International DJ TOKiMONSTA Live in Manila!


Red Bull Music Academy alumna, TOKiMONSTA Jennifer Lee, returned to Manila for an intimate discussion at 20:20 Nightclub in Chino Roces, Makati City. The discussion was followed by a hotly energetic performance at the nearby XX XX. For Lee, it was a chance for her to sit down and share her insights with a handful of aspiring, young musicians and producers.

It’s cool! It’s crazy to think that I have any knowledge to impart to anyone else,” Lee shared. “If I share my experiences with you, then you guys can use that as a short-cut to evolve yourself more as human beings. In 2010, I got to sit in the audience and watch artists I respected speak to me. It helps fast-forward my perspective through their experiences. Now I get to sit up here and share with you guys, and hopefully, you guys will get to be up here and share with the next generation.”

A native of Los Angeles, California, Lee was raised as a classically trained pianist and would begin creating beats during her time in college. In 2010, she was invited to London for the Red Bull Music Academy. In the time since, Lee has released a string of successful albums under the name, TOKiMONSTA.

I think that when you make something personal as music, you’re not making it for other people,” Lee began.“You’re making the music as an expression of yourself and your own creativity. And it’s very vulnerable. You’re sharing some part of yourself that’s expressive. When you go to different countries and you see that people are resonating with your music, that means they resonate with a very deep side of you. I’m really humbled by it. And I get to see people also enjoy the music that I make and the shows that I perform. It’s a shared experience by all these different cultures. You start to see this commonality between everyone.”



The Creative Process

Lee discussed her creative process, which the artist admitted that the creation of any piece of music compels total vulnerability. “When you’re vulnerable, you’re trying to show a part of yourself that’s not inhibited. And in a lot of ways, we are all susceptible to trends and influences. It’s very risky to be vulnerable. It’s very risky to express yourself in a way that shows everyone something different. The vulnerability is very much hand-in-hand with being unique and having a unique sound.”

This allowed Lee to really share the inner workings of her creative process. 

“Focus is really a point of contention. The commonality is that creatives tend to be very unfocused people, you know? I can’t force myself to make music if I’m not in the mood to do it. None of the music that comes out will sound inspired. So I can take upwards of several weeks not making any music, but then once inspiration hits, I’ll lay down five tracks in a week. And once I start a song, it’s very easy for me to discover that I’m very motivated to finish. I’ll work for about eight hours straight. That’s just the way that I work, everyone is different. You can’t force the focus, I guess. You just have to be inspired!”

Becoming a Brand

While the creation of music is often the most attractive aspect of the job for many musicians, the process of putting their music out there can be very demanding.

“You have to learn to be comfortable with yourself, because what are you going to do with all this music if no one can hear it? It’s all relative”, said Lee. “Social media is a great avenue for self-promotion in a way that wasn’t available to people twenty years ago- it was all record labels. Now if you’re on SoundCloud and you’re making really good music, you can find avenues to share your music with other people.”

As far as Lee is concerned, surviving as a successful musician in the 21st century means becoming a lifestyle brand in-and-of-your own body of work. “Music has become a lifestyle brand. You as an artist aren’t just the music that you make. You’re your music, you’re your personality, taste in artwork, preferences, you share so much of yourself (on social media).”



Resiliency

Ultimately, as Lee revealed, the secret of every successful artist is resilience.

 Resilience is everything.
If you’re not resilient, every blow is going to hit you so much harder. A lot of it isn’t always awesome. The circumstances of our environment, the county that we live in, the people were around, it’s not always going to be great. At the same time, there are tons of things that are amazing. It’s not easy, but it’s finding that inner power in yourself – that confidence and that drive. But understand it’s okay to feel all these emotions. But you can’t hold on to them. You can’t sulk.”

As a female Asian-American artist in her genre, Lee’s career as TOKiMONSTA has been filled with a number of challenges, “The challenge has changed over the years. At the very beginning, I wasn’t very common. But my music was up to the standard of my male peers and all my male peers respected the music that I made. And even though I don’t set out to be an example, as an Asian female, I want to show that I’m making decisions. I want to be normal. I want to make music on the same level for everyone else.”



The biggest challenge for Lee, however, was returning to the stage after her battle with Moya Moya disease, a neurological disease that required Lee to undergo two surgeries that temporarily impaired her ability to communicate and make music.

“As time passed, the memory of how do things came back to me. So when I started going back out and playing shows, the most challenging part was the more emotional and mental part,” Lee shared. “I had isolated myself from everyone for two months. I had social anxiety. I couldn’t stay out for a long time.  I became very sensitive. To go from not seeing everyone for a while, to a very traumatic experience, to playing in front of 20,000 people at Coachella, it’s quite a big schism to cross.”


Performing Live

For Jennifer Lee, the process of creating a song isn’t just about capturing a single moment or an emotion. It’s about creating an experience, an adventure told through rushing bodies across the dancefloor.

“I do hope that whenever people listen and come to my shows, they understand my intentions for the experience. Not my intentions for them as individuals,” Lee began. “Again, there’s this sense of relating to each other, that we can understand the feeling and emotions in the music. What’s meant to be more sensitive or hyper, you can understand that those were the moods that I was in. I want the music to be cathartic for myself and I want to share it with you, in case that it might bring you some peace.”

Yet, despite all her success, Lee is aware that her music is not for everyone. And that’s something she has shown comfort in.

“I don’t want to force a feeling on anyone. Everyone is allowed to feel what they want to feel. If you don’t like it, cool,” said Lee. “When I perform, we’re going to have an experience together that are shared. At the end of the day, we’ll know that we went through a whole trip together and experience that together, whatever that feeling was. These are all unique experiences and there’s no way I’m going to recreate the experience that I’m going to have tonight.”

By combining her passion for creating musical experiences to her “never give up” attitude, Jennifer Lee/TOKiMONSTA has become one of the most widely respected acts in her genre. As an alumnus of the Red Bull Music Academy, Lee continues to travel all over the world to share her music and her knowledge with the next generation of producers.

“My number one advice for anyone is to be yourself. Be unique. Hear your own voice. Just be yourself. Don’t be like everyone else. Everyone else already exists. You want to set yourself apart. You want to be someone with some level of integrity.”


About Red Bull
The premium Energy Drink known all around the world – Red Bull (Blue & Silver can) – was launched in the Philippines last May 2012. Thanks to its unique formula, Red Bull Energy Drink gives you wings by vitalizing body and mind. For more information on Red Bull, visit our website at www.redbull.com and follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: facebook.com/redbull | twitter.com/redbullph | instagram.com/redbullph

About Red Bull Music Academy
The Red Bull Music Academy is a global music institution committed to fostering creativity in music. We celebrate music, its culture, and the transformative minds behind it.
Begun in 1998, the Academy has taken the core principles that underlie its annual workshop for selected participants and applied this curatorial approach to lectures and events throughout the year. For more information, visit redbullmusicacademy.com and follow instagram.com/rbma | twitter.com/rbma
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For more information, kindly contact:
E.Jay Miranda | Field Marketing Manager | Red Bull
ejay.miranda@redbull.com | +63 917 820 6507

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pr@centaurmarketing.co | +63 917 651 5984

Kazuo Oishi | Media Relations | Centaur Marketing
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Review: Ryx Skincerity Ultra Hydrating Foam Cleanser and Skin Perfecting Serum


My journey with acne is now over but I developed this fear of trying other skincare products since I knew that my skin is really sensitive and there's no way I will let myself experience what I've been through before. 

Ryx Skincerity Ultra Hydrating Foam Cleanser and Skin Perfecting Serum Review

When Joanne's Shopping Station contacted me to collaborate with her to do a review about Ryx Skincerity, I immediately said yes. Why? Because I've been seeing this product all over the internet and it has tons of good reviews. I really wanted to buy but I'm too scared to try and waste my 700php. But when Ms. Joanne offered her deal, I gave in. 

Let us check what is the hype all about.

Ryx Skincerity is a local skincare brand owned by Miss Rica Detiquez. They have two products the Ryx Skincerity Ultra-Hydrating Foam Cleanser and Ryx Skincerity Skin Perfecting Serum.

PERFORMANCE

Ryx Skincerity Ultra Hydrating Foam Cleanser and Skin Perfecting Serum Review

Let us talk about the foam cleanser first. Ryx Skincerity Ultra-Hydrating Foam Cleanser claims to make your skin soft and smooth, removes dirt, gently exfoliates, controls oiliness without drying the skin and whitens skin. It is suited for all skin types.
Ingredients
Sodium lauryl ethyl sulfate, Coconut diethylamine, Cocoamidrophyl betaine, Sodium lauryl sulfate, Aloe vera extract, Niacinamide, Carrot extract, Papaine, Vitamin B3, Carbomer, Lactomoist, Azeglyjic, Glycerine, Scent, and Menthol
I was too worried when I first tried the cleanser because I might break out. Surprisingly, I love this!!! Especially the foam cleanser made my skin hydrated but it did not make my face oily. It left my skin soft and smooth just what it claimed. Most of the hydrating products I know are hydrating give my skin a greasy look. 

Ryx Skincerity Ultra Hydrating Foam Cleanser and Skin Perfecting Serum Review


After cleansing, serum time!

Ryx Skincerity Skin Perfecting Serum's claims to smooth fine lines, reduces age spots, skin repair, whitens skin. pore minimizer, hydration and treats acne.
Ingredients
Aloe vera extract, Niacinamide, Carrot extract, Papaine, Vitamin B3, Carbomer, Lactomoist, Azeglyjic, Glycerine, Scent, and Menthol
I'm not really a serum type of gal but dang, if I love the cleanser, this one is way better! I could feel that the product really penetrated the pores and tightened it. I love how this serum made me glow, you know what I mean?

I am really confident even without wearing foundation because my skin looks super healthy! Love it!

SCENT

The RyxSkincerity cleanser and serum smell like an apple. They might have extracted some apples in both products... smell delicious! I love the smell. SUPEEER! And so glad that the products do not smell like a strong chemical. 

PACKAGING

What I love about the packaging is it is so chic and it feels luxurious. However, I have some cons. First, the foam cleanser's pump is really hard to press. Second, the serum's bottle is too small and since the product has a thick consistency, the dropper pushes the product and spills out the bottle. Third, sometimes the dropper does not get any product. Hoping that RyxSkincerity's team will improve this. 

6 DAYS OF USING 

Ryx Skincerity Ultra Hydrating Foam Cleanser and Skin Perfecting Serum Review
Day 1
Ryx Skincerity Ultra Hydrating Foam Cleanser and Skin Perfecting Serum Review
Day 2
Ryx Skincerity Ultra Hydrating Foam Cleanser and Skin Perfecting Serum Review
Day 3














Ryx Skincerity Ultra Hydrating Foam Cleanser and Skin Perfecting Serum Review
Day 4
Ryx Skincerity Ultra Hydrating Foam Cleanser and Skin Perfecting Serum Review
Day 5
Ryx Skincerity Ultra Hydrating Foam Cleanser and Skin Perfecting Serum Review
Day 6














I may not have the best glass skin but I'm pretty sure that these products made my skin healthy and youthful. If you want to achieve that healthy glow, this product is perfect for you. If you're too lazy doing that 10 or 11-step Korean Skincare routine then these Ryx Skincerity products made that easier for you.

So if you're going to ask me if my 700 peso skincare is worth it.

DEFINITELY, IT IS!


Watch my review about Ryx Skincerity





WHERE TO BUY

You can get your Ryx Skincerity Ultra Hydrating Cleansing and Skin Perfecting Serum for 700php per set at Joanne's Shopping Station in Shopee: https://shopee.ph/joannetrojillo


Post - Accutane Update

It's been a while since I updated my Accutane Journey, I am done with my doses of Accutane and now out of the treatment(Somehow. I will explain later.) I'm so sorry about not giving any updates about my skin. But here's a recap during my treatment.

First, I wanna show you my face BEFORE Isotretinoin or Accutane. I want you to know how BAD my skin was. Looking back at these memories made me so happy about my decision of seeing a dermatologist. I grew up without acne or pimples and I'd never imagined myself having one or more. But when I was 21 and entering adulthood, my acne began showing. How distressful, isn't it? Related Post: My Acne Story

BEFORE 

Post - Accutane Update 

I have tried different products and any facial treatment. From organic to the most expensive I could afford. NOTHING WORKED. Finally, I decided to see a doctor. I thought my doctor would only give me topical medicines but she introduced me to Isotretinoin or popularly known as Accutane.  Knowing this drug, it has horrific side effects which I am afraid of. But she explained to me the pros and cons so I became less worried.

WEEK TWO

Post - Accutane Update

 Post - Accutane Update Post - Accutane Update

Two weeks after, I began to experience the side effects of dry... dry skin, dry hair, dry lips... I felt thirsty all the time.

MONTH 1

Post - Accutane Update

Post - Accutane Update Post - Accutane Update

Here, I began seeing a big difference from week 2. I only had a few active acne and the rest are considered marks already. I was surprised when you can tell how much difference in the span of two weeks. There were no crazy side effects aside from being DRY. 

Post - Accutane Update

 

NO MORE ACTIVE ACNE. My doctor said she will not change the dose of my drug and just continue to take 20mg of Isotretinoin for four months and be back for a follow-up.


Four months past, honestly, I did not come back to my dermatologist. I was busy, I was in law school and no time. It was also the reason why I couldn't make an update.

After my last check-up, my skin became better. Acne never showed up again. Only acne marks which as of now, faded already(some of it). I'm still in the process of clearing my skin from the stupid marks. but I could say, I am now ACNE FREE and so happy to tell you I can go out now without having a heavy foundation on my face. 

Here are pictures of me during the months that I did not make an update. (These are screenshots from my phone so that you'll see the time stamp)

APRIL -  MAY - JUNE
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YESTERDAY ( July 5, 2016)
Post - Accutane Update

So, to all the girls out there suffering from acne, there is still hope. You'll get your confidence back just like me. Having acne can be stressful and depressing, but hey you can comment below if you are feeling down. I still love you.

[Just found out that after Accutane, Mosquitoes love me very much  (or this is just my theory, please comment if you experience this too) and I easily get  wounded when I scratch myself]

xo,
Post - Accutane Update