Looking Back And Looking Forward With Lindström, Nicole Atkins, TroyBoi and More
As this year draws to a close, we reached out to some of our favorite artists in the world of dance music, punk, indie, hip-hop and more to see what they learned in 2017, and how they're getting ready to do 2018 right.
Between touring, recording and other concerns, the life of a working musician is often a hectic one. That's why the end of the year can be such an important moment for artists to take a moment and breathe.
We asked some of our favorite artists to reflect upon how they've grown in the past twelve months, and how they plan to prepare for what's coming next. Some are planning on confronting their fears and working through their self-conscious impulses; others were happy for the opportunity to connect with their fans, and all of them have some worthwhile advice for us all.
“Stop thinking about things and just start doing it. Even if it sounds awful and your words come out like 9th grade diary poetry, you’ll get there if you take action.” –Nicole Atkins
“After I recently decided to actually make use of all the nice synths and studio devices I´ve collected over the years and realizing that the music sounds so much better, my resolution for 2018 is to continue in the same vein. Finally my search for the perfect midi-controller has come to an end! On a side note, I guess I should just delete eBay from my phone!” –Lindström
“If I had to pick a good resolution, it would be finding a way to manage my touring with my downtime. It can be really hard to wind down after a busy tour and just turn on the creative juices. It’s not automatic, so we’re creating special blocks of time during 2018 where I can block all outside forces and get into the comfort zone that is my studio.” –Marc Kinchen
“Existing in 2017 taught me that it never gets easier to make music that is meaningful. There will always be obstacles, and as your music grows, the obstacles grow too. My resolution for 2018 is to keep clawing upward and face the biggest obstacles of my life.” –David Bello of The World is a Beautiful Place & I am No Longer Afraid to Die
“A thing I really want to focus on next year is experimenting in my productions. This year has been very busy for me in the studio, so I want to take some time and really dive into music production with a more open mindset, and not be bound by any genre, label, soundscape or pre-made ‘box.’” –Fabian Mazur
“I learned that fear is the greatest obstacle, the greatest evil. But if you can push past the fear of making a fool out of yourself, fear of failure, fear of the unknown, you'll slowly begin to unravel the layers of who you really are. When you start to figure out who you really are, that’s when you make your best work and live your best life. Next year I wanna be fearless in everything I do.” –Delaney Jane
“Never have a hypothetical argument with someone else in my head, ever again. You’ve been there, right? You get emotionally worked up while driving or in the shower or picking your nose or some shit. Sometimes you can’t help but wage a war against a coworker or friend or lover or whomever, and it’s not even real. I’m going to take it a step further and say I’ll try to never continue an argument in my head afterwards either.” –Tom May of The Menzingers
“2017 has confirmed that all that is beautiful requires time and patience, and that I can improve my strength and my thinking only with constant, consistent practice. And I've better learned how to choose the people I want by my side on this journey.” –Sir Bob Cornelius Rifo of The Bloody Beetroots
“My New Year’s resolution is to remain consistent and to release a lot more music with an even wider variety of sounds. I have a wild amount of ideas lined up and I’m excited to share it with you all in 2018.” –TroyBoi
“2017 taught me to follow my gut instinct: say yes and create nonstop. I am most happy when creating and collaborating. I have also recently acted in my first short. More of that as well!” –Lauren Ruth Ward
“2017 proved that no matter what happens, my fans always have my back. In 2018 I want to keep proving to the HDYNATION that I have theirs.” –Flosstradamus
“With so much distress going on in the world, I learned that the best way to combat it all is to create things that are positive and honest and free of inhibition. My resolution is to continue following my intuition and to keep creating without overthinking.” –Eves Karydas
“I will not look back at 2017 as a year where women have been victims of systematic harassment and exploitation in a male-controlled power pattern. 2017 has been a great year for women in music, with great accomplishments, awesome emerging artists and amazing releases from established artists. As a rock head, I’m so happy to see that 2017 has been a great year for women in rock, indie and garage, with so many acts really showing the boys club how it’s done!” –Tor-Arne Vikingstad from Sløtface
“For working artists, 2017 taught us that like workers in almost every field, we are experiencing an ever-increasing level of precariousness. It also taught us – via certain victories – that we can win and make progress when we work together. I hope in 2018 we working artists can resolve to better organize to simply survive, and beyond that to fight for the kind of world where we can continue creating music that means something.” –Joey La Neve DeFrancesco of Downtown Boys
“My New Year's resolutions are essentially the same things I aspire to every day: Read more, write more, drink less, keep doing what I’m doing because it’s my favorite thing in the whole world, and to not stop for anyone.” –Matt Lange
“I think the most valuable lesson I learned in 2017 was that I love to tour if I know how to treat my mind and body right. For example, I was more open with my bandmates if I was experiencing any anxieties about anything. They're two of my best friends, so I don't know why I didn't feel like I could communicate before. But once I did, I was able to relax. Also stretching at rest stops is so important!” –Ellen Kempner aka Palehound
“Over the past couple years and especially so for 2017, I've learned that, for me, there is a snowball effect to not only songwriting, but recording as well. Even when distractions abound, if I make my way back to the pen and paper or the studio right after I complete something else, a song typically begins to bloom.” –Kyle Kraft
“In 2017, I learned the beauty of routine and the value of showing up to make art at the same time and the same place every day. It can do wonders for your creativity.” –Rinzen
“2017 taught me to play what I love, continue to be kind and to smile more. Basically ‘Don't Be A Dick’ and appreciate every opportunity that I have to play and make music.” –Scott Kirkland, The Crystal Method