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Lily Papas

Gold Coast musician gone global.

Lily Papas is one Gold Coast gal who is going places. She recently signed a recording contract with Universal Music and one of her tunes played on iconic Aussie TV show, Home and Away.We sat down for a chat with Lily about the release of her single Wild and performing at the 2020 Australian Open.

How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I’ve been on the Gold Coast for 12 years now. I spent my first 11 years in Melbourne so I definitely consider myself a Queensland girl now.

What do you love most about living here?
I love everything about the Coast. The beaches, the cafes, the laidback lifestyle, it really is paradise. 

Tell us how your career as a musician came about?
It’s a pretty long story, as most musicians stories are (laughs), years and years of hard work. But I had basically been doing singing lessons and guitar since I was eight years old, I found my love for songwriting and had a chance meeting at 15 with my now Manager, Smiley Clearly from Neon Records and the rest is history. I’ve been working my butt off for the last seven years trying to make the best music possible to release and to share with the world.

You’ve just released your single Wild, can you tell us about it and the vibe of your music in general?
Wild was a very different writing process for me in that I wrote it with two other people in LA. Usually I am alone in my bedroom writing my songs rather than collaborating. This was a really cool experience though because it taught me to think deeper about what I’m writing about. The song itself is a dark love song that explores the emotions behind not wanting to let someone go even when they no longer love you, and how you would do anything to hold onto that feeling forever, even if it breaks your own heart. It’s the overall fear of being alone that drives this desire. I think my style could be described as alternative pop. This album is a concept album that I built around the idea of fantasy and I think that is also reflected in the overall sound of the album.

What have been some of the highlights of your career so far?
The highlight of my career so far was when I signed my recording contract with Universal Music. I dreamt of that day since I was about 10 years old so to have that happen was literally a dream come true.

From where do you find inspiration for your music?
I find my inspiration a lot from movies actually. Growing up I didn’t have much life experience (obviously because I was young) so I would write my songs about movies, pretending I was the character. Now that I’m older, I write a lot about real life experiences, emotions I’ve felt, love, pain, rejection. It all comes into play when I write.

What’s the plan for 2020 for you?
I’ve got a big show coming up for the Australian Open on the 19th of Jan. It’s called ‘Girls Day Out’ and it’s to celebrate the women and girls in our lives. I’m pretty excited about that, I’ll be playing with a full band. Then I’ll be releasing a couple more singles before my debut album comes out later in the year. I can’t wait!

Any advice for someone hoping to become a professional musician?
My advice would be to always stay true to who you are. Know who you are and don’t let anybody ever try to change you. Even if you don’t know who you are yet that’s ok, we are all still trying to figure that out, myself included, but don’t let anybody else change you.

Tell us your favourites on the Gold Coast…
Coffee spot: Coffee Sisters
Dinner: Lucky Bao
Cafe for breakfast: Coffee Sisters for sure!
What does your weekend look like: I workout in the morning either at the gym or pilates, take a beach walk, spend the day by the pool or beach with my boyfriend, then out to dinner or drinks with friends.

Lily Papas’ debut single WILD is out now through Neon Records/Universal Music and available to stream on all platforms.

Jessie Jones

Image by Nick Atkins at Hotel Miami.

She’s one third (the best third obvs) of the team behind the Gold Coast’s most high vibe co-working and studio space, Hotel Miami and one hell of a gal to boot.

We sat down for a chat with Jessie Jones about the epic new section they’ve just added onto their space and why she’s already living the dream. 

How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I moved to the GC from California six years ago, although it only feels like about five minutes! But the Gold Coast has really evolved in those six short years, which has been really cool to see.  

What do you love most about living here?
It’s truly one of the most beautiful places in the world, I do miss home but our lifestyle here in Burleigh would be really hard to beat anywhere else. So lucky to live walking distance to such gorgeous white sandy beaches with perfect clear water. I grew up in the snow so I’ll take the beach any day!

Tell us about a day in the life of the boss at Hotel Miami…
I usually start with a bit of yoga in the space; we’ve built a great little yoga community on Tuesdays and Fridays. And then you’ll find me at my desk at Hotel Miami punching out emails, helping with shoots in the studio, and belly laughing with the Hotel Miami crew all day. There’s too much fun to be had around here.

Ya’ll just added a brand new space to the HM repertoire, what can we do there?
Yes we’ve just taken on the back space of the building that we’re already in; it’s a really special spot. There’s private office space available back there, but it’s also an epic event space for anything from workshops to weddings!

Why’d you decide to go bigger?
We always day dreamed about having that back space, so as soon as it became available we had to just go for it! We get asked all the time to host all different sorts of events and we just haven’t really had the proper space with all of our desks in our original co-space up the front, so now that we’ve got the space we can finally take on those opportunities!

Imagine all the wrangling that goes on.

What’s it like wrangling Darran Franks and Nick Atkins every day?
Let’s just say homegirl needs a raise!

What’s in the works for 2020 for the Hotel Miami crew?
We’re always up to something fun! We’ve recently combined Nick and Darran’s powers in branding and content creation and morphed into a full service digital agency, so it’s been really cool to work together on some new projects. Next year we’re most excited to be doing all the digital content creation and event coverage for the Blues on Broadbeach and Groundwater Music Festivals! 

If you were living your absolute dream life, how would that look?
I think I’m already living it honestly, I’m very lucky to have my little family with Nick and our one-year-old son Abe. Plus the Hotel Miami community has become a really special thing in our lives that I never fully expected when we started this a couple years ago. Don’t get me wrong, running multiple small businesses with your partner and friends doesn’t come without a bit of stress (okay a lot of stress!) but I wouldn’t change a thing! Although a cheeky lotto win wouldn’t hurt 😉 

Tell us your favourites on the Gold Coast…
Coffee spot: I’m a freak and don’t drink coffee but DGCB does a mean banana smoothie!
Bar for after work drinks: Granddad Jacks always! Their new Pavlova Gin is dangerous.
Restaurant for dinner: Restaurant Labart is a special treat!
How does your weekend usually look: I’m usually chasing Nick and Abe up and down the beach at Talle creek in the mornings and having a BBQ with our friends on our balcony in the arvo.

Gemma Lyndon

She’s the Gold Coast gal who saw a gap in the market for affordable, fashion-forward sunnies and set about making her dream of owning a business a reality.

Gemma recently launched her debut collection and we absolutely love the laidback 90s vibe Raie Eyewear is all about.

We sat down for a chat with the local designer about the inspiration behind the brand and her advice for anyone looking to start their own label.

How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
For 20 years!

What do you love most about living here?
The Gold Coast offers such a flexible lifestyle with so many opportunities! Being able to walk to the beach every day never gets old. The Gold Coast is filled with so many creatives and like-minded individuals. Every day you see new and exciting small businesses launching here.

Tell us about your business Raie Eyewear…
Designed in the laidback coastal town of the Gold Coast, Raie Eyewear sunglasses draw on aspects of global fashion, art and youth culture. Raie Eyewear Sunglasses are made to inspire a sense of fashionability and functionality with each wear. Exclusively available online through our website, I designed the styles for women like myself. We started off with simple elegant designs and colours and have heard so much great feedback from girls wearing our eyewear all around the world!

How did it come about?
Studying public relations and marketing at university I was constantly writing essays and studying theory which didn’t suit me as I am such a practical person! Throughout university, I interned and worked at a bunch of PR Agencies and independent e-commerce brands which developed my understanding of the different aspects of running a business and grounded my aesthetic of feminine fashion styles. I have always had an obsession with sunglasses and unfortunately, there weren’t many of my favourite eyewear brands producing the designs I was after! I would always be hunting online in my spare time for a reasonably priced, good quality pair of sunglasses which were sun safe and fashionable! Since launching my debut collection this year, I have had so much feedback from girls all around the world about how happy they are I have created simple everyday pieces! 

Why is Raie Eyewear the perfect Christmas gift?
Unlike clothing which is so fast and trend-driven (you see your wardrobe change so many times a year), sunglasses are a staple for every day. With the dangers of the Gold Coast sun always kept in the back of my mind, Raie Eyewear is made with 100% UV protection, protecting your eyes from UVA and UVB radiation. As many people spend long summer days at the beach, it’s so important to take care of yourself in the sun!

Who is wearing Raie Eyewear?
Raie Eyewear was designed for girls like myself who are fashion-forward, design-savvy and love quality products. As Raie is sold online, it’s for the girl who loves to online shop and is inspired from scrolling through style and interiors online. Inspired by 90’s style rectangular and cat-eye shades, the sunglasses are made with versatility in mind, to be worn as streetwear straight to the sapphire blue waves at the beach.

What advice do you have for someone looking to start a fashion label?
Just do it! It takes ALOT of trial and error! In this day and age as well, I would suggest always keeping sustainability at the forefront of your business too!

What’s the plan for the little bit of 2019 we have left?
Coming up to Christmas we are super busy here at Raie. Keep an eye out as we are launching a new design very soon! We’re always looking to expand our range and ask our customers what they like to see from us!

Tell us your favourites on the Coast…
Restaurant for dinner: Rick Shores in Burleigh Heads, Frida Sol in Palm Beach and Social Eating House in Broadbeach
Coffee spot: Barefoot Barista in Palm Beach, The Salt Mill in Currumbin and Stable in Currumbin
Cafe for breakfast: Highline in Palm Beach, Alfreds Diner in Mermaid Beach and Down to Earth Café in Palm Beach
How does your weekend usually look: I usually start my weekend with a long bike ride, then I’m laying by the water somewhere along with the coast – usually DBAH, Tallebudgera or Palm Beach. You’ll find me enjoying a margarita and Thai vinaigrette oysters at Rick Shores for dinner with friends. You can always find me at the Village Markets on a Sunday morning!

Jesse Noonan

He’s the Gold Coast local who rose through the ranks to become a pro skateboarder, sponsored by Santa Cruz and living any young kids dream.

This weekend he’ll teach skateboarding workshops on the Coast as part of HOTA’s Concrete Culture event.

We sat down for a chat with Jesse about his upomcing local workshops and how those of us who have no idea, can learn to skateboard like a pro too (close enough anyway).

How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I was born at the Southport Hospital and besides living in Melbourne for a year and a lot of traveling, I have been a proud Gold Coast local for the majority of my life.

What do you love most about living here?
In my opinion, the best things about living on the Gold Coast are the amazing people and community we have, no where else in the world do you find people like Gold Coasters and I think it’s because of our awesome laidback lifestyle with the best beaches in the world and world-class skateparks. We live in paradise and you can feel the joy.

Talk us through how you became a pro skateboarder…
I’ve been skating from roughly age seven and I have never stopped. I worked hard to be the best skater I could be and worked my way up to being recognised by some major Australian sponsors and after years of representing them, I was rewarded with an introduction to the pro ranks with my own pro model board for Santa Cruz skateboards. It was a very surreal moment because as a kid I had dreams of becoming a pro.

You’re running workshops at HOTA for Concrete Culture this week, what’s involved in those?
The workshops at the HOTA Concrete Culture event are going to be epic, we will be working with all levels of young skaters helping them with their confidence, balance, core strength and a better understanding of the dos and don’ts of skateboarding. Our aim is to help every skater at the event be able to venture to any of the Gold Coast’s amazing skateparks with confidence, to give it a go and gain the rewards that skateboarding has to offer, we hope all our skaters leave our clinic with some new tricks and a huge smile.

Any advice for those of us who’d love to try skateboarding but have no idea where to start?
For someone who has never tried skateboarding and is interested in giving it a go, I would recommend joining a beginner group session or private session with RockNSlide skateboarding. We can help you with all you need to know in the safest way possible, eliminating risk and can even provide all the gear if you’re unsure and just want to try skateboarding before purchasing your own equipment. With over 20 years of skateboarding experience we can get you skating in no time.

Besides skateboarding, what do you love to do?
When I’m not skateboarding, I’m in the ocean riding my surfboard. Surfing and skating go hand in hand and it’s the perfect outlet to keep active and enjoy the Gold Coast when I’m not rolling on the concrete.

What’s the plan for the rest of 2019 for you?
We have big plans for the end of 2019, we are running multiple skate events including our skatepark tours, skate camp and an epic event we call the Rocknsizzle. I am also busy finishing my new skate video part for Santa Cruz skateboards that is due to be completed by Christmas. It’ll be showcasing my best tricks on my board at an international level so it’s busy and exciting times for us thanks to skateboarding.

What do you say to people who might like to follow in your career footsteps?
The most important advice I can say to anyone is always be yourself, be kind, honest and don’t be afraid to work hard then you can achieve any of your goals, no matter what they are.

Tell us your favourites on the Coast:
Restaurant for dinner:
Beach Burrito Coolangatta – best Mexican on the Coast hands down.
Cafe for breakfast: JJs in Tugun – best and most honest big breakfast.
Coffee spot: Henchman Miami, I got some coffee there the other day and it was delicious.
How does your weekend usually look? Wake up, surf, lunch, skate and repeat.


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