EXISTENTIAL DANCE MUSIC
Who are you? ? A feeling you can’t describe; A truth deep down inside..
Here’s a little story about certain things I’ve learned about myself and my connection to music throughout the years. Writing this down is something I’ve been wanting to do for a while. On this page I’m just sharing my personal thoughts and experiences, in the same way that I love sharing my music with you. Whether it’s making music, writing lyrics, doing shows, or any other type of art, everything I do is based on the same thing: expressing myself. Or more specifically, trying to get as close as possible to expressing my “true” self. I’m fascinated by our existence and the relationship we have to ourselves and the world around us. I’ve always been inspired by feelings that seem bigger than life; feelings that surpass the capacity of language. To me, it always feels as if there’s a bigger truth beneath the . Perhaps sometimes you feel it too…
Like everyone, I go through lows and highs ↓↑. Generally I’m pretty good at embracing the ebbs and flows of life. Last year however, stress got the best of me and triggered multiple panic attacks that left me feeling anxious for months. I thought something was wrong with me physically; my heart was racing, my vision was blurry and I felt extremely dizzy, for a very long time. After seeing multiple doctors it became clear what was causing all of my symptoms: Anxiety. I was aware stress could impact someone’s mental health, but I never experienced it firsthand like this; I could feel it in my entire body… I think these panic attacks were warning signals from a subconscious place within me. I started doing a lot of inner work to figure out who I truly am; beyond my stress, fear & anxiety; beyond all the noise in my mind.
I slowly started working on a new album (EXISTENTIAL DANCE MUSIC) exploring this inner journey, navigating through the ups and downs of life. I learned a lot about myself, and I’m still learning everyday. I realized that for me, making music is a very direct way to get closer to my deeper self. Music is so sacred and so therapeutic to me, it truly helps me ...
From a young age, you’ve been asked the question: “How are you?” You grow up learning the answer to that question is something along the lines of “I’m good…” or “I’m fine….” Sometimes you might even feel comfortable enough to say “I’m not that great.” Later in life, if things are going well for you, you are happy. If things aren’t going that great, you are sad. You are insecure, you are , you are heartbroken, you are , you are miserable, you are . You “are” a lot of things throughout your life… But if that’s the case, who are you really? What defines you? Who are you beyond your emotions? Beyond your name? Beyond your fears? All these emotions come and go constantly, but something always remains. However we feel, we refer to ourselves as “I”, but who is this “I” ?
I’ve asked myself these kinds of existential questions for as long as I can remember. Most of the time these existential thoughts live inside of me as sort of a feeling; a sense of wandering and searching that I’ve felt throughout my whole life.
Subconsciously I’ve always been searching for something that would eventually fulfill me. After years of touring the world with my music and living “my dream,” I realized that every time I reached another goal, I was still left with that same existential feeling; I felt like i was for something, just like I did when I started chasing those dreams.
At some point I realized I had no idea who I truly was beyond all the constant noise in my mind… The goals, the dreams, the emotions, the comparisons, the doubts, the ego, the “story” of me.... I suddenly realized that that ‘something’ I had been looking for has always been: my true self. More specifically, the stillness inside myself. . An inner peace. Something that I perhaps once used to know, before the world and my surroundings shaped me into the person I identify as today. I realized I just didn’t truly know myself deeply.
‘Finding yourself’ is an interesting concept. Most of the time when I went on a search to find myself, I ‘found’ a different part of my ego to identify with because I thought I could be defined by something. But the moment I realized I couldn’t possibly be defined by a combination of words, emotions, thoughts, or whatever, something interesting happened: I slowly became aware of an underlying deeper truth about myself. A truth I couldn’t understand or describe in words, but I could feel it. And this is where the beauty of music comes into play…
I can see a pattern when looking back on the songs I’ve written. There’s always been an underlying existential undertone. Here’s some lyrics from several songs I’ve released throughout the years that you might know: … … … … … … …
I realize now that I’ve always used music as a way of trying to connect to my deeper self; to find a deeper truth. Words alone can only “point” to the truth. Music is so much more effective in bringing you closer to the actual experience of this magical, ever changing journey through life. Music is not about understanding, analyzing, or rationalizing... It's all about a deeper connection, a deeper truth. An experience beyond words...
Most of the time I don’t realize why I write a certain piece of music. But lately I’m starting to become more aware of the fact that subconsciously, this journey of connecting to a deeper self, has always been part of my music. I’ve been looking for my true self through my music ever since I started making it! It was such an epiphany when I figured this out!
Music is able to express feelings and experiences that are indescribable and inexplicable. Yet, even though we can't properly describe certain things with words, they're so real, perhaps more real than anything... Suddenly I realized why I wrote “Light.”
Years ago, traveling to a show, the phrase “I just wanna see the light” popped up in my mind. I turned it into a song and it became one of my most popular songs. At the time I wasn’t quite sure what it meant to me. All I knew was that it came from my heart, a feeling deep down inside. I was blown away with how many people resonated with this song. Still to this day, I do not fully understand how this song became so popular. But there’s something inside me that thinks that, deep down, we all want to “see the light”. We all want to feel connected to the underlying truth of this universe we're all a part of. We all want to know ourselves deeply, and truly “be” and “see” ourselves. We want to be able to see through everyone’s disguise in life, including our own. We want to connect to our true selves and by doing so, truly connect to the world around us. This is .
I believe whenever we experience beauty and we don’t have the words for it, we feel that direct pathway to our true selves; our true being: Love! We feel connected to everything and our sense of separation disappears, if only for a moment. It happens when we are in awe of something and we’re at a loss for words. These experiences are music. It’s almost like a direct reminder of all the . that are extremely meaningful and impact us deeply. This could happen for example when we look at a painting, or a beautiful sunset, when , or of course, when we listen to a piece of
I realize one of the main reasons for me to make music is to evoke this feeling of returning to your true self and finding your own light that’s always present somewhere inside. Life is full of mystery and I believe we will never fully understand it. In the grand scheme of things and I’m still trying navigate through the ups and downs of life everyday. Music is helping me with this and I find a lot of peace in the act of writing and sharing it with you. I hope it allows people to connect to a deeper place within themselves and each other. If anything, I want to challenge people to go beyond their default ways of thinking and explore their own emotions with openness, curiosity, and love.
We all know life comes with its lows and highs. But there’s a certain beauty and curiosity that exists within this mystery. I think I’ve always subconsciously tried to emphasize this with my music. There’s gonna be moments in life that will bring you down… but ! I find a lot of joy in making music that boosts people’s spirit, music that helps people heal and connect.
For many years people have asked me to describe my music, or the meaning of a particular song. I’ve never been able to . It never felt right to describe music with words. I would even go as far as saying that deep down, trying to describe music always makes me feel uneasy.
In my opinion the best way to describe any piece of art would be to remain silent. However, I understand we live in a world where things need to be described in order for people to make sense of them. In terms of describing my sound or style, the term Electronic Dance Music never really felt right. Even though I know these terms are just man made boxes that allow us to organize things in our minds, i thought it would be fun to create my own little box:
EXISTENTIAL DANCE MUSIC (E D M →?← )
Existential dance music is for those who are seeking a deeper connection to themselves through the music they listen and dance to. It’s not so much about “losing yourself,” but more about finding yourself.
Music is such a personal experience and the same piece of music will mean something different to each individual listening to it. That’s part of the beauty; A piece of music can tell an endless amount of stories. Every story is individually shaped by the imagination of the listener. Yet there’s always such a magical, unifying to it. E D M →?← is meant to heal and bring you some peace ↑%!
I realize I can only make music if it feels extremely personal to me. Music is such a sacred thing and that’s how I like to treat it. To me, music has to be pure. Every single sound needs to feel personal. Every single sound and lyric has a story, and is part of a bigger story.
Over the years I’ve made electronic songs, acoustic songs, trap beats, house tracks, soundscapes, and a wide variety of styles that have one thing in common: An existential undertone. This existential undertone is not a sadness; it's curiosity, vibrancy, an openness, and a yearning for a deeper connection to everything around us. It’s all made with love. I hope my music can bring you closer to yourself and help you through the ups and downs in life. I hope it can open your mind and help you see certain things in a different light. And speaking of ; Whatever happens, I hope my music can remind you of the light inside of you that’s always present.. !
I can't wait for you to hear this album, EXISTENTIAL DANCE MUSIC, which will be released on September 15th! This album will be accompanied by a brand new live show and I would love to see you and feel your energy at these shows. You can find the full touring schedule below! Stay Vibrant!
-San Holo ↑%