We had the good fortune of connecting with LVLD Mental and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi LVLD, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
This is a very on theme question because with LVLD Mental and LVLD Entertainment, balance duality, and love are some of the most important things we emphasize and represent. American culture and more specifically, capitalist culture has normalized the “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” mentality, which in a lot of ways has caused the success of many Americans and American companies. Are you on your grind? However, it’s also left a hole in the spirit of our culture where the things that ground us like love, family, and spending time in nature have taken a back seat. I’ve struggled with the dilemma of sacrificing time with loved ones and with myself vs sacrificing opportunity to achieve my goals in life. Time – and my perception of it – is the biggest factor in this dilemma. I used to buy into the popular opinion that there are not enough hours in a day, but I realized that worrying about lost time was working against me achieving my goals. Life is the richest when you are completely present, so my biggest focus is to be fully present physically and mentally in every situation I’m in. When I’m fully invested in something, time is less of a factor. I also make sure that I know what I need to do everyday to satisfy my “life” and “work” balance – exercising, meditation, conversation, planning, and reflection. If I can do a little bit of each everyday then it’s not a matter of how much I get done because overtime every small decision will add momentum to the overall movement.
I could write a whole book on balance and probably will one day, so to keep my thoughts on balance short, I’ll give this explanation. Balance is a dance between knowledge, wisdom, perception and the understanding of duality. It is something that will always be subjective. Balance must be discovered internally with the experience of everything that is external from oneself.
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.
The art I create consists of a few things. I am a music producer first, an audio engineer second, and a rapper third, but my art expands to many other categories of expression as well. What sets me apart is my substance, and my sound. I’ve worked hard to make sure my musical foundation was built in a way where I could learn and adopt skills from others but maintain my authenticity and integrity. Some may say I have natural talent, which could be true, but I know I’ve had to study and work really hard to get where I am today and I still have a long way to go. The best learning experiences I’ve had was throwing myself in the fire and figuring it out as I go along. Put simply, failing has given me my greatest lessons, so I try to set the bar high enough for myself where It’s a gamble if I will succeed. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is being okay with saying you don’t know and doing all you can to figure that thing out.
I want people to know that I’ve created LVLD Mental and LVLD Entertainment to bring balance, perspective and love to the forefront of everything we do. My goal is to build a global community of like minded people who come together because of the music but stay together because of the mentality, and that mentality is one of seeking growth, balance, perspective, truth and love.
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.
The itinerary would most definitely depend on the friend. I’m blanking at the moment on the names of almost every restaurant, but some places that come to mind are Al’s Hot Chicken and Anwar’s Kitchen. If my friend is not from the west coast then we have to hit the west coast chains of course. I just went to Big Bear for the first time and the forests there are surreal so that’s definitely on the list. I haven’t been to Joshua Tree but I’d put that on the Itinerary so I can go. I’ve been living in LA for less than a year so I’m learning about new places to be everyday thanks to my housemates.
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?
Every person I’ve met and every experience I’ve had has at least a small amount of impact on who I am in this moment. Most recently, it’s been everyone I’ve been working with at Futurestream.tv, Believe In Yourself Records, and of course, LVLD Entertainment. More specifically, Javier Laval, D4RNT, David Sabastian, Alas, Ezmiuski, FLACO, Chubby Chaps and Cheap Chepe. These are some of the all incredibly talented and inspiring people who have trusted and believed in me. I’m grateful to know and work with each and every one of them.
Jose Aguila, LVLD Mental