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In Conversation With… Alexistry

In Conversation With… Alexistry

Rising star DJ Alexistry signed to Echo talent agency in 2018 and has fast-tracked through the ranks since, with appearances at ‘bucket list’ festivals like Glastonbury, Boomtown and Hideout festival last year and supporting legends like Eats Everything, Nightmares on Wax and Palms Trax. This year she is booked to play more acclaimed UK festivals like; Nass, SW4 and Hospitality in the Park (let’s hope they can go ahead!!). You’ll catch her on regular support duties for the almighty bass heads My Nu Leng and featuring on several guest mixes on Rinse Fm.

First up, we need to address this ‘elephant in the room’, CoronaVirus, it’s on everyone’s lips, what’s your thoughts about the current situation? 

I just don’t think anyone in our generation has had to deal with anything like this before! With so much in the media, it can make anyone go crazy! I’ve just taken what I read on social media with a pinch of salt. And I feel like there’s a lot to learn through this.

I’m lucky enough to have a home and food on the table, but not everyone has that luxury, so we need to be kind and help each other out in any way you can. 

How are you coping with staying at home? 

We’re such a generation of being constantly on the go and doing the next big thing and planning we hardly ever take the time to just be present or do the little things. When in this world have we ever been told to just stay at home and do nothing?? I’m personally taking the time to get another cocktail club mix up (mix series I do on my soundcloud), going through music, doing those house chores we all put off cos we never have the time.

The music industry has taken a massive hit with events and gigs cancelled, how are you dealing with it? 

I’ve definitely felt the effects of it financially. I’ve had all my shows cancelled/postponed for March and April and as a full time self employed DJ that has hit me really hard.

One main thing it’s taught me is I need to learn to save money! That’s definitely one thing I wish I could tell my teenage self!

Great segue-way.. Can you tell us a bit about how you grew up and how you got in to music?

So I was born and raised in Manila with a Filipino mum and British Dad. Completely different culture to England, very catholic. I think I gravitated towards music where I feel you can be your authentic self with no rules, just whatever you’re feeling you can portray through music. I listened to all sorts in my teenage years from rap to R&B and then metal and indie until I went to my first rave in my hometown at 17 and saw Clipz (Redlight) play and thats when I was first introduced to drum and bass and from then on I was obsessed. Bought a pair of 1200s from my mate when I was about 20, and a shitty pair of speakers and mixer and started purchasing vinyl. That was about 10 years ago and I’ve only been playing out to crowd for the last 4 years so it took me a while practicing the craft and getting the confidence to get out there and start playing, I was a bedroom DJ for most of it!

So looking back on you life, what would you say was your main struggles as a teen?

The main thing I struggled with as a teenager was definitely my appearance. I suffered from acne at a young age and that really brought my self esteem down. Even now years on I still suffer from it but it’s crazy looking back and how as a teenager you get so insecure about your appearance, and I think every female can relate to that. It 100% comes in waves and just like every human we all have our insecurities but I’ve learned that it’s not how you look that really resonates with people it’s how you carry yourself and how you treat others that is what matters the most. Looks will fade but being kind always gives everyone a beauty that goes beyond aesthetics and I think that’s super important to remember. Everyone is unique in their own way and it’s about owning yourself, accepting yourself and working with your strengths.

Everyone is beautiful in their own unique way and I always think you can be the most aesthetically attractive person (in society’s eyes) and be a horrible human being, which instantly makes someone unattractive, and likewise you can meet someone you might not think is that aesthetically attractive, but their personality and their energy and how they treat others can make them the most attractive person in the world!

So one thing I’ve learned is be kind, it’s the sexiest trait of all!

What would you imagine is different now for teenagers, compared to your teen hood?

I feel what’s different is that they have so much more access to social media and the internet which if used wisely is beneficial, you can find great communities and articles about things that may have made you insecure, or subjects you’ve been interested in and now you can just look online and do your research.

At the same time it can be detrimental especially platforms like Instagram and Twitter where you do see a lot of men and women posting things that just seem so unattainable to the general public, such as how they look and their lifestyle when really that’s just a small portion of their lives they want the public to see, but others can envy that and it can make them feel really inferior.

I feel there is so much more pressure in the younger generation to be a certain way just because of what social media portrays and that is so sad to see sometimes as it can really affect young people’s ideals of the world.

What are the biggest lessons you have learned in just the last year?

The key lessons I’ve learned in the past year is to just be yourself. Don’t compare yourself to others. Even as a DJ or in any role whether it is creative or non creative we naturally as human beings compare our achievements to others and if it’s less than we make ourselves feel shit. But one thing I always remind myself is that there can be other people doing the same role as you but there is only one unique you.

Also, only compete with the previous version of yourself!

I don’t know if it just comes with age, the older I get the more comfortable I am with being who I am and what I can offer to the table. So if I’m feeling a little nervous or afraid before a gig I always have to remind myself that this is something I love doing, it’s what I’ve always dreamed of doing and I would be more afraid of not doing what I have always wanted to do and failing than not trying at all. I don’t want to wake up one day and regret not pursuing things I’ve always wanted to pursue.

You get one life so make the most of it and take those opportunities as much as you can. Anything that is scary or makes you nervous is an important milestone in life, and the achievement you get from conquering that fear is what takes you to the next level, and is more important than the fear itself.

What’s your advice for teens today?

There is only one YOU, find what you love, what your heart desires and pursue that love.

Life can be hard sometimes and the best way to get through it is to be yourself, not everyone will like it and not everyone will understand it, but the people that love you and support you will have your back.

What’s you personal mission statement?

To be the best version of myself I can possibly be – through the process of growing; learning, taking the time for the people and the things that matter the most.

I’ve been DJing for over a decade, but still so much more I want to learn and achieve. While doing so I always promise to stay true to myself and play the music and create the vibe that I am passionate about, without having to settle.

Do you do any daily mantras or routines?

My daily mantras in life are to do something every day that makes me happy, whether it’s working out, taking time out to read an uplifting article, and spending time with my fiancé and dog. You know, those little things in life, that we sometimes forget and take for granted! One of the main things I try to do is to be as present as possible.

What do women need more of?

Supporting each other! I don’t think we lack that at all especially in this day and age. I have so many amazing and inspiring women in my life that are loving and supportive, and equally I have a lot of men in my life that give me the exact same love and support. I feel like the uprising in support groups and female workshops is a really great opportunity for other women and it’s a great time to be one now with more and more coming up each time.

What keeps you motivated?

To try and stay positive. It may seem a bit too optimistic for some but I feel working towards what you want no matter how small it seems is still working towards it. It can be hard sometimes to get motivation or if things arise that are out of my hands and I have no control over it can be tough. But it’s just that out of your control, so I feel staying positive and just reminding myself that not everyday will be perfect and not everyday will be bad either.

Taking time out for yourself is also key, even if it’s going for a walk for me, cooking a healthy meal, binge watching a series or just cuddling up to my pooch.

Which women inspire you most?

The most inspiring woman for me is Maya Jane Coles, such an incredible producer and musician. She is just a Goddess and an absolute wizard producer. She’s been in the game a long time and she’s a prime example of an artist just doing her own thing and being herself. Her longevity in the music game is incredibly inspiring because of it.

All in all women just in general inspire me there are far too many to name. It’s women just being their true authentic selves and not giving a shit what people think, and I think that’s the kinda women we need to aspire to be. Just our true selves.

Lua Jones
Writer | Empowerer| Editor @ Dear Teenage Me
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