From early Morning through to late Evening - DJ Raphael has a mix to relax, uplift and inspire! Jazzy, soulful, funky tracks from known and hard to find artists, each collection takes you on a musical journey.


A music connoisseur, it's no surprise that DJ Raphael has a huge internet following, with listeners eagerly awaiting the next uploaded mix.


How do you find all of the amazing tracks that make your mixes?

A lot of listening! I spend a lot of my free time just listening to a whole bunch of music. It could be from online radio shows, social media, online streaming services and pirate radio. I’ve always found the process of listening to and discovering new music just as joyful as making mixes, it takes some time and patience but it's always worth it in my eyes.


What is it that makes a good song stand out to you?

There are a few things I think, production has always been something I value along with lyrics and the message of the song. Most importantly though I think it's a feeling, I want music to make me feel something when I listen to it. It can be any emotion but if it moves me, I want it to have the same effect when other people listen.


It's hard to pinpoint because everyone’s different, but for me I would say its soulful music that makes me feel something. I value artists with their own voices that aren’t afraid to push boundaries as well, originality and uniqueness are also key in my opinion.


Who is your favourite artist past or present? What inspires you to create?

I don’t think I can narrow it down to one artist, there’s too many to mention! There’s so many that I feel have subconsciously influenced what I listen to and what other artists create. I have to mention J Dilla, Erykah Badu, Roy Ayers, A Tribe Called Quest and probably Robert Glasper as some of the major artists that first paved the way for me when I was younger and then through them, I’ve discovered a whole lot more. There’s so many more I could mention though!


In terms of inspiration to create, I think for me it's just trying to share that feeling of a new discovery or a recent pick up that blew my mind. I’ve always been a creative person and these mixes have been a great way for me to communicate and express myself outside of the everyday.


What is your process to making a mix?

There’s no real set process I don’t think, its often quite spontaneous and again based a lot on what I’m feeling at the time of making a mix. I usually spend a while compiling tracks I want to use and then begin the process. I usually record everything even if I’m messing around because it might capture something in the moment. I have to be in the right mood to make a mix as well. If I’m not feeling it, the mix is usually ends up being bland and empty.


You are a well-known DJ who is rarely seen in person – is this intentional? – What is your philosophy behind it?

It was never really an intentional thing and there wasn’t much of a philosophy behind it either. To begin with I just liked the idea of being fairly anonymous because I wanted the music to do the talking and be the focus. I also didn’t want to have my face everywhere until things got a bit more serious. I sort of liked the idea and the mystery of it.


I also haven’t had the opportunity to play out live as much as I would like, which I’m hoping will change in the near future. Recently though, I want to start giving people a face to put behind the mixes.


What would the world be like without music?

Unimaginable!


Do you have a favourite mix you have put together and why?

This is another tough question! Each mix is almost like a diary entry of my life and a timestamp of where I was and what I was doing when I made the mix. I always love my first ever chilled hip hop and neo soul mix I released on YouTube, it's so raw and I thought no one would listen to it but it ended up being one of my most listened to mixes. I also really enjoyed making the soulful house mix #10 and people seemed to like that one too. There’s a few others that stand out as well but I love them all in different ways and for different reasons.


 If you could pick one song which embodies your spirit what would it be?

Again, so many to mention! I feel like this often changes depending on what mood I’m in and where I am. I always find myself going back to the same tracks though, one of them would definitely be ‘Chill Pill’ by Hawk House, another ‘Little Boy’ by Omar and the other is probably ‘Piece of Mind’ by Idris Muhammad. A fairly varied selection but they’re definitely tunes I could listen to for a while and that generally embody my spirit.




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Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtZlAnYfWAmC8YE-HJjT_yQ

Zoey Gong is a nutritionist, chef and artist with a passion to promote and share her cultural heritage, creatively representing Traditional Chinese Medicine and philosophy. Zoey specialises in mostly plant-based Chinese medicinal cuisine as well as holistic treatments, including Meridian Yoga, Moxibustion and Accupressure.

Photo: @tombo.97


What inspired you to train as a nutritionist?  

I first came to the U.S. when I was 16, knowing anything about nutrition or healthy eating. After just months of eating the American diet, I was very sick. I had two breast tumors, constant skin rashes, fast weight gain, and joint pain. The steroids that western doctors gave me stopped the symptoms, but did not eliminate my root problems. I had to learn on my own and changed the way I ate.


The results were beyond surprising. I felt unbelievably better, even better than before I came to the U.S. I realised how much power food could have on our health. That's when I decided to pursue a degree in nutrition and public health at New York University. Through my studying, my understanding of food and nutrition developed very quickly, which lead me to combine eastern and western nutrition together. Now my approach towards nutrition is a fusion of biomedicine and TCM. 

How would you describe Traditional Chinese Medicine? 

Traditional Chinese Medicine is a very mature, well-studied, and comprehensive healing tradition originated in China thousands of years ago. Many Asian cultures share some of it and have been using TCM in their daily lives, even today.


Comparing to biomedicine, TCM is very approachable and holistic. It is not just the herbal formulas one might think. TCM consists of acupuncture, moxibustion (a heat treatment), acupressure, tui na (Chinese massage), herbal medicine, Qi Gong, and food therapy, which is my focus. It is extremely individualised and aligned with the changes in nature. The treatment for the same disease may vary drastically for different individuals and during different seasons. It is also rooted in philosophy, where the ultimate health is considered to be the perfect balance of yin and yang. 

Where can someone find traditional medicine's? 

I recommend Kamwo Herb and Tak Shing Hong. Two amazing TCM online shops that also have physical locations in New York and other parts of the U.S. I also recommend to consult a TCM practitioner to get herbs and understand your body constitution first. 

How can holistic treatments support a healthy life?  

In so many ways! Holistic treatment, at least in terms of TCM, is the way of living. It guides us to live with nature and adjust the imbalances in our body with simple things like food, self-massage, music, and breathing. For example, when we feel angry or agitated, we can massage our liver meridian to remove the stagnation that may have caused the emotions; then we can have foods like celery, chrysanthemum, dark leafy vegetables, and goji berries to quiet down the uprising liver fire; then we can do some qi gong exercise for the qi to flow better in our liver meridian; and before we go to bad, we can moxa Tai Chong Point on our feet to  relieve headaches and dizziness that are sometimes related to angry emotions. It is all about figuring out our imbalances and do what we can at home to re-balance it. 

You are also an artist, what does creativity mean to you? 

Creativity is fun, joyful, and full of surprises. Human brains are designed to be creative. However, creativity, at least for me, did not arrive until I understood myself more, both physically and emotionally. Growing up in a strict communist education system, I was trapped to perform well on exams and to conform to the norm that "there is only one correct answer". I lived for the expectations from others. It took me a very long time to be able to listen to my heart and find the creativity hidden in my marrow.


You might ask how I got to finally listen to my heart. Well, it's complicated and almost impossible to explain. It's a lot of trials and errors, a lot of Buddhist readings, and a lot of law of attractions. I think finding TCM and art as my passion really guided me on the right path. Certainly, eating well fuels creativity. It helps me to see my vision more clearly and actually create it into reality with motivation and focus. 

Are there any teachings or philosophies that your draw inspiration from? 

Buddhism. It is so enlightening and freeing. I always feel there is nothing that I couldn't get through after reading Buddhist texts. Some Taoism too, about going back to nature. I, and nature, are one. 

Website: https://www.zoeyxinyigong.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/zoeyxinyigong



An indigenous group in Africa, the Maasai are semi-nomadic people who settled in Kenya and northern Tanzania. They are one of the very few tribes who have retained most of their traditions. Side by side with nature, they live by herding cattle and goats which is their main source of food.  


Mostly defined by their bright tradition wear which varies by sex, age and place. Formerly hunters, the Maasai are known as fearless and courageous people. The men are the hunters, taking care of their livestock and protecting their homes and communities. The women build the family home, cook and raise the children. 


The noble tribe once occupied the most fertile lands until the armed British troops moved in. In 1904, they signed a first agreement, which resulted in losing the best of their land to the European settlers.


In 1911, an agreement was signed by a small group of Maasai, where their best Northern land (Laikipia) was given up to white settlers. This was very controversial and the signatories did not represent the whole tribe. The consequences led to the Maasai loosing two-thirds of their lands and were relocated to less fertile parts of Kenya and Tanzania. 

Today less land for the Kenyan population ultimately means less land for the Maasai people, their wildlife and livestock.