Andra Day took out a handkerchief from her pocket and began wiping off her makeup.
A normal thing to do after a show, for sure. But the young neo-soul singer wasn't winding down backstage, sweaty from her sold-out show at the El Rey on Wednesday. She did it midway through her set, in front of everyone who came to see her.
Like at the Grammys, the emotional centerpiece of her set was “Rise Up,” a ballad that she said had a “design to be uplifting” but lately was resonating with people, she added, who were suffering from “depression, image issues, hopelessness.” That word — “depression” — is a rarity in pop music. Even an R&B singer like The Weeknd, whose catalog is almost entirely devoted to tales of self-medicating, barely acknowledges the psychic cost of that.