Nick Stracener views dance music as therapy and a way to escape life’s biggest hurdles.
Words: Connor Davenport
Images: by Jay Fuertez
It’s why he was particularly drawn to remix Lindsay Lohan’s “Back To Me,” a song about shutting out negative energy and rediscovering self and Lady Gaga’s “Fun Tonight”, a song Gaga wrote about the dissolution of her relationship, and how her mental health and experiences with fame also affect her love life.
It is a relatable message to Nick whose social media notoriety often invites criticism. He uses his platform, nearly 200K strong, to show off his bodily accomplishments and release heavy matters weighing on his mind. Most significantly, his own mental health.
“People with mental illness come in all shapes, sizes, and colors and I want to reach others who may be going through similar struggles,” he says.
“You can never really know what someone’s going through in their personal life or what’s going on in their head. Severe depression and anxiety are hidden diseases and I have found, the best way to fight it is to get it out in the open. It’s nothing to be ashamed of.”
Especially in this time of COVID…
Connor: What’s the biggest thing weighing on your mind right now?
Nick: For me, it would have to be: when will I finally be able to have a live gig, safely, again?
Connor: It’s an understatement to say that we’re living in weird and uncertain times. What impact has the lockdown and the larger state of the world had on you and your work?
Nick: Just before COVID struck, I was on quite of an uphill climb. The bookings were rolling in from all over the USA and Canada as well as international festivals. I was really looking forward to getting out there and showing people what I can do. But life has taken a turn for the worst. All of the gigs I had planned have been cancelled. I’m currently spending way more money on being a DJ then I’m making from it. It’s not cheap, with equipment and promotion, etc.
Connor: Have you had to retool how you work to stay afloat?
Nick: Oh yes. Since I can’t play live, I’ve been concentrating on creating virtual sets and remixes of popular songs. At least it helps to keep my name out there.
Connor: Have you discovered a brighter side to the pandemic?
Nick: I try to be as optimistic as possible, appreciating the fact that I have had more time to focus on creating music and working on myself, internally and mentally, but I have to admit I am really struggling right now. It seems as if there’s no end in sight and it’s quite scary.
Connor: Can we get personal? You recently became single, what is the biggest lesson you learned from the relationship?
Nick: I’ve learned to always follow my heart. I don’t regret anything about our time together because it was a learning experience that will get me one step closer to finding the person that I’m truly meant to be with. I now know the qualities that I need in a partner in order for it to work.
Connor: Are you appreciating this time alone?
Nick: This time alone has been difficult, especially with everything that’s happened in my personal life. The breakup has definitely amplified all of my gloomy feelings. But I continue to learn more and more about myself every day and the things I need to improve to become the best person that I can possibly be.
Connor: Can you tell us about your Only Fans page? What goes on behind the locked window?
Nick: (Laughing) I always tell people this, it’s only $10 bucks and I think it’s worth every penny. You’re going to see everything.
Connor: Has the page been helping to pay the bills during the pandemic?
Nick: In addition to my DJing and producing, I’m a flight attendant. Sadly, none of those jobs are paying much at the moment. So yes, the Onlyfans page definitely supplements my income.
Connor: What new mixes are you working on now?
Nick Stracener: I recently released my “Dance with Life Again” set and it’s full of lots of classic circuit music and some oldies and new songs as well. I also threw in my brand-new Gaga remix which I’m super happy with the way it turned out.
Connor: Do you eventually hope to make original music?
Nick: That’s the goal, yes. It’s a work in progress. I think I will have an original song produced this year by the absolute latest. I have a lot of ideas. I really want to find a vocalist who I can connect with as friends and make beautiful music with, together.
Follow Nick on Instagram @thenickstracener.