me to be who I am now, but I knew that if I never left then I would not be able to do this forever. When I moved to Nashville there was so much more diversity. I love going home, I just couldn’t live there. There’s so much I’m chasing and my life is so different from the norm there.

Your most recent release is your single “A Little Bit Better” that you did with Rosie. What’s the inspiration behind the song and what inspired you to collaborate with Rosie?
One of the reasons I’m such a big fan of Rosie is because she’s so open about her mental health. I’ve had a lot of trouble with trying to be more open and show who I am because of my upbringing. I knew something that we both really care about is mental health, so I took that idea into the session and she was totally down. One thing we agreed on was that when you struggle with mental health, there really is no solution. You just basically have to learn to live with it and learn that it doesn’t control or define you.

The idea for us when we were making the song was that living with mental health struggles is all about finding someone that makes it all a little bit better. We didn’t want the song to sound like we’re sad, because we’re not.. we’re both very happy individuals. One thing that’s not talked about a lot is that happy people struggle so much on the inside. That’s why this song’s upbeat and happy. We really wanted to focus on high functioning anxiety; you can still be happy and have anxiety, depression, or another kind of mental health issue.

You say you struggle with opening up about yourself. Why is that?
I would say that as I’ve gotten older I’ve gotten better with it, but the major reason is because part of me is still in that small town. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but when it comes to talking about my mental health, I sometimes shut down immediately. I even struggle to talk about it with my best friends. Mental health is one of those things that you can’t see, so it sounds crazy. The way I think of mental health sometimes is like trying to tell someone that you saw Superman. They probably don’t know what it’s like, but maybe they do. There’s so many fears, and I think that living for the first 20 years of my life in a place where people just did not talk about that makes it weird now to try and open up. I’m trying to be better about that, but it’s one of the most important things in my life and I want to bring that to my music.

What pushes you to keep pursuing music despite how difficult it can often be?
It’s a really cliche answer, but because I love it…

If you want to hear more about Caleb Hearn’s new single “Klonopin” and what advice he has for those who struggle with mental health, head over to issuu to read the full interview and order a physical copy, here.

Keep up with Caleb Hearn: Instagram // TikTok // Spotify // Website

Justice Petersen
Justice Petersen
Justice Petersen is a Chicago-based music journalist and freelance writer. She is a recent graduate from Columbia College Chicago, having earned a journalism major with a concentration in magazine writing and a minor in music business. Justice regularly contributes artist interviews, On Your Radar features and various other articles for Melodic Magazine, serving as an interviewer, writer and editor. She also writes for several other online magazine publications, including Ghost Cult Magazine, Chicago Music Guide and That Eric Alper, and her work has been featured in Sunstroke Magazine, Fever Dream Zine, ChicagoTalks and the Chicago Reader. Her favorite band is Metallica and her go-to coffee order is an iced vanilla oat milk latte with strawberry cold foam on top.

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