Why I Copass: Making a Hip Hop Album + NYC Workdays

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After 1 year working with us at Copass, Michael goes back to “normal” life and continues his Phd in Anthropology. Before leaving, he wrote a small piece about what copassing meant for him and how he came to record a Hip Hop Album in NYC while copassing. You can check his music here

For me, it’s been a winding, fast-paced, extraordinarily exciting year to be a part of this thing called Copass.

Over the course of these 12 months, I’ve spoken with people in New York, San Francisco, London, Lisbon, Edinburgh, Paris, Brussels, Sofia and elsewhere, on the topic of global coworking, and what exactly Copass is. Sure it’s a membership, it’s a network, yes you can have access to all of these communities, definitely it’s an element of the sharing economy – but in these kinds of conversation something gets lost in the mix.

Because, while Copass is definitely about all of these things and more, we endeavour to make it an efficient service and thorough network, to make it accessible and easy-to-use, to make it full of features and flexible as can be – in order that it allows people to connect without getting in the way. The functionality is cool, but we want “Copass” to get out of the way as soon as possible.

That’s why I’d like to take a minute to explain not anymore “What Is Copass” but instead, Why I Copass. Because now that we’ve got the basics down, it’s time to explore the ways in which people use it to do cool and exciting things, as a tool that can empower a certain lifestyle for people all around the world.

So, here’s why I Copass.

Getting to NYC

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Four weeks, to make a 12-track hip-hop album? Piece of cake! Or so we thought…

I’ve always been interested in music, and whenever I’ve had the chance, I’ve always been interested in making it. However, as a full-time student moving around every few months, it’s been tough to establish a connection with a band in one place in enough time. But, when I found the opportunity to be able to work anywhere remotely, I saw the chance I was waiting for – to make music with my old band back in New York City.

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NYC was on the radar at Copass for some time – it was a dense network of great collaborative communities that was totally untapped, that we were more or less unconnected to. So I went, in efforts to make some magic happen during the day, and that’s what happened. Each day for four weeks in January, I worked from space to space, in district to district, discovering great communities and meeting some amazing people.

Then, at night, after the coworking spaces were closed and the workday was finished, I met up with my old band in a studio in the Upper West Side, where we started to play some music. In our first few days of doing this, we got the crazy idea – this is fun, so why don’t we make a whole album? Four weeks, to make a 12-track rock/R&B album? Piece of cake! Or so we thought…

Make Some Music

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So we went at it – five days a week at the office (for my bandmates), and five days a week at NYC’s coolest collaborative spaces for me. Then, after-hours, we’d meet and make music every night, and every weekend. It got pretty tiring halfway through, I’ll admit – full days at coworking spaces, the infamous Manhattan subway commute and full nights at the studio, it took a lot of fuel from coffee and fresh NYC bagels.

If you want to learn how to surf, to write a symphony, to collaborate on an art project, to practise skiing, to sail the open seas – the only thing stopping you is yourself – the world is full of possibilities.

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But, in the end, we finally did it. Now, we’re sitting on top of a veritable, bonified 12-track rock album – and I did it all the while working every day in new coworking spaces. It was possible, it was fun, and it was a perfect balance between work and play. Because, like many things, music is a fundamentally different thought process than my day-to-day work of communications – and when combined together in the streets of a new, foreign city, productive and creative energy skyrocketed.

Kept afloat by the dynamism of each day, the engaging activities and events of the city’s coworking communities, the excitement of waking up each day to work on great projects, and the total workplace flexibility and refreshing changes afforded through all of NYC’s most inspiring spaces – it was a crazy, high-octane roller coaster of an experience.

Why I Copass

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I Copassed in January of this year, to experience some great spaces and communities in America, to share the vision of Copass in New York and to make inspiration friendships and partnerships that would pave the way to great projects and bright futures. But I also Copassed to do another thing I loved: to make music, and to do it in a sustainable way at the same time as my work.

Now, I’m convinced that if you want to learn how to surf, to write a symphony, to collaborate on an art project, to practise skiing, to sail the open seas, to study a foreign language, to start a path to coding mastery – the only thing stopping you is yourself. The world is full of possibilities, and for me using Copass I managed to seize them in the right place and the right time. And if there’s anything I learned, I promise you that you can too.

Michael Melia

Chief of Communications & Community Building at Copass
Michael is an anthropology PhD student at the University of Oxford. A new team member at Copass, you'll see him copassing in Paris, London, Oxford and beyond.

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