THE GREAT RETURN

Blog: If there is joy in what you do, there will always be magic

Well-travelled siblings Jana and Samo Stefanec formed an electronic music duo to share their joy for music with others.

Jana and Samo StefanecJana and Samo Stefanec(Source: Zuzana Burdanova)

Samo Stefanec:

The whole aspiration of our generation is to create work that has appeal beyond Slovakia

Right now, there is this trend, at least in electronic music, where the world is starting to look at Eastern Europe and notice there is really good music coming out of here.

Eastern Europe is no longer a sign of bad quality, being Eastern European is novel

What really changed me and shaped my outlook on life are the people I got to meet during my work and studies abroad. I noticed that they were open to doing stuff outside of their comfort-zone.

Read also:Slovak migrant shares the stories of other migrants to understand her own Read more 

If you want to do something exciting in life, you have to go outside of your comfort-zone

That doesn’t necessarily mean going abroad. Going out of your comfort-zone can of course mean doing stuff in Slovakia.

The most important thing is to create from joy

I noticed that whenever I get together with musicians, no matter their style or where they are from, if there is joy in what they are doing, there will always be magic. I think the mindset in Slovakia is to be afraid to do something that will not give you immediate results.

If something is not working, solve it

If the project I am doing doesn’t bring me joy, then I just don’t do it. That’s how I solve many problems. That’s my mindset. Many people in Slovakia don’t feel joy when they are doing things. This automatically feeds into the next problem, which is pointing out everything that is wrong.

Read also:Blog: Slovak art therapist's passion grew while living in poverty abroad Read more 

It’s really hard to accept that you may not receive energy back from people

Which is why it’s important to stay in your joy. When someone is rude and vulgar, it’s really easy to be rude and vulgar back. My approach is to just stay nice and maintain my good energy.

Jana Stefanec

Learning other languages is the essence of knowing something more

Our parents taught us these values. Our father is a doctor and he travelled the world, even under communism. This inspired me to study culture and languages. During my studies at Slovak university, I started working summers in Malta and lived there for 6 years.

Abroad, I gained the confidence to do things my own way

When it comes to music, it’s extremely subjective. Our expression may be nice for someone and not nice for someone else. The point is it doesn’t matter what other people think.

Just be yourself

Your quality of life reflects your mindset. When I first went abroad, I made the conscious decision to be open. For example, in Malta, I told myself: “Be open and take every opportunity that comes your way.” I landed on my feet very quickly because of that approach.

I learned a lot from all the people I met

They came from different cultures, they spoke different languages, but they all had a similar mindset. They were open.

When you are interested in what you do, it translates into the quality of your work

This is what we want to show and give to people in Slovakia. Through our music, we share our energy with them.

Every time we perform, we share our joy

This testimony was originally published in Zuzana Palovic’s book, The Great Return. You can learn more about the book as well as Palovic’s own journey as a Slovak migrant that later returned to Slovakia at http://thegreatreturn.eu/.

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