“Luck Is What Happens When Preparation Meets Opportunity". A quote by Roman philosopher Seneca that often grounds HAAB Member José Noventa and helps him to stay focused on his priorities.
Who is José Noventa?
I've always been a creative, through many fields with many media. I'm a person who leads from my heart with a lot of passion. Creativity and music are my tools to tackle the challenges in my life, they are how I handle my emotions.
I ended up in Mexico during the pandemic, and for the first time in a decade I stayed in the same place for months. In the jungle of Mexico I got many wow-revelations. When I sat still with myself I got so much clarity into who I am and what I want to do.
I’ve experienced both dark and light in my life and through those experiences I’ve learned how to have compassion, how to live with less judgement, something that helps me relate to people on a deeper level, and I translate that on the dancefloor to get people to dance.
As we continue the interview, José mentions that he has been part of many communities globally, especially in the festival world and electronic music scene. He calls the people he connects with his communities, his family.
What is community to you?
It is the family that you get to choose. And in the community, every member has a specific role which brings value to the other members. So in the community there's a lot of different parts which have the potential to create a whole.
The foundation of a community is always important. I am a person that believes that we are all one unity. So when I talk about these communities that I'm a part of, they’re my equals and equally minded. They share a similar mindset, but with different talents with different perspectives, but with a shared foundation.
What is your role in these communities?
I walk both with darkness and light, and through that I can connect to a lot of people. I am a very difficult person but I am also a very easygoing person. People within my community love me for who I am, for what I have to say and what I have to share. I think it is my duty to express myself, because that is the tool that the universe gave me. A voice, one that translates a lot on the dance floor as well. I don’t prepare my sets. I have an arsenal of musical weapons that I channel and use when I feel what the audience needs and wants. It just flows through me and that's why I can make many people happy and make people dance. For me, there's no better feeling. It's the best feeling in the world to make strangers, families, lovers, friends, and even enemies dance.
Where do you find inspiration?
What really brings me inspiration besides the music, are things like yoga, learning about ancient cultures, learning about friends and relating to myself, learning from family. Stay still, reflect. And nature, I really get inspired by nature. If I don't feel good I just spend time in nature, I go to a forest, a lake, a sea, a mountain, or a desert. And within no time, I will become centered again. And when I'm centered I am most inspired.
In your journey of 10+ years do you have any big lessons that you feel other people can learn from?
The ego is a bitch. It is very hard not to have ego attachments. I started very young, became quite big in Belgium and when I moved to Berlin, I was the big mouth DJ in a city with 1000s of DJs. It took a lot of time to find the spark again. I was even about to let go of music completely. When you are a bit lost, you have to go find the thing that inspires you. For me it was the first vinyl I ever bought, a hip hop album. And with time, the more I let go of ego and the more real I became with music, the more real I became with myself.
You need to have passion for what you are doing. And you need to keep on finding the passion. Because honestly, this is not an easy life. People seem to look at the music industry from a perspective that it is all bread and butter. It is a lot of struggle, a lot of loneliness, a lot of empty, drained moments. People always expect you to be at your best. So always find the thing that can bring you back to balance and passion, then you will be successful.
We have been talking about community and music. How about collaboration, what is collaboration?
Collaborating is the best thing you can do. There's many different forms of collaboration. You also need to collaborate with yourself. I believe that in collaboration you will expand your mind, it will change your perspective, you will be forced to learn, you will be forced to push yourself to take it to the next level.
For our last question, what is HAAB for you?
HAAB is a beautiful project that connects people and creates collaborations. I love what HAAB have done. I was here very early as a member together with my partner, Pau Malo who is a resident artist here. I tagged along with her and everyone were so gentle to invite me and to make me part of this family. And I love it because I judged it in my mind as a co-working space which is not enough, it is a colliding of arts, of people, of spaces. And all of it in the middle of my favorite Street in Mexico City.