The DJ, writer, and all around creative who isn’t afraid to keep it real.
Aurielle Sayeh is a multi-hyphenate badass who is the sweetest Georgia girl you’ll ever meet. Mastering the art of many talents is not for everyone, but she makes it look easy. Catch her curating music programming over V-Files, spinning every rap song you want to hear at your local club, or sharing her personal trials and triumphs on her blog–Aurielle knows her avenue and just how to make everything she does fresh and unique. She stopped by Nasty Gal HQ to snap a few polaroids, talk growing up in Atlanta, her love for sneakers, and life oversees. Dive right in below…
So you’re from Atlanta originally–how was it growing up there?
It was cool, I love Atlanta. I would say the only challenge I faced was that at different points of my life I lived in white neighborhood and a black neighborhood in. My mom is black and my dad is Persian, but you can’t look at me and guess what I am sometimes. In the predominantly white school it was difficult because people would either fetishize you or not talk to you at all–same with guys. When I was a Senior, I was at a predominantly black school and I had friends, but if I wanted to be friends with certain groups of people, they wouldn’t be accepting of me because I wasn’t like them. It’s weird when you don’t know where you fit in. Everything is very segregated in Georgia still.
“It’s weird when you don’t know where you fit in.”
When did you first move away from your hometown?
After I finished university, I moved to Miami and I hated it. Then I moved to L.A. and stayed there for five years and lived in New York in the summers.
What came first in terms of your career?
I’ve been modeling since I was 17. My mom was a model as well, so she pushed me into that world since my senior year of high school. When I moved to Europe at 26, I started DJing. I’ve been doing that the last 6 or 7 years. I moved away because I didn’t know what I wanted to do, and I knew I didn’t want to be modeling anymore. When I was modeling, there weren’t Instagram castings or “we accept all sizes” or “we like you with your tattoos and your crazy hair”. It was always, “you’re not tall enough”, “you’re not skinny enough”, “you can’t get tattoos or piercings”…it was very strict. Now I find all of these opportunities opening up for people, so I decided to ride that wave. I saw this change happening, and I realized that this is time to be myself, so I let that take over. Between starting a blog and DJing, both of those worlds collided for me. Thanks to people who believed in me, I had a lot of opportunities open up.
“I think we need to teach the younger generation not to aspire to be internet personalities and to have more than that going on.”
How do you feel about things changing and people having more opportunities through Instagram and the world wanting to see more individuality?
I think it’s great. I think we need to teach the younger generation not to aspire to be internet personalities and to have more than that going on. I think when you have other things going on, Instagram is a tool and you should use it, but don’t rely on it primarily. I feel like you’ll just lose yourself and when it’s over, you won’t have anything left. I think if you’re on Instagram for the good reasons, it’s a great thing. But I feel like some people are getting spoiled off their looks, and there’s no depth behind them or what they’re saying and I think that’s very temporary.
You have a platform and you have a lot going on IRL–how do you use your platform to inspire other people and keep that depth there?
I decided a long time ago that I would be honest if I was online. In Paris, I had a lot of young girls coming up to me and liking my shoes, clothes, etc. I was 30 at that point, and I felt like I had a responsibility to say something. Awhile back, I started my blog for my photoshoots, and I started writing articles about personal topics like breakups, family problems, or mental health issues–I can experience depression sometimes and I have anxiety daily, so I started talking about it and how I cope with it. It made me stronger and I think it helps other people get stronger too. It lets them know that they can keep going.
What are your favorite songs right now?
I like Ariana Grande “Breathin’” It reminds me of my mom. It’s also just a reminder to keep breathing. Other than that, I listen to a lot of stupid rap music all day long [laughs].
Describe your style in three words:
Comfortable, effortless (because I don’t like trying), and eclectic.
How do you approach curating your wardrobe and bring in new things?
I just moved back from Europe so all of my stuff is in Atlanta, and I’ve been living with the same 2 suitcases for 2 months. My friend is a stylist so I borrow stuff from her sometimes. I just try not to have something photographed more than two times and I try to mix and match and layer.
Out of everything you own what’s your most prized possession?
My Jordan’s–I wear them everywhere. I took all of my Jordan’s everywhere I’ve lived and traveled.
Out of all of the current trends right now, what’s your favorite right now?
I like that being a tomboy became kind of cool, but I guess it was always cool. But now you see people copying that aesthetic. I really don’t like the fashion world, so I just go with the way I feel.
Who is your style icon?
Kate Moss–her style is really simple.
What can we look out for from you?
I took on a role at V Files, I’m helping them in the music department. I’ll be working on some cool and exciting projects–we have a podcast coming and we also are going to be releasing a lot of music. I feel like those projects are my babies. I also really believe in the culture around the youth right now. I think it’s our responsibility to give back to them and mentor them. I think they’re more ambitious and have a lot to say, so I’m working with them a lot. I’m also releasing my book in the new year–it’s about my journey in Europe and coming full circle as a woman. I grew a lot and learned a lot about myself. Those were growing pain moments but I documented them while I was overseas. We’re also having a magazine release. I’m really busy right now, but I’m really happy because everything is on my terms right now.
Keep up with all things Aurielle Sayah here and catch her next DJ gig when she’s in your town!
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