With Sundance Film Festival 2020 currently underway, I spoke with American jewish rapper, Kosha Dillz on how to stay sober and still have fun.

Dillz, whose real name is Rami Matan Even-Esh, has gone through a few different stage names over the years. Whether you know him as Kosha Dill, KD Flow, or Kosha Dillz, his love of rap has stayed consistent.

While Jewish rappers aren’t too common, there are some that still have found a way to embrace both rap and Judaism. While embracing his Jewish roots, Kosha Dillz swiftly combines his life experiences to help create an even better one for his audience.

He takes his life experiences and throws them into his music, because freestyle rapping saved his life, as he shared with Grit Daily at Miami’s Art Basel.

His songs cover everything from feeling outcasted in college to his issues with drugs and the law. It was those same issues with drugs that forced him out of collegiate wrestling, a sport he loved growing up.

Doing drugs, dealing drugs and jail time didn’t change his change anything about him wanting to fit in. In fact, in his TED Talk, he spoke about wanting to spend even more in jail so he could have more credibility with other prisoners. It’s almost like his mindset was if I’m going to do anything, I’m going to be the best at it. 

But now, Rami has been sober and clean going on 15 years, and now wants to continue spreading his message to the rest of Hollywood, especially with Sundance Film Festival currently underway.

I spoke with Kosha Dillz right as he landed in Park City, Utah for Sundance 2020, and he provided me with six ways that attendees at Sundance can still enjoy themselves, while staying sober.

(Kosha speaking)

#1 — Carry a Fully-Charged Phone

I think in times of danger, a phone is a powerful tool to have.  If you have phone, you are able to leave a party at any time and more importantly call someone that you have in your support group. 

A fully charged phone is a the life line in who wants to be a millionaire. This means having a rechargeable battery and a chcarger, which should cost you $25 tops.

#2—Let People Know in Advance You Are Going to Be There

The basic notion of sobriety along with “12 Step” programs, means that your failure to prepare means you are preparing yourself to fail your sobriety period altogether.

Sundance Film Festival isn’t just for networking, but also for connecting with the outside world when you are in festival world. Usually you vanish from reality and hope to re-appear 8-10 days later.

The more people who know that you will be at Sundance, the more people will reach out to you. 

I am writing this because I have to tell how many people that I am going to be here.

#3—Consider Spending an Extra $500-$1,000 Just to Be Comfortable

I only pick these specific members for Sundance, because you can do a lot more with these numbers.

In other festivals or situations it can be $50- $100. Imagine if you had your own hotel vs sleeping at someone’s party house to save money. Imagine having a rental car you can drive off in versus not having one. 

This means making the daily meetings in Park City at noon, if you have to take $30 Uber and Lyft rides to get there.

I recently bailed someone from jail who got a DUI. Their bail was originally $100,000 dollars.

When you think of it that way, spending some extra cash isn’t so bad.

#4—Find a “Friends of Bill” Meet-Up

Every major festival has a “Friends of Bill” meet- up.

In Park City, Utah, there is a huge contingency of 12 Step fellowships. Even Salt Lake City has recovery-based gyms where you can work out with other clean people. 

At other festivals such as SXSW in Austin and Coachella, Musicares hosts recovery meetings for people dealing with work and sobriety. 

#5—Choose Your Escape Place

This may be a coffee shop, or even a restauraunt like Main Street Noodle and Pizza.

This may be a movie with popcorn (you might as well go…it is Sundance, and you’re here to see new independent films.

This may even be a friend’s house or the skating rink by the mountain.

Regardless of where you choose to find peace, make sure you have a place to get away from the madness so you can find zen.

Of course a sauna at Silver Mountain would be lovely for a good work out.

#6—For the Love of G-d, Go Home Early

I was definitely close to relapsing a few times at Sundance over the years. But, I’ve learned that staying out all night isn’t the solution for me.

When you get sick, stress over how expensive it is, and see how many people need to get the most out of their expensive nights, it might be cool to slide out early.

‘FOMO’ is a real thing when everyone on your timeline is posting about something. Honestly, I enjoy being the last person who is not intoxicated at a party or schmoozing till the last moments of the night.

But I do think it is okay to get out of there.

Nothing is perfect in a suggestion but I write this also so I can take my own advice. By the end of the festival I’ll have 15 and a half years without a drink or drug, so I think it is a perfect time to write this. If you are there and plan on viking in the same way, make sure you say hi to me and check in on me via Instagram or reach out at [email protected] for advice.