Ink Tone Swep Images Brendan Minto & Daniel In
The last time we hung out you were in jet-set mode: building your brand here in LA but living in Amsterdam, your hometown. Now you’re living and working here in Hollywood. How has the move to the states been? So I wasn’t working in LA since I was not allowed to without a working visa, but I was visiting a lot because I wanted to move here. The move has been a dream coming true, but the process was long and expensive. But all worth it, of course. I was working four jobs and sleeping three to four hours a night to make this happen.
What are some similarities between LA and Amsterdam? What are the major differences? LA is so different from Amsterdam! One similarity is the bad traffic (Laughs!). The major differences are the weather, the food and the parties. LA really knows how to party!… I noticed that the food is way more processed here in LA, too, though.
With modeling, music, hosting, and your YouTube channel occupying so much of your time, how do you secure a work-life balance? Thankfully, I have days off where I have some time for myself, but I honestly love working and creating so after two days I want to get back to work. The weekends are mostly my days off, and luckily I enjoy modeling, making music, and creating content for YouTube so it doesn’t really feel like work to me.
You’ve traveled extensively. That passport has a lot of stamps on it, Shi. What are some of your absolute favorite cities to party and play? I absolutely love traveling, one of my hidden dreams is to start a travel blog. So my absolute favorite city to party and play is Las Vegas, because I had some amazing party nights there with friends that are unforgettable. But I haven’t seen enough places yet. Like Miami, Tokyo, and Thailand, those three places are on my list as next destinations.
You embody a very unique ethnic blend of Surinamese, Creole, African, Hindu, Dutch, Chinese, and French. How does the diversity inherent in your heritage inform your work? Does it open more doors for you as a model and recording artist? So one of the reasons I moved to LA, is because I got a lot more modeling offers. I feel like being mixed opens more doors in LA then in Amsterdam. And as a recording artist I don’t think it matters a lot.
Who is sexier – blonde or brunette Shizen? Curly or straight-hair Shizen? Bikini or glam gown Shizen? Hot girl in Jordan’s and jeans or dimepiece diva in Vera Wang and Louboutin Shizen? I feel like the blonde me was very 2014, so I would have to say brunette now. Curly me for sure, I love my natural hair! Bikini me and girl in Jordan’s and Jeans, definitely.
What are your career goals, power moves you plan on making in the immediate future? My career goals for this year are to work for a big hair brand and do a huge campaign, and definitely create consistent content for YouTube.
The “Me Too” movement has gained global attention the last couple years. Have you dealt with this type of discrimination in the industry? What’s a good way for ladies to shut that shit down if approached with the bullshit? Yes, as a matter of fact I have. I was actually going to work with this one manager that got accused this year. And I am so happy I never agreed to work with him. The funny thing is that he was very open and up front about it. He just wanted me to be his ‘girlfriend’ while he had a wife. And if I would agree I would get everything I wanted. You can imagine how uncomfortable that made me feel, not to forget this person was the age of my grandfather. Disgusting! I told him that I was not interested in having any personal contact or relationship, and that if he truly believed in my talent he shouldn’t offer me any unprofessional deals. So that was that.
Here’s a scenario: You’re at a Hollywood Hills mansion for a dope ass day party and Michael B. Jordan approaches you, asks you out to dinner. Moments later, Chris Brown approaches you with the same offer. You step outside to ponder your decision and Odell Beckham Jr. steps to you with the same offer. Now you have three dinner dates – Who do you go with? Where does he take you? Oh shit, what do you tell the other two guys? (Laughs!) I love this scenario! I wouldn’t even have to think twice, I would def go on a date with Michael because I think he is a gentleman. Plus I have been crushing on him for years. He would take me to a romantic Japanese place, and after that we would go laser tag. I would tell the other two guys I can’t go with them because I just met my future husband (Laughs!).