Charli XCX Movie Explores Mental Health During Lockdown
The COVID pandemic lockdown changed lives. We lost some people, and those left behind – we aren’t the same people
The COVID pandemic lockdown changed lives. We lost some people, and those left behind – we aren’t the same people who started 2020. A new film by singer and influencer Charli XCX explores mental health during the 2020 lockdowns, through the eyes of the singer and her fans – many of whom are members of the LGBTQ community. Here’s what we know about Alone Together and the journey we’ll go on with the film.
Coming to theaters and SVOD on January 28, Alone Together is a journey through an experience we all lived – but can hardly believe. Called, “a love story between Charli and her fans,” by Variety, a trailer dropped late last year gives us a hint of what we’ll find in the film. It’s an honest, emotional look into what it feels like to be a superstar without an audience. What it means to grapple with rapid rise to fame and suddenly be unable to continue that journey.
Charli connects with her fans in a real and meaningful way, and in the film she details how she invited them into the creative process of her latest album How I’m Feeling Now. It tells the story of a difficult time between Charli and her partner Huck Kwong as they navigated the difficulty of an on-again-off-again 7-year, long distance relationship.
Throughout the film, Charli emotionally reveals her struggle with anxiety, isolation, and feeling like she’s not good enough. During the lockdown she spent time reaching out to her fans, many of whom are LGBTQ and already dealing with feelings of isolation and vulnerability. Charli’s dedication to her fans and personal journey play out through the film as she shares something we don’t always see: the self-doubt side of fame. It’s a beautiful love note to a group of people who stuck by her even as stages echoed empty, and stars remained just a click away but worlds apart from their fans.
Alone Together was directed by Bradley & Pablo, the genius duo behind videos for Lil Nas X, Dua Lipa, Rosalia, Kanye West, Cardi B and more.
Charlotte Emma Aitchison, known by fans as Charli XCX, is a British pop sensation at just 29 years old. Born August 2, 1992 in Cambridge, England and raised in Essex, Aitchison is the child of an entrepreneur/show booker and nurse/flight attendant. From a young age, she always showed a love and knack for making music. At just 14 years old, she talked her parents into giving her a loan to produce her first album. Her content first appeared online on Aitchison’s MySpace page, where it was seen by a promoter who would change the course of the singer’s future. The promoter invited her to perform and she stretched her legs as a professional singer, with first album songs !Franchesckaar!” and double A-side “Emelline”/”Art Bitch” released in late 2008 by Orgy Music.
By 2010, Aitchison was signed with Asylum Records, attending a fine art school, and struggling with her identity as a singer. She recalls that she hated the pop sound of her original work, and she was desperately seeking a niche when she dropped out of school to focus on her music. One of her earliest hits was, “I Love It,” but it won’t be Charli XCX’s version you remember from the radio: Swedish duo Icona Pop re-recorded it, where it hit the stratosphere. Around the same time, she released “Youre The One” which showed she was seriously in the game. From there, it was nothing but up and now her name is known around the world.
Aitchison’s team shares in a statement, “Her work has influenced wider popular culture and the music industry to set a new example in artistic output. Charli won the Variety Hitmakers award for Innovator of Pop’ and was Mercury Prize ‘Album of the Year’ shortlisted for the release of her album How I’m Feeling Now which she created from scratch in five weeks from home during the COVID-19 lockdown last year. Charli will release her fifth studio album CRASH on March 18th and starts her 36-date live tour throughout North America and Europe shortly afterwards.”
Mental Health in a Pandemic
Charli’s film comes at a time when the world is grappling with the after-effects of the 2020 lockdowns and the ongoing pandemic. If you ask most people, they’ll tell you that they have vague memories of 2020 but maybe few to no memories of 2021. Brain fog and memory loss are common symptoms of depression and PTSD, which people are finding themselves diagnosed with more and more as the pandemic wears on.
The mental health infrastructure in the United States was already poorly prepared to handle the mental health needs of the pre-pandemic population, and is now completely drowning. Although many people found they could grin and bear it for a year, and then two – heading into a third year of life disruptions is beginning to weigh heavily and take a toll.
It’s vital for stars like Charli XCX and others to share their experience and how they’ve coped. One way that people heal is by imitating the journey of those they love and trust – and stars have our trust perhaps more than they should. If they can use that responsibility positively to help people reflect on their own personal journeys and work towards healing, it’s a good thing.
Charli’s film comes out January 28 and you won’t want to miss it. Connecting us to our memories and finding common ground through our shared struggles – this is the human experience.