A sit-down with Jessica Skye

3 DAYS OF MUSIC, ART AND CULTURE IN THE HEART OF LISBON

We got to sit down with Jessica Skye, founder of Fat Buddha Yoga, ahead of Nova Batida to talk a little bit about her business, music and personal experiences.

  • Hey Jessica! First of all, for everyone who isn’t familiar, tell us what Fat Buddha Yoga is and what people can expect from the sessions at Nova Batida 2019?

Fat Buddha Yoga is a modern approach to the ancient art and science of yoga for the next generation of yogis. We specialise in dynamic non-preachy yoga in dope locations with crafted electronic beats. Expect some awesome energy, to wake up, re-energise and leave with a heap of zen. 

  • So, how did you get into yoga and what made you start FBY?

I discovered yoga on a surf trip and completely fell in love with it. When I took the move to teach I wanted to do it in a way that was authentic to me. This meant moving away from quasi-religious undertones, keeping it dynamic with good energy, unique locations and crafted playlists and mixes.

  • What’s the biggest or craziest moment you’ve had so far with the brand?

Hard to pick one.. It’s been a total trip since launching in 2013. The market and industry has changed so much and we’ve been luckily positioned to cruise the wellness wave in London and experience so many fun opportunities, experiences and interesting people pretty much everyday since we started. 

  • How do you manage being a DJ, an artist AND running a yoga business, how do you find balance? (teach us!)

I get asked this a lot… The truth is for the first few years there wasn’t much balance. I ran all cylinders for a few years, working 7 day weeks and saying yes to every opportunity. Balance comes in waves, I think of it more as an equilibrium. Periods of intense work periods, followed by periods that are more mellow. I love what I do, so there is a very blurred line between work and play.

  • How did you get into DJ’ing? 

I always wanted to DJ and have been collecting music for as long as I can remember. It was during my transition to becoming self-employed in 2012 that I took to the decks (mostly because I had a lot more free time on my hands all of a sudden). I then hustled hard to get my first few gigs and residencies, and haven’t really stopped since. 

  • What is the criteria used when selecting music for Fat Buddha Yoga? It’s a really integral part of your brand, right?

Every tune has a purpose and needs to have some feeling to it, whether that’s created by the key, melody, rhythm or tempo. The FBY brand gravitates to electronica but the brief is always open and really just comes down to music being good and suiting the flow of a class. Music is a really powerful tool to dictate and steer the energy in the room. Every class should arc in energy; starting low and help people come down and get centred. It then builds as you warm up, find flow until the peak of the class. Then it has to descend, bringing people down to savasana. 

  • Why do you feel yoga and wellbeing is becoming so popular with festivals?

It’s been so interesting to see the growth of wellness at festivals, it’s still a relatively new thing. My feeling is that everyone looks to approach work and play holistically (looking at the whole). We work hard, party hard and also party sober. Dance all night, watch the sun come up, but eat well, drink juices, take our vitamins, meditate, do yoga, then do it all over again. It’s a balance I’ve lived by for the last 10 years.

  • Meditation, does it work for you? How do you integrate this if so?

Yes it works. Yoga, surfing and DJing are where I find myself in a meditative state. It’s when I have a sense of flow and am focused on the one task I’m doing, fully in the present moment, feeling good, centered, focuses and always leave on a high. Most people meditate without realising it. Every time you do something that gives you a sense of flow and steadies the mind (so it’s not racing at 100mph) you’re meditating. For some people it’s sitting crossed legged at the top of a mountain breathing, for some it’s on the yoga mat, for some it might be when they are running, cooking, ironing, drawing etc… The list goes on. 

  • Have you been to Lisbon before? If so, what are your favourite spots?

YES! LX Factory is awesome. Lux Club is also good fun. Jesus E Goes does amazing Portuguese and Indian fusion food. You can get awesome tapas and seafood on every street. I miss the coffee and pasties. 

  • What’s your favourite track you’re listening to right now?

Ohhhh… Tough one. One tune that has made a reappearance is Halcyon and On and On by Orbital.

  • Whose set would you be front and centre for at Nova Batida 2019?

So many to choose from… I think you’d find me front left on the Friday at Village underground from 16:00 until the end?