MICHAELIS – Origins – Style Compass Media
Please introduce yourself
My name is Michaelis Shlomo Jacoby….yes, that is the middle name they gave me. I was born Michaelis Shlomo Soyo, but my father left when I was around two and half years old, and my mother remarried when I was three and a half, I was adopted by Allen Jacoby and took that last name. Shlomo is Hebrew for Solomon. My Hebrew name is Melech Shlomo, King Solomon. I lived in Israel for a few years and introducing myself as “King” was a bit awkard. I hated all of my names growing up as a kid… I just wanted to be a “Michael” and fit in, and Shlomo was a big secret for a long time as I am sure you can imagine. I am a Mexican, Filipino, Chinese Jew, born in Santa Monica, California.
Where are you from, and what brought you to Bali?
I’ve lived most of my life in the U.S. aside from a few stints in Israel and lots of travel for work. I also dated a wealthy woman for a couple years when I was a pup and saw most of the world with her. Bali… well, I had never been to Bali before. The aforementioned woman had been to Bali and showed me a picture of where she stayed. It was a picture of and outdoor shower amidst a lush rain forest jungle atmosphere. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. I have always felt closer to nature than the city, and it seemed like utter perfection to be able to shower in such a beautiful setting. This was about 12 years ago. Needless to say I filed that image away. I was djing in L.A. a lot and was playing at the best clubs in the city. I felt I had reached the top of my game there and wasn’t really living. I had also started becoming more serious about music production and told myself that once I found a label that I could release my music through, I would move. I found the label in November, they released a 4 song EP for me and I was on a plane Jan 2nd. I gave all of my stuff away except for a truck which a friend of my bought for me as a favor. I really didn’t know anyone in Bali but felt like it was the place for me to be. As soon as I landed, I felt home.
So you had a “Sugar Mama“…
What was your childhood like?
My childhood on paper looked good. I had upper middle class grandparents, and middle class parents. I went to a country club with the family almost every Sunday for brunch. I went to private schools. I went on cruises with my grandparents. I played on sports teams. I ballroom danced. I saw the Michael Jackson Victory Tour in Philly. I went to Las Vegas a bunch when I was a kid, and was generally spoiled with toys, dinners, and stuff. However, I was pretty miserable. I felt totally out of place in this world. I didn’t feel like I fit in with the kids my age. I didn’t have any siblings, and my friends were really my parent’s friends. I was paranoid about going to school due to a lot of self centered fear around kids hating me, and making fun of me. I really wanted to fit in. I gave my toys away to kids to fit in. I got in fights with kids to fit in. I lied to fit in, and basically sold out any healthy boundaries to feel included. None of it worked, and I became really angry as a kid which moved to depression, and suicidal ideation. Then I found alcohol, and drugs hahahaha, and all was well for about 10 years until it wasn’t.
When you understood in your early adult life that you were operating on a level 11 “hot mess” what empowered you to take it down to a nice, and safe level 7?
Like I said earlier, drugs, and alcohol were a solution to get me out of feeling completely hopeless and out of place in this world. I’d say that the first time, I had an inkling that I was heading down hill was when I was 19. All of my friends were planning their next year of college and visiting family, and I was going to jail. Now, with drug addiction comes this lovely lil’ thing called denial, so I quickly rationalized this “bottom” as being a “victim of the system”. My best friend, and I beat up some guy who allegedly sexually assaulted his girlfriend at a party so I also felt like I was doing the honorable thing. After that I moved to Venice Beach, California, and I got heavier into the party scene. I was modeling for Next Models, and a Street Pharmacist on the side. I got introduced to the club scene by my friend “Grasshopper” ( who took his own life a few years back), and found a new free spirited family. I went to jail again for possession for sales but wound up getting off on a technicality. I fled the country to Israel after I found out that they had refiled the case against me. I lasted in Israel about nine months before I caused a bunch of emotional wreckage to just about anyone I was in contact with. I moved back to the U.S. to “face my charges” which really meant that I had burned too many bridges in Israel. I got put back on probation and got off with time served. Things just got worse from there. I was a mess. No more modeling. No home. No car. No real relationships. I lost my friendships with people that were functioning in society, and I had no legitimate income. I was introduced to some people manufacturing Ice, and basically stayed with them to feed my habit. With that introduction came a whole slew of new colorful companions, and dangerous situations. Eventually everyone got busted, and I was looking at some serious prison time. I knew I had pushed the envelope too far, and believed I was pretty much down for the count. One night in my cell, I heard a voice in my head that said “I think drugs, and alcohol are a problem”……now I know what you’re thinking…duh…but for me the lie was so strong that this was a real revelation for me. I made a decision to stop using drugs after being in jail about 3 weeks. This wasn’t a lifetime commitment that I was making but it was something I was willing to do for the moment. This is when the magic happened. My sentence was reduced, I was introduced to the “12 steps“, and the “12 step fellowship“, and my life changed. I was privy to a design for living that really addressed all of my childhood insecurities (which incidentally were still there at 22 once I put the drugs down), and helped me grow into the man I am today. I haven’t looked back since. This year in July 2017, will be 18 years clean and sober for me.
Good on you…
What life changes did you adopt in order to empower your life’s choices in a positive direction?
I have had many spiritual awakenings since I got clean, and sober. My first lessons were simple. They started with the idea that my perception of reality is most likely invalid, and not based in reality. This was tough to grasp because I had survived on this perception for a long time, and even though I had completely warped my thinking, it was hard for me to be open to anything else. I learned that my living space is a direct relation to my head space. People told me I couldn’t think my way into right thinking, but that I had to act my way into right thinking.
I had to relearn everything from the ground up…
- how to do laundry
- fold my clothes
- put them away
- wash dishes
- make lists
- be accountable for being where I said I was going to be
- be self supporting
- adopt basic organizational skills
Most important though was learning to be open minded to other peoples perception of me, and willingness to follow direction despite whether I believed in it or not.
The next lesson was really taking a look at myself, and how I interact with the world. I had to get honest with myself, and others about who I really was, and not just what I wanted people to perceive me to be. I ran into some trouble, and definitely caused harm to others in this process. There was a big divide between who I wanted to be, who I wanted you to think I was, and who I actually was. I spent a long time trying to manage the parts of me that I thought were unacceptable while trying really hard to pretend to the people around me that I wasn’t who I was. This didn’t work so well, and I wound up hitting a really dark emotional bottom in sobriety. Out of this experience I learned that I needed to have a conscious contact with a “Power greater than myself”. This “Power” needed to be something that, in putting my faith in, and as a result of this connection, could feel a sense of happiness, gratitude and peace within.
The last really big lesson was understanding what I am. I opened up to the idea that if I really understand who I am, I, the light of the Universe, my spirit will be joyful at all times. Now this may seem totally crazy, but when I was presented with this concept, it resonated deeply with me. I am the light of the Universe, you are the light of the Universe, everything is the light of the Universe. The benevolent force underlying the totality of everything. So, in understanding this, I understood my purpose on this earth as a “spiritual being“. My purpose was to bless as many people, and situations as I possibly could as they presented themselves to me in each moment. This is my primary purpose which makes all of my human roles less important. When my human roles are less important, I am less tied up in the expectation of what I think the results should be. This allows me to just focus on what’s in front of me, and to be kind, loving and service minded in the moment. The gift of this new way of living, and thinking is a connection to that “Power” I was talking about. In having access to this “Power“, I have the Power of choice; choice of action, choice of perception, and choice of emotion. This means I get to completely design what kind of life experience I have regardless of what happens.
This is the ideal I am striving for. Am I perfect? Fuuuuuuuucccckkkkk No….but I do practice living my life this way to the best of my ability, and the results are amazing. I focus on helping others, being kind and loving to others first and foremost, and everything else seems to fall into place.
If you could give your adult self advice to your younger self, what would it be?
Chill out lil’ homie. You are loved, you are taken care of, everything is perfect as is. Help others…
What stage in your life did you decide to become focused on being, or becoming a Dj?
I wanted to be a dj since I was 18 years old. I started when I was 19. It was something that I was more passionate about than women or drugs so I knew it was something special. I put it down for a couple years when I first got sober but picked it up again as a hobby. I had a bunch of people telling me it was dangerous for my sobriety, that I would never make it because of the competition, or that it was a waste of time pipe dream. When I dated the wealthy lady, she gave me the freedom to say fuck it, and focus on djing as a profession because I didn’t have to do anything else for work. When we broke up, I stayed on with it and did whatever it took to keep the dream alive. I didn’t want to end up like my parents with regrets about giving up dreams and being stuck in boring, meaningless, settling-in-life day jobs they are miserable in. I’m in this life to live my dreams and have fun. I believe its my responsibility as an example to other people to be happy, live in faith and do what I love.
I’ve played in:
- Los Angeles
- Las Vegas
- New York
- North Carolina
- San Francisco
You began traveling at an early age, what universal lessons do you carry with you to this day?
Wear sweats, and flip flops on the plane for an easier security experience. Drink lots of water on the plane, and don’t eat too much plane food haha. I guess to put it simple, be kind, and loving in each situation that is presented to me NO MATTER WHAT, and everything works out perfectly no matter where I go.
What makes you happy?
The things that make me consistently happy without fail are helping others, being kind, and loving to others, and my connection to my “God of my own understanding”. Everything else is good when my foundation is in order.
If you could have your listeners leave your Dj set with one thought, or feeling, what would it be?
I feel so good right now…
Where can online listeners find your music?
I happen to believe that this story isn’t over yet. If you as a reader agrees, feel free to empower Michaelis by DONATING in order read his first book of adventures. Any amount is helpful, and we all know the power of one dollar can go a long way… MML