Boy Azooga wants to exist in the moment

“I have fond memories of summer nights growing up.”

Boy Azooga wants to exist in the moment

By Rebecca Durband

Boy Azooga’s Davey Newington has music in his Welsh blood. One of his grandad’s was a jazzer who played drums for the Royal Marines. And his dad (violin) and mum (clarinet) both played, and met, in the BBC National Orchestra Of Wales. Davey himself also enjoyed orchestral engagement, playing in various Welsh Orchestra’s and Jazz bands as a teenager. We caught up with Davey to discuss becoming comfortable with who you are, reality TV and existing in the moment.

What are you listening to, reading and watching at the moment?

Lately I’ve been listening to Parsley Sound, Solange, Dam-Funk, Our Girl, Sam Evian and Kung Fu Kenny. I’ve been reading Mark Lewisohns’ Beatles book “TUNE IN” and watching stuff like Love Island when I need a break.

What has been your biggest life challenge so far and what did you do to overcome it?

One of my close family members was diagnosed with Motor Neurone disease and my family cared for them. It was difficult to see him deteriorate so quickly. I’ve been away with the band a lot and I wish I had been around and helped more. My family were amazing though and seeing them pull together and everything they did to overcome the situation was beautiful.

What have you learned about yourself over the past five or so years?

I feel a lot more comfortable with who I am now. I was quite insecure in my teens and early twenties and made some pretty regrettable decisions. It’s a cliche but I’ve definitely learnt a lot from them and hopefully am a better person now.

What would constitute a ‘perfect’ day for you?

I went to Primavera festival in Barcelona with my girlfriend and mates a few years ago. Every day was amazing. Being in the sun listening to music you love with your best friends and drinking Sangria is about as perfect as it gets for me!

For what in your life do you feel most grateful?

My girlfriend, friends, family and Calvin & Hobbes.

Complete this sentence: “Ace mental health for me means..”

Being happy and at peace in the present moment.

What do you eat to stay healthy?

I went vegetarian a few years ago for two years and my diet improved so much because I was thinking a lot more about what I was eating. Lately I’ve slipped up and my diet has been a bit shit. I’ll go back to being veggie soon I’m sure. I still try to eat lots of fruit and veg and I have my three Weetabix every morning. I’m useless without breakfast.

Do you have a daily routine of exercise or do you make it up as you go along?

My girlfriend showed me this thing online last year called the ‘30 day shred’ and I’ve been doing it on and off when I’m home. It’s like a half hour intensive work out you can do in your living room. Its very American and cheesy, if my neighbours could see me through the window while I did it I’m sure I’d look ridiculous, but it’s really hard work and you feel amazing after!

Here at The Mind Map we remember playing football and ‘tag’ – running around the playground everyday and loving it – can you share a similar memory?

Yeah, we used to play ‘mob’ when we were kids. I have fond memories of summer nights growing up, hiding behind people’s cars and then running as fast as you can back to the base! I also skateboarded a lot as a teenager with my friends and loved that too.

What three songs lift your spirits?

Van McCoy – The Hustle.

Henry Mancini – Baby Elephant Walk.

Beach Boys – Sloop John B.

What is your favourite self-help book, or motivational quote?

There is a Patti Smith talk at the Louisiana Literature festival that I always come back to. She talks about how messed up but also beautiful life is and basically to just hang on in there. She is very real and I love listening to her talk. I recommend everyone watches it!

What advice do you offer to friends when they are feeling overwhelmed?

I’m not sure I have any worthy advice to be honest but I just try to listen as best as possible to what they’re going through. I try to let my friends know that they can ring me whenever they want, day or night. It’s so simple and a big cliche but just talking things through to arrange your thoughts goes such a long way, I think. Thank you for having me, hope these were ok!

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