Draper - Going Through The Emotions - The Mind Map
By Cecilia Polo

Draper – Going Through The Emotions

Dreaming of Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares and treasure on Mars.

Published 12/03/2018

Every art form has a canvas. It’s where imagination is stored, where expression is recorded, and where ideas are fully manifested. You could say producers are a human canvas: that’s where the magic is stored. French-born British producer James Draper is one such magician.

Here we get his thoughts on producing a lifestyle that works for him 

Hi Jamie – thank you for taking the time to answer some of our questions. Are you working on anything new at the moment?
Happy to oblige, yes tons! I’m constantly writing new material and with new and exciting artists. A lot coming up this year.

Here at the Mind Map, one of our aims is to provide mindfulness tips for young people, also through the eyes of music personalities such as yourself. What do you listen to/read/watch to destress when going through a particularly busy period?
If I need to destress then I watch ASMR videos. If you don’t know what it is then you will think it’s the weirdest thing ever. If you do know, and it works for you, then you know how well it works to help prevent anxiety and insomnia. I’m a strong believer in mindfulness and how powerful it is to focus in on your personal mental condition. I also have an app called “Breathingzone”, which is mind-blowingly effective in helping to relax or fall asleep. It’s amazing how something as simple as breathing properly can completely alter your state of wellbeing.

What has been your biggest life challenge so far and what did you do to overcome it?
My biggest challenge is ongoing, knowing who I am and where I sit in the music industry. It took a few years to really figure out the direction I wanted to head in. A lot of it was accepting that it’s ok to write happy pop music. For some reason, at the time I felt like it was selling out, but in truth, I’m just much more comfortable writing that style of music.

What advice do you offer to friends when they are feeling overwhelmed?
Slow down. Don’t think about all your problems in one go as that’ll crush you. Stop and compartmentalise the issues and deal with them one by one.

Not many artists from the dance music/production world have talked openly about mental health and their personal experiences. Do you believe that it is nonetheless a topic relevant to this genre?
It’s definitely not genre-specific. Mental health can affect anyone at any time, the key is acknowledging that you need to slow down and deal with your own mental health.

What would constitute a ‘perfect’ day for you? Do you have a specific routine, or do you make it up as you go?
I don’t have a perfect day really, but the key elements to make it a great day would be:
Waking up easily and ready for a proactive day.
Making a really great cup of tea.
Bit of a chill in bed with the TV, maybe Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares.
Something active like a walk.
Something spontaneous like going to a bar I’ve never been to with my girlfriend.

For what in your life do you feel most grateful? Can you share with us a childhood memory that makes you smile?
I’m most grateful for being able to do what I love for a living.  As for a childhood memory, there are so many positive ones I couldn’t pinpoint a moment. Most of the funniest moments were with my best mate Hank though.

Obviously, music must play a huge role in your life. What three songs lift your spirits?
Bruno Mars – Treasure
Aloe Blacc – I’m The Man
Duke Dumont – I Got U

What is your favourite self-help book, or motivational quote?
“This too shall pass”: not sure anyone coined it per se but it makes the most sense to me. Time is the greatest healer.

Switching more to an exercise and nutrition point of view, what do you eat to stay healthy? Do you have a daily routine of exercise?
I’m awful at exercise but I know how important it is. I need to be more active for sure. I eat quite healthily though.

Complete this sentence: “Ace mental health for me means…”
Understanding myself and knowing how to process the complexity of it.