Staying Sane In The Music Game
Improving the lives of musicians through mental health management programmes
“If i knew there were other vehicles to altered states available that could help me get to the ‘zone’ – that flow state that we reach on stage, when we are practicing, recording or whenever we are playing music, then I wouldn’t have had to rely on the sharp ups and downs created by excess in drink and drugs. Not that I don’t use any of those options, but without a reliance on them, there is a choice.” Brett Leboff
“We need to make this conversation so powerful and continue it for years to come, so that it finally effects change within the industry and makes the institutions within our industry employ systems involving pastoral care, mental health awareness sessions and how to spot the signs of someone in the industry who is suffering and needs help. This book should help that conversation grow. “ Brett Leboff
“I buried my childhood trauma for nearly 30 years. it came back to bite me, being led by my dark shadow, unhappy and lost I took on the brave journey of finding out who I really am” Brett Leboff
One of the main problems in the music industry is that we who live and work within it, don’t readily admit to our ‘madness’, but looking at the path we’ve chosen – to invest ourselves in this world of slim chances and cut-throat deals – there has to be a little madness, right? “We’re not mad,” I hear you all cry, “we’re musicians!” But however you cut it, staying sane in such a competitive and ruthless industry is not straightforward. Trust me, I am speaking from experience – I am not ‘sane’ – and almost every artist I have worked with would say the same about themselves.
This particular and beautiful form of ‘insanity’ characterises many music professionals today and, once we admit this to ourselves, we can openly explore the issues and reasons surrounding why and how we are mad! Once we’ve done that we can begin the journey of learning to manage ourselves within a specific framework that acknowledges and accounts for our eccentricities; building on them and affording us happier and more organised lives amid the inevitable chaos.
Or, we could just pretend we’re OK, bury our feelings deep and await the inevitable explosion as the pressure of self-loathing and neuroses builds over time in a half-hidden part of our personality that, actually, others can see only too easily. But self-destruction is not a good look!
That is the reason for this book. It’s a way for us to begin having the open and honest conversations we need to reveal a path of radical change and personal growth. My work in the music industry has led me into many dark and tumultuous places and from each one I’ve learnt valuable and enduring insights which I have picked apart carefully and put back together into a guiding framework and structure that you can use, your way, to live your unconventional life without too much trial and error.
Musicians and business professionals alike are exposed systematically to extreme behaviours, attitudes and situations all of which will require a tenacious mind and acute awareness to identify, harness and thrive from. This book will give you the mindset and tools to do just that.
Here’s to Staying Sane!
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Staying Sane provides easy-to-adopt guidelines for how to structure life & work for optimal mental health
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Brett Leboff has spent 20 years (and counting) in the music business, firstly as an artist, drumming in bands and as a manager.
Never being one to tread the obvious path, he walked away from his own management company and his biggest signed artist (who was touring the world), and went on an adventure which culminated in raising money to buy sound equipment in order to start a music event on a coexistence project in the West Bank, with Israelis and Palestinians; an incredible experience.
Once back in the UK he was invited by Diplomats of Sound, a well-known music booking agency to create an artist development arm with an eye on an ethical and progressive approach. As well as this adventure he embarked on a campaign of self-development, firstly adopting 1.5 years of regular psychotherapy, then engaging with the Mankind Project, Vipassana (10 day silent meditation retreat), iEvolve, Tantra and Sexual Deconditioning
"I have known Brett since we were playing music together almost 15 years ago. He always had an eye to the future and got into the business to help musicians, but this could be his most important work."
Bill Laurance – 3 x Grammy Award Winner (Snarky Puppy)
“Having been in many situations, within most aspects of the music industry, good guidance is always needed.”
Leeroy Thornhill (The Prodigy / Smash Hifi)
"Having worked closely with hundreds of artists and literally thousands of musicians over the last twenty odd years and having experienced all the highs, lows and struggles FINALLY! Here is a book written in easy language using real life stories, tools and rituals about how to keep sane in the game."
Si Chai – Founder and Creative Director of Diplomats of Sound & Chai Wallahs Festival Venue
Real Issues Need Real Solutions
A study commissioned by Help Musicians UK found that 71.1% of working musicians identified as having suffered from panic attacks and/ or anxiety, and 68.5% from depression.
Adopting strategies to manage your mental health will help you improve your life, be more productive and achieve success quicker.
Staying Sane In The Music Game Panels Happening in Autumn @ Hootenanny, Brixton
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