Andrew W.K. is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and music producer who preaches the gospel of partying. This message, alongside his very good music, has seen him emerge as an unlikely self-help figure; standing in stark contrast to the crystal-gripping types who usually hold those titles.
For him, partying is about more than getting fucked up. It’s an intensely positive philosophy focused on embracing and celebrating life. It’s also an approach he developed as a way to deal with his own sense of crushing dread and terror.
Despite being the poster boy for having a good time, his experience with mental health has been more complex than you’d assume. Feeling overwhelmed by his own smallness and “realising the impermanence of everything is so overwhelmingly bleak,” he didn’t succumb to nihilism. But rather embraced the little control we do have—to be happy, to be loved, to get loose. Or as he puts it, “We have willpower and self awareness perhaps for no better reason that to constantly reorient ourselves to the pressures of life, in a way that is more empowering than it is oppressive”.