The Power of New Beginnings

Simon Huxtable

What the time of new beginnings means to artists from around the industry

January – a time of rebirth, rejuvenation and renewal. We delight in watching Winter’s icy grasp melt away, replaced by Spring’s joyous bounce. The new year also marks a reset point for the Music industry and a time marker by which we can all schedule our 2017 diaries: New Beginnings are abound.

Chief Executive of The Association of Electronic Music, Mark Lawrence believes new beginnings are a wholly positive thing; a time for “…starting something new, leaving bad habits behind and using the opportunity to improve.” Citing his family’s recent relocation to the Balearic island of Mallorca as his new beginning, Mark waxes lyrical about the benefits of the Mediterranean lifestyle. Clearly, it’s been a good move. “New beginnings are always good because you can have a fresh start and there are new chances to take,” Ramon Tapia tells me, “But, of course, there are also mistakes to be made. It’s also time to get rid of past pain and issues which have caused you hurt. But mostly, “change” – change often means progress in this new beginning.”

That change in Ramon’s case is a completely new production project called AMARI, but new beginnings can be anything and the internet, shops, gyms and television are awash with self-improvement adverts, memberships, resolutions and goal-setting. If you’re anything like me, that wave of positivity lasts a few weeks before I slip back into the familiar; the comfortable. But for artists across the globe, January also marks a time where they can spend time in the studio working on new material for the year, perfecting a live show or even working on a new project. “It’s really taken [the] pressure off my creative back so to speak.” Ramon Tapia tells us regarding his new production project, “It gives me freedom to go wherever I want to go musically [and] has also opened new doors.”

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Photo by Solefield

The psychology behind ‘new beginnings’ is well researched, indeed, much of the scholarly activity revolves around the change behaviour associated with quitting smoking or alcohol and how that is affected by certain individual factors. Boiled down, new beginnings, whatever they are, are won and lost on the determination of the individual. So how do we successfully challenge our bad habits, and as Mark mentioned, use the opportunity to improve? Our first thought is to set a series of goals and spend time achieving them, but James Clear, a writer and motivational speaker, believes setting goals actually sets you up for failure before you begin. Instead, it’s the process you take to achieve the goal that should be your focus, essentially, practice makes perfect, and I think this works much better for creatives. I find the psychology behind this idea very elegant. Rather than focus on achieving whatever goal you set yourself, you learn through the process a new way of working; a better method perhaps, and the feelings of failure you get for falling short are sidestepped.

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Photo by Amber Long

We’ve all been there. 10th or 11th time trying to give up smoking and then your girlfriend dumps you or that new diet that lasts as long as it takes to want donuts… planning to make a new track every week without fail until you have a creative dry spell and even colouring in a child’s art book becomes a challenge! “I stopped drinking alcohol almost five years ago and that was a major step in my life.” Berlin-based Till von Sein tells me, “Besides my DJ schedule and producing music I also run a booking agency and take care of some great talent, which gives me a lot of joy but also is very time and energy consuming and therefore I chose a clear mind over boozy nights. When it comes down to it, the takeaay is a lot bigger since I can see the results of my work with the artists in their careers and their output.” Interestingly, this personal life choice wasn’t accepted by everyone, “There were promoters who treated me differently after they had realized that I don’t do Jaeger bombs and Vodka shots with them.” But that hasn’t dulled his sense of fun or his resolve to improve his health, “To me it just felt way better to be in the office on a Monday morning fresh and ready to answer emails and phone calls and not hung over from a long weekend and heavy travels.”

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Webhha

Like Mark Lawrence, whom we met earlier, another prominent figure in the dance music community – Wehbba – has recently moved country with his wife Anna for a better life. Speaking exclusively to me recently, he told me he regards new beginnings as “…giving yourself a chance to start over, act on mistakes, start a new chapter in a new place and/or with new people.” Moving on to his relocation he beams with positivity. Having moved countries to live myself, I know first hand how much of an upheaval it can be. “Leaving my birthplace of Sao Paulo to live in my favourite city in the world, Barcelona, [has] been an amazing experience so far, I’ve been able to express my creativity in ways I’ve never imagined. The whole improvement in the quality of life has had an enormous impact on my inspiration level, and I’ve been making more and better music than ever before.”

Alex Niggemann has had quite a tumultuous year it seems, “First of all, I became a dad, which really rolls up your life completely.” He tells me, “I also had a water leak in my apartment/studio, which lead to reconstructions of 7 months.” So for Alex (and every new dad) new beginnings come with added extras. “It feels like everything that happened in my life before doesn’t matter anymore and everything is just about this little wonder. It is a huge change from being completely independent to be in charge for somebodies life from one day to the next.” And what of the studio? I ask. 2016 saw Alex reach new heights with a fantastic mix for Australian outfit, Balance as well as releases on his label Aeon. “It was a lot of stress. Especially when also needing to take care of a child at the same time. Dealing with workers, insurances and lawyers takes a lot of energy and I really had to push myself to not get totally desperate. I believe all these challenges throughout 2016 were meant to happen to prepare me for a “new” chapter of my life.”

“I’m super excited now for what it will have to offer.”

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Alex Niggemann

People all over the World have made changes this January. Whether it’s something small like choosing to see the good in people or a deciding to get a new job or even moving to a new city or country where you don’t know anyone, change is inevitable and on the whole, positive. Think a moment about your own lives, what would you change? and why would you change it? What’s stopping you other than your own lack of confidence? Make a plan and make that change! We only have one life and we all deserve to have the best time we can. Hopefully, this article has given you the nudge you need to positively affect your world to make improvements. Good Luck.

FRISKY

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