“The Lifestyle is Unsustainable Otherwise”: How Rumble Ambassador (and DJ!) The Librarian Prioritizes Her Health
Our newest Rumble Ambassador may surprise you, because she wins accolades on the stage, instead of the field.
Andrea Graham, better known by her stage name The Librarian, is a celebrated DJ, producer, and music curator. She’s also the co-founder and music director of Bass Coast, a BC music festival that’s known internationally for it’s music programming and art installations.
As a performing artist and community-builder, Andrea spends a lot of her time on the road, on the stage, and collaborating to make events like Bass Coast a success. We asked her how she got her start, and how she prioritizes her health - no matter her schedule.
Q: How did you get started creating music? What is it about electronic music that hooked you?
A: I began studying piano at 3 years old and live music was a big part of my life all through my high school and college years. I wrote music, played in bands, and performed solo for many years.
In my early twenties I discovered my love for electronic music through attending festivals. The lightbulb moment happened when I attended Shambhala Festival for the first time. I knew right away that I wanted to learn electronic music production and how to DJ. Hearing electronic music outside on a full sound system is what hooked me - it was a physical experience unlike any show I had been to before. The festival community was open minded and full of creative people who welcomed me in.
Q: For those who don't know your style, what genres of electronic music make up the majority of your sets?
A: I like to build sets that tell a story and I love touching on multiple genres throughout a set. Currently I’m playing a lot of garage, ukg, breakbeats, jungle, footwork, and drum and bass. Melody and a love for low end frequencies tie my sets together.
Q: DJing isn’t an occupation most of us associate with a healthy lifestyle - do you think that’s changing within the electronic music community?
A: Yes it’s true, night clubs and festivals can be a place of excess. The lifestyle of a performing artist is gruelling. I’ve noticed that the more successful artists have had to prioritize health and there is a growing movement of artists who are sober and who are making space for exercise and rest within their busy touring schedules. The lifestyle is unsustainable otherwise.
It’s also nice to see some nightclubs and festivals supporting sober partying by offering delicious alcohol-free cocktails, promoting sober camps, educating about harm reduction, and normalizing healthy festival lifestyles. With this two-year hiatus on festivals, a lot of people have developed healthier habits and I’m looking forward to seeing that continue as festivals come back post-pandemic.
Q: Performing and touring must be draining at times - what kind of toll does it take, physically?
A: Touring is exhausting. Most weekends require traveling to 2 or 3 cities, late night shows, early morning flights, eating while on the road, and time away from home and family. It all takes a toll.
I find it takes three days to recover and then it’s almost the weekend again. The cycle takes a toll on my diet, energy levels, skin, emotions, and it dampens my desire to work out - which is actually the only thing that helps alleviate all the symptoms above.
Q: How do you maintain balance when you’re touring or performing regularly?
A: Maintaining exercise and a healthy diet are key to keeping balance. I try to workout as soon as I get to a new city. Sometimes that means using the hotel gym, and if that’s not available I’ll do bodyweight exercises in the hotel room. A 30-minute workout resets my body and mind and gives me energy to keep going.
Eating protein at every meal also really helps me feel balanced. Because I don’t eat eggs, I need to supplement at breakfast and Rumble is easy to bring on the road. It’s delicious and doesn’t need to be refrigerated so I can easily check a few in my suitcase and bring with me.
Q: We loved your rad workout video, with the Rumble shoutout! Are there any specific exercises or activities you do to keep you energized for the stage?
A: Thanks! And yes, I have a few favourite exercises. I like to start with a couple vinyasa flows to warm up and to counteract the many hours sitting on planes. Then I’ll alternate sets of kettlebell swings to energize and wake up my whole body, followed by a series of core exercises, push up variations, and skipping rope. To cool down, I’ll stretch and then get ready for the show!
Q: How does Rumble fit into your lifestyle, both on-stage and off?
A: Rumble has changed my life. Since integrating it into my daily breakfast routine, I’ve felt much more balanced. I have Rumble every morning. At home, I like to blend it with ice and a frozen banana and top with berries or cacao or coconut.
On the road, I drink Rumble on my way to the airport. Rumble is delicious on it’s own and it helps me last until lunch. I love that the ingredients are healthy and whole.
Q: What has the last year looked like for you, with live music put on hold for so long?
A: The last year and a half has been very challenging. My performing schedule stopped very quickly in March 2020. To share music and stay connected with my community, I turned to live streaming on twitch.tv. I also took advantage of time at home to work on writing new music which I’ll be releasing in January 2022!
As co-founder of Bass Coast Festival, I’ve been very busy navigating the festival through cancellation of the 2020 event - which was only 3 months out when the pandemic shut down the world. Our small team spent the last year trying to plan for a possible 2021 festival which was not able to happen.
The future is feeling a lot more promising now and we are looking forward to Bass Coast returning in 2022. I feel lucky to be based in Squamish, because throughout the shut down, we were still able to bike and snowboard and hike.
Q: With restrictions lifting, you’ve performed this past summer at Shambhala festival, Badlands Music Festival, & Piknic Electronic. What’s next?
A: Over Halloween weekend I toured California with three dates in San Francisco, Santa Cruz, & Los Angeles. It felt so good to be back in clubs again. People were so enthusiastic and happy to be together. From there I went down to Nicaragua for a month of surfing and I ended up playing the legendary Sunday Funday pool party in San Juan Del Sur. It was very wild and very fun. People were ready to dance the night away! Up next I’ll be heading to Tennessee to play in a venue called Cavern which is located in actual caves and then back to Vancouver for Funk the Halls at The Commodore on Dec 15th with The Funk Hunters. It feels great to be back at it.
Q: Most important question - what’s your favourite Rumble flavour?
A: I love them all so it’s difficult to pick one… but I think if forced to choose, I’d say Plant-Based Cacao is my favourite!
Pump-up your next workout with The Librarian's 'Ready to Rumble' playlist:
Thirsty for more? Follow The Librarian on Instagram and Spotify.