How to deal with perfomance anxiety (free podcast for DJs, artists and producers)

Resident Advisor have collaborated with UK based Black Minds Matter to develop a range of great content and useful advice covering mental health and wellbeing related topics for the DJ, artist and producer community.

In this free Resident Advisor podcast, host Vanessa Maria spoke with with producer and performer FAUZIA, DJ and promoter DamnShaq and Psychotherapeutic counsellor, and head of clinical governance at Black Minds Matter, Darlington Zvionere about performance anxiety – what it is, how it manifests and how to overcome it.

Performance anxiety can be a vicious cycle; your anxiety impacts your performance, which makes you more anxious and so on. The key is to cut that cycle. If performance anxiety gets worse this can be when people turn to self-medicating with substances to get that numbing feeling. But there are consequences for that as the quality of work being produced is not going to be as good. Instead, it’s about finding healthy ways to manage and cope because there is help out there.

Psychotherapeutic counsellor, and head of clinical governance at Black Minds Matter, Darlington Zvionere

It’s natural to feel some anxiety if you’re playing out to a crowd, sharing your work with an audience or even if you’re simply sat in the studio alone staring at a blank DAW and wondering if this is the right career path for you. If you know or suspect anxiety is impacting your career as a music producer/DJ/musician then do take some time out and listen to this informative podcast.

Modern music production demands paying attention to details, learning gear, plugins and techniques and with no guarantee of success it’s easy to become frustrated and unmotivated. It’s important to step back sometimes and remember that making music is also meant to be enjoyable.

Perfomance Anxiety podcast with FAUZIA

When we came back after lockdown I thought it was going to be light work and things would be back to normal. But it was a lot experiencing such a high volume of people in one space. Especially the first party back at XOYO, it felt like I couldn’t breathe. People coming up to me, grabbing me, I felt very off. I felt displaced. I didn’t feel like I was in the right place, even though it’s my thing. It took a while for me to come back to feeling centred again and I had to rely on a lot of people around me to get me through that experience.

DJ and promoter DamnShaq


Black Minds Matter x RA Exchange: Performance Anxiety podcast transcript.

Black Minds Matter editorial content at Resident Advisor

Black Minds Matter UK.

5 Steps to mental wellbeing (NHS)

Headroom – Your Mental Health Toolkit (BBC)

Podcast tracklist

  • Space Afrika – yyyyyy2222 [Dais Records]
  • Fauzia – Lap, Sir
  • Fauzia – When It’s All Over [with Kelela]
  • Fauzia – Lap, Sir
  • Kundai – Decisions
  • House of Pharaohs – Okay (Instrumental)
  • andarctica – waiting on the tides

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