Features, Print October 4, 2016

The Power of Partying: Andrew W.K. Takes It To The Next Level

by Kyle Eustice
Every week, Andrew W.K. pens a popular advice column for the Village Voice in New York City that offers poignant nuggets of wisdom on a variety of life topics. From questions like, “Does heaven exist?” to “How do I make my friend put bros before hoes?,” the topics swing from the wildly absurd to mundane, seemingly common knowledge type of inquiries. Andrew W.K., however, finds a way to not only intelligently answer each one, but also does it in such a way that it feels like the reader is getting a lesson in philosophy. The Michigan-born musician, motivational speaker, and producer is essentially taking his column on the road with his Power of Partying Speaking Tour.
“We are gathering together in a room to summon the party spirit, which is already inside us and all around us,” Andrew W.K. explains. “We’re going to amplify it and then take it back out into our individual lives and the world at large with the hopes of making things as good as they can possibly be. But at the very least—at the very least—I hope we give each other a momentary boost of raw energy that reminds us to not give up and to stay as deeply engaged in all the facets of life that we can because what else are we gonna do? It’s a pep rally for our spirit.”
While that may sound like a tall order, for Andrew W.K. it’s a way of life. He’s built a career around the term “partying,” but it’s not used in its traditional context. “Partying,” in this case, is about celebrating the positive aspects of life and living life to the fullest. His approach to his music, writing, and speaking engagements has inspired people to truly embrace his message. Even his Facebook page is a breeding ground for self-help, whether he realizes it or not. One particular post read,” You can do this. You will get through it and become stronger because of it.” He wrote it not to sound pompous or like it has it all figured out, but to actually help himself.
“I put up that post because that’s how I was feeling,” he admits. “I mean, I’m not coming from some elevated, removed state of perfection in which I don’t need these tips for myself. This whole effort initially began to try and cheer me up, to try and help me get through these challenges.I was going through a very challenging time—I still am—but that day in particular. And so I thought, well this is all a test. I did really feel sure that if I could make it through that day even, I would look back on it the next day and think, ‘Ok, I gained a little more insight, a little more ability to be patient, I gained a little more humility.’ And just having something like that to hold onto helps just minute by minute for me to get through some of those moments where I just want to smash my head through the wall.”
It’s not surprising Andrew W.K. has a heightened level of intelligence. He was raised by father James Wilkes-Krier, a well-known legal scholar at the University of Michigan Law School and attended a college preparatory school for middle school before embarking on a creative path. In short, he’s a smart guy. He’s using his wide-reaching platform to help others, which is really at the core of what he wants.
“Everyone has some kind of struggle and we all handle it differently,” he says. “But I think the most noble thing, a truly human quality, is our ability to be with one another through those times. We can’t do the hard work for someone else. I can’t get through your challenge for you, but we can support each other as we go through or respective challenges, which in a way are the same challenges. It just the challenge of existing and that’s what the “Power of Partying” is all about, to embrace that challenge rather than try to numb it out or run away from it, or feel bad about it. When we go through something, it’s meant to make us grow, but it’s going to be painful. The whole point of life is to become more than we are and you can tell when it’s happening because you can feel it, believe me.”
Leave a comment