Music Industry People That Inspired Me - And Hopefully You As Well!
Jan 23, 2024
I hope you’re doing great...! It’s currently Sunday morning and I just boarded the plane at Amsterdam’s airport on my way to Toronto, to then end up in Montreal! I’ve been listening to a lot of new bands these past few days, so putting music on this morning was a little bit of a challenge as my head is loaded with great new artists coming from all over Europe! I was about to put on one of my personal classics, which is Mogwai, and then I remembered the project recorded by some of the band members called Silver Moth, released a year ago!
Eurosonic is always quite crazy and intense for me! I’ve seen 5 am a lot in the past few days, as I was coming back very late at the hotel, since I always want to make the most out of those events, up until this morning where 5 am was the time my alarm clock was set for me to wake up. I arrived in the Netherlands last Tuesday to attend what is now my fifth Eurosonic Music Festival. As I’ve been sharing with you in the past, I always have some kind of a love/hate relationship with those, where art and commerce are walking hand in hand and where one hand is bigger than the other sometimes…!
But this year, I’m leaving truly inspired, thoughtful, and a little different following two incredible moments I had the chance to live, which I wanted to share with you as they are in a way music related, but especially, as they are filled with greatness, purpose and meaning - three things I’m attracted to like a magnet!
I’ll try to write short stories!
My first one was when I surprisingly walked by my now very dear friend and brother Vlad from Music Saves UA out of Kyiv, Ukraine. I’ve shared about him already quite a few times, as we’ve been doing incredible campaigns to send money to Ukraine through live broadcasted concerts and merchandising, of which all the profits have been used to relocate newly homeless families from Ukraine elsewhere in Europe. Vlad used to book the biggest music festival in Ukraine but is now using their company’s facilities to help the people who need it the most since the war started in 2022.
After hugging each other for a long minute, he genuinely asked me to sit down with him, eager to hear all the possible news I could give him about Alex, the band and what was planned for 2024. I kinda felt bad in a way since to me, I should be the one asking him and trying my best to encourage him regarding the new year, but he clearly insisted a lot, saying that we always inspired him and gave him hope, which was very touching for me to hear. Since we had such a difficult and long year, I decided I would only talk about what’s ahead for us since this is quite exciting and all about new albums, festivals, and so many other things I’ll be sharing with you quite shortly, but he literally stopped me right there and said: “This is all cool and exciting, but how is Alex? How are you?” Here I was, caught off guard by love, sincere friendship and humanity! My eyes slowly started to get filled up with water… It clearly was a bad idea to go to bed past 4 am…! I said: “Let’s go grab a coffee then!”
How can someone living under falling bombs and complete daily uncertainty for almost two full years now – who lost his greatest passion for booking world-class bands and whose girlfriend left Ukraine for Finland and whose family is now completely divided, separated – be so kind, so caring, so full of attention regarding my situation and this, in a very pure manner. Someone even for whom it’s difficult to leave his country since he needs to prove that he’ll come back to Ukraine and that he’s not on the run or else.
I decided to dive into this open conversation invitation without any limitations whatsoever, which I think he quite enjoyed and felt respected as well. I simply told him, not only precisely what happened but how I felt through it, and how we all felt around it, and the conversation ended with him saying: “You know, it’s so easy to hate, despise and be disrespectful toward people or unfair situations or circumstances, but I hardly recently decided to be otherwise, and to walk against the current of my feelings and seed beauty even if it feels almost impossible sometimes… It’s quite a journey, but I’m feeling a sense of real freedom every time I do so.” As we were about to say goodbye, he ended by saying: “Thanks again to you, Alex and all of his friends (you) who supported us in the end! We’re waiting for you in Ukraine at your preferred time, even if that sounds crazy for now. I’m sure we, the Ukrainians, will have the chance to see you play live in Kyiv much sooner than we all might think!”
What a great human being! I’ll never forget that specific moment in time, as it truly made me feel as if all of this was so higher than my own self, that there was so much to welcome and reflect on, it was just insane! I like to say that sometimes, the universe is on the move and you feel connected and involved in this movement, without even knowing how to precisely explain it. I just felt it and it was powerful enough for me to share it with you, as we created this moment together! Alex and I will forever be thankful for it!
I can’t write short stories! I just realized now! I always end up asking the team at HTR: “Is it too long?” They always say no…! But I don’t believe them most of the time! :) I think I will share my second story with you in another Club Missive later on! I had the chance to be on a podcast while in Groningen, hosted by someone I highly admire and who ended up being the executive of one of the biggest concert promoters on the planet. You should’ve seen my face when he asked me to join him for a conversation, last Friday at 11h30 am. I was quite surprised since there were so many high-profile people to choose from. Like, name any European festival of any size and they’re present. It was a great honor and privilege for me to add my voice to the noise! I’ll share the conversation with you, with the whole story behind it, when it is released. I think it will make more sense and this way it’ll be fewer words for you to read this week!
I also interviewed Alex while he was in Tokyo last October and I can’t wait to share this with you all! Great things are in the making on our end! Very exciting times ahead! I’m coming back different than when I left, knowing even more that what we share and create all together has real meaning, has real purpose, and has real power.
It’s something to pursue success and great accomplishments like so many did right where I stand in Groningen, but what that moment with Vlad reminds me of is to add to these, the pursuit of purpose and meaning in who we are as individuals, and by doing that, there are no limitations whatsoever in what we can accomplish all together! And this is what 2024 will be all about!
Thank you for being who you are!
Let’s keep being great to one another!
Your Host and Friend,