An afternoon slips into night in Los Angeles. A hotel room is marked by caftans drenched in color and a stiff old fashioned. A call to a lover prompts a late night rendezvous. Stay With Me Tonight is shot by Renee Carey and features New York City hustler Amrit wearing Novella Royale at The Line Hotel as she slips in-between scenes from a staycation done well. A DJ known for orchestrating the perfect mood, Amrit splits her time between spinning for the likes of DJ Khaled, French Montana, Abra, and Miguel, and heading editorial and casting at Starworks.
We get to see a different side of Amrit in this editorial – still feminine, still glamorous, but a bit more at ease. In love with her multifaceted nature, we chatted with Amrit on what inspires her drive and keeps her hustling. Get to know her below.
LF: Amrit, tell us how your love for music came to be.
AS: I was always surrounded by an eclectic mix of music growing up, played a bunch of instruments and sang, then ended up going to music school where I got to spend four years taking jazz classes, studying film music, etc. It was kind of an amazing time where I lived in a musician share house right by campus and was so immersed in making and studying music 24/7 where after that, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else!
LF: In what ways do you see your career as a DJ compliment your career on the casting + editorial team at Starworks?
AS: They all go hand in hand! The consistent thread between what I do is that I’m constantly on the hunt for new talent, and that can translate into casting an unknown face I’ve seen on the street, to playing an unknown indie band on the radio or at a show.
LF: You’re originally from Australia. How did you find your way to NYC? How have you acclimated to the difference in cultures?
AS: I am! I had been coming back and forth for a couple years traveling before I moved, and the energy of the city felt right for me. I don’t feel like I will ever truly acclimate and I miss my family all the time, but NYC is definitely home for now.
LF: You embrace your sexuality and femininity in everything you do. What feeds your self-confidence? How do you know yourself?
AS: I surround myself with genuine and positive people. Life is hard. It’s a scientific fact that we vibrate to the frequencies we surround ourselves in. My confidence comes from constantly having people in my corner who believe in me. Especially in a city like NYC, you need a strong support system to help you see the bigger picture when things get tough.
Also in general – believing in yourself. It sounds cliche and corny but it’s true. When I left home, I left on my own with no job, no visa, no friends, no family in NYC and no idea really what I was going to do. It took some time, but I had that constant conversation with myself, “You can do this, trust in the process, it’ll figure itself out.”
LF: Being in front of the camera, being in front of a crowd while you’re spinning, being behind the scenes for your day job. Do you have a favorite role? If so, what?
AS: I love them all! I’m slowly getting used to being in front of the camera… I’m a little bit of a control freak. I’m used to directing or DJing where I have all the creative control, so I just naturally go into that mode. I’ll be posing for the camera and and trying to give direction at the same time, like “see this frame, see this light… maybe try it this way.” I can’t help it!
LF: Which historical figure do you most identify with?
AS: Betty Davis! Not only was she unapologetically herself (listen to her music), but she had such a huge influence on what was going on in music in the 70s. She introduced Jimi Hendrix to Miles Davis and she even convinced him to change “witches brew” to “bitches brew.” Plus she had effortless style. She’s an icon to me.
LF: Describe a surreal moment you’ve recently encountered.
AS: I got to go to Morocco recently on a press trip. It happened so quickly. I remember getting on the flight 48 hours later looking at my itinerary which was planned out by the tourism board thinking, “Is this real?” Within the first couple of days I had eaten numerous 10 course meals, wandered around the city by myself, ridden a camel and interviewed French Montana on the set of his music video.
LF: What do you consider your greatest achievement? What advice do you have for others who may be looking to create a similar career for themselves?
AS: Getting to do what I love for a living! When I started at the agency I’m at now, I was the executive assistant to the CEO. Slowly over time, I carved out my own role there.. Same thing with the DJ-ing – when I moved to the city I didn’t really know anybody and I had to start from scratch and prove myself.
It takes time and the right situation will never just be there for you. If you want your “dream job,” 99.99% of the time you have to create it for yourself.
LF: How fast do you live?
AS: I’m aiming for 50/50. Living in NYC can get a little crazy, so I’m working on enjoying disconnecting and enjoying the slow too. I just started doing phone free Sundays aka one day of social suicide – so far so good!