Getting To Know… Kai Suteja
In a world focused on creating a perfect online presence, it sometimes feels like everyone is doing the same thing. With a saturated environment of social media influencers and perfect poses, we often find ourselves praying for an out-of-the-box-thinker, a nomad amongst the scene, a wolf that doesn’t run with the wolf pack, a… well you get the picture. One such diamond amongst the rough is Bali-based, millennial Instagram star, turned bush-doof king, Kai Suteja (better known as @urmumsyadad).
A man about town, this Canggu resident has captivated the audience of thousands with his funny Instagram videos, outlandish fashion and more recently, his infamous bush doofs. Having combined his love of Kombucha and techno, Kai launched his own events company, Gypsylands, in 2018. With two huge events under his belt and more to come this year, we caught up with Kai to chat all things free smoothies, spirit animals and what’s next for this bali-based legend.
Hey Kai, what are you up to right now?
Just had my morning cappucino of anxiety in the office and am about to ground and pound my keyboard and reply to a bunch of emails whilst listening to some Tay-K.
Before we dive in, let’s rewind. You lived in Bali for a period growing up - how do you think growing up in Bali influenced your style and creativity?
My Kindergarten was the old Montessori school on JL. Kayu Ayu, it was definitely an alternative method of education to say the least. One day the teachers asked us what we wanted to do and I just wanted to clean windows, so I did that for a whole day (lol). I guess this sense of freedom to do what you want has had a long lasting impression on my attitude to work.
There was this app that let you get a free green smoothie at About Life and some of my friends had the plug but you had to have a certain amount of followers to be accepted into the app. I always kept missing out on these bargains and was just like fuck that shit I want a green smoothie, so I created Instagram and the rest was history...Funnily enough I never ended up getting that free green smoothie.
Your online presence redefines the status quo of what an Instagrammer should be, at times you could be described as an anti-instagrammer - was this a deliberate move?
Originally had unmarketable in my Instagram bio. I always knew I’d sell out one day but I wanted to sell out to myself and not another corporation. I’ve always been hesitant to take paid jobs and you’ll never see me with a teeth whitening mouthguard faux smiling to an audience for a dollar.
You studied mining engineering and now your organising some of Bali’s best events - tell us about the transition from books to bush-doofs?
The education system really fails it’s youth, you’re told from a very young age to get good grades, that’ll get you into a good uni so you can get a good job. You’re never really told to sacrifice grades to pursuit and explore different avocations. I was always good at math so I just stuck with that and ended up in Mining Engineering. Uni was an absolute grind but on vacation we’d all go to bush doofs and I think this is where the initial seeds were planted. These events were something I really admired and the escape gave me a great sense of happiness.
If you weren’t running Gypsy Land, what would you be doing instead?
Probably working a corporate job in Mining 🙁 It’s crazy to think this may have been a reality if the first festival wasn’t a success. I’m so thankful that everything worked out and I can come to work everyday with a smile.
For someone looking to start their own business/passion what would be your top three tips?
Business is connections, capital and creativity if you can find these things you’ll be successful.
If you could time warp yourself to any point in history, when would it and who would you hang out with?
I fucking hate the past, have you ever watched a movie from like 2004 they’re shit as fuck compared to the tech shit we’re running in 2k19. I’m definitely more about teleporting into the future than the past.
Despite our festivals being mainly techno based we’re looking into starting a hip hop side project, which is where my passion really lies. I’d love to collaborate with all the soundcloud rappers who I listened to in high school and ended up making it big time, specifically Kodak Black and Playboi Carti.
If you were to die tomorrow what would your last meal be?
Craziest advice you’ve ever received?
Don’t fuck with people who serve your food, not crazy but something I live by.
What are you currently working on?
The original is always better than the sequel, so we’re going back to basics and only doing one Gypsy Land this year. It’s a two day techno doof over July 13th and 14th at the original location (Courtyard 66) with capacity for 10,000. We’re bringing back the same theme it’s Badlands and Wonderlands and you can expect cage fights, skating, motorcycle of death and a bunch of other fucked shit. Follow @gypsylandfestivals for more vegan, music festival Bali content.
QUICK FIRE QUESTIONS
Big fan of charred cauliflower.
Beach or city life?
One thing you can’t live without?
Avacadoes and there’s no fucking good Hass’ in Bali 🙁
What are you listening to right now?
Comethazine - Walk