Noiseporn will be conducting a series of interviews with artists and music industry professionals to discuss mental health–specifically, how they cope with all the pressures and temptations that harbor our culture. This is not solely an issue for electronic music, it is ubiquitous for all performers. We hope these interviews will help the growing number of performers entering the scene see that no one is alone.
We spoke to the founder of III Points, co-owner of Club Space, and Miami based DJ David Sinopoli.
*This Interview has been edited for length and clarity.
What aspects, in particular, about the industry do you think can create depression or stress?
Everyone is different and how they deal with this, but I guess it would be the long hours, erratic schedule, drugs, pressure, relationship issues. It’s really hard to maintain a healthy, monogamous relationship in this business. I think it’s life in general that gets exaggerated. There are also more extremities that are being pulled out of these healthy pillars of life: relationships, physical health, sleep schedule, stress levels, just being a healthy human being.
There are different kinds of stress for me. Production stress can bring a certain level of adrenaline. When it’s a week or two out before a festival, I don’t really have time to think or worry. For me, worrying creates a lot of stress. The ability to accept the things I can’t control is something I have to constantly maintain. For example, when a band wants to take an offer or doesn’t want to take an offer to headline a festival, that is some heavy stress for me. In the business, booking dictates a lot of things. Making sure a major band who has a major impact on your business and not being able to control if they want to play Coachella or take some time off … I can’t control that shit. That’s a lot of stress that comes out especially this time of year because I’m booking acts for next year’s festival which will shape the overall makeup.
And then there’s weather prior to III Points that really controlled our destiny. I had to go through a lot of precautionary stuff which created money and partnership issues … survival issues of the business. So these are aspects that really keep me going. But you know, this year’s III Points was so much fucking work and it was so intense, but it went pretty smooth. I managed it because I was able to execute well and be adrenaline focused. I’m able to do that all day, but it’s the extremes outside factors on top of that … that’s some fucking shit.
How does your team at III Points and Space Invaders work together to make sure daily tasks are completed? How does a team of like-minded people help you overcome obstacles?
I think curbing your ego is a big mantra with myself and my team. All of us are keeping each other in check. There was a period of time that I walked around the club because I was so stressed and had anxiety, and I don’t think I meant to do it, but there was a security guard next to me at all times. One of my partners went up to me and said, “Yo, you look like a douchebag. You look like no one can talk to you. Don’t be that owner.” And thank God for that. I wasn’t even aware of it. I think because our team is so in tune with not being the typical club owners or producers and that we are trying to change a lot of molds of nightlife here, that I think it has to start with us, so we try to keep each other in check with our own egos and own seriousness to certain things. And yeah, a lot of us are really funny and were always clowning on each other. That helps.
If you’re not feeling great, does playing a set always help? Is it cathartic to just play and listen?
Oh yeah. Of some of my own practices to alleviate stress, that is probably one of the major things. It allows me a couple of things: it allows me not to think of anything other than just listening to music and seeing which tracks to select. I tune just into that process and it’s really fucking nice. It allows me to clear my mind, it’s a meditation in a sense. Then there is the art of digging for music before a set which lets me discover new DJs and reminds me of the things I love doing. Playing a set serves two purposes for me both personally and professionally: it keeps me on my toes and reminds me that I am not the latest and greatest.
Do you feel that Miami is slowly transitioning into a city that will be more restrictive when it comes to music festivals? If so, does this create an extra burden and how do you and your team manage it?
It wasn’t too long ago that III Points didn’t exist. I remember that time, but I had the ambition and drive to start it, which was the hardest. Now if that’s what they [City of Miami] wanted and if that ever happened, I believe – now that I am so fucking stubborn to keep it – they would have to really take me out of it. I know it’s an intrinsic value to the music scene. I’ve seen it. I watched the generation that was 16 or 17 that went to the first year and now they’re 22, 23 and they’re doing shit in the city that is completely independent of me because they are inspired by the ability to have a community of like-minded people. So, if the City of Miami put their politics or their money before that, every year that exists is another generation that is down with this idea. I think it would be harder to do it now because the movement is happening. It’s a really beautiful thing that is happening in the city. It’s going to have so many positive effects on art, music, the community, and people being able to express themselves and feel positive about living here.
So, does it keep me up at night? Sure, but it goes back to things being outside of my control. I just have to stay focused and be aware of the changes. I’m fortunate to have had the ability to start this, but there is a united front and we are all about it. It is not my thing anymore. It is our thing.
“It is not my thing anymore. It is our thing.”
What does a sense of community mean to you?
I’m fortunate to have a team that is a community between III Points and Club Space. They have had my back, helped me learn, kept me inspired, and have supported things that were just ideas. Personally, I am not anywhere in this world, career-wise, without my community: My team at III Points, my partnerships, my team over at Space Invaders, and the people who support that. I’m not doing what I’m doing or I’m not having the lifestyle without that. I remember that every day.
But on a bigger scale, as a piece of the community here in Miami, I think this time is going to be remembered for many years in music history of what happened here in Miami between the last couple of years and the next fifteen years. There was a boom, a renaissance, an explosion, that I think makes us all a part of a community that is empowering each other. The historical support is why Miami is going to be remembered. It’s similar support to that of New York through the ‘70s to the ‘90s. Or Berlin, or what is happening in Lisbon and Mexico City. I think that our community is going to be something that is remembered for years and years to come and for me personally, I am fortunate from it.
“I think this time is going to be remembered for many years in music history of what happened here in Miami between the last couple of years and the next fifteen years.”
You can watch the official III Points 2019 after movie here.
Suicide prevention hotline (available 24 hours every day): 1-800-273-8255