DJ Fuzzy’s Oprah Tour Mixtape x Thump x VICE

I made a mixtape of the ‘An Evening Oprah’ Tour.

Thank you Thump for saying it’s “banger after banger.”

You can find the mix here.

And here’s the full interview with Thump’s Editor, Issy Beech.

What was it like DJing for Oprah?

More than my dreams come true.

From being glued to the tele, watching Oprah as a kid, then to fast forward fifteen years later and see Oprah in the flesh, dancing and twirling and asking for the volume to be turned up on choice cuts had me saying to myself, “Is this for real?! Is this really happening right now?! Cause I’m about to lose my marbles. Scream joy on the inside, Fo-Fo.”

Then to play a broad range of party songs and anthems to thousands of joyous Oprah fans while also giving Oprah the best possible lead-in – it was so humbling and such a privilege.

What is she like in person?

Graceful and full of love. When you’re in her orbit she gives you her full attention. And she gives the best cuddles.

Did you get an idea of her favourite song or genre or anything?

Personally, based on the time Oprah was born and the guests she’s had on the show, I knew Oprah particularly liked Motown.

I researched Oprah and found out that Paul Simon’s Graceland is one of her favourite albums.

Oprah loves Adele’s 25, particularly the song, “Send My Love To Your New Lover” so that got played in every city.

“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and “Higher Ground” are songs that Oprah personally chose for the show. “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” was played right before Oprah hit the stage.

And Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground” was Oprah’s entrance song. It’s what Oprah is all about. “Going to keep on trying, until I reach my highest ground.”

And what are her fan base or VIP fans like?

Put up to 15,000 people, dressed to the nines in an arena anticipating seeing Oprah for the first time – or for some, the 7th or 17th time – the excitement is palpable.

Her VIP session was with fans who came in early to have a personal Q&A, take photos with her and sit up close to the stage for the show. They reminded me of how influential she’s been over decades – some of the fans opened up to Oprah to thank her for helping them overcome enormous personal struggles. It got emotional.

One cool moment – a man proposed to his girlfriend at the end of the Auckland show.

Big love to Issy at Thump, Josh at Vice, the Harpo Famly, Dainty Group, IMC, P-Money for his NZ intel, Nina Las Vegas for her ableton hot tip, KLP for her sister “rising tide” vibes and Caro Meldrum-Hanna for her awesomeness and filming the Oprah party in Sydney.

Sunday Life Article: “It’s My Party”

Dear friends,

In the lead up to co-hosting SBS’ coverage of the Sydney Mardi Gras, Sunday Life asked for me to write a piece about coming out in the age of social media. Please enjoy! Love, Faustina.

Sometimes the smallest action can set off a powerful chain of events. If I hadn’t chosen to dine alone one summer’s night two years ago, I may not have come to the realisation that I am a lesbian, nor have had the confidence to come out at a time when equality is still an issue in Australia. I’m sure my dinner for one was the reason why Brenda, then a stranger – with friends Michelle and Helen – initiated a conversation.

I had returned to London, the city where I was born, for work. The UK is renowned for creative television and I wanted to explore my options. My initial encounter with Bren, Mich and Helen was brief, but the instant connection I felt led us to make plans for later that week.

While Mich and Helen bailed, Bren showed up, a bright, direly Irish red heart with blue, jewel-like eyes and a chatty vivacious demeanour. And with the comfort of my anonymity, I felt secure to completely open up.

Bren had just come out of a relationship with a woman. I was shocked. Up until that point I assumed she was straight. Then she told me about Mich and Helen, a couple who had been together for almost a decade. The shock and surprise gave away to a sense of belonging. As she swiped through photos on their Instagram, particularly photos of Mich who, like me, is mixed-race, I thought “These are my people! This is me!”

It took a few more hours to drum up the courage to admit it out loud. As Brenda suggested we go and check out some men for me, I found myself saying, “I haven’t really told anyone his before but… I’m gay.”

No men entered our orbit that night other than the waiters who plied us with espresso martinis while a deep and meaningful conversation ensued til 3am. I had made a true ally and a friendship with a woman I felt I had known forever.

I went home and cried waves of emotions into my pillow, an outpouring of 30 years of repressed feelings. Elated, but also frustrated that it had taken so long. My mind was connecting all the dots; the feelings towards women when I was a kid and how I shut it down because I didn’t think it was right. All the gay slurs I’d heard – and even used myself – during my ignorant high school years.

I was making sense of all my social anxiety. The random – yet clearly intentional – gay girl dreams in my mid-20s; the steams of thoughts I’d never dare entertain. Then a bigger wave hit me – the overwhelming relating of having to tell my family and friends. What would they think of me? What did I think of me? I was realising the truth, hurt and emotion that comes with being a “minority of one”.

This idea is summed up succinctly in Magda Szubanski’s memoir, Reckoning “The crucial difference between Lesbian Gay Transgender Bisexual Intersex and Questioning people and other minorities is this: in every minority group the family ashes the minority status. In fact, it is often something that unites them. But gay people are a minority within the family.”

I wanted that summer with Bren, Mich and Helen to last for an eternity. They became my tribe. Life finally made sense. In their company, I felt whole. And never in my life had I felt so alive.

In LA, while armed with this new-found sense of self, I was apprehensive – no, terrified of dating. I delayed the obvious next step and borrowed a lesbian-living-how-to-guide from the library. When I told Bren she was bewildered. “What are you doing with an A-Z of lesbianism? Put the bloody book down and get out there!”

I told my family and a handful of friends. In the week leading up to my birthday I considered using the occasion to come out. I knew that being vocal in some way, would allow someone, out there, to feel the same sense of support. To extend the strength that Bren, Mich and Helen had given to me. And, in this small-worldly digital age, I also wanted to ensure the message came from me.

So in a gorgeous neighbourhood cafe in Beachwood Canyon, Los Angeles, I got together with a small group of friends to celebrate with a rainbow cake. After the birthday party, I posted my coming-out blog on my site, then an image from the night on my Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. By then, it was late afternoon back in Australia.

The response was breathtaking, with Snapchats and direct messages on Instagram from young girls and boys caught in a time I had just left. The tribe had expanded. They told me they felt included, more comfortable with who they are, some even wanting to celebrate with their own rainbow cake!

I’ve met incredible, intelligent women over the past year. Women who counsel gay youth on suicide prevention lines (in a time where LGBTQI people are much more likely to suffer depression and take their own lives than heterosexuals), journalists, academics and writers with impressive and inspiring bodies of work, to teachers and lawyers.

I’ve learnt about the evolution and need for events like the Sydney Mardi Gras Festival, now in it’s 38th year. I’m grateful to be out at a time when equality has become the centre of political and cultural debate. Not all of it is pretty, but every inch toward an equal society helps. My small decision to accept an offer of conversation from strangers helped me in ways I could never have imagined. How incredible would it be if we all acted, in some small way, to help eradicate the notion of a “minority of one” and instead foster acceptance for all.

My small decision to accept an offer of conversation from strangers helped me in ways I could never have imagined. How incredible would it be if we all acted, in some small way, to help eradicate the notion of a “minority of one” and instead foster acceptance for all.

Allow yourself time to think

Allow yourself time to think. Imagine. Even when being alone with your thoughts is difficult.

When we are kinder to the way we think, our worries can ease away, we can problem solve and allow our imaginations to take over.

This article may be useful to you.

Trust life’s unpredictability

I used to be hell bent on plans. I thought that’s all we’re meant to do – plan and achieve.

So many plans were made that I left little room for anything else. Like, taking note of all the that was naturally happening within me and around me. I dulled that awareness and and allowed my stubborn-goal-driven-brain to take over.

That meant, by the time I could achieve/execute/seal the deal, it was sometimes a force fit. All to remain proud and committed to my goals. “Because it’s the right thing to do.” “Because I have to.” “I’ve wanted this my whole life.”

Then two years ago, someone who I seek counsel in told me that I wasn’t really in control of my life. Life and its spontenaiety is what really happens. I had to take notice and go with it.

This idea frightened me. Up until that moment I thought I was boss.

Yet when I reflected on my life, I figured out that despite the fact that I had ticked off a whole lot of what I wanted to do, disappointment also came when I committed to a plan that I knew intuitively didn’t serve me at that time.

So I started to learn to let go, relax a little. And that wasn’t easy…

Letting go doesn’t mean be lazy and complacent, it means loosen the tight grip on life and one’s so-called future achievements.

It also meant that I didn’t rest on my achievements, I gave permission to enjoy the process of being present.

It was a new way of living. I had to accept that I was uncomfortable a lot of the time as previously, I’d have blinkers on. I’d be so driven meant that there wasn’t room for openness.

So why do I trust life’s unpredictability?

My time in England last year showed me how.

This time, last year, I wandered through England to see family and pursue work opportunities.

I initially intended to only be there for a month. In that time, it was a challenge to pin people down for meetings because it was Summer.

Family commitments took over. The tragic passing of family friend’s parents meant it was all hands on deck packing up homes, looking after my niece and seeing off some of my family to Australia.

After my initial planned month, work meetings kicked in again. I then had to find a base to continue working remotely, which had me in Shoreditch.

And on this date, last year, while having an early dinner and working away on my laptop was when I met the women who made me realise that I was gay. The women that I have a unique and unparalleled bond to.

Four weeks turned to nine weeks and I fell more deeply in love with life and its surprises. No part of my imagination could’ve have had me expecting anything of what I experienced.

Had I remained stubborn old me and only chose to be in London for a month, I would have been sore about not getting the meetings I wanted, worried about the next work related thing instead of being present with my family, I would’ve delayed a necessary life realisation, missed core friendships.

Sometimes it is all too easy to say, “go with the flow”, “surrender”, “just be.” It takes a shift in the mind to practice it.

The only thing we can do is do our best, moment to moment, and show up for what life has to bring each day. Your plans can change, and that’s okay. In fact, it’s more than okay.

Getting to that next point: Enjoy the process

Thinking of all the people working hard to get to that next point.

The chase.

Quite often we can get bogged down. We become impatient, frustrated, restless. We long for the result. The end game.

Looking/saving for a house.

Bummed because we got turned down for a grand opportunity.

Worn down by another crappy date.

Stressed over the final product of a creative project.

In this time we miss out on the joy of the process –  we forget that we’re learning great things along the way, connecting with amazing people, being exposed to new ideas.

If we remember to enjoy the process and be grateful with where we’re at, a far more enjoyable experience can be had.

We weigh less of our happiness on results and we learn to live a happier, more mindful life, moment to moment.

And in that time, it can open ourselves to more opportunities than we couldn’t have imagined.

Flight Mode

Flight mode is the best mode to get anything done.

To block the noise. To not be pulled in 10 different directions.

Your friends will be there when you turn flight mode back on.

What I learnt from Jason Collins – NBA’s first active gay player

Heard Jason Collins, NBA’s first active gay player at the Los Angeles LGBT Center last week. Jason was in conversation with Chris Kluwe, a former NFL player who’s advocacy for gay rights lead to his dismissal. Chris said that any closeted player would not be able to play to their full potential if they weren’t able to be entirely themselves.

The moderator asked Jason if he would he have been a better player through his career if he had come out earlier.

Jason said that in the NBA, the star players with the spotlight on them are those that score points. He excelled as a defender, though when he played offensively he wouldn’t be anywhere near as good.

Jason admitted that he he didn’t want to be exposed as a good offensive player that netted shots. He didn’t want the spotlight – hence excelling as an defender and a “team player”… not a star.

He would worry about the attention he would receive if he did score points, that the press would then ask questions about his personal life. He didn’t want the press to pry into the fact that he was 30 with no girlfriend. And he didn’t want to lie about a girlfriend that was out of town that couldn’t show up to games.

This, in addition to remaining silent when homophobic conversations were had in locker rooms.

He’s adamant that’s this is the reason why he couldn’t be a better offensive player.

Self sabotage shaped by the society we live in.