Fans question if they can separate artist from his music
Singer-songwriter Alexander O’Connor, known as Rex Orange County is set to stand trial after receiving six sexual assault charges against a woman.
A representative for O’Connor has since denied the charges, of which are set to see trial on January 3rd, 2023.
“Alex is shocked by the allegations which he denies and looks forward to clearing his name in court,” said a representative in a statement to the press. “He is unable to make any further comment because of the ongoing proceedings.”
O’Connor canceled his tour for his newest album Who Cares? in July but had not discussed why.
“Due to unforeseen personal circumstances, I am having to spend some time at home this year,” O’Connor announced. “This is the last thing I want to do. I love touring and I am so sorry to be letting anyone down. I look forward to getting back to it as soon as I can.”
It came to shock to many fans when the reason for his canceled tour came to light.
“My initial reaction to hearing the news was really sad. ROC has been one of my favorite song writers for six years,” said fan and NDSU Student Sophie Lind. “To hear that kind of news about someone you really looked up to is extremely hard. I spent hours in my room listening to his music and it’s almost like getting close to someone and then them ghosting you, you don’t really know what the right thing to do is.”
Many fans found out about the charges through social media, specifically the popular app Tik Tok.
“Finding out this news, especially through something like Tik Tok, the first thing I thought of was ‘it can be any type of person, whether you expect them to be like this or not.’ I looked up to him,” said fan and NDSU Student Taiyler Rall. “He went through a break up before he wrote this album and after I found out [about the charges], I don’t know. He was preaching about treating women a certain way and then you find about these charges and that was just really sad.”
Rall says she has removed his music from her playlists and is no longer actively listening to his music and the charges have left many fans confused on if they should still support or listen to his music.
“I do plan on listening to his music but I will definitely be taking a break. I don’t think it’s right for me to listen to his music and ‘support’ him right now. I obviously do not support his actions but I think eventually I will be able to separate the music from the person,” said Lind. “His older music got me through extremely hard times and I think a lot of fans feel that way. It is hard to have something that was so personal to so many people just ripped away from them.”
Rall shared she will no longer be able to listen to the artists music, as she feels it has a lot of negative emotions now associated with it.
As for future music by the artist, Lind does not feel she will be able to continue to listen to any new works but may continue to listen to older songs.
“I think that artists and music can be separated. People use this concept for not only musicians but also actors, public figures, and artists,” said Lind. “For me at least, I am able to do this with pieces of art or music that were made before news was broken that something like this happened. I will be more inclined to listen to ROC’s older music and if he releases new music I will not support that.”