The year is 2017; just turned 26, deep into my tenure as an artist relations guru and a recognizable face in the party scene, but my heart just wasn’t in it. I loved my team and the festivals I was working, but I felt myself pulling to a more inventive pathway. After taking a break to deal with my mental health, and drawing on my past as an arts student, I knew that eventually I needed something that was less labour and more creating.
Enter, this lovely publication you’re reading right now. A friend urged me to apply for an open writer position at Dance Music Northwest, where he was a current staff writer. I didn’t have a massive background in journalism, besides writing for my college newspaper and grandiose Facebook statuses for everyone to read, but as you just read through the 6 other parts, I had a bit of experience in the electronic music scene.
So, I applied. After going through a painless interview process, I was given my first assignment: a review of rising superstar REZZ’s new track Fourth Impact. I had never really done a review before, but I found myself just writing, and everything was flowing so naturally. It clicked, again,and finally, I knew I had found something I was truly passionate about.
During that next year, expanding my creativity became my number one focus. I got to attend Tall Tree Music Festival and The Victoria Ska and Reggae Fest as a member of the media, wrote a couple dozen articles including a piece on mental health in the festival world, which at this time has almost 2k shares and made rounds in the festival circuit a couple times over.
Over the year, I started picking up my background in performance and helped co-found Influx Dance, based out of Victoria. We’re a body positive, gender inclusive go-go dance collective made up of flow artists, dancers, performers, and vivacious humans who’s only goal is to make you smile and move. Some stand out performances include Vancouver Island legend Neon Steve’s Neon Steve & Friends show, and the Bamboo Bass Festival pre-party featuring Pigeon Hole, which a couple of our ladies got to head down to Costa Rica to dance at earlier this month.
Between those two jobs, two positions that not only fill my soul with joy, but also let me experience festivals in such a different way, I knew I had to make some tough decisions. So, in January 2018, I officially resigned from Shambhala Music Festival as a member of the Artist Relations team. I knew in my heart I’d be back on the farm, but I knew that my new avenues would bring me back there in a way that I knew I was ready for.
And that brings us to right now. As I sit here writing this, I am currently confirming media applications for my first American festivals in 2018, as well as confirming performances through the summer for Influx: it finally feels like this teenage raver has grown up. I wanna thank each and every one of you for reading this, even if you popped in halfway through; thank you for listening to my story.
Thank you to Dance Music Northwest for giving me this opportunity, for letting me chronicle the story of an upstart 15 year old with big dreams, evolving beyond that and making my way through the electronic music world to where I am today. I also need to thank the following:
Monty & 4TheMusic: You took a chance on a teenager who clearly was in over his head and you let me grow, and have continued to be a constant force in my life ever since.
Mykee & Reliable Entertainment: Same deal. Not only did you believe in someone who you barely knew, you’ve remained one of my closest friends and confidants, and for that I can never ever repay you.
Drute-Z & Unki Bee & D-Blok Studios: The first company that saw something special in me and brought me aboard not just to help, but to make the company grow.
Seany Mac, Devan, Stephanie S, and Ziggy: The four people over the years crazy enough to co-throw events with me. Nuff said, you guys are true MVPs. Sean especially, for not only putting up with my nonsense but for taking me literally forgetting to thank you for it like a champ. A true friend, through and through.
Xavier: For starting it all and coming up with my original party name, and playing your heart out at over half of them.
Blueprint Events: Over the years you’ve allowed me to work with some of the largest artists in the industry and consistently coming through.
Shambhala, Tall Tree, Bass Coast, Rifflandia, VEMF, Atmosphere and Soundwave. My original lineup, growing up in the woods, on the beach, teaching me what festival culture was, and giving me my first working on opportunities.
And you. Every single person reading this; those who danced beside me for years, held my hand when my parties fell down, put me down for a nap after being up stressed out for 3 days, and for sticking by me all these years. It’s been a fucking honour being your teenage raver.
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