Thess Fischer | Interview
Thess Fischer always knew she wanted her career to have something to do with music.. She attended a school that combined traditional studies with performance arts. So she formally studied music theory, singing and dancing. When she graduated, she wanted to travel and see the world so she moved to London where she started modeling. Her big break came when she signed with Ford Models in Los Angeles and moved to the US in 2010. She was swept into the modeling world, travelling between Los Angeles, New York and London and eventually moving back home to Sweden. Her heart was always with music and she kept coming back to that.
So she decided to move to London to study music production and DJing. The following year, she had an accident and pulled a ligament which turned out to be a wake up call. Realizing she had over-extended herself, she decided to visit a friend in Bali for a break and while there, started meeting people and was introduce to the music scene, and in 2019, she decided to move to Bali permanently. Today, she is the resident DJ at the two international venues Omnia and Café del Mar and is getting booked at places all around the country and Asia.
Where did you get started?
I first went into modeling when I left home after school. I was around 20 years old when I was signed by Ford Models in Los Angeles, which was HUGE for me. I remember traveling to L.A. to meet the agency, entering their office in a skyscraper, with my modeling portfolio to show the bookers.
As I left the meeting and crossed the long hallway to get back into the elevator, I heard running footsteps behind me, I thought nothing of it and got into the elevator and found someone blocking the doors from closing – the people from Ford were asking me to sign with them on the spot. I tried to play it cool – but I was freaking out! I told them I would speak with my agent back home and get back to them, haha! I replied the next day and told them I’d love to sign with them!
When I returned home to London I started working on getting my visa to be able to work and live in the States. It took a few months to get all the paperwork done – and when I finally sent it all over, my visa was approved.
So in 2010, I moved to LA. I spent most of my time there but was also traveling to New York and London for work. I ended up going back to Sweden for a while, and based out of there I started focusing on my European work with my Swedish agency. I ended up getting a cover for ELLE Magazine in Denmark and also starred in an H&M commercial. Soon after I was approached by the Swedish network SVT to make a documentary series with 5 other Swedish models. They filmed me every day for 2 weeks as I went about my life: asking questions and filming interviews. It was a massive experience in getting to know myself better: my strengths and my weaknesses. I was very nervous when the show first came out, but everyone seemed to love it, but looking back now I’ve grown a lot but very happy I did it!
What inspired you to make the jump from modeling to music?
I’m very grateful for my success in the modeling industry and all the experiences I’ve had – But I guess my passion for music never faded, I always returned to the desire to do something in music.
When I left LA in 2015, I enrolled in a music school called Point Blank in London. I revived my studies in music theory, music production, and DJing. I loved it so much that I forgot about everything else and hardly spent any time on social media for months, which was rare back then. I was obsessed with the process of making music and DJing.
But it was not until 2017 that I decided to really go for it and made a New Year’s resolution to focus solely on DJing. I did some intense courses, worked hard every day to learn and when 2018 came around, I moved back to London to try out the DJ scene there. I met a lot of exciting people: cool underground DJs that introduced me to house music.
Everything came to an abrupt halt when I had an accidental fall and pulled a ligament. It was a jolt of reality: made me reflect on everything and I decided I needed a change. A girlfriend living in Bali texted me, offering to let me stay at her place so at the end of 2018, I decided to go to Bali for the first time. While I was there I was introduced to some people in the music scene who asked me to DJ almost immediately. I was offered to play at one of the most popular Sunday nights in Bali and pretending like I had a lot of experience playing in front of people but this was my first proper gig out and I was so nervous that my hands went numb at some point! But afterwards I was pulled the side and told they loved it and wanted to offer me regular gigs there if I moved to Bali.
Is that when you decided to move to Bali?
Yes! That was enough for me to make a decision, mostly because the energy there was so magical, it felt right! I packed my things back in Europe, put them in storage and moved to Bali within a month.
Since I didn’t know anyone that well there, I threw myself into my work. My career as a DJ took off from that residency, and I met more and more people in the industry and other venues hearing about me it started to move forward pretty fast. I’ve lived in Bali for about two and a half years and I couldn’t be happier about my decision to move here!
What are your musical inspirations?
I grew up listening to hip hop and pop. My mom was also a huge Prince fan, so I ended up getting into his music as well. Then came Michael Jackson’s music; his was the first album I bought. Back then if someone told me I would go on to DJ and play house music, I would definitely not believe it, haha!
I got into House music when I met a bunch of underground DJs in London. One in particular made a huge impression on me – I was absolutely blown away by this DJ’s music. I saw him live at a huge rave venue and after that I went home when everyone continued to party to download this new music that I had just discovered. That was my introduction to House music. It was surreal, how the music made me feel.
What do you believe has been key to your success in the industry?
I am fearless. Despite failures or roadblocks, I believe in myself. If there’s something I want to achieve, I don’t care what it takes – I will get it done. I just keep pushing myself forward. It’s a lot of hard work for sure, but my passion and drive comes naturally to me when I’m excited about something. I work day and night on this stuff. I make sure I know enough about what I’m doing and do my research to understand the industry I’m in. When I listen to other people’s work I’m paying attention to their techniques as well as their stage presence and other things I find inspiring about my competition.
Networking is also huge for this industry; meeting new people and creating conversation is really important!
Fearlessness, networking, and a touch of crazy – that’s all me.
How do you connect with your fans?
I recently joined Twitch to do livestreams as a DJ, and the community there are absolutely amazing – they’re like an extended circle of friends that I have a very special relationship with. I’ve been growing very quickly on the platform and it’s sometimes an overwhelming but amazing feeling as I really love to play music for people and with the current life situation it’s still possible through my livestreams.
Most of them come to every stream, they engage in the chat and they show me so much love. At a time where I cannot tour or travel, it has brought me so much joy. I honestly cannot wait till I can tour around again and meet all these amazing people in real life!
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