In part three of our investigative series conducted in collaboration with discerning cognac maker Remy Martin, on the country’s creative do-it-alls, we round up a DJ, a producer and a barista to talk juggling jobs, hobbies and occupations.
Photographer Thomas Ost (c).
Thomas Wyngaard (DJ Herman De Brou)
I mostly work as an educator and sales and communication manager for OR Coffee, a small roastery with four coffee bars. I also DJ under the Herman De Brou moniker as well as host and produce a twice-monthly radio show, Extasia Show, on Radio Campus. More recently, I’ve also started working on the Brussels Coffee Week which we hope will see the light of day in October this year. Alongside all this, I own a website called OK Coffee tips where I interview baristas and pin some of our favourite coffee bars. I also used to work as a graphic designer, having co-founded design studio Codefrisko together with Audrey Schayes, but that was before my coffee conversion. In terms of my work-life balance, honestly I’m not super good at it. I sometimes get too enthusiastic and have to step back when I realise I’m involved in too many things. And when it all gets too much, I unwind through sports, friends, TV series and, my latest discovery, audio series such as S-Town and Serial – they require you to do nothing else but listen, which is always good. I also recently disabled all the push notifications on my phone, which has also helps in not being disturbed all the time.Thomas (1978) would love to get involved with the Barista Guild of Europe and have more time to dig for more tracks for his radio show. soundcloud.com/hermandebrou
Fabien Leclerq (DJ Le Motel)
I produce electronic music as Le Motel and also work with MC’s and bands such as Yellowstraps and Romeo Elvis, whom I also tour with. Next to that, I’m a freelance graphic designer and am also part of the organising team of Les Garages Numériques, a digital arts festival in Brussels. I’ve been making music for the past four years but you could say that in the past year it’s evolved into something more professional giving our touring schedule with Romeo as well as my DJ dates as Le Motel. I can’t say I really have a secret to managing my work-life balance though, especially since I don’t think it’s all that good at the moment. I love everything I do and I’m grateful to have the opportunities I do but it’s sometimes hard to find the right balance between all these different activities since they’re all somehow related. To unwind, I’ll play it simple, spend time with my girlfriend and a few friends. I’m also a nature lover, I really need my time with nature, which is always a good way to take a step back too.Given a bit more time, Fabien (1991) would love to learn calligraphy, woodwork, painting and playing the piano. He also dreams of opening a Mexican food joint, but that’s another story. soundcloud.com/le-motel
Diego Cortez-Salas (DC Salas)
I’m a social media strategist by day and a DJ-producer by night. I also run a record label, Biologic Records, together with my friend Harold Boué (aka Abstraxion), and used to work a few years ago as artistic director for a Brussels club. Music has always been in my life – I used to have a radio show back when I was 15, which is really what got me started – whilst the communication strategy side of me came during my studies at IHECS in Brussels. Lately though, music has evolved into more than just a hobby, and I’ve been fortunate enough to play in amazing venues, in front of beautiful crowds. That is both exciting but also extremely intense, and my work-life balance has suffered because of it, becoming much more hectic and unstructured. That being said, the key to it, in my opinion, is to remain passionate in everything I do. And, in that respect, I’m also very lucky to actually love my job, a position that involves me working at the intersections of strategy and creativity. And, even though I’m not the best a taking a step back from it all and having a break, if ever I ever I do need to wind down a little, I’d probably just go on a city trip with a few friends.If he had the choice, Diego (1988), better known to the local nightlife as DC Salas, would simply add sleeping and reading to his long list of things to do. soundcloud.com/dc-salas