The death of Swedish DJ/producer Tim Bergling, AKA Avicii, rocked the world of electronic music last year. The artist was known around the globe as "an awe-inspiring creator, pioneer, artist, and true trailblazer in modern music," as Ultra Music Festival described him in a commemorative statement. But at the age of 28, the EDM superstar died by suicide.
Now South Florida fans are facing the first Miami Music Week since Avicii's death. The Magic City played a supporting role in the star's rise, from highly anticipated sets at Ultra to the Avicii Hotel experience that took over swanky resorts such as the SLS South Beach and Marlin Hotel. Did Miami's club culture also affect his mental health?
“Start the week on Wednesday, two parties a day till the end of the week.”
That's the motto of Natalie Serret, AKA the @Ravecationist. Serret, age 25, is a born-and-bred Miamian who describes herself as a festival connoisseur. She attended her first Ultra in 2012 and quickly ramped up her party game, sprinting through the marathon that is Miami Music Week.
Riding that five-day train of raving takes a toll, she admits. “It is physically very exhausting, but to
But opting out isn't easy when your livelihood depends on the party. For performers and event organizers, finding that balance can be difficult.
Ashley Venom, age 24, is an event producer, art curator, artist, and DJ based in Miami. She works with III Points, the local record label Space Tapes, and the women's empowerment organization and artist collective (F)empower.
From all appearances, these ventures have been successful, but behind the scenes, Venom is often tasked with handling unseen challenges. And that work affects her mindset. “I experience ups and downs with my mental health," she says. "It has never been a straight line for me. Working in the event/music industry is fun, but people don’t really talk about the high-stress moments that can affect the mind. I’ve experienced things like having the event I spent a year working on almost
Still, Venom says,
“My advice to anyone feeling the pressures of the music industry is to move at your own pace. Don’t compare yourself to others," she says. "Just focus on yourself, your craft, and your health, and in due time, you will find what you’re looking for.”
The stresses of performing onstage are not foreign to local up-and-comer Yazmine Rosario, age 20. The South Florida DJ, model, and stylist aims to inspire young women by showing them they can become their own boss by chasing their dreams. Along the way, she says, “I’ve dealt with extreme anxiety since I was 16 years old. Once I started DJ'ing at major clubs in Miami at the age of 17, anxiety would definitely take a toll on me before every set.”
Those troubles persisted during her career. “Last year, DJ'ing at major festivals and venues around the U.S., I would always have extreme stomach pain and nausea before and during the beginning of a set,” she recalls. The mere thought of performing caused stress, suppressing her appetite and leaving her with little energy for shows. But recently, Rosario has been able to overcome many of these obstacles and curb regressive behaviors by thinking positive thoughts to offset her subconscious doubts. She also credits “good friends that were aware of my situation and would text me from time to time reminding me to eat, meditate, etc."
“I’m aware of it all now, and I’m still working on never getting back to that place again. This industry can bring us
If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255); the Veterans Crisis Line and Military Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255, press 1; or text the Crisis Text Line at 741-741.
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