We had the good fortune of connecting with Nebiyu Sisay and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nebiyu, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
Time for myself. Doing errands, eating good food, exercise, and being creative. Every week, I need to spend a couple hours a day just for myself, it can be before work or after. Without this balance I’ve found my quality at work to dwindle and as a COVID lab supervisor at the state lab, 100% attention to detail is very much needed and it can be tough when things are always changing as we intake tens of thousands of COVID samples from the public everyday. But, I am thankful to work in an environment that’s constantly moving and where structures are built up and taken down daily. And in this ever changing environment, off days are very much needed in order to find balance in my work life and personal life.
This new balance that I’ve found definitely differs from my time in college. Back then, I’d play video games for countless hours or just sleep for countless hours, but now I found it beneficial for me to channel stress, anger, sadness, or even manic happiness into a craft. I’d write music, practice or learn a new instrument, or create digital art. Over time these skills developed to be something beneficial to my mental health. I love to create art that’s meaningful to me, and being able to create something from my emotions and life experiences allows me to look back at my craft and say “Hey, I did that! I was able to express my emotions into something tangible and meaningful to me!”…Pure fervent for achievement. And that to me is a balance I’ve found.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My art is an extension of me. Every project I’ve released or planned has multiple meanings to me and are more or less a snapshot of where I was in some point of my life. What was I listening to at the time? Where was my mental state at? Who was I talking to? What have I done and not done? All of these aspects and questions place a large part in my music production, will I create something that’s more dance like or a ballad? There really isn’t any guessing of where my production will go, but It will be something that I truly believe to be mine. I try my best to dig deep and find artists that have little to no representation in popular music. Finding one of these gems opens my ears to a past where individuals like me wanted to create and express through sound and leave some form of musical history to their listeners. 9/7 time signatures, abstract engineered sounds, word play, story telling, unique ensembles, it’s an infinite stream of music for everyone. My goal is to express these different ideas from the through modern forms of music practice and have the listeners question what they believe to be good music compared to the masses. A lot of concepts that I’ve worked on hasn’t been released to the masses yet, as much as I’d love to sink 9 hours a day working on music, I got bills. But, I’ve learned to be patient with my art as long as I still set time for it everyday.
My first album was more of an audio document of myself in a 5 year period after high school. Every song represented different times of isolation, love, break up, depression, confusion, and anger. Every beat and sound was created whenever I was in a slump or needed some type of emotional medium to vent through. And being able to listen to that album anytime brings me joy in self-concept. A tangible medium from my past self that’s forever in this world.
I want the world to feel inspired to create something. It doesn’t matter what, but to just create something for you.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Hiking in the Flatirons, eating some Korean BBQ on Havana St, visit Colfax, RhiNO, Broadway, catch a Nuggets game at DNVR bar, Voodoo Doughnuts, act like you got commas in your account at the Cherry Creek area. Honestly, getting lost by foot in Denver on the weekend is always a treat.
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?
My best friend Ian. Ian has been a literal brother to me since we were in 3rd grade and he has always been there for me, with 100% support, for any new ideas, directions, or steps I’ve taken in life. He has been the driving supportive voice in my conscious decisions and has been the bravado behind my confidence.
My best friend Chibuike, he has been the guy that’d give me a real smack in the face when I needed a reality check. He always gave me grounded advice and always exemplified a person that never backed down to any challenge thrown at him. An unstoppable force!
These two bring a balance of dreaming high while having my feet grounded down low and I wouldn’t have been able to where I am today without those two!
Other: Spotify link : https://open.spotify.com/artist/3ywg7xNyzD6U6o8yJLHHih?si=9V0qHbf3SJKF0H2zXaVBWQ&nd=1 Apple Music : https://music.apple.com/us/artist/neb/1448202344
Thanks to tpynmedia/Amare for my recent photos and Aaron Sanchez music video shoots.