We’re big fans of Aussie shapeshifting free surfer, Jaleesa Vincent, whose surfing kicks and screams with a unique and funky creativity. The multi-talented 24 year old has got her fingers in numerous creative pies. When she’s not performing in her band Cupid & The Stupids, making art, or working on her vegetable garden listening to Johnny Cash, she’s releasing fresh and wild edits, like her latest movie ‘Macaroni In the Pot’. Shot at, you guessed it, Macaronis, the movie delivers a veritable orgy of classic Mentawais left action infused with Jaleesa’s own illustrations and music from her band, it’s the perfect love letter to the iconic Indonesian wave.
We caught up with Jaleesa to get the lowdown on her latest flick, her new brand, Pussy Surfboards, and all that inspires her.
S: Hey Jaleesa! What was the whole idea behind the movie, Macaroni In The Pot?
J: I didn’t have much of an idea when I started. I just wanted to get some waves after having not travelled for so long! I really wanted to go to Macaronis, that was just the first place I wanted to go to. It was just so fun. The first week it was raining and onshore, cyclone kind of conditions the whole week. I just spent all my money on 1 foot, howling, windy slop. And then, luckily, there was one more spot left for the 2nd week…then, it was fun!!
I got home after filming and then was like, hmmm, okay, how am I gonna make this into a movie? I had that poem (from the start of the film) in my book that I wrote last year in spring. I always wanted to turn that into an animation with the cricket choirs. So I was like, hmm, how could I link it all together? I could just have a little Australian section at the start, and then go into Macaronis. I was gonna call it ‘200 Lefts’ because of the song I wrote that’s in it. But, there’s no way I wanna put 200 lefts in the actual movie. I don’t know if people would be counting or something, haha!. So, it was Macaroni In The Pot!
S: You had your partner on board to film as well, right?
J: My partner, Luka, came and filmed, which was so legendary of him, because he’s a goofy footer as well. He had so much FOMO, he did so amazing. I couldn’t have made it without him. He’d film me surfing all night and then we’d go film wildlife.
S: You mentioned the song, ‘200 Laybacks’, did you write that song whilst you were on the trip?
J: I wrote that song while I was sitting out there at Macaronis. I was like, I gotta go in and quickly write it down. And, it was just stuck in my head the whole time, which kind of helped me catch waves. I was just having fun, singing that song and doing lay backs! The other song at the start is also one that I wrote that we recorded with my band, Cupid And The Stupids.
S: What happened at the end of the air you launch into that finishes with one of your illustrations?
J: I really wanted to land an air out there. I surfed for like, four hours, just trying straight airs, and that was definitely the one that felt the best. I thought I was gonna have it, but I just got clipped on the top. So, I just thought, animate me landing it, it’s a bit of a ‘fuck you’ to everyone who takes surfing so seriously. Because I know they’ll be so angry by watching that. And, also to myself, because I was bummed and I didn’t land it, and I didn’t land any of the ones that it was trying. I was like, there’s no need to be bummed, it’s just surfing.
S: So tell me about Pussy Surfboards, the board I think you’re surfing in the movie?
J: That board is a brand that I’m gonna start soon…hopefully we’ll get them out in the next couple of months. It was just something I wanted to do that I had creative control of, and really get to show my personality and do it for like the ladies! Its power to the pussy!
S: Power to the pussy! So are you shaping them or have you got a shaper doing it with you?
J: I’ve got a shaper called Alice Fairysun, and I’ve been trying to learn a bit too. I shaped one of the designs, it’s like a really fat, fat board, which is really fun. I’ve got a lot to learn! I’ve been getting free boards for a long time and didn’t really appreciate it as much as I should have, after shaping a board. You just realise how much goes into it. The main idea of making the company was that it’s hard to know where to buy a surfboard from. It’s hard to know what brand to get or what boards you want. So I kind of wanted to be the girl that another girl can come to. If you’ve been riding a foamie for a while and you want to change to a resin board, then we’ll make sure you get on the right one.
S: So where’d you grow up Jaleesa? Where’s home? Where are you from?
J: I grew up on the Sunshine Coast, in Queensland. Now I’m living just out west of Byron Bay, out in the hills. I’ve been surfing most of my life, and I was dancing when I was younger. Now I’m tap dancing in my band, bringing it back, which is really fun.
S: Are you on the road a lot?
J: Now that you can travel again, it’s been a super busy year. I’ve pretty much traveled every month, which has been fun. But, then when I’m home, I love just being home, working on the veggie garden, painting and riding my bike and just having a really chill, wholesome life. It’s one extreme to the next, but I’m always excited to get home. I feel like after Covid I got so attached to my daily routine at home and painting. I still bring a book to draw on the road, but it’s not the same as having a house full of all these fun things to do. My life’s pretty contrasting!
S: When you’re at home, who are your three favourite artists to listen to?
J: I have a girl crush at the moment on Bjork, who I just found. I love her. Because I live out in the hills in the country, and I have a record player, it just fits the atmosphere if I’m listening to people like Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan. Stuff like that kind of suits the house, you know, like out in the garden and bringing in your veggies!
S: In terms of surfing, who, or what inspires you?
J: I’ve always been inspired by my older brother, Jake. I just followed him, I was like his little shadow pretty much. He just surfed so cool, like no one else. Where we grew up, everyone would just turn and watch him just like, whoa, who is that? He was doing all these crazy tricks and stuff before anyone was. Back in comps, if you could do an air in a comp you’d get something like a 1.5, cause they just didn’t even know what it was. They just wanted to see like a cut back. He just surfs so differently, like he’s on a skateboard. I’m so inspired by him, it’s just so playful and he likes surfing small waves and doesn’t give a fuck that he is not charging massive waves and surfing like everyone else. He’s just in his own little zone.
S: So you’re in Indo right now and what’s coming up after that? What’s on the horizon?
J: The future is when I get home, launch Pussy Surfboards and get the boards out! And I’m working on an art show for the end of November. And then yeah, just work on another edit and some music. My band is going to release the album soon, which will be fun!
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