We had the good fortune of connecting with Damjan Krajacic and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Damjan, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Inherently, life is a risk. Every moment of every day, we take a chance in some way. At the same time, there are those moments in life where opportunities present themselves, crossroads of sorts. At that moment, I tend to follow my heart because it knows better than my mind on what is meaningful. I have done this for pretty much every major decision in my life – choosing an instrument, career, marriage, family, and music. I would not take any of decisions back. When talking about music specifically, this risk taking is an exciting, natural part of performance, especially in jazz and improvisation. I absolutely love that state of uncertainty, where every next moment, as scary as it possibly can be, is an opportunity for pure magic. Similarly with entrepreneurship, going into the unknown is risky but exciting. Wouldn’t want it any other way.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am a bit of a chameleon, both artistically and in terms of my career. I am a UX designer and strategist by day and musician by night, or the other way round depending on what day it is 🙂 I own my digital agency ActiveColor that focuses on high end UX/UI design, digital products, and interfaces. I am also extremely active in music as a flutist and composer and just released my 10th album in September – a Latin-Jazz quintet recording that blends Afro-Cuban and Balkan influences and features mostly my original compositions. I also run my own startup Metronome Online – an online music practice platform that has helped close to a 100 million musicians over the last 15 or so years. Was getting here easy? Definitely not. And the way I see it, I am nowhere near being done. I am just getting started! In my opinion, if you are passionate about the things that you do, it is much easier to keep pushing, even though it can seem really exhausting at times. I hope I am able to contribute something valuable and meaningful to our collective society.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would probably start with the beaches – Malibu and Santa Monica, cruising down to Venice Beach for a taste of the creative spirit and diversity of the city. I love the Griffith Observatory and the Getty, both for their exhibitions, architecture and breathtaking views of the city. I like taking friends to DTLA, Disney Hall, MOCA, Angel’s Flight and having a bite at the farmers market, and checking out iconic buildings such as the Bradbury building. A little walk through the public library to The Bonaventure Hotel, where you can ride the glass outside elevators up to the 35th floor for probably the best quick and public view of the city. Super fun! If you want a good night out, The Edison and Ace Hotel Rooftop are hard to beat, pre-pandemic of course. Same for the Hollywood Bowl summer series concerts which are spectacular! And finally, if we are adventurous, I would venture out of the city and drive up to Arrowhead or Big Bear for a taste of pines and fresh water, and connecting with nature. Closer to where I live in Santa Clarita, I love visiting Vasquez Rocks. It is a truly otherworldly place. LA offers so much in terms of natural beauty and cultural diversity.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
First and foremost I am grateful for the support of my parents, who worked really hard to be able to have me afford to study in the US. Clearly this was a life-changing moment for me and my life and would not be possible without them. I am grateful to my wife for her love and support and my two kids for their endless inspiration. I have to single out my teachers, mentors and friends, flutists Danilo Lozano and James Newton, who I owe much of my musical upbringing to. Two incredible people and musicians.
Photography by Hannah Arista and Vedran Metelko.