English DJ, musician, artist and actor Goldie – aka Clifford Price – moved to Phuket about six months ago and hasn't looked back. Here he talks art, music, yoga and the high notes of this beautiful island in the Andaman Sea, which is home to some of Thailand's most popular beaches.
Me and my wife, Mika, were married in Cherngtalay temple on Phuket island eight years ago. We used to come back every year and eventually thought, why don’t we live here? So now we do! We built a wonderful house, wrapped around a beautiful tree, with art and recording studios, and moved here six months ago. It’s near Kamala beach – a phenomenal place.
Art’s now my big thing and I find a lot of inspiration here. Just the backdrop of life … I wake to the sound of the jungle and look out at the sea; there’s space to think.
The culture’s amazing. I’ve been reading about the history of Phuket, the tin industry here, the way people used to live inland because they didn’t want to get raided by pirates. Portuguese culture is very strong: you see it in the architecture and the food. People forget that chillies were brought here by Portuguese traders.
My next series of paintings celebrates Thailand’s lady boy culture. It’s fascinating and beautiful. These characters just say, here I am and I am what I am, and it’s not even questioned. They’re totally part of the culture – they belong. It’s not like that in the West. The models are friends of mine and I’m styling them like lady boy meets warrior meets B52 bomber!
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I could never eat my greens before … but I do now! The food here is fantastic. Natural Restaurant in Phuket old town is amazing and its fried white snapper is great.
Taste on Surin beach is a beautiful place, but the best Italian on the planet is La Gaetana in Phuket town. It’s run by an Italian man who’s been here for about 20 years with his wife and family – who’d have thought!
I DJ a bit at beach parties, but don’t go to many music events here. A few of us went to see my friend Norman (Fatboy Slim) play at a nightclub called Seduction in Patong recently.
But I like jazz clubs. One of the best is the Siam Supper Club on Lagoon Road. It’s run by an English fellow. It’s got a smoky, old-style gentlemen’s club feel, good for a cocktail with a beautiful backdrop.
The best nightclub in Thailand is Glow in Bangkok. Anyone passing through, from Skrillex to Fabio to myself, will play there. It’s quite small and dark, with low ceilings, a great sound system and great people. It’s a cool place to be.
Thailand is a really beautiful place, culturally and spiritually. You appreciate it the longer you stay. Of course there’s the seedy side: you see it in Patong, the main holiday resort in Phuket, but we don’t venture in.
One of the best-kept secrets in Phuket is Banana beach. Jump in a boat, or drive – it’s about five kilometres from Trisara, a high-end hotel. There’s nothing on it except one shack selling fish – but it’s damn good fried fish and seafood!
Yoga changed my life and I’m big into it. Bikram [Choudhury, the yoga guru] is a personal friend. I go to two studios in Phuket: Kata studio for hot yoga and Yoga Republic for vinyasa flow.
I’ve just launched a clothing brand, Yogangster, and hope to get yoga to young people who can’t afford it.
My perfect day is to get up at 5.30am, jump on my scooter and go to the beach. I swim, do a few yoga stretches, say hello to the locals. I’ll stop off at Oh La La to pick up a ficelle (a kind of thin, flat baguette) and eat it at home, listening to a bit of Stan Getz.
Then I’ll go to Bikram’s and, following that, to old Phuket to look around the shops before I collect my three-year-old daughter Coco from school. She’s picking up a bit of Thai now, which is amazing. Then I’ll go home. Paint. And be in bed by 9pm. Perfect.
• Goldie will be appearing at Brownstock festival in Essex, July 10-12.
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This article was written by Interview by Jane Dunford from The Guardian and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.