As the death of Avicii showed, life on tour is tough, so how do other successful DJs master their work-life balance?
EDM superstars Fedde Le Grand, Andrew Rayel and ARTY speak to Meaww about their life off the dance floor and how they deal with stress while dropping some world-class beats
Their world seems perfect to the outsiders. Playing music and being the essence of some of the biggest and best parties in the world. Their lives all flashy and fancy.
But all those lights and blinders literally keeps us in the dark about the downside or the toll constant producing and touring can have on an artist. Can a work-life balance really be achieved when one is touring across continents and clubs playing from dusk to dawn?
In an exclusive, we talk to some Electronic Dance Music (EDM) superstars about their life off the dance floor and how they deal with stress while dropping some world class beats.
Fedde Le Grand
Fedde Le Grand is the grandmaster of house music. For over 15 years the man has made people all over the world dance to his unique and uplifting tunes. From having his own radio show to having played at festivals such as Tomorrowland, Coachella, Electric Zoo and having remixed tracks of artists such as Madonna, Rihanna and Coldplay this man has done it all.
I now have strict rules on travel~Fedde Le Grand
The start of my career has been pretty explosive. Before I got a handle on how to pace myself things definitely haven’t always been easy. But as you go you learn. I now have more strict rules on travel, meaning I know what my body can handle and when travel really is too extreme, leaving no time for rest for too long of a period for instance, then I will make some choices in which shows I can and can not do.
That’s always hard, because you want to do all shows if you could, connecting with as many fans as possible. But the bottom line is you’ve got to take care of yourself first. So eating healthy and working out regularly are also very high on my priorities!
He started off his music career when he was just 13. Now at 26 he has over a million followers on social media who wait eagerly for him to drop his next beat. From underground clubs to mainstream festivals this man has made his presence felt with his originals and remixes.
Our brain is like a computer, overloading it with everything will lead to different types of crashes~Andrew Rayel
There are two types of days I can define in my life.
When I'm home I spend most of the day in the studio, letting my creativity flow and obviously there are lots of stressful moments when I have deadlines for tracks or when there are things that I don’t like happening. To release that stress I usually watch something funny on YouTube or an episode of "Friends". Our brain is like a computer that can take a certain amount of information at a time, overloading it with everything will lead to different types of crashes, that’s why once in a while, during the day, you need to restart it, and release all that unnecessary information. Watching something simple and funny works for me just fine.
When I'm touring we usually fly and travel a lot, that's why I try to rest and sleep as much as possible, everywhere and anytime I can. Taking a nap or a good sleep will keep your body in good shape and will save the energy for the important moments, when you have to make hard decisions.
Also staying in contact with your friends and family is very important and sharing everything that happened during the day. Every person needs an emotional connection, needs to know that someone cares about them and is waiting for them, otherwise you will feel lonely which will lead to even more stress!
Can you tell about the ‘dark side of touring’ (the cons/negatives) and how you balance work and personal life?
Touring can be very hard if you don't do it the right way. I don't drink alcohol anymore and eat very healthy, and I've noticed a dramatic difference in the way I feel. It's especially hard when you constantly change time zones, which makes you constantly tired and uninspired. If you do it long enough it makes you feel like nothing has a purpose and you're stuck in a spiral, doing things the same way every day. It's very important that you give yourself a break when possible and don't do anything related to music, just relax and think about other things.
It’s also very important to understand and realize that you did all the best you could to make that show as it was, even if it was not perfect. These are some of the things which will make you feel more comfortable.
Twenty-eight-year-old Russian house music producer and DJ ARTY’s interest in electronic music stemmed from his love from video games. At just the age of 14, he graduated from music school. Not many are aware that Artem Stoliarov aka ARTY also has a degree in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science. But he decided to pursue electronic music and it did pay off well. He has collaborated with EDM giants such as Armin van Buuren, Above & Beyond and Paul Van Dyk among others. At 28 he has already released one studio album and is on his way to conquering the EDM world.
It's really important to have caring people around you to help keep your feet on the ground~ARTY
At the age of just 28 you have achieved superstardom in world of EDM. How do you deal with all the fame, attention and the kind of pressure that comes with it?
I surround myself with family, friends and my incredible team. They are always supportive and help me get through a lot of pressure and stress, which inevitably comes with all of the studio work and touring. Also, I always remind myself why I make music in the first place; making music, playing shows around the world, and see happy faces in the crowd, brings peace to my soul inspiration and motivation to keep going.
How do you know when not to cross the line? (could be with anything work/partying)
I’ve definitely had moments when I felt like it was just too much. Either it's extremely long hours in the studio, or long hours of partying with no sleep. I could see how easy it is to get carried away. But I can only say that you need to listen to your body, and learn from the experiences you've had or seen. It's really important to have caring people around you to help keep your feet on the ground.