Fotos: Vaiva Hawkins
After starting in February this year, our new feature series Off The Tracks has already collected a great deal of contributions addressing various topics – from Sunil Sharpe sharing his thoughts on Georgia and Tbilisi’s infamous club Bassiani to Blind Observatory introducing “Ghost In The Shell” as one of his all-time influences and the Dutch duo Artefakt elaborating on their artistic use of field recordings.
The latest piece comes from British DJ and producer Marquis Hawkes. Affiliated to such labels as Aus Music, Dixon Avenue Basement Jams, and Houndstooth, where he published his debut album Social Housing in 2016, the last few years meant some kind of second spring after a decade plus long journey through scenes and styles for the Berlin-based artist. His in-depth essay sees him reflecting about how to grow old gracefully in the dance music scene and balancing the party with parenthood.
What do you expect a touring DJ to be doing in Berlin at 7:30 am on a Monday morning after a two or three-show weekend? Sleeping? Still awake, perhaps even propping up the bar at Berghain with a margarita in hand whilst smoking the third joint of the morning? Myself, I’m bleary eyed, walking my daughter to kindergarten, mentally preparing myself to flip from my mother tongue into my second language, and deal with the kindergarten staff.
You might think that trying to combine these two apparently incompatible worlds might be impossible, but the biggest thing I’ve learned from balancing both sides of my life is boundaries and red lines, and I think it has saved my body and mind in a big way. And whilst you might also think that being a touring DJ keeps me away from my family, in reality, I spend more time with them working in the way I do than if I worked 40 hours a week in a 9 to 5 job.
Parenthood is awesome. It’s also challenging, frustrating and sometimes also a complete mind-fuck, but it has given me a very good reason to clean my act up, and know when it’s time to call it a night and go to bed. It also made me confront many demons in my own mind which I soon found was the cause of me wanting to inebriate myself to the point where I didn’t care about them any more.