We had the good fortune of connecting with Dean Passarella and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dean, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
I used to prioritize work, my career, over everything in my life. I thought that was dedication and motivation. The honest result was burn-out and a lack of enjoyment in what I knew I loved to do. I questioned what was truly important to me, my values not just my aspirations, and that led me to realizing how much I was actually craving balance in my life. Balance to me has become simple. I prioritize my basic human needs above everything else. Food, water, movement, quality sleep, etc. If I’m tending to those needs on a consistent, daily basis I’ve found that most other things in my life fall into place. I have the energy to juggle multiple projects, ideas, and goals at once because I am freeing up my mind and body to live life as a human first and foremost. Learning to listen to the needs of my body has been one of the most bold acts of self-love that I have experienced, especially in a world that only places value on us if we accomplish something great. My new definition of something great is taking care of me above the demands and stresses of life, even above the anxious pull of my often perfectionist mind.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I got my start in music as an instrumentalist. The first half of my career was dedicated to session work and touring, starting in Nashville before moving. to LA. However, I kept being pulled by a curiosity over songwriting and production. I slowly worked on my catalog for my own original material and began to share it when I felt ready. The response was encouraging so I decided it was worth giving it a go. I have a rich musical background with both of my parents being musicians. Their different styles heavily influenced me to stretch my abilities over as many genres as possible. So now, my career is a combination of focus on my solo material and writing/producing with & for others. I do look forward to live shows and touring again once we make the come back from COVID. I think what sets me apart, at least as an artist, is also being a multi-instrumentalist. It makes the communication with other musicians go a lot smoother and it’s easier for me to express how I am interpreting different songs. It also helps in recording/songwriting, because I can cover many layers of the song, which can help cut costs. I do enjoy the process of working with other minds and types of players though, the collaboration of it. I prefer the conversational aspect of writing and performing music with a few other people. It becomes a language and a dance all at once.
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 for sure take them to the beach, but Malibu or Laguna, to get away from the heavy crowds. Griffith feels obligatory to show visitors. Prior to Covid, I’d take them to a show on the east side and finish the night at 101 or Fred’s. Though, we are losing the 101 Cafe and I’m super sad about it. It’s also probably worth it to include a jaunt out to Joshua Tree for this visit. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are many, many people throughout the history of my life that have helped guide me to where I am at today. I’ve learned a lil’ somethin’ from everyone I’ve worked with over the years. My definition of success has changed over time. The mindset shift towards balance and emotional intelligence has made the greatest positive impact on my life. I am most thankful to the compassionate souls that offered guidance, support, and mentorship along my road to healing.
Tammie Valer Michelle Shiers