Wednesday, January 13, 2016

A Life By The Sea

"I could live here and write songs" - my thoughts 10 years ago when I visited SF for the first time...And now, 10 years later - I've finally made it to a life by the sea. Last year, when we were searching for a place to live in SF, we explored the Outer Sunset and I just knew that this was the place. I found this cute apartment on Craigslist - hardwood floors, a retro kitchen and walking distance to Ocean Beach. It was my first apartment inquiry ever on Craigslist - one week later we moved in. (Here's a link to an interview I did with Chapter Friday, where you can find pics of my casa)

Days in the Outer Sunset consists of...hearing fog horns in the morning... seeing Golden Gate Bridge peeking through the hills while running errands...answering that everyday question: "do you wanna go for a walk?"...seeing the waves break at the end of the street while waiting for Muni...eating cornbread Benedict at Outerlands down the street - My wanderlustin' heart has finally calmed down and I'm ok with that. Life's a (foggy) beach right here. 

A couple of blocks from where I live is Noriega street. If you been there before you must have seen that turquoise mural by Zio Ziegler. Walk through the door and you'll find a couple of retail stores - Indosole, a footwear company featuring repurposed tire soles made in Bali... and also Nosotros - a custom accessories company offering handcrafted hats made in Peru. Founders Kyle and Ryan have been extremely supportive by letting me perform in the Church of Surf, OB fest and other places around town. Their creativity, ambitions and social missions are super inspiring, so this blogpost is dedicated to these guys. 

I'm wearing.. the Vaquero Stone Nosotros hat,  mall beads neckless by Tiny Devotions, sweaterdress by HM trend, jacket by Zara and top by Free People

 Pics are shot by my new friend Sofala Mai 

See you in the Outer Sunset :) 

Monday, September 28, 2015

“Ichigo Ichie” - Japan Tour Diary

Last March, right before I officially moved to the United States, I woke up at home in the Netherlands and was smiling out from ear to ear when I discovered that I had received an email from Japanese record label "Village Again". I just couldn't believe it when I read that they had found me on youtube and now wanted to release my debut album "Fickle Island" in Japan. I've always been intrigued by the Japanese music culture, there's just something about it that I wanted to experience with my own eyes. Some of my singer-songwriter friends would wear shirts that say "Big in Japan" and I finally got the chance to get one for myself :) 

Four months later, in July after my Nicaragua trip with Free People, I found myself on a plane from San Francisco to Tokyo traveling a continent I'd never visited before (deep in my heart I always thought Indonesia would be the first country I would visit in Asia, but everything happens for a reason and I know that day will eventually come as well). It felt like I landed on a different planet when I arrived in Tokyo. It was so exciting not being able to understand Japanese language and read Japanese - its what makes it an adventure if you ask me. My brother Roman also flew in from Amsterdam to support me during my tour and we reunited at the Hatchi statue in Shibuya. Thankfully, Toshi (my promotor) was there the whole time to lead us the way and to make sure we could order food from the menu (it was all so yummy btw, especially the raw chicken sashimi..)

Nine shows in seven days. We were on fire! It was mostly radio promo and we covered the major radio stations in Tokyo (Tokyo FM, JWave, InterFM etc). From traveling to radio gigs by subway to meeting radio DJs, the whole experience was awesome and was maybe the best way to fall in love with Japan. The culture, the fast pace, the organised chaos (standing in straight line before the escalator) saying goodbye to new friends by bowing until the door closes, the "business card presenting" ritual and the handwritten notes I received after my gig at Tower Records - I loved it all so much! Just thinking of it and writing it down here makes me wanna go back and do it again. 

Lovely Ako at Jwave -  she was the first radio DJ in Japan to play my songs on the radio. 


During some of the interviews I was asked if there's a place in Japan that I really wanted to discover and see... I told them all: the Hokokuji temple in Kamakura. They all replied to my answer with the same epic enthusiastic sound (which I cannot translate into blog words, if you've been in Japan you know what I mean "eeeheee"). In Kamakura, there is forest all around, ancient temples and a magical place where you can drink matcha green tea in a lush bamboo forest - Hokokuji temple. After being in Tokyo for a couple of days, I was ready to see the ancient beauty of Japan. 

From the train station we shared a bus to Hokokuji with the locals - an old lady pointed and smiled at my ukulele that I always carry with me when I travel. Good vibes all around. And then that moment you see that magical just stand still, watch, observe and be thankful by the fact that you've come this far. Right outside the temple we found the most lush alleyway I've ever seen, I immediately took out my uke and thought of recording a live session of "Your Name, My Name". Toshi told me this was one of the ancient (500 year old) paths that connect the temples in Kamakura. No one else to be found, only a local man who told us it would take an hour to hike to see the most amazing view down the path...(saving that hike for another trip for sure)


After I googled "Tokyo bohemian neigborhood" at home in San Francisco, I found out that Shimokitazawa was the place to go. Although it was one train stop located from Shibuya, it took us nearly an hour to finally find the train track...we gave Toshi an afternoon off ;) I hand drawn a map which didn't make sense to us when we got there lol... But I soon found out that Shimokitazawa is one of those places where you kind of HAVE to get lost. I especially enjoyed creepin' into the little alleyways and streets and trigger that #house-envy. 

At one point it started raining really bad and we needed shelter, so we walked into a store called Darwin Room - little did I know this is the most perfect store for bro had to drag me outta there after I purchased a leaf holder and some notebooks. Also loved vintage store Salad Bowl where I got a pair of traditional Hakama pants and vintage shibori. 

a peak into the cutest hair salon

About a year ago, I went to see a show of my ukulele idol Jake Shimabukuro. One of the songs he played was called "Ichigo Ichie" - he told us that the song is about touring and meeting all these different people and places - not knowing if you will ever see them again or travel back to this place. Ichigo Ichie literally means "one time, one meeting". How crazy is it that now a year later I can sense where his inspiration came from. It was a perfect week of touring, making new friends while being in a country I'd never visited before. I'm so glad I got to share this with my brother, my travel buddy (last year we went to Greece) for us it was once in a lifetime trip which we'll reminisce forever. Just like something you probably also have experienced this summer. Let's cherish it to the fullest and acknowledge the fact that maybe some things and gatherings are only meant to happen once.

Nevertheless, I hope to return to Japan in the future with new music and fall in love all over again. 

Arigato matane daisuki

at Tower Records Tokyo

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Live in Kamakura (Bamboo Forest), Japan

Here's a little video we shot in Japan last month. About an hour train ride from Japan we'd found Kamakura, a place with countless temples, lush greenery and a magical bamboo forest that I just can't get out of my mind..

What a beautiful place, in love with Japan, hope to return soon!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

"Greetings from Fickle Island" by Milou Neelen

So this one day I was scrolling on instagram and via Barts Boekje, I landed at Milou Neelens feed - a cool Dutch girl that was traveling solo in San Francisco. I commented on one of her pics, mentioning my fav places to go to in SF and when she suggested we should go for coffee together, we ended up going bar hopping in the Divisadero that night (and... I had my official FIRST hangover the day after - ay caramba). Both being Dutch with a dry sense of humor, sharing the same amount of wanderlust,  in another part of the world - made her instantly my new.favorite.friend. 

Milou illustrates for ELLE magazine and designs prints for Love Stories and Scotch & Soda and was traveling solo to get inspired by all the pretty things the West coast offers. At one moment I was telling her, that I had been waiting to meet an illustrator that can design a postcard for Fickle Island. I showed her a vintage Hawaiian postcard I found on pinterest and one day later, she emailed me a sketch of the above print, which she created in one night ,when she arrived in Portland to continue her search for pretty things. I was over the moon.

In return, I hope to sing at her future wedding ;) and hmmmm I feel a collab for album #2 coming up...Gotta keep this talented lady close, that's for sure. 

Read more about Milou here at Chapter Friday.
Instagram: @milouneelen

Want to get a "Fickle Island" postcard? email me at / or come see me at a live show and I'll give you one.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Nicaragua with Free People "Sur La Sol"


Sur La Sol Video by Monica 

Sur La Sol Video by Alice 

To see more pics on instagram, just hashtag #FPsurLaSol 

(Iphone) pictures in this post are mostly by me, and the beautiful ones are captured by Renata Stone and Nicole Hill

Also terima kasih to Indosole for hooking me up with the comfiest soles ever. Check out their website and use promocode "Angelamoyra" for 25% discount. You're welcome :) My fav ones are the Banana Weave

And if you feel like going on a life changing yoga retreat better book it with Yogascapes 

Eco resort for the dreamers and doers in Nicaragua, Maderas Village

Thank you Free People - I love you