Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to pursue a music career?
Music has always been a form of therapy for me. I primarily would work on something to be able to “shut off” the analytical conscious part and free myself from that overactive mindset. I struggled with bouts of anxiety while launching a tech start-up, so the music actually became my lifeboat during the process. In the midst of a quasi-existential crisis, I started to channel my mental energy into the music and eventually shared it publicly so with the hope that others could connect with it. After gaining some traction from my first few releases, I decided to pursue it head-on.
Can you share the biggest challenges that you have had to overcome since you embarked on your career?
The biggest challenge is staying authentic with your work as an artist. So many different voices and opinions, with good intentions, try to steer you into various directions based on hindsight from other success stories. It often becomes a trap that makes you hyper conscious during the creation process, which quite often disrupts the work. The guiding light then becomes staying true to your own voice and only adapting to things that make sense based on your personal experience in your own journey. Listening to the advice and experiences of others is helpful, but the key is to take that information and assess it within the context of your own unique journey.
How do you want your music to impact people’s lives?
For starters, the goal is to create something that resonates with people on an emotional level and triggers some sort of polarizing reaction during the listening process. I think it’s one of the main reasons we admire art in general, it allows us to feel certain emotions in a safe manner. Another goal is to create something that can highlight the importance of compassion and loving-kindness, reminding people of the importance of togetherness.
A lot of music and songwriting is geared towards the self and the ego, relaying personal love stories and anecdotes for people to connect with. This is wonderful and resonates well for many of us going through the different stages of life, reminding us that we all share similar journeys in life. My goal is to supplement that by offering another perspective, suggesting that solely an ego-based view on life, especially paired with always “craving for more,” is actually a major contributor to our emotional turmoil.
Can you share a personal story of an emotional struggle and expand on what you mean by “craving for more”?
Like I mentioned earlier, I’ve experienced varying levels of anxiety combined with depression at different periods in my life. Paired with a healthy dose of panic attacks, I’ve gone through an interesting, yet ultimately rewarding journey. Some of the worst moments came about during intense hyper-focused periods where I was chasing success and material things. These moments provided a polarizing contrast to the low periods of not wanting anything at all, which came about during the burn-out periods. These contrasting experiences, with the aid of introspection and philosophical reexamination, helped me see the relationship between the “craving for more” and the suffering.
More and more evidence points towards a combination of biological (genetic predispositions), cultural, and psycho-social influences as the root cause of many mental health issues. But creating a value system that encourages the desire for “craving more” often underlies our ego-based thinking, leading to a general sense of being overwhelmed and unfulfilled when not reaching these hollow objectives. I try to incorporate a loving-kindness and “other” oriented perspective as a measure to counteract this disruptive mindset.
Considering that mindset, what do you do personally do to keep yourself balanced and motivated?
On a daily basis, I meditate and try to bring a sense of unconditional awareness to the things I’m doing. Creating music itself helps a lot with the process, and is its own form of meditation because it anchors me to the moment and allows me to further distance myself from those toxic mindsets. But the key is to find a healthy balance by maintaining a goal-directed mindset with meaningful objectives that are not based on material things. Meditation helps a lot because it provides a daily anchor and a sense of awareness that permeates throughout my day. I also do physical exercises a few times a week, which also helps create a general sense of well-being.
What advice would you have for other up and coming musicians?
I think the main thing I would suggest would be to follow your heart, be authentic with your work, and trust in your own journey. Joseph Campbell has a beautiful saying, “Follow your bliss.” Those words really resonate with me because they highlight the importance of trusting the process since your own journey is unique to you. This doesn’t mean losing yourself in it, but rather finding yourself through whatever it is you’re doing. And I genuinely believe, as artists, we have a responsibility to embody that “free” mindset while maintaining a healthy balance as a reminder of our limitations, both emotionally and physically.
What are your future plans?
I’m working on an interesting non-music project related to mental health, but I can’t go into any specifics because it is in its early stages. But as far as the music is concerned, I have a few projects I’m in the process of completing. Some experimental, some upbeat, and others more meditative, which is in a similar vein to my past projects.
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