This Celebrated German DJ Shares His Story About Anxiety

A DJ friend and fellow beautiful voyager tagged me on this video, which tells the story of German House music pioneer Danilo Plessow AKA Motor City Drum Ensemble. When I see the words "Motor City," I can only think of one place (I'm from a town not an hour from Detroit), so I was startled when I hit play on the video and heard Plessow's accent. Turns out, he grew up in Stuttgart, the "other" Motor City and home to Mercedes and Porsche headquarters. I like the description of Plessow's music on his site: simultaneously retro and futuristic.

The video is pretty long, but there are some key moments:

How it felt at start of the video

"Maybe two and a half years ago I started to get a bit anxious before traveling. I didn't know where it came from and what it actually was. I thought 'okay that's just a bit of performance anxiety or maybe you're afraid that the plane will crash because now you're traveling. I didn't really deeply go into it. It increased and I made a mistake not to really care about it. I thought, 'Well maybe that's something you just have to live with it you know but at one point after a pretty exhausting tour I came back and it just wouldn't stop—the anxiety state— that's when I figured out that there was something seriously wrong."

Realizing it was really an issue at 05:29

"I worked my whole life to get to the point to be able to tour and make a living with music and make people happy. At one point there was something happening to me that I couldn't really put a finger on. For some people who hear 'anxiety' it sounds a bit...'Okay, so you're anxious, what's the big deal?' But this came to a level where I couldn't sleep anymore. That's when I figured it's too much.  I can't perform I can't basically live like this." 

DJ with anxiety

General Anxiety at 06:32

"With general anxiety, it's this feeling that you are about to get a panic attack but it never really comes. You're always on the edge and can't sleep and you're not hungry anymore. It's really intense. That was really the hardest month of my life. And you don't really want to go with to your friends with stuff like this because you feel a bit ashamed about it and it's not easy for people to understand."

Burnout and the physical element at 08:19

The burnout was a trigger for me to reflect on on my life in general, where I want to be what I want to be and how I want to do certain things. I've learned that [anxiety] is just it's really a physical thing. If you don't take care of your body then you will get all kinds of problems."


Learn more about Motor City Music Enselmbe and Danilo Plessow's music.

Have you experienced burnout? Share in the comments below.