Q&A with Names Are Hard Collective

1. Tell us about your music, what is it about and what are some of your sources of inspiration?

Nicole Marie: Our music is created in sessions where we begin by recording instruments and creating a beat that will be played in the background as a loop while we talk, sing, rap, or recite over it. There is never a topic chosen before a session, people bring in their creativity as they feel called to share. 

Lextrifecta: Our music comes from a place of spirit. We create our music in a communal way, where everybody in the room has an opportunity to contribute to the art. Our music is channeled through improvisation. We believe that eating together is an important part of our process. It allows us to sync up our energies before we move to the studio. That way we can create from a place of vulnerability and authenticity, with courage and fearlessness. Our music is inspired by our lives. 

I’m inspired by the way God speaks with me every day. From my experiences in Ayahuasca and Peyote Ceremonies, the Red Road, and the house of artists I live in, all have built the foundation for my passion and obsession to live in a good way and express myself artistically. 

Enoch: What inspires me are the challenges that I am tackling in the present and letting that energy out into words and sounds. The result is music that is inspired by deep reflection on how my life is connected to a rich and infinite, truth and mystery.

2. You are part of the Names Are Hard Collective, how do you describe it and what work or purpose do you serve?

Lextrifecta: Names Are Hard Collective is a community that creates together. We are united by a passion for creativity, service, and spirituality. We are musicians, chefs, painters, therapists, yogis, reiki masters, sculptors, poets, photographers, breathwork practitioners, cinematographers, massage therapists, dungeon masters, story-tellers, and more. 

We are building a community that serves to help each other with personal development. Our mission is to connect with others and ourselves, encourage going outside our comfort zone, and provide opportunities to bare our souls authentically and vulnerably. We express ourselves together in workshops, music recording sessions, potluck dinners, and then we exhibit the work we create in quarterly showcases. These shows have 3 elements; an art gallery social, intimate live performances, and collaborative time of creation.

Nicole Marie: Names Are Hard Collective provided the platform for me to recognize that my voice holds power. It was in a recording session with other members when wearing headphones and using microphones that Guboogee asked me to speak into the microphone to test it’s sound. My voice boomed through my headphones as I realized it also was heard by the others. Feeling shocked to have heard myself and seeing that the others experienced it in a nonchalant way, kick started adding confidence into my voice. 

3. The NAHC members take part in; breath-work, mental health practice, kundalini yoga, vision quests, and culinarily nourishing the soul. How do you combine spirituality with traditional mental health practice?

Laura Listens: As a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, I integrate spirituality into my sessions with clients on a case by case basis. I specialize in working with generalized anxiety, eating disorders, and borderline personality disorder. I have been in the field of mental health for 14 years and have found meditation and mindfulness a key component to what aids people in finding a peace of mind.  According to the Oxford Dictionary, Spirituality means: the quality of being concerned with the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things. Spirituality can be connecting with your breath, connecting to nature, or connecting to your inner self. I believe spirituality is endless and there is a limitless space to grow. 

4. Tell us a little bit about Kundalini Yoga. How is it different than other types of yoga? Do you have any videos on YouTube you would recommend for people to learn more about it or how to practice it?

Laura Listens: Kundalini yoga differs from traditional yoga in that Kundalini yoga incorporates conscious breath, mudras (hand gestures), inner and outer eye focus, chanting of mantras, body locks, and postures to provide balance to the body systems. It can especially aid in strengthening the central nervous system which in turn can help decrease stress and anxiety. Kundalini brings a different level of awareness to an individual. It is something that is to be practiced with deep compassion and love for one’s self and the world around them. No experience is necessary to practice this form of yoga. 

You can find reputable information and practices at www.3ho.org and youtube videos taught by an expert teacher at https://youtu.be/YbOSTz63L54. And you can find classes near the Chicagoland area at https://www.spiritrisingyoga.org or https://www.facebook.com/lightoftheworldyogajenny I am also certain you can call one of these studios and ask them for recommendations. 

5. Have you experienced any serendipity or synchronicity in your journey? If so, how?

Enoch: Yes! Two years ago, I set the intention to create an artist community rooted in self expression. It would become a community that creates and thrives, is self-sustaining, and explores what everything in our lives’ mean.  

Shortly after setting that intention, I met Lex at an Ayahuasca ceremony.  I remember him talking about what he was up to and sharing that he is an artist. From our conversation, I was struck by the passing thought of us creating something together in the future.  Several months later, we became soul brothers and started making music together. Now he is my roommate. 

I had met Sofia, an artist in the NAHC, at a different ayahuasca ceremony months later.  I found her story interesting and we met for coffee. We talked about sustainability, her work on earth ships, farming, and the community. During our conversation, I had a feeling that we would be creating together in the future.  A year later, she became my roommate too! Sofia and I are in alignment with our beliefs about building out this community in the future.  I have similar stories about the rest of the crew, but let’s keep it at that.

Nicole Marie: Yes! I believe everything happens for a reason. I was invited to a beautiful wedding in Colorado. After the wedding, I missed my ride back to Denver due to cutting ties with a friend. Thankfully, one of the bridesmaids let me stay with her and from this turn of events I met the man I love. 

Laura Listens: My biggest experience of serendipity or synchronicity through the growth and connection of NAHC has been since the weeknd of April 25, 2019 when Enoch asked me to sing some songs with him and a group of people which ended up being the first NAH show. I really had no idea what I was saying yes to at the time, but I knew Spirit was telling me to say yes and lead me to where I am today. 

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For more information on Names Are Hard Collective and to listen to their music on Spotify, please visit:

https://open.spotify.com/embed/track/3EtGNg6p6UNayNk79YwKfu

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