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The Silent Rhythm Of Artistic Depression

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Underneath the broken beats and deep basslines that define the Drum & Bass scene, there lies a rarely spoken reality – the silent rhythm of artistic depression. We rarely get to see the weight carried by the artists we admire, and while their music may reverberate around clubs and festivals every weekend, the reality is that many artists are facing unseen battles that are muting their melodies. This is an issue that is often overlooked within the industry, so in this article we will aim to demystify artistic depression within the bass music community, offering strategies to overcome this hidden challenge.

A State Of Mind

Artistic depression, not to be confused with clinical depression, can be an authentic struggle for many producers, DJs, and MCs, and can be amplified by the relentless industry demands for consistent creativity and output. When the creative flow in a music producer’s mind ceases, a deafening silence can ensue, leading to self-isolation and a deep sense of despair.

Imagine spending months creating an electrifying track, only to have it rejected by record labels or overshadowed by industry politics. Imagine a DJ pouring their heart and soul into a live set, only to be convinced it was shit, despite the fans telling them otherwise – a scenario that occurs more commonly than you could imagine. Add to this the pervasive fear of stagnation, the anxiety of being outpaced, and the dread that comes with each passing day devoid of fresh creation. The pressures are immense, and their toll on mental health can be staggering.

Prominent artists within the DnB scene, such as Jumpin Jack Frost and DJ Rap have bravely shared their experiences with depression and anxiety, shedding light on mental health in the music industry. Their stories remind us that while artistic depression is an unwelcome companion for many, it is neither a life sentence nor a creative dead-end. It’s a state of mind that can be managed, navigated, and ultimately used as a catalyst for self-growth and resilience.

DJ Rap
DJ Rap

Collaboration is a powerful strategy for reigniting the dwindling spark of creativity. Collaboration not only alleviates the pressures of going solo, but also injects new perspectives and excitement into the creative process. To see the value in how collaborating keeps the creative fire burning you have to look no further than Shy FX who has stayed at the top of his game for decades and has collaborated with artists from across the board and across genres such as Kiko Bun, Liam Bailey, Lily Allen, Carmen Reece, Chronixx, Kojey Radikal and Nile Rodgers to name a few.

Discussing Mental Heath Struggles

Discussing mental health struggles openly isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a power move and a reflection of the human experience. There is immense strength in vulnerability. If you haven’t seen it yet I would highly recommend viewing/listening to the Frost Report Podcast Episode 3, where Mampi Swift, Friction and Doc Scott openly discuss their mental health struggles, in a way which has helped to shatter mental health stigmas within the DnB scene, and inspire others who are on a similar journey.

Take Yourself Away

Taking a sabbatical can be transformative too, with artists dipping in and out of the scene in order to allow for breaks, as illustrated by DJ Hazard. These breaks are disruptions to the normal pattern, which allows the artist to recharge their creative batteries, and return with unprecedented creative resurgence.

Prioritising physical and mental health is paramount for producers, DJs and MCs. If you’re unable to take yourself away and isolate in a log cabin, like Etherwood did, while working on your next project, at least do what you can to integrate regular physical activity and mindfulness practices to help to maintain a healthy mind-body balance, an essential aspect of sustainable creativity.

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As a professional human potential life coach with over two decades of music industry experience, I’ve witnessed the transformative power of these strategies first hand. My clients, DJs, MCs and producers, have weathered their own storms of artistic depression and emerged stronger, more creative and more in tune with their needs. Just remember that your value as an artist goes way beyond the beats or bars that you drop, it’s also measured by the resilience you show, the authenticity you project and your journey of personal growth.

Artistic depression in the music industry is real, but so too is the potential for transformation. Turn up the volume on your self-care, collaboration and authenticity. Embrace your struggles, share your journey, and remember that even amidst the deafening silence, your vibe’s waiting in the wings, ready to slide back into the mix and bring back the fire to your soul whenever it’s time.

Send Us Your Questions

This article has been created to share information and insights on some of the challenges faced by DJs, MCs or producers in the music industry. If you are facing some unique challenges, we invite you to send in your questions and we will do our best to address them in further editions

Follow Keep It Coaching on Instagram or visit their website to find out more about unleashing your potential as a music industry professional keepitrealcoaching.com

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