Beyond the Booth 018: Talking natural remedies and keeping the brain and the environment healthy with Blond:ish
Beyond the Booth is a feature dedicated to the hidden side of artists that exists outside electronic music— a side rarely discussed with those outside their immediate circle. We venture “beyond the booth,” so to speak, and dive into their deepest passions that tie into their unique personalities. After some self-introspection, each participant then returns to the booth, providing an exclusive mix for the Dancing Astronaut audience.
“Substance” is a word that comes to mind when defining the Blond:ish ethos. The two are far more than a mere DJ duo choosing to be part of the perceived status quo of playing to superficial rooms of people who rave solely for the purpose of debauchery. Instead, they bring intention into the mix, calling attention to the deeply connective and healing properties that dance music hides under its surface. Armed with the knowledge of manifesting reality and relentless optimism fueled by their love for house and playful personalities, Vivie-Ann and Anastascia have more-or-less helped spearhead dance music’s holistic movement since transforming into Blond:ish a decade ago.
They’ve certainly proven the idea that passion and intuition can turn into a career. A few short years after joining forces under the Blond:ish moniker, the pair let their instinct guide them to London to find inspiration, which kicked off their relationship with the Get Physical crew and with other likeminded veterans in the underground space that have included Damian Lazarus,. From there, they continued to capture the hearts of creators and fans alike, promoting a communal bond with each of their performances while using their mysterious sounds to prompt meditation on the dance-floor. They now sit at the top of major billings across a wide range of events, whether traveling with Ibiza institution Circoloco, playing renowned events like Day Zero, BPM, and Sonar Barcelona, or hosting their newly-christened A B R A C A D A B R A nights at various locations across the globe.
Curious to learn more about the Blond:ish ripple effect, we were able to snag Vivie-Ann for an in-depth discussion on universal energy, holistic healing and manifestation, and environmental activism. Talking about the outside forces that drive their narrative is eye opening to say the least, and inspiring. To top off the discussion, both ladies have fashioned a mix that immediately sweeps one off to the jungle, where they will soon be settling down to play in the New Year.
Hi there, Vivie-Ann! We’ve read somewhere that you’d tried out a kambo treatment before. Have you received any other non-traditional treatments of this nature? Did you gain anything out of it or adapt it into your lifestyle?
Depends what you consider traditional!
For kambo, I did it twice. It’s supposed to boost the immune system and start the process on your journey of giving up habits. Like coffee for example. I used to drink coffee but after kambo, I stopped cold turkey and just migrated to matcha, which I love dearly more than my unborn child right now. But it’s really just another caffeine without the spikes and somehow a bit better in its properties, “THEY” say. I’m actually a bit hesitant to do it again because last time I got really brave and did 9 dots on my liver meridian line. I looked more like a frog than a frog does… and it was the hardest process I’ve ever been through. Still not sure if it was an allergic reaction, or just the plant medicine giving me what I needed! Message me if you have the answer…
Ayahuasca — this is something that comes along when the mother plant calls you, it’s not something you just get into by accident. For a long time everyone was doing it and going regularly to ceremonies, so much to a point where the joke was, “hey, wanna go on a date to an Aya ceremony?” Finally it called me, and I made sure to do it nature, in a beautiful ceremony space. It’s a personal process. Just about at the tail end of the ceremony, the entire jungle/forest area and its animals howled in unison with the other musicians singing. It was a moment I will never forget. Its effects last, but all these medicines are just planting seeds to unlocking different doors on your journey; a “choose your own adventure” if you will.
I love sound meditations and receiving gong vibrations around my body. It’s like a portal to your inner workings, also working with different Eastern instruments. These instruments really get into the “space between” — which are the details, the places that matter, where all the work is done.
The thing that was and is still going around which I quite like is sound meditations with psychedelic mushrooms. It’s said to be the gateway to your soul. The one time I did get to do it, the message I was channeling is that language is the lowest form of communication/expression, and that my music can speak so much more. So life is gravitating towards that for me.
Speaking of non-traditional treatment, let’s shift over to natural remedies. Do you take any supplements like these, and which would you recommend/have worked best for you?
This question could be a book! I love mushrooms, remember — I take many mushroom supplements like chaga, reishi, cordyceps, lions mane. It’s super important which mushrooms you are buying, just because it says cordyceps doesn’t mean its good.
You need to check its potency, something GREATER THAN 20-25% Beta D Glucans — and make sure there’s a small percentage of starch — Please read online — “THEY” can explain it much better than me but basically you should always read the fine print.
I also take a lot of spirulina too, but the live frozen kind which is impossible to tour with, but any chance I get I incorporate it into my smoothies — spirulina powder is kinda a gimmick apparently — last week I got some delivered in dry ice to Miami after Art Basel, and I packed it with more dry ice in a cooler so it would last to my flight to Tulum, as it can’t defrost cause it loses its nutritional properties. It was like taking care of a baby to get it into my freezer in Tulum in frozen shape. First world “traveling trying to be healthy DJ” problems, I guess!
**** verify all the facts **** I actually don’t know what of which I’m saying is true! It’s just from my limited research caring about my health. I wish I had a chemist/biologist that I could verify everything with so I actually know.
How do you maintain mindfulness and self care on the road?
Another book! Just some examples of what I do on the plane when it’s going up and down…
I give myself some love, especially cause there are no distractions, I get out my tuning forks, and tune different parts of my body, like sternum, third eye, different parts of my face and legs, ears… I use a Refa roller to roll out the fascia on my face and body. I use doterra essential oils for all sorts of things, like my immune system, clove for cleaning the germs around the airplane seats & tables (yup that’s me). I listen to inscape meditation app and insight timer and all its thousands of guided meditations depending on what I would like to work on, as well as Beatfulness, which is an incredible binaural beats app. I have tuning balls too that I roll around on to loosen up tightness after flights; they work wonders, better than hands.
And I would love to add this to my carry on luggage repertoire — but it’s a bit big, it’s so powerful – check the hyper ice vyper2 roller — wow. I’ve never felt a vibration like that for myofascial release. Not sure if I could bring that out on the plane, but Gordon Weiss from San Francisco introduced me to this one! The company is a friend of his. I LOVE TOYS :)
On that note, meditation is of course one of the bigger items of importance in your routines. Can you pass on some tips for fellow busybodies on how to find one’s footing in the practice, and how to incorporate it into their lives?
This is something I can show in person … or on a video, it’s much easier. But it’s just learning the simple concept of what the present actually means. Put your feet on the ground, feel them on the floor, scan your body, how are you feeling? How’s your stomach? Is your jaw clenched? Tune IN!!! Take a deep breath into your heart, take a second deep breath into your solar plexus, take another deep breath, down into your root chakra, grounding you. That is the very start to a meditation, which just means BEING PRESENT. Start with 30 seconds, then do 1 min, 5 min, do some short guided meditations on inscape or insight timer, try not to think for a minute sometimes.
When you’re walking down the street look at the trees, observe the people around you, see how your feet are touching the ground with each step; THAT IS BEING PRESENT. That awareness, that understanding is what will enable you to go down the meditation portal and get you plugged into that world. It’s always there, just a few breaths away. Once you learn that, serendipity will start happening much more… no more coincidences. YOU ARE PLUGGED IN. Remember you don’t learn to speak a language in one day. It’s the same with meditation, it’s a process that is brought about by intention.
You eat a lot of vegan food and follow a flexitarian diet. Would you ever consider converting to full?
I need to do more ayahuasca before that will happen. Or if there is a solution for the “travelling trying to healthy DJ person” and finding good protein on the road then that could be another answer.
Give us some of your favorite vegan dishes that erase the stigma of the cuisine being “boring,” or “rabbit food.”
– Quinoa tagliatelle at Cafe Clover in NYC with Almond Parmesan
– Einkorn Pancakes with Coconut Cream at ABC V in NYC
– The Coconut Bacon (swear it was bacon but no) Flax & Kale in Barcelona
What other things do you try incorporate into your lifestyle to create a positive impact on yourselves and the world around you? Be it buying organic food, using fair trade materials, cruelty-free makeup, etc.
Less plastic. Wherever possible. Practicing and implementing the circular economy wherever possible.
You are also into fashion. Going off the last question, would you ever consider combining your love of the planet and style, and create an eco-friendly clothing line?
That would be a dream. 2019 is about serial collaborations so it’s definitely a possibility! I would love to collaborate with my friend Ali who does incredible things with bamboo. He supports leadership programs and women in rural villages in Nepal who because of the sustainable bamboo project can now train others to create sustainable and scalable projects in their communities. The materials are naturally UV filtered, anti bacterial and sweat proof, it’s pretty awesome. Check out marvaan.com.
It feels like holistic health and spiritualism are on the rise. Why do you think so many are beginning to look at different avenues of finding happiness and fulfillment compared to earlier generations? Could it be the age of social media? Geo-political climate? Realizing money and objects don’t equate to happiness?
We’ve realized the world we have grown up in and have been living in doesn’t give all the answers in a free and flowing way, so we’re gravitating towards that freedom and flowing world. Or trying to create if for ourselves at least. It’s also a trillion dollar business, so you must be careful on all the marketing not to be fooled on what is authentic or not.
You’ve been throwing your successful A B R A C A D A B R A parties for a good minute now. Multiple residencies in Europe, hosting a stage at Tomorrowland in Belgium…so much has happened since the brand was founded on a beach in Tulum! You’re heading back to Tulum for another ABRA in January. What is so special about holding these parties to you, what do you think you achieve with them?
It’s all about planting seeds to creating a new world for ourselves; music being the connector but the seeds being planted through the details. That is why ABRACADABRA is so important. LET’S EVOLVE TOGETHER!
Can you tell us what you’ve got in store in Tulum and Cabo with ABRA in January, who’s joining you for these ones?
We’ve got lots of music friends with us over these two nights in Mexico. BLOEM & BLOND:ISH of course for both events. Then for Cabo we have Marques Wyatt the legend from DEEP-LA, and Maga the rising star, we love him. Then for Tulum we have Kaz James, Emanuel Satie, and a Monality Live sunset set + one more special guest. They’re going to be amazing, come dance with us!
Catch BLOND:ISH at their ABRACADABRA parties at the Viceroy in Cabo on 31st December, and on 3rd January in Tulum (secret location) – tickets here
Photo credit: Aneta Pruszynska