James Murphy on failure

"I was supposed to be smart and I was supposed to be creative."

Musician, Producer and DJ James Murphy will speak and perform at C2MTL 2014!

James Murphy is the former leader of LCD Soundsystem, co-founder of the Death From Above (DFA Records) label, and co-producer of Arcade Fire‘s Reflektor album.  His circle of friends includes: David Bowie, mentor Ron Howard, Moby, and director Spike Jonze to name a few.

Moby on being “cool”, the music industry, and James Murphy: “There was a huge backlash, which I hated. Because I’d really liked being liked. But over time I stopped caring so much. There are still plenty of people who hate me. I just don’t pay attention. Ignoring them seems the easiest, healthiest option. In the early days of social media, I thought people particularly hated me. But eventually I realised: they hate everybody. Who isn’t hated? James Murphy from LCD Soundsystem. I bet he’s the only person on the planet that no one hates.”

So what does this trend-setting respected artist have to say about failure and creative confidence? Click play and find out.


“I was lazy, but it never felt right when I heard that, when I said it to myself…It wasn’t that I was lazy. I was just really afraid. I was really afraid of failing. All my life, I’d been precocious. And I was like you know, ‘I was supposed to be smart and I was supposed to be creative.’ And I think hearing those things makes you scared that you’re gonna do something stupid or do something uninteresting and no one will see you as smart or creative anymore…” – James Murphy


James Murphy at C2MTL 2014: There’s Murphy’s Law and then there’s James Murphy’s Law: No sunglasses on stage. No rocking out. No psyching up the crowd. This anti-guitar-hero attitude helped make the LCD Soundsystem founder one of the most celebrated creators of the 2000s. Murphy pioneered an indie-punk philosophy with the sound and technique of disco and house.  Catch him on stage twice at C2MTL: delivering his keynote and working his DJ magic.


What is your definition of failure? Do you celebrate your failures?

Question #3 from  “The Guide for Inquiring Minds” invites us to reflect on this paradoxical subject. Tweet us your comments to @C2MTL.

Can I boost my confidence if I start celebrating my failures?

Guide napkin on failure | C2MTL


Afin de respecter la vision des auteurs, les textes de ce blogue sont publiés dans leur langue d’origine. So as to remain true to the author’s intent, the articles featured on this blog are published in the language in which they were originally written.

Photo courtesy of James Murphy. |  Illustration © All rights reserved C2MTL 2014