Originally a native of Atlanta Georgia, Aurielle Sayeh currently lives in Paris and does a little bit of it all. She's had many different experiences that has shaped her as a person and she takes in influence from many places. To say she's just a DJ would be an understatement so we tapped into Aurielle's mind to get a little insight on who she is and what made her the woman she is today. We spoke on her love for trap music, living in different cities, and some of the ins and outs of being a freelance creative.
Who are you and what do you do?
Hi, I'm Aurielle Sayeh, and I'm a DJ, Radio & TV Host, Creative Influencer, and Writer.
Do you consider yourself a freelancer? If so, how has the experience been working for yourself, as opposed to depending on a job as the main source of income?
Well yes, I'm definitely an freelancer. Working for myself has so many ups and downs to be honest. I love it. I love having my free time and making my own schedule. I've been fully freelance for a little over 4 years now. I will say being freelance in another country is super hard. Jobs are few and far between and as a creative you have to always be creating in order to be noticed and stay relevant so it seems like you're always working and doing a lot of free shit all the time. But they bring you the paid work, the clients and the higher pay rate. Experience. I'm a work in progress let's say.
Where are you from and has that affected the work you produce as a DJ?
I was born in Atlanta, Georgia. I used to make little homemade mixtapes all the time for my friends in high school. I listened to Three 6 Mafia and Ludacris all the time, and classics like Outkast. I guess being from Atlanta, you're surrounded by all the greats. My range of music is so wide because of my parents as well. But being from Atlanta helped me make the kind of vibe I am able to create when playing. It's not for everybody, but I actually enjoy playing for people that enjoy the vibes I create.
I use to party a lot in Atlanta and I realize now it wasn't the drinks or club I was so moved by at my favorite parties (sloppy seconds, the royal, mjq, el bar), it was the vibe and rap/hip-hop/trap just gets me going. I love how now as a DJ when I play a trap set or play underground rap people don't expect it to come from a girl like me but I know more about music than most guys.
You once spoke of living in LA for a period of time. Has that experience in any way contributed to your character, or where you are now as a person?
I guess I learned a lot of lessons about people in LA. Everyone isn't how people from your hometown are. You really have to learn before adulthood to read people, and their energy. Unfortunately the best way to get there is through lessons like being hurt by people. I learned living in LA that I was a genuine person and sometimes people I spent time with were not. The entertainment industry in LA is very special as well so I like to think I learned a lot about what I would and wouldn't do for a job living in LA. I love the city, but it will always be this way.
Now that you live in Europe, in what way has that affected your work and what you do?
Since I moved to Europe, I had to work harder. No one knew me here. So I had to make them know me, and now that people know me due to my work- I still realize I have to work just as hard to stay on top of the quality of work I put out. I am more inspired here because of my struggle, and I aim to always bring something fresh and different to the atmosphere.
Naturally, moving to another country, one would have to make adjustments to their lifestyle. Were these adjustments difficult for you? If so, which change was the hardest to adjust?
Well, living in France is so different. It's a slow country. Administrations hasn't changed very much in many, many years. They aren't digital or tech savvy like America. The apartments are smaller and just as expensive, there's no sun, the food is weird and I can't speak french fluently. People pay late. I mean I love living in europe, I love my life here, but staying here has been an attestation to how much I love being here because despite what you see on instagram it sure hasn't been easy. Some days I want to scream and cry, pack all my stuff and get on a plane and go home to my family.
What work do you enjoy most?
That's a hard question, I just feel lucky to be able to be earning money doing things I'm passionate about. Lately I have really loved my creative work - writing and also creating content. I've been really into taking still life photos of sneakers lately. Playing music is my escape. It's not even work. I'm so happy when I play music and share that with people.
Describe a real-life situation that inspired you?
I find inspiration just walking around Paris and Amsterdam on days that I don't have anything to do. I'm inspired by interior, exterior, music, vibes and people.
Are there any other artist who do what you do, that you appreciate directly or are inspired by?
I love my friend Kiddy Smile. He's playing really cool music and also celebrating the LGBT movement while doing it. When he plays, his friends all come out and vogue. It's so cool.
I'm inspired by the visual identity of many bloggers and influencers but I'd like to challenge people to go deeper. Social media wasn't created to be a marketing or sale mechanism originally, it was meant to share our true selves and special moments with people that we love that weren't directly near to us by location. It surely has become something else, but I'm not even sure most people are trying to inspire. I find it all very ego driven. If I stay at my quaint 40k following I atleast know that my followers are people I speak with, who have been with me on my journey and who kind of know me.
Is the artistic life lonely? If so, what do you do to counteract it?
Sure it's lonely. Sometimes I wanna be married, in love and have my first child... like right now. But then I look at all I have accomplished and I'm sure all those other things will come but right now I am living and becoming even cooler for my future kids and husband. Your work can't love you. But having your own identity and independence is so important. My work makes me happy, being an artist makes me happy so when I'm not happy it's definitely an escape.
I counteract it by working on my inner needs just as hard as I do my work. I pray when I'm down. And I dream about the things I want that I don't currently have. I dream hard.
How long do see yourself in this industry?
I do a lot of things, and I've also just turned 32. With that said I have really been thinking about how I am going to evolve all my talents. I want to be a business owner, and I will probably always be doing a range of things. I'm hoping the next year I will work much harder and be less afraid to make more moves and take a lot more risks in my career.
If you were to perish tomorrow, what is the lasting impression that you would want people to remember you by?
I'd just want the people I love to know that I loved them. I would want my writing to be available to everyone. I am working on my first book now. I would also want each person who meant something to me to know how they individually affected my life. I can't take full credit for who I am, I have been shaped by so many people and things.
I guess I would want people to remember that I was free, and went for it and they can too.