I've been featured in the Magazine of LUX** Resorts, after the fabulous 3-day celebration I DJ'd, performed, and co-curated with Natalia Escobar in September. The LUX** South Ari Atoll is an understated, luxuriously chic island paradise in the Maldives. Photography by the incredible Mark Read.
You describe yourself as a surfer/musician/DJ/traveller/artist/gypsy – is that a job, a career, an identity, or all three rolled into one?
It’s my identity, it’s who I am, I refrain from considering any of this as “work”, it’s just what I love, what my passion is, and where I’m at in the world right now. Music, art, travel, and surfing are all the things that make my heart sing.
How did your career come about? Is this what you always set out to do?
I began DJing in New York City, it’s something that came naturally to me as I’ve always been a musician and performer. It just started as a funny hobby at Sullivan Room NYC, and before long I was traveling the world, playing with my heroes in places like Ibiza, Miami, London and Berlin, and doing gigs beyond my imagination. For example, playing with Nile Rodgers and Jonny Marr at Montreux Jazz Festival, doing Matthew Williamson’s London Fashion Week shows, or playing Formula One parties in Singapore, Abu Dhabi and Kuala Lumpur.
As a Filipina-German-American born in Hong Kong, do you consider yourself a global citizen, or are there some places you particularly think of as ‘home’?
Home is where I’m surrounded by people who get me, where I’m in a good flow of health and creativity. I feel very at home in LA, even though I’ve never lived there. The California lifestyle just deeply resonates with me. I feel very at home in Bali, even though I only lived there for a year. When it’s sunset and I’m on my surfboard in Uluwatu and about to go play a DJ set at Single Fin is the time that I feel the most in my element. I also feel a strong gravitational pull to Mexico.
How would you describe your style as a DJ?
Island sounds that a lady can dance to in the sand at sunset, then prance around in high heels under the stars.
What brought you to LUX* South Ari Atoll?
I was invited to DJ at the fabulous re-opening celebration. I played at Beach Rouge for the most wonderful full-on, all-night dance party, and during the day a more chill out session in the Lagoon. I am also a musician and graced the EAST bar with a surprise performance, where I sang and played guitar. The LUX* is such a beautiful canvas to sprinkle different genres of musical offerings.
What do you love about the Maldives?
The beautiful pristine waters so full of so many types of gorgeous life. the sea in the Maldives is like a whole other universe of magical beings. I really love spending time down there, it’s so meditative.
How much of your time do you spend travelling?
Well, since January 2016, all of it! I gave up my home in Bali to travel, tour the world, and be a true musical nomad. I’ve visited so many wonderful places including Mauritius, Nairobi, Bruges, Oman, Mumbai, Tulum, Barcelona, and so on. It’s been a truly magical time to just be able to go with the flow without any ties to one place. I look forward to anchoring somewhere soon, maybe LA, Maybe Mexico…
Where’s your favourite place…
… to surf?
Coke’s Surf Shack in Thulusdhoo, Maldives. Just in front of Chicken’s and Coke’s breaks, 10 min speedboat to Jails and Sultans. Beautiful blue peeling perfection. I’ve never seen more perfect waves!
Robot Heart, Burning Man
Tartine, San Francisco.
… to just relax?
My Romantic Pool villa at the LUX* South Ari ! This is really the most relaxing spot on the planet.
How do you stay fit?
Bikram Yoga, and when I’m on the road, https://thesbcollective.com/ have an amazing online coaching program I can do wherever - in hotel rooms, hotel gyms, and parks.
Travel essentials? What’s in your cabin bag?
A BOSE SLIII travel Speaker, A bottle of Skinceuticals C + E Ferulic serum, Kiehls moisturizer, YSL Cashmere scarf, Macbook Pro, AIAIAI headphones, a Zoom H6 hand recorder in case I get any musical ideas, a Kindle, a ziplock of chia seeds, and my journal.
Your Instagram is amazing – what makes a great photo?
Thank you! There is a theme on my instagram - all the shades of the ocean and sky, each photo has a common element of some shade of blue. A good photo draws the viewer in and raises their vibration a bit.
What piece of advice would you give to your 15-year-old self?
Listen to your heart and follow your true bliss, even if it is other than what is normally accepted. Your passion always speaks the truth even if it’s totally nuts.