Dark sides of DJ life: suicide, exhaustion and depression (Part 1)

The suicide of Avicii has unveiled the horrible truths about DJ 's lives. They are physically and mentally eroded by the music industry and social pressure.

After the death of Avicii, a number of most influential DJs have intensely raised their voice about the lethal pressures that they have to deal with every single day. Research shows that 69% of music artists have experienced depression, and 71% of them have suffered from panic and anxiety. In the field of EDM, the statistics are even dramatically more shocking as artists often have little time to sleep. They also travel all year round and have few days off. 

Endless exhaustion 

Olga Heijns, the manager of Laidback Luke and Blasterjaxx, told Business Insider that the death of Avicii in April has brought a lot of changes to the EDM industry. Avicii is believed to have suffered from severe physical and mental health problems before his death. 

Avicii's suicide is a wakeup call for other artists. Photo: Medium. 

Olga Heijns also emphasized the vital role of managers, producers and companies in allowing artists to make their own decisions. She believes that DJs should be granted the right to say "NO" instead of always nodding reluctantly even when they are overloaded. 

DJs should take their refusal right seriously before milling their health in consecutive shows. Photo: FunDJStuff.  

Normally, an EDM audience can afford to take part in some gigs, dance all night, drink wildly, get home at 4am and sleep until noon. 

However, a DJ has to go through many sleepless nights, repeatedly need more energy to meet thousands of people who always ask for more heat. Therefore, that DJs are regularly in need of alcohol and even stimulants is nothing to be shocked about. 

EDM artists are the miserable compared to any pop or rock stars 

In Avicii: True Stories, a documentary film released in 2017, when Avicii was still alive, he repeatedly warned other DJs of how his life could kill him, but he was forced to continue. 

Hejins said: "There’s a huge difference between artists in the dance space and artist in the pop, rock, hip hop scene. If they’re successful, they’ll have a two year tour, come off the road, spend Christmas, holidays, and birthdays with family back home, take some time off, then go back into the studio. There’s an end to it."  

“With DJs, it just goes on full year round. There’s always a holiday somewhere, which means there’s a dance party. There’s summer or a festival around the world at all times.the powerful manager continued. 

Consequently, many DJs are pushed into the feeling of not-gonna-miss-it. Every single show seems to be a huge opportunity for them. “They’re suffering from a pressure that’s not comparable anywhere else. It’s constant deadline upon deadline.” Hejins admitted. 

Hardwell, former world’s No.1 DJ, retired to protect his own life. Photo: Billboard. 

(to be continued)

By: Chris Stewart

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