Hey Nick, could you introduce yourself like how you are, how you end up here in Bangkok?
Uh, yeah, so, my name or…?
Yes, your name. What made you decide to move to Bangkok? Where did you work before this?
So my name is Nick Supreda. I moved to Bangkok around 3 years ago. I started kind of like a pop-up event. I was doing more events; it was called Blaq Lyte. It started building a semi-culture here in Bangkok. It somehow really attracted the hiphop scene here, so that’s why Blaq Lyte is. But now we’re a club. We’re a club now. We host our own events and concerts and venue. I’m also a part of Future Factory. Future Factory, it started off being a label in New York and Chicago with this group called Autograph. And then I decided that we should have one here in Bangkok so we brought that over. Then we started doing art shows and doing music events there. So it’s kinda like music and art together for Future Factory. So that’s what I do.
So Blaq Lyte started out as a pop-up?
Is there a reason behind how you spelled it?
Long story short. We didn’t really want to spell out just flat out “Black Light” because black light is like light out but just like changing it. And there’s also this band back in the day it was spelled “Blaq” and I’ve always liked it. So I found a chance to use it.
So you work with Blaq Lyte and Future, but what did you do before?
Before that, it had nothing to do with music events at all. In California, I was just studying and skateboarding.
What were you studying?
I did business marketing.
That’s so different.
It has nothing to do with it at all. I worked for a body-armor company. So it had nothing to do with music events at all.
What made you decide to go from body-armor to do Blaq Lyte, to do pop-up events?
I think it hits everyone at one point in life that they realize that they want to do what they really want to do, so that’s what hit me. So I wanted to come to Thailand to find my route. I was born and raised in California but I never really knew what Thailand was about. So I decided to just left everything behind just to find my route. Then I realized that Bangkok is really where I should be. Thailand. Fuck, I’m Thai.
Have you ever visited Thailand before?
Yeah. Every summer. I was adopted so every summer…My aunt adopted me, she would let me come see my actual parents every summer. I knew about it, I was coming but I didn’t like it. It was hot. But growing up, you get a different view of the city.
Is that why you started 32 Foundation?
Yeah. My whole goal on that is giving opportunity to other people and helping people as much as you can because giving back is just pure joy of happiness so that’s really my end goal, not doing Blaq Lyte and Future Factory.
I think it’s such a cool collaboration doing something that is such a stigma in Thailand especially going out at night. Oh, but actually I’m giving back. It’s so nice, it’s like a juxtaposition. It’s kind of ironic. It’s really cool.
How did your name 32 come about?
23 is Michael Jordan and I switch around, 32. There’s no meaning to it. It’s just a number. Yeah, just like everything else.
I was actually trying to figure it out. Is he born in 2532, the Thai year?
But I am, yeah. You got it right. Really, but it was kinda cool, sport has been a big part in the whole world especially Thailand, they’re superstitious with numbers. Then what do I like, I like Michael Jordan, what’s his number? 23. And switch it back.
Why not 23 then?
It’ll be too direct, that’s Jordan. so we switch around, people won’t even know, they’ll just be like ‘oh, some number.” But, yeah, it’s just a number.
How would you describe Blaq Lyte or Future Factory to people who haven’t been?
Going to Blaq Lyte, it’s an interesting kind of crowd and vibe, because everybody goes out there and is really full on dressed up, like hypey style. They’re really dressed up just to go out. The music is fun. We’re strictly hiphop. And it’s usually new modern hiphop. So kids will know all the words to it. It caters to a certain crowd. So, it’s fun.
It’s quite small, isn’t it?
Yeah, it’s small. We keep it cozy. We keep it kinda very intimate.
Do you have tables like most Thai nightclubs do?
So, we do have tables but we don’t do services. So, they’re gonna have to pop a bottle of Moet or open whatever, they have to buy it themselves and cater it to their own table. I just prefer the self-serve because I feel like everyone is kind of equal. No special treatment for anybody else. So that’s Blaq Lyte. But for Future Factory, it’s different. It’s a hard vibe. We do a lot of indie music and electronics. We also host an
artist to do an exhibition. So it’s a different crowd but yet it’s still the same segment. Music and art. That’s the difference between both of those things.
Do you ever think beforehand, okay I’m showcasing these artwork, let’s have this DJ come in because it will create a flow of what’s going on?
Yeah, yeah. So we’ve done a couple of exhibitions where there’s DJ playing and stuff like that. Sometimes there’ll be people dancing on art. The worst thing that could happen is them knocking down the art but yeah, we’ve done it.
So obviously, I feel like Future Factory, Blaq Lyte or even your foundation promote creativity in some ways but they are also very, very different in certain ways. Do you think each one has given you a different perspective on life or how each one shapes you?
I mean it has changed my life in a way and made me realized like having a team. It’s realizing you have a lot of people joining your team and it’s like learning from how their life is. It’s like when you hire them, “crap, you know their life and you don’t want your business to go shit because they need a job.” It’s really cool because some of my staff they have kids and family and it’s like “oh wow, he’s providing.” We’re helping
someone provide for their family. It’s a really nice feeling. But that’s just for me being an owner. I’m sure as an owner, a lot of people have gone through that and that mind.
And you become attached to it.
But for me, we kind of want to be a family. So it’s a family kind of thing where we have meetings and we can talk about anything. Talk to us, we don’t want you to do something irrational.
Do you have one team that works for everything or a three separate teams?
It’s kind of separated. In a way, everybody kinds of get together, we do separates. For Future, we talk to different team about it than Blaq Lyte, we also do a music festival and a different team does it. At the end of the day, we all kind of gather up. They’re friends and know each other.
Do you have a favorite?
I can’t, I can’t say that. It wouldn’t be fair.
So you give out money from your foundation?
I don’t wanna say we just give out money. So it started out by just me doing this on my side and somehow people pick it up. What is this? What is this 32 thing? So 32 is not really like a charity or a foundation but it started off as my own project. But whatever
money I make from that I’m gonna give as much as I can to help other people. It’s not just orphans and kids, or send kids to school or if I see a donation box, sometimes I’ll just put that money in. but it’s just a feeling that I want collect that and give it to myself and give it to someone I don’t know.
So you’re very involved in what goes on in 32?
For me, it’s like my baby, my priority. I want to grow that as my main thing.
So 32 is like you help kids, send them to school, or you kind of adopt them. What do you
actually do with the money?
For me, it’s different things or different moods as well. Sometimes I can go to a school and be like ‘hey, which kid needs clothes?’ but I tend to do it out of the city. Because in the city, there’s plenty of money for these kids and plenty of food.
People fight to go and give food.
Yeah, exactly. So it’s best to just go out to the countryside and see what else they need. Not necessarily just give them money and food. It’s really what it is. Buying books or clothes or shoes. Because coming from America, there’s everything there. People that are unprivileged, they have everything, they don’t live like how people here in Thailand live where it’s really sad if you compare both of them. You say a person that’s unprivileged here and a person that’s unprivileged in America, it’s really different. I mean I try to help as much as I can for my own personal pleasure, not pleasure but I really enjoy helping people put a smile on their face. Because being born and raised, I have more than I can ask for it.
Have you ever come here and notice people saying ‘I wish Thai kids were more like farang’ or ‘I wish they were more confident.’
I’m sure there is. But it’s culture.
Do you think there is anything that American kids should be more like Thai kids?
It’s hard. Everyone is special in their own ways. I think if I didn’t go to school in America I wouldn’t have this vision or idea about myself doing all this. So it kind of balances out. Thai kids are Thai kids, that’s just how it is. I mean I don’t wish they were more farang. I wouldn’t want that. They wouldn’t be like a Thai culture. I understand what you mean but I kind of like the way they are.
Is there anything going on at the moment that you’re thinking of doing?
Yeah, we’re always trying to come out with new things here in Thailand trying to build a
culture. We’re doing music events, music festivals. This month we’re bringing a Thai artist who I think is gonna be kind of good to showcase other countries in Asia. We’re bringing an artist who will be playing in Shanghai and Beijing and hopefully we’ll do other Asian countries as well. So it’s like Blaq Lyte collaborating with other companies or brands in different countries. So it’s like building a culture, growing a culture.
Which channels can be used to get update? Information, when it’s going on.
We post it on our social media. Either Blaq Lyte or Future, we post it up there and whoever follows can keep updated. We don’t do mass PR. We cater to a crowd who really wants to know. We’re not like ‘hey everybody, here’s what we’re doing.’
I think that’s it. We’re done. Is there anything else you want to say?
Yeah, this one time we did a party, a collaboration with IRADA which is a Thai brand and we did it with Starro who is a Japanese and USA producer. That’s also another thing where we started off collaborating with brands. That’s why we’re kind of doing this thing in China. It’s like growing a culture.
How did you find Starro?
Through mutual friends.
He’s pretty cool.
He’s the perfect fit for the collaborating brands as well.