girl in red gets real about mental health on heart-jolting new single rue

Photo: Isak Jenssen

Rising Norwegian artist girl in red has given fans the first taste of her upcoming debut album with the galvanising lead single, 'rue'.

While watching HBO drama 'Euphoria', girl in red - whose real name is Marie Ulven - found herself relating to lead character, Rue (Zendaya), a teenager fresh from rehab who struggles to stay clean upon returning to her neighbourhood.

Although Ulven is not a drug addict herself, the escapist in Rue resonated deeply with her and it partly inspired her latest track, which pays homage to those around her who have been "affected" by her mental health.

I wrote this song for my loved ones who are affected by my mental health. i will always try my best to get better for them, and i am forever grateful for their presence in my life," she explains.

On relating to Rue, she continues: “She is a drug addict, which I'm not.

But a lot of the stuff she's felt and is trying to escape from is shit I'm dealing with all the time.”

That's some heavy ass work. It's not physical work but it feels like it because it's so hard," she admits.

In laying bare her own mental health in a direct and honest way, Ulven will no doubt inspire others to do the same.

She adds: "A lot of people don't know about mental health.

People lack knowledge and don't understand that your mental health isn't necessarily who you are. You can be depressed but that doesn't mean you don't want to go outside or you don't have feelings. To me it's not taboo at all to talk about mental health. Everyone has a mental health. I don't see talking about sex as a taboo thing either.”

Backed by an intense, pulsating beat throughout, this dark-pop belter is a heart-jolting listen, and shows off Ulven's deeply-evocative cinematic songwriting style.

'rue' is out now on all major streaming services.