“Flow” is a scientifically recognized state of mind where a person is completely focused and immersed in what they’re doing- All time seems to stop, the whole world seems to disappear, and the person is performing and creating at their peak levels. Top performance athletes, engineers and especially your favorite music artists all try to do whatever they can to achieve the State of Flow. Although everyone has their own method to achieve “flow”, factors such as creative workspaces, learning beyond their craft, physical/mental well being, feedback/self evaluation on work, and resting time- help all artists create their best work.
Canada’s Relentless Techno artist, Atroxx tells 6AM how he achieves key factors to get to a State of Flow for his projects such as his recent collab with Pleasurekraft and his newest “Ranges of Techno” sample pack available right now.
I have lived through both, having a studio away from home (in a studio building) and a studio at home where I live. I truly believe that the closer the studio is the better it is for your career. Inspiration comes at will, it is not really up to you when it happens therefore you need to be able to access your studio as soon as possible. Another major reason to have your studio as close as possible is for workflow. Often enough if I start a new track later in the day, the very next morning I am itching to finish it. I literally get on Ableton within 15 minutes of waking up. So overall the faster you can get to your art station the better it is for you. So to sum it up, a must have is a short distance from your bed to your studio.
Outside music my focus is in the gym as keeping healthy is very important to me. It’s been a long time since I’ve had the time but nonetheless video games help keep me sane and as well seeing friends. I’ve recently decided to read more but that’s a new journey I’m starting. Oh also, I definitely enjoy learning and dabbling in crypto. Always have to find time to enjoy yourself and reset your brain.
Great question to ask me, as since the beginning of my journey I went from 155 pounds to 220 pounds down to 170 pounds so when it comes to physical health it has been quite the ups and downs for me. Considering how addictive creating is and how much effort and hours you MUST put into the studio in order to become a pro, it’s very easy to lose track of your health, we spend a majority of our time sitting, traveling and barely sleeping. The best way to avoid this or correct this is to have a schedule and routine.
This may be the best piece of advice to avoid physical and mental health issues. I had to change my lifestyle, from going to bed whenever I wanted to set a schedule. From being active by chance (friends want to do activities) to being active by routine and of course by choosing wisely how and when I eat. Even those with a fast metabolism may not look unhealthy but what goes on inside the body of those inactive does not reflect the outside. Your body will give you signs, you can act before, or do like me and there is a point in your life where maybe you are unhappy with your health style choices. I would like to add that knowledge is power, if you read a book on physical health and or nutrition you will naturally make better suited choices without being conscious of it. A book that helped me was Jeff Nippard “The Ultimate Guide To Body Recomposition”.
By staying in your lane, narrow vision. Ask yourself why you are doing this, if you are doing this for you and only you and no one else, no expectations. This is exactly what I did, I did the opposite of envisioning where I will be or what I will succeed in, I told myself I’ll never get signed, I’ll never play at this club, this festival, this country, I’ll never tour and by doing this I had no expectations, I was chained by nothing. I did this simply for me, because it made me feel free. I couldn’t care less what people thought of my music because it was not for them, it was for me. Which is also why I made the track “4Me” out on Kraftek. The message in that track is clear as to why I do what I do. Don’t get me wrong, I have had tough times when I wrote the track “Nothing Left” the words go, “Every morning I wake up, I’m angry, There’s no amount of money that could satisfy me, every morning I wake up, I didn’t make it, there’s nothing left, there’s nothing left for me”.
Now that I have built a career in this, I feel like its not as easy to not care like I use to, so what do I do, I take my emotion and I turn it into work, I woke up feeling useless like I am getting nowhere in my career, so I turned it into a track that did quite well and was supported by some of my favorites like Pan-Pot playing it at Creamfields and Slam playing it in their radio shows. Art is self expression so use all your emotions to your advantage. “Nothing Left” is available on Analytic Trail Records.
P.S I would like to add, I felt like that because I wasn’t sticking to my narrow vision rule and was comparing myself to others.
Tread super lightly with feedback, I really don’t care much for feedback and I tell all my students that. If the feedback will help the quality, listen to it but take it with a grain of salt, any kind of feedback that changes your art is “No Bueno” in my opinion. You can ask D-Unity about that he brings it up often how he use to tell me 8 or 9 years ago my music is too metallic and to do that less, I didn’t listen. Don’t get me wrong he has given me great advice on layouts and breakdowns, but just yesterday we had a talk on the phone and he said he can point my sound out from any other track, because I stuck to my sound.
“… I really don’t care much for feedback and I tell all my students that. If the feedback will help the quality, listen to it but take it with a grain of salt, any kind of feedback that changes your art is ‘No Bueno’ in my opinion.”
Remember this is your art, who can know YOUR ART better than YOU? NO ONE! Here is one major tip, if the listener feels confused to what they are listening to, that is a problem and the feedback I look for. Too many sounds confusing the audience is not a good thing. If it will help me mix it and believe it’s needed I’ll listen. Also, please don’t forget the harsh truth, there are a lot of haters there, and 90% of them are the ones in your circle of life, not the strangers. So a lot of feedback may be to throw you off or to satisfy their ego. Your best feedback? your own ears, I think you’ve been listening long enough to music to know what is right and wrong, also just compare it to a track you like and see what’s lacking and what’s not. The person you can trust the most is yourself.
If you are doing art because it’s your passion, in my experience you don’t need much rest, I don’t rest much from it because I do it from my heart. So what does that mean, that means today i’m making house music, because I feel like it, tomorrow techno, next day maybe RnB. I rarely come on here and say this is work, I need rest from work, not from fun. HAVE FUN when you create, just create, and by doing this you will be unique AF.
“I did this simply for me, because it made me feel free. I couldn’t care less what people thought of my music because it was not for them, it was for me.”
A cycle I like to do is work within 3 tracks. 2 techno tracks as techno is my main focus track 1 vibe could be aggressive and angry, track 2 vibe has to be very different, happy and energetic, and track 3, whatever my heart desires. If I hit an artistic block with all three, I’ll play playstation, watch tv, anything to reset my mind and come back to the music hours or a day later. I don’t need much rest from doing things that make me happy, physical rest is different from mental rest. If my body didn’t get tired I could probably play video games forever or watch the office and south park endlessly.
Get Atroxx’s “Ranges of Techno” sample pack here.