How do you feel when you think about your life?
Proud? Anxious? Indifferent? Content?
It took us only ten minutes with JACOB – the internationally acclaimed 32-year-old producer from São Paulo, Brazil – to realise his talent may have taken him all the way to the top, but his attitude is what keeps him there.
We hope you’re as inspired by his beautiful outlook as we are!
1. Success isn’t always about what you get.
When asked how he defines success, JACOB was humble:
“I feel like I’ve made something good when people come to me from many places in the world and tell me how my music changed/touched them somehow. Right now I’m most proud of being able to make people happy with my music, of the friends that the music gave me, and the places I’ve been to,” he said.
Don’t be disheartened if you don’t feel like you’re getting anywhere. It might be your job to sow the seed, not to harvest the fruit.
2. Self-doubt never goes away, even when you “make it”.
If you think that having 120,000+ followers on Facebook would quash feelings of inadequacy, think again:
“Most musicians deal with some self-doubt in few aspects, like, we need to be pushing ourselves harder to make another hit, we need to be getting more shows, there’s always something like that.”
Pressure to succeed never goes away, so you might as well harness it to create some powerful magic!
3. Your plans will probably change, and that’s OK.
JACOB says from an early age he wanted to be a DJ. You know that guy that always hijacks the music at parties? That was him! But his dream didn’t exactly go to plan:
“At that time it used to be 2 Discmans and me just mixing from one to the other without stopping the music. Then, when I started to go to some parties with real electronic music, I found out that was what I wanted to do. I started being a DJ in 2006 but after some classes, and I realized that a DJ is not as valued as the producer, so in 2007, I decided to learn production.”
Economic realities don’t always match our exact passions. But take heart, there’s something just as fulfilling right around the corner!
4. Not all advice is good advice.
Advice, especially the unsolicited kind, is usually a pretty mixed bag. So it’s important to remember you don’t have to put every scrap of guidance thrown your way in your pocket.
While JACOB says he’s eternally grateful for those who encouraged him to take the time to discover his own identity and sound instead of copying others, he also says he also received some pretty useless pointers.
“The worst piece of advice I got was to just “let the music speak”. Sadly, nowadays this doesn’t work any more. You really need to do hard work on marketing and everything else. It’s just as important as the music, maybe even more so.”
5. Get out of your head every now and then.
Are you struggling to get the creative juice flowing? Are all the words, pictures, and sounds you’re trying to define bleeding into one big blob of imagination overload? The solution could be as simple as silencing thoughts with some good old-fashioned strenuous exercise:
“After I listen to it, a lot of time, most of the time, I go out for a run and play it on loop. It’s finished when I feel that don’t have nothing else to add or change.”
6. Feel free to enjoy things that other people can’t stand.
Sure, JACOB really digs electronic music, but did you know he’s also a big fan of Elènne, Kanye West, Incubus, The Used, Nirvana and the Foo Fighters? Like whatever you want, regardless of what others think. You’ll feel happier for it.
7. Keep your feet on the ground, and your head in the clouds.
When asked how he kept motivated, JACOB’s answer revealed an inspiring mix of practicality and passionate imagining:
“I’ve got bills to pay, hahaha!” he replied.
“Nah, I try to envision how people are going to react on the dancefloor when I drop the new bassline. Or how awesome it’s going to be travelling to a new place I’ve never been to play. That’s always a good picture to motivate me.”
And, when asked how he’d describe his sound, JACOB masterfully articulated what that dream dancefloor looks like in his mind’s eye:
“My music is best to be played at high volume while the hot summer sun is burning down on lots and lots of naked skin. One moment the groove only consists of an ultra-fat bass line accompanied by some minimal rhythms, the next moment the whole thing is just exploding, bursting into a multi-dimensional universe of intertwined harmonies, subtle psychoacoustics sparkling in between, cascades of uplifting rhythms… just purely positive catchiness.”
You can catch JACOB in the flesh at Bohemian Beatfreaks next week. He’s playing a glorious 2-hour Sunday set you won’t want to miss. Get your tickets here!
Already got tix? You lucky duck! Be sure to follow the BBF Facebook page too, so you don’t miss any important updates.
Or, If you’re a JACOB virgin, he recommends you pop your cherry with:
And don’t forget to follow him on Facebook to see where he’s jetting off to next!