NEW INTERVIEW! HOW MC/PRODUCER ONEWERD DOES LIFE…04 / 02 / 2018
HOW TO DO LIFE
This idea came to me in a meditation. I am constantly trying to find the magical work/life balance formula particularly when it comes to musicians. I find us to be the most interesting case study because We are all juggling a tremendous amount of tasks, are intensely emotional AND most of us hustling a full time job or multiple streams of income in order to feed ourselves invest in our art. Basically we’re (very tired) superhero- hustlers.
It’s nearly impossible to do everything well at the same time while also maintaining a personal life and a self care practice. That being said, from the outside looking in, I have a few friends who “do life” pretty well and I want to know how they do it so I can share it with YOU!
CASE STUDY: ONEWERD
I chose my bay area homey OneWerd, a prolific touring MC and producer who continues to amaze me with his balance between tirelessly supporting other artists and banging out one dope project after another. I had the honor of sharing the bill with him many times while I lived in the bay and he’s always been someone I can hit up for connects and suggestions. He’s also cool as fuck, a trait more important to me than any of the others!
This brief chat I had with OneWerd is full of inspiration and humility. I definitely was onto something when I asked him to do this with me!
CC: HEY ONEWERD! WHAT ARE YOUR SLASHES?
OW: Emcee, producer, mix engineer, event coordinator/promoter, visual artist/designer, 6th grade English teacher, husband, cat father….I think that covers most of it!
CC: HOW MANY HOURS OF SLEEP DO YOU GET ON AVERAGE?
OW: I really aim for 6 to 8….if I’m not on tour, it’s hard for me to function well on much less than 6, particularly when I’m in the classroom. I don’t like sleeping in much, since I’d usually rather be up and doing something productive/creative.
CC: WHERE HAVE YOU HAD TO FINANCIALLY CUT CORNERS TO INVEST IN YOUR CAREER?
OW: This is a tough one.I’ve been fairly fortunate in my job and my living situation, so I haven’t necessarily been super aware of not being able to afford certain things. A lot of that comes from generally being a pretty frugal person, though. I’ve never felt really comfortable spending money on lavish things (other than recording equipment), and I’ve never felt right paying someone to do something I thought I should learn to do myself. I rarely go on vacations, since I’m pretty much a workaholic when it comes to music. It’s what I enjoy doing the most, so I spend a significant portion of my free time investing in that. The only times I really spend money outside of that or go on vacations is with my wife, Anastasiya….I’m typing this just after spending our anniversary weekend in Monterey. Beyond music, family and relationships is most worthwhile place I can invest my time and funds.
CC: WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’VE SACRIFICED THE MOST IN ORDER TO MAKE TIME FOR YOUR PRIORITIES?
OW: Maybe this is too personal, but I’ve really been struggling with the idea of having kids in the last year or so. I’ve always wanted to be a father, but I hate the idea of being absent or distracted by music. I’m also scared of the idea that I might feel like I gave up on something that meant a lot to me before I took it as far as possible. Like I said…still struggling a lot with that one. It’s coming up a lot in my songwriting, lately.
CC: WHAT TAKES TOP SPOT ON YOUR PRIORITIES LIST?
OW: Man…..I hate ranking these things, tbh! I know the list includes my marriage, my music, exercise, spirituality, recovery, my job, my cats, and my family. I don’t like putting any one of those above another, though…I feel like they’re all equal shares of keeping my heart and soul healthy. I wouldn’t do well without any one of them falling out of place.
CC: HOW DO YOU MAKE DECISIONS BASED ON THOSE PRIORITIES?
It gets pretty hectic a lot of the time, tbh. I never feel like it’s a perfect balance from day to day. I usually feel like at least one of those pieces is getting neglected a bit, so I’m constantly shifting focus to keep it the pendulum from swinging too far in any one direction for too long.
CO: WHAT’S YOUR DEFINITION OF SELF CARE AND WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE IN YOUR LIFE?
OW: Sleep, exercise, prayer, and 12 step fellowship. I’ve been sober for 12 years, so it’s a little too easy for me to let that slip sometimes. Being around folks with similar struggles that are looking for a similar solution always helps to re-center me.
CO: WHAT KEEPS YOU UP AT NIGHT?
OW: Throwing shows, lol! That and touring are easily the most stressful pieces of the puzzle. They’re definitely worth it, but if I do decide to have a kid, I know that’ll likely be the first piece of the puzzle that’ll need to give a bit…at least for a while. I’m sure any parents reading this are probably thinking I’m being totally unrealistic!
CO: WHAT KEEPS YOU FROM THROWING IN THE TOWEL ON THIS (VERY CHALLENGING) MUSIC CAREER THING?
I’ll never stop never stopping!!! But for real, I could go on on this one for a while…it’s probably the core theme of a majority of my music. I think for creative people, the process of making things and being inspired is more important than anything else…more than play counts, show turnout, finances, etc. I think life throws and endless amount of mental/ emotional/spiritual puzzles at us that we have to work through to stay involved and inspired, and it’s never an easy or predictable job. What worked yesterday may not work today, so that’s a question I have to answer one day at a time.
CO: WHAT DO YOU THINK WERE SOME OF THE BIGGEST TIME/MONEY/ENERGY
WASTERS FROM WHEN YOU WERE STARTING OUT IN YOUR CAREER? HOW DO YOU DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY NOW?
OW: I’m not sure any of the things I’ve ever spent time on creatively have ever turned out to be a waste of time. I’ve always felt like everything I bothered to try always ended up teaching me something. The only things I wish I could avoid are the mental traps I tend to fall into…telling myself my music needs to sound or be presented a certain way…that I need to have the approval of certain people…that success is measured by x, y, or z.
CO: WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR GET-SHIT-DONE-AND-STAY-SANE LIFE HACKS?
OW: Starting is the hardest part. Turn off the distractions and begin.
CO: IS THERE A QUESTION I HAVEN’T ASKED YOU THAT YOU’D LIKE TO ANSWER THAT PERTAINS TO HOW TO DO LIFE?
OW: I guess I’d say remembering that art and life are all just an extension of who we are as people. I try to bring a piece of who I am to whatever I’m doing and trust that if it’s an honest expression of myself, then that’s good enough for me! Thanks for giving me the opportunity to talk about my art, Corina!
FOR MORE ONEWERD, CHECK HIM OUT ON THE INTERWEBS: