Holmar

Interview with Holmar, M.A.N.D.Y., and Parties4Peace

Parties4Peace (P4P) is a non-profit event production and fundraising organization that hosts music and art events to support various global initiatives focused on education, sustainability, equality, and disaster relief. P4P unites people to create a culture of peace through dance and music, emphasizing collaborations with those who seek the platform to make a difference.

The Music & Art Peace Academy (MAPA) aims to provide artists, musicians, and producers from around the world with experiences and resources that further enhance and develop their creative talents. In partnership with the international NGO Peace Boat–which travels the world by ship to promote peace education and sustainability–MAPA invites aspiring young creators to participate in global voyages onboard the ship as well as on-land programs to engage in workshops, lectures and hands-on learning opportunities alongside professional artists. This year Parties4Peace celebrates its 15 Year Anniversary alongside artists Philipp Jung and Holmar Filipsson during their annual Patagonica tour Vol 10 in Chile, South America as part of the MAPA project.

Electronic Groove: Parties4Peace is celebrating its 15 Year Anniversary this year – what do you think has been the impact of this project over the years?

Emilie: Since Parties4Peace was founded in 2002, we have organized hundreds of events and collaborations to support local organizations making positive change. I have seen artists and producers take a completely new path in their careers to continue the friendships they have built through our exchange programs. From the Red Dot Relief project with Seth Troxler and Jay Haze to raise funds for disaster relief in Japan after the earthquake in 2011 or the local events we organized in New York, Miami and Tokyo to support indigenous communities and education in Latin America, all of the funds are donated towards important causes. I truly believe that we have built a platform that has lasted through the years and continues to inspire artists, organizers, and everyone in our dance music community to make a positive contribution through our events.

EG: What inspired you to start Parties4Peace?

Emilie: I spent many years volunteering for different projects in Latin America when I was younger and I was inspired to give back and continue to learn more about global issues. Our first Parties4Peace event was held in 2002 at a small club in Japan to raise funds to build a community center in rural area of El Salvador, where I had previously volunteered for an educational project. Soon after, we saw that so many Djs, artists, producers and people working in the music industry were interested in joining us to make a positive difference through art and music. I had also studied in Chile and spent 10 days hiking in Patagonia to explore the pristine nature of Torres del Paine. I wanted to share these experiences with other artists and create programs for cultural exchange amongst music producers. Parties4Peace invites artists to donate their time and talent to raise funds for important causes. My original aim was to create a platform for artists to give back to their communities and help make a global impact.

“I just love nature so much. And so many friends of mine went there already and came back with the biggest smiles.”

EG: For Holmar and Philipp, this is your first time traveling to Patagonia, what excites you most about visiting the pristine nature in South America with Parties4Peace?

Holmar: I am originally from Iceland but have been living in New York for 20 years now. After being in a concrete jungle for so long, I really miss the days of easy access to nature that I used to have when I lived back home. I am super excited to go to a place where everyone that I know who has been there, says it is like my homeland and be able to experience its beauty in person. It looks so lovely and I can’t wait to hike and explore with my friends and make some new ones along the way. I also love penguins and am hoping I will be able to meet the Patagonia ones, maybe make friends with a few too.

Phillip: I just love nature so much. And so many friends of mine went there already and came back with the biggest smiles. To see raw nature and super pristine lakes, glaciers, mountains, unique animals and great sceneries, in general, can never be wrong. Meeting the people who live in smaller villages and communicating with them is always very insightful too. It shows you that simplicity is the true art.


EG:  In Patagonia, the Parties4Peace collective of artists have been working to protect the nature together through outdoor experiences in the National Park Torres del Paine. What is your favorite part about being surrounded by nature and how does it inspire you?

Holmar: Being in nature is the only place I feel like I can turn off the constant noise of the outside world and truly relax. It is a really good to place to be as an artist in the creative process and it is not always easy to find the time or place to do it. Especially when you are on the road all the time. This is what I plan to do while I am there and I know I am also going to be blown away by the National Park so there is no doubt in my mind I will come back from there full of ideas that will inspire the work I will do this year and beyond. I also got a brand new recording device and plan on doing tons of field recordings while there to make sure I can actually bring some of the sounds of nature there with me home to play with and use.

Phillip: It’s the Avatar moment. You immediately know where you belong and all your weird thoughts and problems seem to disappear in no time. It’s vital for all humans to connect or re-connect with Mother nature. And the rawness of Patagonia is such a striking experience I am sure. We only know it from New Zealand and it was absolutely mindblowing. You become very humble and aware what a gift all this is. Being in nature just empties my head and rewires, a complete reset. And that is the base for new ideas and motivation.

“Wherever we travel, I know that we will inspire action and new ideas to create a more sustainable and connected community”

EG: What are you looking forward to with Parties4Peace about this year’s trip featuring Philipp Jung and Holmar as guest artists?

Emilie: This year is especially exciting as we have a talented group of artists, photographers and creatives traveling with us alongside Philipp and Holmar. Wherever we travel, I know that we will inspire action and new ideas to create a more sustainable and connected community. I have known Philipp and Holmar for years, and I am looking forward to introducing them to our Patagonica Collective of producers in the communities that we work with throughout Chile as we travel for ten days together on this Anniversary tour.

“I am a lover, not a fighter and a pacifist at heart. Working with an organization like P4P enables me as an artist to participate and help spread the word and message of peace through music and art.”

EG: Parties4Peace is celebrating their 15 year anniversary as a nonprofit organization, and as a guest artist, what inspires you to work witParties4Peace?

Holmar: I am a lover, not a fighter and a pacifist at heart. Working with an organization like P4P enables me as an artist to participate and help spread the word and message of peace through music and art. I am also a big fan of Emilie McGlone, founder of P4P both as professional and a human. She is one incredible woman who with her selfless work is an inspiration to us all. We have been talking about doing this for years so I am excited that it is finally happening now.

Phillip: P4P is a passion-driven organization to begin with and that is also why we are doing music. Because you believe in one thing and you dedicate nearly all of your time into it, and as a DJ it’s important to remind yourself of the very beginnings where it was much more about giving and playing all kinds of parties with no thought about agents, managers or fees. To share and give back with people you love and trust seems like the right thing to do.

EG: How do you think music and art can make a positive difference in the world?

Holmar: It is something that connects us all. From my travels and playing music all over the world, sometimes in different cities that are in countries that historically waged wars against each other, I have witnessed this first hand. I feel really blessed to have experienced this because if I had not, then it would be hard for me to believe that positive change is possible especially the way things are portrayed in the media today. I think we are an amazing species that is capable of so much good and I think especially through music and art and how it connects us, is where this becomes most visible.

Phillip: Art in general and music especially connects people without words. You can share emotion and be wide open and share a moment of great intensity without having to speak.
Connecting and experiencing these moments can make a difference in everyone’s life and you see that we are all connected in some way or another. It’s like the amazing Fats Domino once said: “Music just makes you happy”.

EG: Tell us about your musical journey this year, where are you headed and what do you want to share with the audience in Chile?

Holmar: I recently left Thugfucker to pursue my solo career. It is a new chapter in my life for me and I am very excited to start this. This tour is the first one I am doing on my own, and I could not be happier going with the crew that is coming along for the ride. I have lots of new music that I am looking forward to sharing, both my own stuff and collaborations and other really fun projects that I have in the pipeline.

Phillip: What I like about our music is the unknown. Not to compare, but it’s a little bit like in jazz music. I don’t know where the set will take us or where I will take the people, and that is the beauty to prepare every set and be surprised sometimes where you went. I will be as surprised as the audience and I am sure together we will have a fantastic evening and night.


EG: Would you like to travel on the Peace Boat in the future as part of the Music & Art Peace Academy and why?

Holmar: The program looks amazing and it would be so fun to sail and help and participate in the workshops they do both on land and at sea. It sounds like an adventure and I happen to love to have a lot of those.

Phillip: Of course, as Emilie is our very dear friend and we are pretty familiar with the organization it combines so many positive aspects of life. Bringing people together, being environmentally friendly and conscious, supporting underground music and artists in general, supporting the local nature and scenes, creating awareness… So for sure we are very open and triggered by all these great approaches and we will be there when the Peace Boat needs us.

“Our programs are open to all artists and interested creatives who would like to participate in our voyages onboard the Peace Boat.”

EG: How can people join you on the next Music & Art Peace Academy project on the Peace Boat Global Voyages?

Emilie: Our programs are open to all artists and interested creatives who would like to participate in our voyages onboard the Peace Boat. We often organize specific programs related to music, art, and sustainability. We encourage people to visit our website at www.peaceboat-us.org to learn more and contact us about coming onboard anytime!

EG: What’s coming next for Parties4Peace?

Emilie: As we celebrate our 15 Year Anniversary, we are planning to invite artists worldwide to submit music for a Special Parties4Peace Podcast series. We are also seeking to partner with promoters and clubs to become part of our network, emphasizing collaborations with those who seek the platform to make a positive difference. In the coming years, we aim to provide more scholarships for youth to learn about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals through the arts and participate in our Global Voyages with Peace Boat and the Music & Art Peace Academy program. We have many new exciting opportunities coming up for creative projects and welcome new ideas!

EG: Any last message for the audience?

Holmar:  I am excited to see Chileans get down. I have heard amazing things and am really looking forward to see your best moves. Let’s make some dancefloor magic happen together!

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