musicians


Precarity and mental health

In a recent blog post I asked who is responsible for the mental health of musicians, and what the music business can do to support musicians in taking care of their mental health. The article was shared online at various platforms and I got many reactions. Thank you! You all agreed, that people are responsible for their own mental health, musicians too. Some of you shared personal experiences with depression or brain damage and being grateful for help from charities […]


Musicians and personality

In recent months, I often wonder what kind of personality fits best for musicians. I don’t know of any research in that matter. The Dutch book “Een kwestie van persoonlijkheid” by Jolet Plomp was very inspiring in this matter. According to Plomp, there is a core in your personality that is pretty stable. Part of your personality comes from your genes, another part is formed by your experiences and by you reaction to them. The 5 major personality dimensions that […]


Music and emotion

Music is a shortcut to your emotions. That’s why I feel privileged to work with music and with musicians. You get a smile on your face when you hear a certain rhythm, melody, timbre, text. Three years ago, many people had this experience with the song “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. Other songs make us sad and we cry. Billboard published in February a list of 50 songs that we can dance to while they make us cry. Songs can also […]


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Can the music business support musicians in taking care of their mental health? 16

Many musicians have mental health issues. Most common are depression, anxiety disorder and addiction. The singer of the first European tour I booked, got hooked to drugs again during the tour. While on drugs he got paranoid and accused me of stealing his money and lots of other stuff. After the tour, sober again, he apologized sincerely and wanted me to work for him again. Thanks, but no. Who is responsible for the mental health of musicians? The fans? I […]


Healthy habits

Habits are good, they are automatic responses and make us do things without having to think about it. We learn habits in our culture, like how close we stand to strangers without feeling uncomfortable, or what to eat and what not to eat. Some habits we can teach ourselves. When starting a routine, we can make a habit of it. It happens when you learn how to ride the bicycle or how to play an instrument. After some time you […]


Mental health of musicians in the news

The suicides of Chester Bennington (Linkin Park) last week and of Chris Cornell (Soundgarden) last May made me feel very sad. Some people used it to start a discussion about the mental health of musicians and of people working in the music business. Lisa Gritter published a Dutch article in Vice this week with a very personal story about her own burn-out and about the reactions of colleagues and others in the music business. It seems that many of us […]


Being a star – between imposter syndrome and diva behavior

I love watching the stars at this short, warm nights! For people, being a star means that you are in the spotlights, that others notice you, that you are famous. We admire you, you inspire us. All the admiration does something to you and your ego. Your ego is blown up big way! Like a balloon. That’s how people with an imposter syndrome experience it. They still feel the same as they were before they became famous. They are anxious […]


Apple trees, diamonds and straight edge

When describing what they do, some musicians compare themselves with an apple tree. They start with the blossoming enthusiasm for their music. They have to invest first, in order to harvest the ripe apples later on. That’s when they share their talent with the world. Other musicians compare themselves with a diamond. They want their music to shine. They want to show the world how precious they are. One important aspect combines both comparisons and it often forgotten: for the […]


One hour extra today

Do you feel it too? Rush hour, all day long, hurrying from one appointment to the next from one task to the next, and in between checking social media for the latest news. Oh, one friend is enjoying lunch in a tropical place, another one is planning to go to a concert next weekend, and there is another stupid action from a politician. Yesterday I was rushing to an appointment around the corner, skin therapy for a nasty scar. While […]


Mental coaching is dark and dangerous! 2

Mental coaching is quite common in sports. Many athletes use it to enhance their performances. They become more motivated and happier with mental coaching, they are more focused, run faster, react quicker. The effect of mental coaching has been proven by the registered improvement of the performances. With artists it’s different, especially with rock-musicians and DJ’s. While athletes perform at daytime, rock musicians and DJ’s are creatures of the night. They love the darkness. Many musicians are afraid that the […]


A fresh start – how to make it work?

A new year feels like a new start. A clean slate of 12 months. Somehow we all think that in the new year, we will be able to avoid all mistakes and to seize all opportunities, unlike previous years. Every year again, we truly believe that the new year can become different, better. Even after the hang-over on new years day we still believe in it. But how can it become better, if we think and act the same? If […]


Limitations – block or inspiration?

How do you deal with limitations? They can become a real block! This week a friend saw a post on FB. One of his friends asked to share bad jokes with him, but the jokes had to be political correct, not racist, not sexist. My friend is a good joke teller and usually has a good pile of jokes in his mind. I think that all his jokes are political correct, not racist, not sexist. But he blanked and couldn’t […]


Creative and sensitive

Are you creative? Do you see yourself as an artist? I believe that we are all creative, all of us. We are all born to be creative. It’s what makes us humans. Creativity can be expressed in all facets of life, in the dress you pick to wear today, in the dinner you prepare, in the way to do your work. And of course it shows in paintings, songs, dancing, films. If we are all creative, what makes artists more […]


Why “good” can be better than “better”

I have to admit, I’m a bit of a perfectionist. After finishing a task, I always see something that could have bee done better. Do you recognize it? A big advantage is, that you keep improving yourself. Once you manage a certain task, you put the bar higher and higher. Next time you will do it better. You challenge yourself with everything you do. With this attitude, I found it difficult to relax during holiday. I not only wanted to […]


Keep inventing yourself

Last year I was a panelist at Summerschool of BKKC. The purpose of Summerschool is to improve the entrepreneurship of artists in all kind of creative fields, from sculptors to flutists, from interior designers to painters. The main obstacle for the present artists is to find enough clients. They all feel very creative, but in order to find clients, they have to come out of their studio or workplace to connect to real people. The best way to do so […]