Being passionate at what you do can honestly turn any work day from just another day at the office to something that is truly more. Just ask the Keanu Reaves in the Matrix. Kinda. Sometimes to drop a job in your life and go into the unknown to pursue a certain career choice can is just a surreal act for most to think of. However, for the up-and-coming New York based DJ, Alex Alben in his pursuit of happiness did just that. What once was an illusion of doing what he loved, becoming a DJ is now slowly turning into a reality.
As I chronicle his story, I'm going to share with you his newly released 5 track bootleg pack entitled "Collusion Vol. 1." I don't want to spoil any of the songs that are in the bootlegs. You'll see, so let the music speak.
There were a couple of misconceptions that I had grown to believe. The first was that it is perfectly acceptable to be unhappy at your job every day. “They call it work for a reason.” The second was that the success I should try to attain is found on the straight and narrow path, so leave the bold risk taking to others. Fuck that. You only get to do this once, so you should be the only one to define your own success, and to the extent that you can, you should do what you want to do in life. For me, that is, and has always been, music.
Sweet NYC Thong (Alex Alben Collusion Edit)
That being said, my decision to quit Investment Banking in order to become one of the world’s top DJ/Producers makes a lot more sense. I never remotely enjoyed Finance, but it was an obvious career choice for an overachieving senior with degrees in math and business. Banking for two or three years, back to school for an MBA, live happily ever after, right? I actually did believe that for a while. Why shouldn’t I have? It was, after all, one of the narratives of the “banker-doctor-lawyer” suburban fairy tale I had been trained to pursue. I was on a fast track to the modern American dream: a lifetime of sacrificing passion and happiness for money, and I was miserable. To reiterate: fuck that. I hated what I was doing. My heart just wasn’t in it, so I quit.
Nobody's Supposed To Disque Bistro (Alex Alben Collusion Edit)
Luckily, the answer to the subsequent question “what do I do next?” was obvious. We all have one thing that gets us genuinely excited when we talk about it—our eyes widen, we speak faster and louder, and our words come alive with an energy that can’t be replicated for other topics. This is the truest indicator of passion, and what gets me going like that is music. I think music is the most interesting thing in the world, and the effect it has on us fascinates me. I’ve decided to dedicate my life’s work to music, to understanding why and how it makes us feel the way we do, and to making it and playing it for people around the world.
We Know Rage Music Sounds Better After Leaving You (Alex Alben Collusion Edit)
So what’s the goal? To get to the top of dance music. And the plan? To work harder and navigate better than any of the thousands of other people trying to do the same thing. There is a lot of work to be done. Though I have been making rap beats as a hobby since high school, I’ve never made even one full-length, professional-level dance track. My first DJ gig at a club or bar was Friday (September 21, 2012). When I left my job, I jumped about as far into the deep end as possible, pursuing a dream based solely on the feeling that this was absolutely right for me. I gave up a lot to do this, and I am dead serious about this. I will succeed.
Fat Signal on LRAD Boulevard (Alex Alben Collusion Edit)
People have been saying that my decision to leave Finance was courageous and “took a lot of balls”. I don’t see it that way. The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world that living a life untrue to yourself was an acceptable way to live. Even remotely acceptable. To me, choosing this path was a decision to be true to myself and to what I believe in; it was a decision to commit fully to my long-term vision for myself; it was a decision to say fuck that to what I was supposed to be and become what I want to be: happy, making banging tracks, and successful on my own terms.
Feels Like One Sweet Day (Alex Alben Collusion Edit)
I hope his story inspires you. I know it did for me. After seeing him at Webster Hall a month ago, I can't wait to hear him play again. If you enjoyed his story and music, and want to try to see his upcoming shows it's as easy as like on his FB page. Additionally, this will let you unlock his bootleg pack for a free download. Just click, HERE to get the bootleg pack! The importance of the article is also really about the music, and I would have to say these edits are pretty sweet. Cheers!
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