Originally from the Swiss Alps, Vôx Ve is an NYC-based musician/activist making tribal dream pop with a message. Reminiscent of the production work and lyrical depth of a Lady Gaga hit record, her latest single "Into The Wild" bursts wide open with raw dynamism and explosive vocal work. More importantly, "the project explores our inherited values and their neglect for vital considerations", Vôx Ve shares over email.
"Into The Wild" her latest single off her forthcoming EP Dream Theory 1, speaks to the mental health crisis among young professionals who strive for perfection, not progress. The track is a defiant cry for release from the value structure that's especially cemented in cities, which places success destructively above all else," says the Millennial artist.
We had a chance to explore 5 Ways to Combat Perfectionism with Vôx Ve alongside the exclusive announcement of her new single. Below Vôx Ve shares 5 lessons learned from her own time in the music industry, from our conditioned beliefs and behaviors to managing expectations. The lessons below go deep and is delivered as a defiant cry to unf#ck ourselves of our "success-or-die" conditioning.
Listen to "Into The Wild" and dive deeper into the notion of the importance of mental health and well-being.
1- Question the #goals we were given:
"One wonderful resource I found along my mental health journey, Yale Professor Laurie Santos' online course on the science of happiness, starts with a big data bomb, showing, through a host of studies, how the classic things we were conditioned to believe would make us happy and "successful"—i.e. lots of money, fame, followers, luxurious thangs—statistically, do not deliver on that promise. And I think most of us can feel this truth on an instinctual level when we take the time and space to tune out the noise and into ourselves. That's why I started and ended Into the Wild with an almost mantra-like refrain: "into the wild, into the wild, into the wild;" it's my deeper instinct, urging me to go into a vast open space mentally—beyond all the constructs other flawed men imposed—where I can actually hear my own thoughts about what goals are meaningful to my unique version of fulfillment and well-being."
2 - Stop setting crippling time limits and focus on consistent incremental growth:
"Most have heard of a "growth mindset" by 2020, but this particular buzzphrase deserves its hype. The growth outlook, where you value consistent, incremental improvements over all-or-nothing attainments, will not only ultimately get you further, because it eliminates much of the stress and dissatisfaction that makes people crash, quit, or cope through self-limiting behaviors, but it will make life so much more enjoyable as you go."
"When I started my career, I set a very arbitrary (and idiotic) time limit on when I had to be releasing music or else I'd make myself quit and do something more societally respected. So, I thought I had "no time!" to, for example, learn how to produce my music myself. I now shudder at what I would have missed out on if I hadn't changed my mindset to value growth. Far beyond forfeiting the pleasure of producing my own sound world, I honestly might never have known myself enough to choose happiness."
3 - Heed the one you "feed:"
"I love the parable of the two wolves, which asks, if a person has two beasts warring within her—one that is all of her better, healthier thoughts and one of all her worse, destructive thoughts— which one survives? The answer is: the one that she feeds, and never has this been more true (or literal) than in the age of endless online media messaging consumption. My brain changed for the much happier when I started to actually take seriously the idea that what you put on your own Instagram (or other newsfeed) will affect your ideas, your self-love, and your well-being for the better or the worse. I felt so strongly about this point that I actually jumped in the Hudson River in January to prove it. So when you scroll, please notice whether the ideas and values presented by each influencer align with the ideas and values that support your mental health. If it helps: keep it. If it hurts: unfollow, and you'll never feel like jumping in the Hudson again."
4 - Be mindful of expectations:
"Ay, I said it. And it hurt me too because I know any whisper of lowering expectations is received like filthy blasphemy by all of us raised in the "dream big!" paradigm. But the math of "unhappiness = expectations – reality" is proven. So, it's healthy to be aware that, if you stick all your bars for satisfaction at the highest levels we're exposed to online, that unhappiness potential could be wide, and you're likely not going to notice or enjoy all the blessings of the reality you have. Also, as with goals, thinking critically about what expectations are meaningful to you rather than just copied from others makes all the difference. Learning to expect imperfection, in my work process, in my day, in my life, has made me less frustrated, more resilient, and much more grateful."
5 - Let people know you:
"True human connection, based on sharing our authentic selves, is the greatest human nourishment there is, and I once wrote an ode to it because my younger self would have been so much less painfully lonely if she had known it. In recent years, I've discovered that if I stop exhausting (and isolating) myself, "impressing" everyone all the time with my most "perfect" version, I receive so much more than just others' superficial esteem; I receive true connection and love. I've also come to understand that our imperfections, pain, and failures actually become our gift of empathy or support to give someone else when they face similar challenges. So sharing your imperfection ultimately gets you more and lets you give more. For me this is also the most rewarding aspect of sharing honest music."