On the last day of the 2021 Latin Alternative Music Conference (LAMC), the “Mental Health for the Creative Community” panel reunited Ximena Sariñana, Fito Paez, Rozalén and Pepe Aguilar for a wholesome conversation on mindfulness.
The panel, presented by Latin Recording Academy and MusiCares with Sariñana taking the lead as moderator, touched upon life in a pandemic and allowing oneself to be vulnerable.
The 23rd annual LAMC took place from May 4-7 with back-to-back panels on post-pandemic touring and streaming strategies. For the second year in a row, the LAMC offered free registration for all panels, workshops and showcases.
Below, check out the best quotes from the “Mental Health for the Creative Community” panel.
On being in a lockdown for over a year
Rozalén: “At the beginning it was a shock because you never think it will happen to you. I live in Spain and Italy is right next door and we thought, ‘that won’t happen to us.’ Then they tell us to quarantine and you start living day-to-day. I had a moment of euphoria. I had days when I experienced all sorts of emotions. I’d cry and had moments of depression and wasn’t feeling creative at all. A year later, I feel like I’m feeling worse than at the beginning. I want to see the light at the end of the tunnel but I don’t see it yet.”
Pepe Aguilar: “I see the light. There’s no other option but to see the light and forget about the past. My mother died in November and that’s when I understood death and knew she wouldn’t come back but I also learned about other forms of eternity. The only thing left to do now is learn, reflect and take responsibility because we can’t wait for others to get us out of this. We have to do that by ourselves. And to do that, we have to understand the importance of mental health. It’s most important to have mental health in order to get out of this but, unfortunately, it’s not something we all have. Mental health should be the first thing we learn about at home. Kids should be learning this now. Why do I want my kids to know algebra when they’re going to be depressed in a corner not knowing how to deal with their emotions?”
Ximena Sariñana: “This situation has made us live a life more transparent. Right now I’m in a closet and you can hear my kids screaming in the background. It’s important for others to see that we’re all going through this and it’s ok to not be ok right now.”
On being vulnerable
Rozalen: “I studied psychology and I learned that being vulnerable was a way to normalize many things for other people who haven’t been able to be vulnerable. Especially as an artist, it’s so important to be vulnerable because that way, we are saying that it’s ok to be this way.”
Fito Paez: “If we’re not vulnerable then we simply don’t exist. If we’re not feeling well, what’s so wrong about saying ‘I’m not feeling well or I’m going through a hard time.’ I think everyone in this panel is vulnerable. As artists we have to be because we show it in our music. Being vulnerable is part of an artist’s life. As a man, I’ve always fought against the idea of ‘boys don’t cry’ and those stereotypes. If you’re a man and you’re not allowing yourself to be vulnerable, you’re missing out.”
Aguilar: “When you’re vulnerable you have strength. When you try to hide being vulnerable, you add another issue because now you’re lying. It would be awful to live a life where you can’t be vulnerable because life is so short. So why live a lie, especially as an artist?”