With the music industry accounting for the highest percentage of alcohol- and drug-related deaths on a career-by-career basis, a podcast series, Sober Stories, is seeking to break the sector’s vicious cycle, and draw attention to the importance of mental health.
Hosted by recovery coach Rose Romain, the series brings together five personal stories from members of the music industry, including Lauren Flax, DJ Santero, Mother Lode Founder Kat Bailey, techno and house producer Ceri, Tommie Sunshine, and Paris-based techno artist Louisahhh.
“I have been clean and sober since 2006 and seeking outside help in the form of therapy since around the same time,” Louisahhh said. “I was DJing prior to getting clean, but there is no way my career could have had any real success if I was still using.
“Drugs and self-harming behaviours were too heavy to really get anywhere prior to my point of surrender.”
As Louisahh explains, she soon came to the conclusion that something had to give.
“It became very clear, very fast that whatever I put in front of my recovery I would lose, but if I really invested wholeheartedly into a clean and sober way of life, that I could have total freedom.”
Elsewhere, Tommie Sunshine explains how he too came to a fork in the road, when it came to his own relationship with drugs and alcohol.
“I raged pretty hard and that was when dance music wasn’t really a thing here,” he explained. “It took America 20 years when the rest of the world was enjoying Chicago house and Detroit techno and all this music that we had created; finally, there was the realisation here.
“It wasn’t a daily thing, I wasn’t that kind of partier, but if I went out once a week, I’d be coming home 36 hours later. It wasn’t consistent but when it hit, it was an avalanche.
“I could either go down the rabbit hole and party myself literally to death or have a career in the music business. I saw it very, very clearly, it was like a fork in the road, which way do you want to go?”
As host Rose Romain puts it, “Being strong doesn’t look like holding your sh*t together so tight that you have to numb it out. Being strong looks like asking for help then letting the help in, that is the reality of true strength and courage.”
You can listen to the Sober Stories series by clicking here.