sydney party hero flexmami is the internet’s favourite optimist
The DJ and radio host is going to war against our obsession with self depreciation.
Images via @flex.mami
Speaking to Flexmami, aka Lillian Ahenkan, you get the feeling she's some kind of good vibes angel, sent to earth to school us on positivity and self-appreciation. That in itself is a good start to a resume; but add in the fact she's also a DJ, radio host, social media manager, party hero and curator of essential looks and one liners, you understand why we're hooked.
Across her music, radio show, vibrant online presence and IRL attitude she preaches a philosophy that says you can do whatever you set your heart on. We chatted to her about breaking up with self-doubt and why the Secret might kind of be legit.
So you're really well known for your positive vibe, which is a super cool thing to be able to say. Can we start by talking about your views on happiness?
It's interesting because I've always been positive but I used to be under the impression it came off as self-absorbed and obnoxious. I guess in the past my intention and perception were two different things, but as I've grown and learnt to understand how I am being perceived my intention is to be overly positive but also still real. I'm not trying to ignore the fact that emotions are complex and multi-layered; being positive shouldn't act as a buffer for feeling what you need to feel.
It's interesting what you said about coming across as obnoxious. It almost seems more acceptable to be negative towards yourself rather than seeming self-obsessed.
My default is to try be positive, and encourage others to be positive. For a little while there I was noticing this self-deprecating culture was a bit of a trend. You're always going to bond over something negative rather than something positive, but I just find it boring. Being upset is boring. Complaining about being tired is boring. It's like let's switch it up a little bit. I want to hear people say why they like themselves or how they think they look good today, that's the good stuff.
You've described yourself as being an "ambassador of self-love" but it sounds like that was the end of a long process. How did you get to this point?
I guess my mum was instrumental in that, she just never, ever, ever made me feel bad about myself. Her reasoning was always, "you're my princess so don't feel bad and don't feel like you're not good enough because you're my daughter." As I grew up I realised that wasn't necessarily true, but I still do feel this way. Why can't I feel like I'm the best at something, or the prettiest, or the most involved or talented or assertive? Who sets that benchmark? Once I realised you set it yourself everything changed! The only thing people really know about you is what you convince them to be true. So if you harp on about how you don't like yourself, or how you're not smart, or talented or funny, then that becomes your status quo.
Lets talk about how to spread this energy through your music. Did you always want to be a DJ?
When I started I really liked the idea of being part of this music scene but knew I wasn't going to start producing, rapping or singing. I didn't really have a lot of friends who were interested in music, but then I found a community who were and it was a light-bulb moment. After that, I wanted to share it with everyone.When I was learning I was already calling myself a DJ. That outlook made it easier because once you speak something into existence you can't really take it back. I never said I was learning to DJ because I would have stayed "learning to DJ." But if I kept saying that I was a DJ I needed to back it up.
So you kind of used the Secret.
It's amazing how the things you say can shape your reality. As cheesy as it sounds, you really are the master of your own universe. I'm Oprah right now, but the only thing stopping you from doing the things you want to do is you. I always think that during the time you spend mulling over something, someone out there has done it once, fucked up, done it again, then a third time, and become an expert. Meanwhile, you're just sitting here just thinking about it.
This is a lot of good advice, how are you looking to use it? What's next?
I've decided there is literally nothing I can't do. I don't play losing games, I want to keep on keeping, my goal is to be the ultimate slashie. I want to add like 20 more things.
What's your ultimate slash?
A TV presenter, a life-coach and maybe a rapper? Why Not?
Text Kasumi Borczyk
Images via @flex.mami