In the midst of an indefinite hiatus, Bro Safari has announced plans to return to the music industry.
The renowned moombahton and bass music producer wrote a heartfelt open letter to his fans, detailing his struggle with substance abuse during life on the road. In the candid statement, Bro Safari says he entered therapy after experiencing burnout and mental health issues stemming from a grueling tour schedule.
Titled "Where I’ve been and where I’m going…,” Bro Safari's letter offers deeply personal reflections as well as an update on his musical endeavors. He has a litany of solo and collaborative projects in the works, including a hip-hop venture with Armanni Reign.
Longtime fans will be ecstatic to hear that he'll be reuniting with UFO!, his most frequent collaborator and a fan-favorite among the Bro Safari faithful. According to Bro Safari, they "have written a ton of music over the last few years" and have plans to release an EP in the near future.
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You can read Bro Safari’s full letter below.
I haven’t been silent because I don’t have anything to say. I’ve been silent because I don’t know how to say it.
Nevertheless, here are some thoughts…
Just before Covid hit, I decided that I needed a break from the Bro Safari project. I was experiencing a major case of burn out. I wasn’t working on music and I had been touring so much that it was impacting my physical and mental health in a pretty severe way.
Once the lockdowns happened, I retreated into an even deeper hole. I isolated to the point where I alienated myself from the world. That included peers, fans, followers and even some close friends. This wasn’t intentional. After a while, I found myself unsure of how to even move forward.
I entered therapy.
Therapy did a lot for me, mentally. I was able to rid myself of a lot of guilt that I had been harboring for many reasons over the years. During my time touring as Bro Safari, I had turned to alcohol & substances to cope. It was dumb, and I regret every second of that lifestyle. It was an absolute waste of my talent, time, health and energy. A lot of people say “No Regrets” but that isn’t me. I regret it. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t learn from it, though. I can safely say that I will never go down that path again.
Before I move on, I want to say that I am in a much better place now. I'm happy with where my life is and I am not looking for any sympathy here. This is simply an act of transparency.
Music: During the lockdowns and up to this day, I’ve been actively working on music. I learned how to play the piano and I reignited my passion for live music. I grew up playing in bands, so picking up my guitar again has brought me a lot of joy. Having said that, I spent roughly zero hours working on anything that resembles Trap, Moombahton, Dubstep or anything under the EDM/BroSafari umbrella. It isn’t that I don’t enjoy bass music, but I simply haven’t wanted to make it. I’m not sure that I ever will again. *THAT* is what has been so hard to say to you all. You handed me this incredible platform and following, and I felt like I’d be betraying that by moving away from what made me popular in the first place.
I’m 43 years old. At this age, I’ve come to notice that life moves in chapters. I had my chapter as a youth, playing in punk bands in Atlanta. The next chapter was my Drum & Bass project, Evol Intent. Then, I flailed for a few years and did various projects like Minus Music and Ludachrist. Then came Bro Safari, which was my most successful project. I had no idea that it would become so well received. So much so that when it did, I had a severe case of Imposters Syndrome. You may not have noticed it from the crowd, but I was unbelievably nervous throughout the entire Bro Safari life cycle. I often had no confidence in the music that I was making and I spent a lot time doubting myself. Don’t get me wrong, I had a blast doing it for the most part, but I always had this nagging feeling, like I didn’t deserve it or it should have been someone else up there. Therapy helped me to work through some of those feelings, but if I were to start making that type of music again, I fear that it would return. Why? Because I know that, in my soul, it’s time to move on to a new chapter.
So, what does that mean? Am I done with this project entirely? The answer to that is - Yes, in its former form, I won’t be returning to that, but I’m also scared to close the door on the project as a whole. I think that the best thing I could do now is be honest about this stuff with everyone instead of internalizing everything and ignoring the world. In a perfect scenario, I launch some new projects and then maybe return to Bro Safari with a new perspective, if it feels right. Until then, I feel as if I should say this: I still want to make and perform music. It just won't sound like what you all may expect.
I mentioned earlier that I have actively been working on music for the last few years. So, I’ll elaborate on some of that for anyone who’s still reading and interested.
First up, I've been collaborating on a hip hop project with Armanni Reign for quite some time now. We wrote so many songs that we finished an album last year. When it was time to release it, we decided it wasn’t good enough, so we went back to the drawing board, picked our favorites and then wrote even more music to round out an album. At the end of the day, We've found ourselves sitting on about 25 songs. Our plan is to release a handful as an album and then the rest as a B sides release, shortly after. The album is officially finished now and we’re working on artwork, videos and final masters. I’ll keep people posted on the progress, but please know that it’s not too far off, and we’re both very proud of it.
Next up, UFO! My favorite collaborative partner. ( @ItsUFO ) He and I have written a ton of music over the last few years. Ranging from experimental bass music to ambient soundscapes to Jungle/DnB. We want to release ALL of it. He and I will be launching 1 or 2 new projects in the near future to get them out there. The first release will be the experimental bass music I mentioned. That will be in the form of an EP, which is being mastered very soon. After that, we will be releasing the ambient project. After that, we have A LOT of Jungle and Drum and Bass to release. That one may take a bit longer as we have probably 20+ tracks to mix and master. Again, I'll make sure to drop progress updates here as often as necessary.
Next - I mentioned that I reignited my passion for live music. Last year, the drummer that I grew up playing in bands with moved to Austin. He and I have been writing for a year or so now. We’ve taken our best ideas and are currently fleshing out an EP w/ the singer I worked with on my Minus Music project. That is a bit further out, but I have to say that I'm incredibly excited for it, as it’s the type of music I feel that I was born to make. I’m at my best as a musician when I have a guitar in my hands. I have to pursue that.
So, there’s my update.
I want to offer a very sincere apology for not being more upfront about what was going on with me over the last few years. I didn’t feel like I had anything to say, but in reality, I was scared to say what I knew to be true. I had to distance myself to gain clarity. I now realize that came at the expense of some friendships and fans. I truly apologize for that.
Now, moving forward, I feel the need to say this. I dislike social media with a passion. It was a major part of what made me grow to resent the Bro Safari experience. I loathed being told that I had to do this or that in order to drive ticket sales, etc. I understand that’s the industry norm, but I don’t like it. I can’t be forced to comfortably put on a smile and sell myself like a product in a crowded marketplace. I envy those who have no problem doing it, but I can’t bring myself to be that person. If I am to be “active” on social media, It has to be on my terms. I am a private person, by nature, so sharing myself feels invasive. However, I’ve also come to realize that I need to look at you all like a family instead of as an audience. You gave me everything that I have and I need to remember that, moving forward. That doesn’t mean that I’m going to be posting a lot, but after unloading all of this, my hope is that I’m no longer scared to.
That’s enough for now. Thanks for taking the time to read all of this. This is truly a spur of the moment, stream of consciousness rambling, so I apologize if things come across as confusing at times.
Thank you for (still) being here.