We had the good fortune of connecting with Hamid J and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Hamid, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
I used to think of work/life balance as this very specific and concrete separation between the time you spend at work and the rest of your time. Pre-COVID, when most folks went into an office, it was maybe easier to visualize this concept of “balance” as this clear separation. However, all that changed when your kitchen, bedroom, or living room corner turned into your home office. As creatives and artists it is even harder to draw this fine line. For example, I may be taking a bath, trying to relax and have some “me-time”, when I suddenly come up with a melody or hook that I think would be great to pursue for a demo. And in that moment, that very concept of a clear line between “work” and “life” goes poof! Instead, someone told me to view “work and life”, less as “balance” that must exist in different places and times, but rather as work/life integration. Now I will admit that this only works when you really like – LOVE – your job and what you do.
Once I started looking at integrating my time spent on my music, story-telling and all the back-end work related to making it as an artist, with my personal life, I felt less stress and less guilty about how I was spending my time. For example: when I visit my parents over a weekend, I now can take an hour here and there, while at their house, to work on music and not feel bad about it, because it is technically “family” time.
One other tool that has helped me stay focused and efficient with my time (work/music time) is my bullet journal. There, I can set specific goals, tasks, and assignments for myself to make sure I stay on track. In addition to tracking work related tasks/goals, I also have added personal goals including travel and fitness, which forces me to prioritize and balance how I spend my time.
Now I can use my bullet journal to track my time and progress towards goals and get a good visual on how “balanced”/”integrated” both parts of my life are.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
At the core, I consider myself a storyteller. My primary way of telling stories is through music: lyrics and melodies. In order to provide some texture and maybe share the story through additional POVs, I love using visual assets, including videos to further the narrative. Ultimately, I want to be able to take the audience on a journey through live performances that take the storytelling to a whole new level.
I am excited that I finally have found my voice – not just my sound – but also figure how how I approach storytelling, regardless of the specific theme of the story. I think what makes me unique, is my personal journey, my lived experiences, my pain, and happiness – these all inform how I approach storytelling, and the kind of vibe I want my songs to have.
I am most proud to know that there are fans out there who truly connect with my music – whether relating to the lyrics, jiving to the beat; or just finding confidence in how I approach traditional taboo topics.
None of this was and has been really easy. It is much easier to give into fears and doubts, than take the risks and ultimately tell the universe (world or anyone who will listen) that you truly to believe in your art. It is tough to create and walk your own path. That may sound weird, because obviously you know your path better than anyone else. What makes it scary is that no one has walked “your” path before, so how do you know you will be successful. I guess here is the time when you have to take a leap of faith, and just believe in yourself. Be your biggest cheer leader and biggest validator. It is weird at first, because I don’t want to feel conceited or arrogant. But there is something to be said for having just the right amount of self-confidence. Just Believe!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Thursday: Farmcup Coffee
Hike Runyon Canyon
Get. fresh cut at Benjamin Salon (see Mateo)
Dinner: Maza of Echo Park (deep dish chicago style pizza)
Walk-through the grove
Dinner at: Otus Thai Food
Watch improv show at the Groundlings
End at: Village Idiot for draaanks
Bfast at: Commissary
Stroll through Melrose, look at shops, maybe get a piercing/tattoo
Dinner at: Soulmate
Maybe end up: Akbar Bar in Silverlake or go to a circuit/warehouse party
Begin the day at: Stache – Dragbrunch
Continue feeling festive with: Cocktails at High-Tops, Beaches, Revolver
End up at: Doheny Room to close the night w the right people & right vibe
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My family! My friends!
My creative team: Char, Matt, Ricky, Beau, Donny and Priyan!
Mateo Lara, Matt Cady Ricky Palomino