issue 32 - guess who's back, back again
a truckload of life updates, the Big Bad Writing Wolf, all kinds of hot girl summers, a very special pop up, memorable live edits and more
welcome back to FRESH! find us on insta @freshbywing ♡ where does your heart feel at peace? go there (mentally or physically) and stay there for a moment today.
we owe you an apology, a long issue and an update for up and disappearing for a good two-three months, dear FRESH family.
during that time: i’ve been to the States and back again, come down with a serious case of writing burnout, rode on a few emotional rollercoasters, got five unexpected (and pretty nasty) tooth cavity fillings, last-minute set up a pop up shop for my jewelry creations in Hong Kong from scratch, bought a gym pass for the first time in my life and started (practically) living there. we’ll dive into as much of that as we can in this issue!
before we dig in, we need quite a few housekeeping updates here:
last time we talked, we mentioned covering our Paris and London adventures in two separate issues - that is still the plan; as well as potentially focusing on them, other cities and specific topics in a new issue format of FRESH! stay tuned for the debut of that whilst we hash out the details.
as you’ve noticed from our absence, we’ve been unable to keep up our weekly Sunday publishing schedule for quite some time now. going forward, issues will still be published on Sundays as much as possible, but on an ad-hoc basis (monthly or twice a month seems a more realistic goal for the meantime, whilst i sort out the remnants of this writer’s block and ease back into a more sustainable writing routine).
we have some lovely, juicy GUESTFRESH features both ready and in the pipeline to share with you all, again keep your eyes peeled here!
The Big Bad Writing Wolf
i won’t lie, even after having years and years of academic, professional and personal writing practice, i still find writing incredibly difficult to craft.
the process of thought-to-sentence doesn’t run smoothly in my head nor on my keyboard, and it takes me a long time to try to do so. i easily get frustrated and discouraged by this, but i’ve been forcing myself through it to write these issues. i think that resentment and exhaustion built up over the course of this year, and cumulated into a massive writing burnout. i simply didn’t want to write anymore (and probably couldn’t even if i tried), and i avoided opening my FRESH dashboard like it was the Big Bad Wolf hiding in my endless Chrome tabs.
another reason i feared opening this again - i received a particularly nasty hate comment on one issue that tried to personally target my insecurities (that has since been deleted). it’s one thing to objectively critique my writing or my opinions, which i’m open to, but to make assumptions about my personal life for the sole purpose of trying to tear me down is unacceptable, and will not ever be tolerated on FRESH.
having a few months distance from here has been very needed, and now i finally feel ready to step a foot back into writing on this platform. i’m very grateful to still have this space as a sounding board for self-expression, and to have an audience willing to hear me out, so thank you for being here with me.
Gym Girl Summer
in the spirit of Hot Girl Summer, i’ve coined this year’s summer for myself as Gym Girl Summer.
after riding said emotional rollercoasters earlier this year, i ended up with both my external surroundings and internal landscape feeling sparse and empty, complete with tumbleweeds rolling through. i felt so lost, and didn’t know what to do with myself. so i threw myself into the gym on a whim, and it’s turned out to be the most grounding practice in my life right now (apart from regular therapy sessions).
extra endorphins are an obvious plus, along with the satisfaction of feeling physically stronger. however, the biggest benefit has been the mental stability and clarity i’m gaining from committing to several sessions a week. each time, i put on my gym gear, trek over with my water bottle, and go for a post-session convenience store treat. this consistent routine has become a familiar touchstone that i know i can rely on to stay the same and can come back to whenever i need; a constant in a sea of changing uncertainty.
our gym happens to be a small, cozy and quiet one. it’s become a place of meditation for me whilst i run through reps - i don’t listen to music, and just focus on being present with the sensations in my body, in the ambience of air-con engines and treadmill footsteps. it feels like the equivalent of dunking my mind in an ice bath; all my intrusive thoughts disappear into a blissful calm.
TLDR: i’m now in a committed, and satisfying relationship with my gym. that definitely wasn’t on my bingo card for this year, but i’m glad it’s ended up on there now!
for more updates on Gym Girl Summer, head over to my stories on my personal Instagram!
Hot Bling Summer
continuing with things i didn’t expect on my bingo card this year - yet on another whim, i rented a spot in a shared creators’ shop here in Hong Kong and set up bling by wing’s first ever summer pop up shop!
i’ve pondered options for in-person pop ups for some time, but one way or another hadn’t got around to it until now. it’s something cool that i can tell my younger self about now - i know she would be ecstatic about this!
making so many bling pieces from scratch, designing and constructing the pop-up layout in the span of a week was an exhausting and stressful process that i, in retrospect, probably should’ve allocated a longer time span for. again, i rushed myself to immediately fill that internal void i felt with anything possible. it worked, but next time i know i have room to be gentler with myself and to take my time.
that said, it was also a rewarding process that reaffirmed i could indeed do what i set my mind to, and squashed any self-doubt i had about falling short. it’s the biggest and most priceless takeaway i’ve gained from the whole process.
here’s our pop up location, we’ll be here from now until the end of September so come drop in and browse some bling!
box C9B (middle of the store), THE CUBE, shop S122, 2nd Floor, Argyle Centre, 688 Nathan Road, Mong Kok, Hong Kong
head over to our bling Instagram also to peep some of our available pop up pieces!
i’ve given my currents playlist a quick makeover for the summer, and renamed it from the long standing wing’s minifridge to wing radio! save this to your library, pop it on shuffle and tell me what tracks you discover:
FRESH: new music
Gonna Be Good (Live Edit) - Madeon
we at FRESH HQ always love a good live edit from Madeon, and here’s one more to add to the list! this one is extra special, as Gonna Be Good will very likely be the last release of Madeon’s Good Faith era, marking its end after a jam-packed four years since the release of its very first single All My Friends, back in May 2019. we’re getting nostalgic just thinking about all the way back then!
GBG was first teased as a live-only track last year in March, before getting an official studio release, a dedicated radio episode, a music video AND an official live recording from the Brooklyn Mirage live show this past May - perhaps the most definitive live show of the entire era, it was really something special to witness in person. (plus, we’re a speck somewhere in the crowd in the live recording!)
we may well be biased, but we definitely are partial to the GBG Live Edit over the shorter two-minute studio version, and are thrilled to see it get a streaming release as well. that extra melodic twist on the refrain towards the end of the live edit (3:40) is our favorite part of the whole song!
Look How Hard I’m Into You (Ariana x Barker) - séverine
this track has perhaps been the unexpected highlight of our spring and summer! i first heard this when i was deep in the crowd for Bonobo’s very last Printworks show, and he dropped this out of left field in the middle of an entrancing set. i had to do an audio double take - playing Ariana Grande at the rave? a bold choice indeed, but a fantastic one - one that has apparently still stayed a staple in his track lists, as well as making its way into Porter Robinson’s.
Look How Hard I’m Into You is a mashup by Los Angeles DJ séverine, layering the vocals of Ariana Grande’s 2016 smash hit Into You over the hypnotic ambient techno of Look How Hard I’ve Tried, courtesy of Berghain resident Barker. truly a best of both worlds mashup, uniting pop with the underground - and one that is worthy of the dance floor in subject matter and spirit.
FRESH: events and happenings
speaking of Printworks (we miss you already) - Drumsheds London (created by the same management team behind Printworks) have just announced their AW23 opening lineup of shows, and you can’t go wrong even if you took a random pick without looking! in particular, please teleport our soul to that (Cassius) b2b DJ Falcon set on October 21st.
legendary electronic music festival Tomorrowland has been broadcasting their festivities live from Belgium this past week on their One World TV and Radio streams! we’ve managed to catch a good few sets - the Freedom stage takeover by the Afterlife regulars was absolutely fantastic, and so were the aerial bird performers high in the sky during the opening ceremony over on main stage. (edit: the highlights of Weekend 2 so far have been that throwback Steve Angello & Sebastian Ingrosso singalong set, and Adam Beyer & Maceo Plex for the quality techno!)
FRESH: film + design
Barbenheimer Girl Summer
we couldn’t leave you this week without indulging in the biggest hype phenomenon this summer! as of time of writing, we’ve not yet seen either Barbie nor Oppenheimer in theatres yet, so we’re still steering way clear of major spoilers…
for the meantime, enjoy this wonderful special edition of Architectural Digest house tours: where Barbie herself, Margot Robbie, guides you on a personal tour of the Barbie film set! it’s an intricately designed and thoughtful work of art - those letters written in child-gibberish inside the Barbie mailbox are such a lovely touch of world-building.
phew, that was a lot of go through! thanks for doing a big catch up with us, and we’ll be in touch soon - very likely with our next GUESTFRESH!
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love girl summer,
alright, over to you now - hit up the comments section, or reply to this email with your thoughts! if you enjoy a little prompting:
how does the writing or creating process feel for you?
how have you dealt with creative burnout in the past?
will you be joining us for Gym Girl Summer? (all genders are welcome!)
what is one track you will always remember hearing live at a show?
extra credit: show us your best Barbenheimer double showing outfits!!