In the lead up to their debut album, Parissa Tosif, one half of electronic music duo Vallis Alps, shares how the sometimes scary route of asking for help has changed her life both personally and professionally.
❝ Having opposite personalities in a job that demanded reflection, hard work and deep collaboration got to us…
We were riddled with anxiety that began in our broken friendship and leaked into every part of our lives – our ability to stay present, our songwriting, touring and living each day. ❞
Asking for help has been one of the scariest things in challenging moments. It makes what you’re going through feel VERY real and all of the challenges you’re facing are laid out on the table.
At least, it has been for me, in the tough parts of life the last few years – getting help with my anxiety by seeing a psychologist, surrounding myself with the support of friends and family when navigating becoming a new mother, and seeking out mediation with my bandmate when things were going south for us – but it been the most important and pivotal thing for me to do.
❝ In 2020 we reached breaking point… We had two paths in front of us – do mediation to start working through our issues or split up and never work together again. ❞
In 2020, my band Vallis Alps almost fell apart. My bandmate David and I had been working together for eight years, and having opposite personalities in a job that demanded reflection, hard work and deep collaboration got to us. Small issues we avoided turned into mountains for collaboration and deep-seated assumptions led to constant arguing. We were riddled with anxiety that began in our broken friendship and leaked into every part of our lives – our ability to stay present, our songwriting, touring and living each day.
In 2020 we reached breaking point – working on our debut album when things came to a stand still because of our disunity. We had two paths in front of us – do mediation to start working through our issues (as suggested by our incredibly discerning manager, Melody) or split up and never work together again.
We took what seemed like the more difficult route in that moment and started mediation. Over many days we painfully went through everything that has been hard for us over the years and cried, and argued, and were faced with very cutting truths – and once we hit day two, the pain slowly started being replaced with listening, new processes and a refreshed dynamic.
❝ We should never feel like we have to face challenges alone and there are numerous support services and people around all of us ready to help, and excited to lend a hand. ❞
It was through seeking help that we laid bare all of the problems we had and started working towards building something better, more in line with who we are meant to be. Crucial to this was our mediator Tim and the professional advice he was able to offer. It demonstrated to me that finding the right support in difficult moments is key and there’s always someone who is prepared and ready, you just need to seek them out.
Life can be tough. Even though I try and remind myself that good things come from growth and challenges, it’s really hard to be going through a rough patch. We should never feel like we have to face challenges alone and there are numerous support services and people around all of us ready to help and excited to lend a hand.
You & I: a conversation
Parissa Tosif and David Ansari share an in-depth look at the mediation process that saved Vallis Alps – the friendship and the band.
How it not only gave them the tools to be open, honest and vulnerable with each other but also build a stronger and more rewarding approach to songwriting and creativity.