General Hospital’s Maurice Benard found this week’s State Of Mind guest, singer/songwriter Jillian Rossi, on social media after she had amassed 1.2 million monthly followers on Spotify. Benard, a well-known advocate for all things mental health, was intrigued when he found out one of her early viral hits, “So What?!,” was inspired by a friend’s struggle with mental health and her own struggle with anxiety.
Maurice Benard & Jillian Rossi: Distraction
Rossi, who just turned 24 on May 17, developed a crippling case of anxiety while still studying at the Berklee College of Music, a prestigious school for the Arts that merged with the Boston Conservatory in 2015. The streaming music sensation shared with the State Of Mind host how she decided to put her anxiety into song in the hopes of helping others. She found that her co-writer and producer, Tony, also had a friend struggling, so they put it into the successful single.
The young singer detailed the struggle behind the art. “A friend and I, at the same time, were going through a rough patch,” Rossi admitted. She described the symptoms that plagued her. “I was struggling with really bad anxiety. It just comes and goes in really bad waves.
“I had really bad anxiety for six to eight months when I was 19,” Rossi shared. “Honestly, just recently, I have been feeling it again in the pit of my stomach all of the time…like needing to breathe…racing thoughts.”
Putting her feelings into words felt like a way to distract herself from the building trauma, and other distractions helped. “It was kind of a song to myself and my friend, who was also struggling with anxiety, just to say that everything is going to be okay. That type of thing.” She added another trick she used to shut down her anxious thoughts. “Doing my makeup helps me.”
Benard, who knows a thing or two about anxiety, asked her when was the last time she experienced that kind of anxiety, and she surprised him with her response. “This morning. Right before I came here,” Rossi confessed. “I am so good at masking it. Even when I was in the deep depths of it years ago, I could go to class. Nobody would know.”
A Dynamo With Good Advice For Other Artists
Benard (Sonny Corinthos) dug deep into Rossi’s early roots and inspiration. Fans can find out more about where she came from, her early family life, her family’s struggles with her brother Andrew’s autism, and how their support for her singing aspirations proved invaluable.
Learn more about her move from high school to the prestigious school of the arts, where she received operatic training and once sang for Mr. Long Island himself, Billy Joel. The business-minded dynamo found a manager on Facebook and a lawyer who has been valuable in teaching her the ropes and the perils of the music industry.
Rossi revealed her musical style, who and how she was inspired to write her mega-hits on the streaming channels, garnering 75 — 100 million streams on Spotify alone. Find out how Jake Gyllenhaal and Taylor Swift helped the singer amass a huge following. Anyone with musical aspirations who needs practical insight into a successful career should watch the full episode here. It is packed with insider advice.
For more information on Jillian Rossi, follow her on Instagram, Spotify, TikTok, Twitter, YouTube, and her official website. To follow State Of Mind and subscribe, go to YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter. Fans can now purchase inspirational merchandise for Benard’s State Of Mind. Check it out.