Profile and Leo's Take
Age：32 Years in London: 1 1/2
Luis was introduced to me from Carolina. Luis is basically the epitome of cool—anything cool that you’ve thought of, he’s probably done it. Surfed in remote locations around the world? Check. Lived and worked in various cities around the globe, from Hong Kong to Paris to Rio de Janeiro? Check. Speaks multiple languages fluently? Check. Seen lovers wed in India and found your own love in Kenya? Check, check. The list could go on and on (there are a few more incredible ones that will come out in the answers!) For the shoot Luis took me around all the cool spots around Eastern London and Angel. I mean, "Angel" even sounds cool haha. For the questions, the majority have really good answers, but if I were to choose recommendations, they would be the flag (Q.4), the “thing” (Q.7), partner (Q.8), and his moments (Q.11). So I’ll see you again Luis, and I hope I can accomplish half as much as you have in the realm of enjoying the world! (And I’ll show you a better time in Tokyo, haha)
Place for shooting and reason
Place: Yeah. Actually I live nearby. This is a good place because it has the water which is important for me in London. It’s a canal and we´re between Angel and Shoreditch. A place where people hang out talking with their friends, whether drinking or just biking and doing some sports.
If you were handed US$2500 and received a one month vacation where you could live in one city, anywhere in the world, where would you choose? What would you do?
I think, as you said, I’ve lived in quite some different places and I usually wonder around between the city and the beach. So tropical destinations or urban destinations. In the case, I would probably go to a beach destination… just staying surfing in one place, relaxing, and that will probably be an island which is quite remote. I was thinking about Papua New Guinea.
>>>That’s really remote (Laughs)
Yeah. That’s quite remote. It’s something that I’m actually thinking about. I’ve been to Indonesia before, and there’s some remote places in Indonesia where you can totally relax. Being in a remote village, observe an interesting simple lifestyle, landscapes and stuff, so just surfing and being there, chilled out. Also with 2 thousand U.S, if you’re staying in a very expensive city maybe it would be more of a limited kind of experience somehow.
What country do you feel “close” to, other than your own?
It’s funny I’ve thought about this before. I tend to think France is actually really similar to Portugal. We have kind of the same love for wine, cheese, and the food… We have similar manners and values when it comes to education, and like typical traditional small but important cultural things. But saying something that is not in Europe, I would say that China feels sometimes close for me, because I’ve lived in Hong Kong before and called it home. Not necessarily I feel culturally close to, but because I admire a lot the Chinese culture and traditions. Also fighting for a better life after what they´ve went through, et cetera. And their adaptability, even though when they are in another country they can be very much within their own circles, they are everywhere, and they adapt to the local language and stuff really well, so I admire them in several aspects and that struggle feels sort of close to me.
>>>Interesting. So you feel closer to France than Spain, even though Spain’s right next to you?
(Laughs) I think here applies one little thing which is the neighbor effect, kind of the close relationship thing. I’m not sure if Spanish people love so much the Portuguese either (Laughs) but no, we get along pretty well, but, usually Spanish, they are much more—well, usually means in general, categorizing a whole country is really difficult and not correct— but they are more lively people, they are usually more euphoric than Portuguese, which are a bit more restricted, more melancholic, more calm, and more intellectual somehow. And French just seem more close in some of those aspects. So I think that’s why I feel that probably French could have more in common.
What one "thing" and "place" best represents your city?
London… I think the Britishness of it is one strong point. There’s a lot to say about the politeness here. People are very polite. The language used, the way people address each other, the tone of voice…we were talking before about the “Sorry”s and the “Excuse me”s, and this is something I hear everyday and strongly reminds me of London.
Yeah. Place is so hard to say. Apart from that Britishness in the way people communicate, London at the same time is not British…is like such an amalgamation of cultures. Such a melting pot of people from everywhere. So…its very hard to define a place that represents London apart from the classical historical monuments or museums which are obvious. Like in any big global city, you have an area, an Indian area, a French area, a Japanese area, a hip area, a posh area, a rough area, lot of different things together .. so its kind of hard to name one place where the choice is so diverse.
If you were to redsign your country's flag, how would you do it?
Oh, lovely question! (Laughs) Being such iconic flags in question it’s very hard to touch any of them, especially given that the UK or the Union Jack flag have such a history and symbolism that span different regions like Scotland, Ireland, the Commonwealth and all with sensitive questions, so I’’ll probably would not do anything to it.
>>>That‘s true. Its difficult huh because its not just the flag of England…
>>>Would you do anything to the white and red English flag?
I don’t know. I cannot see now. If it was from Portugal, I’d probably do something about it. (Laughs)
>>>Interesting! Okay second tangent (laughs), if it was Portugal, what would you do?
I would probably do… well we have a traditional shield with ancient symbolism in the middle surrounded by a sphere. I would probably make the flag a bit simpler by keeping the shield only. And the shield would probably be something to highlight in a brand oriented manner. I think the sphere and colours now deviate attention from the beauty of the shield. As if you look at it you should straight way recognize it as a Portuguese flag by the shield which is powerful. Something like the Germans actually have with their flag variant.. one is plain simple, but the other has this sort of black eagle or coat of arms in the middle which I think creates quite a strong branding for the country. A lot of countries don’t have this. They just have the plain flag. Symbols are important…as humans we are very symbolic. So if I were redesigning a flag, I would probably revolve around a symbol.
>>>Yeah, especially Europe. Look at France and Italy--just 3 colors.
It’s kind of boring flags, right? But yeah, you also have another variant like the branding of the Japanese flag, plain but amazing. Everybody recognizes it at distance.
>>>Wow yeah so I guess in that way, the Japanese flag is very well designed.
Yeah. I mean but that again depends on why you were to redesign the flag. If you want to do it for… well the way I see would be positive to redesign a flag would be maybe to create sort of more ownership, patriotic, pride, responsibility feeling for people and politicians or also to smartly brand local national products that are made in the country and incentivize people to do more for their country consuming local products, et cetera.
Please tell me the images you have for the following words.
First thing comes to mind is to being inside a tube (Laughs) A barrel, doing a barrel in a powerful wave. Yeah.
The sun (Laughs)…this requires some good relationship between the ocean and the sun. Sun gives you energy, a lot of energy.
Death…. That one is quite tricky… Something that occurs to me quite a lot is trying to let go… Something for trying to let go. I really appreciate people that celebrate death. How they can do it is quite impressive. I was reading recently a Dalai Lama book, and he was saying how we have to be prepared for that kind of experience. Good read but we need the mental practice. So what it reminds me? I’m still not sure. Something that I’m trying to figure out we have to deal with and I cant imagine any image right now to associate with..
How do you feel about the future? Both yourself and mankind.
Yeah, there’s a strange thing about the future which I think a lot will be dictated on how technology is going to impact our lives and living standards. And …
>>>As you speak about technology, a bicycle blasting electronica flies by haha
Exactly. (Laughs) Technology.. At first thought I remember sometimes thinking I just want everything to stay like it is in the present and just let it be it. We have this mix of analog things from the past which I really like. Anyways.. at this point I think the future could look good if we can redirect the technology we´re building to help us rather than to destroy us, its going to be good if it stays in that way. And that will depend on how people will interpret what we do and can do with technology and what we’re going to do with it. Like money and other things in our lives, they can bring the good and the bad, and what we do with them is what is going to make them a good or bad impact. So I like to believe the future…it will be positive and all the developments in some areas will help us a lot, especially in healthcare and other areas. But… I’m really just skeptical about how we gonna’ do it..
What's the most important "thing" for you?
The most important thing? Friends, I think, and family. That’s what makes people happy. You can be in a desert with your good friends having a blast. But at the same time you can be bored and unhappy in a lively city full of people, because you’re not surrounded by your good friends, you’re just not very happy. People is what makes you happy.
What do you look for in a partner?
I was just talking about this. (Laughs) It’s very hard because as I was telling you, I’ve lived in different parts of the world, so I could tend to look for someone that perhaps has had at least a bit of a similar experience…. But in general, I look for someone quite open, down to earth in terms of for instance can navigate through different social classes. Doesn’t talk shit about people. Is up to accept differences. Is up to accept… instead of criticizing straight away, thinks and reasons about something in a smart way, someone who is up to accept and kind of look at the good things that people have. A friend. Not annoying (Laughs) A good person, genuinely good person, positive.
Do you want to get married? Do you want children? What do you want to do with them? How do you want them to grow up?
Marriage: Marriage I see it as a celebration of being with that someone. I’d rather.. my priority is to genuinely be well with someone first and then think about how I celebrate that special relationship, and marriage is just a part of it.
Children: Yeah. Absolutely !
The kind of vision I think we have in Portugal, which still exists today, is with the children at the beach, surfing with them, the dogs around… all playing around. I want my children to be really free to kind of choose whatever they want to do and try to make them understand the world and choose what they want to do accordingly to how they see the world.
>>>I didn’t know that you surfed so much in Portugal.
Yeah. Most of our territory is surrounded by water.
>>>So that means you’re not going to be in London? (Laughs)
Well, I still don’t know. No, no. I really don’t know where I’m going to be.
What would be the ideal thing to see the first moment you wake up? What would be the ideal thing to see the moment before you fall asleep?
When I wake up, I love to smell and feel the nature… it can be the peaceful wind in the trees or the sound of the ocean, to hear it. And of course to be with someone next to me that I really want to be with. Going to sleep after a good conversation with friends or family. Intellectually good stuff. Going to bed with peace of mind and that I went to sleep smarter, richer in every sense than before…
>>>Well now that you want to wake up near nature and have your children surfing, London is truly out of the picture! haha
(Laughs) It might, It might, Yeah. We’ll see.
What was the happiest moment in your life? What was the most terrifying moment in your life?
So once I had success with music when I was younger, I was still in university.. our band grew and we were lucky and once played in the biggest festival in Portugal for 10 or 20,000 people.
Yeah. (Laughs) I didn’t told you that before. But so.. probably like it was a big moment… playing in front of 10 or 20 thousand people, I don’t remember exactly how many it was but was a lot. And was not only one, it was a couple of big festivals we played. It’s an amazing feeling. You’re kind of hypnotized with the music and the people in front of you, and then you get the feedback after when the music is over from the people, its amazing!
>>>What did you play? What part were you?
Guitar… But I have to say also that surfing, being inside a tube, a barrel in Indonesia, a long barrel, it’s just an amazing feeling as well.
>>>You’re too cool for this. (Luis Laughs) You’re too cool for this, being on this canal right here.
What was the worst moment, right? So I had some scary moments when I was traveling. Like, arriving in Manilla at midnight, catching the bus at 4 am in a madly strange alley, I‘ll never forget this, and seeing people with guns and stuff in the alley, not knowing where I was going exactly and they surprised with me at the same time. I thought I was kind of pushing the limits. Or also like surfing huge waves. Suddenly the ocean gets bigger, storm comes through, and you’re in the middle of the ocean. Everything looks like apocalyptic. I don’t know… Hard to say, but good thing at least, I remember the good moments more than the bad moments.
>>>What about being mugged in Johannesburg?
Oh yeah. Being mugged in Johannesburg is one bad one. That’s true. 5 min walking in the center and froze.
What was your childhood dream? What would you say to the childhood you, now? And what is your dream now?
s Funny enough, childhood dreams is like when you want to be the coolest guy in the neighborhood or something?
Probably.. hmm.. we played a lot of football. At some point I wanted to be like a good footballer or something. And at some point I wanted to be a successful musician or at some point I wanted to be just a successful surfer… but I think I didn’t know very much about what I really wanted to do. And I think I didn’t have maybe the focus or direction. I think I had that after I graduated. So now I really know what I am, and what I say to myself in the past is that I should not have wasted so much time sort of doing nothing. You know, like from 17 to 19 just hanging out with my friends not doing much. And not going upwards in life in general. So I could have gone out of the country earlier, I could have traveled much more. I could have made much more efforts to become something more. But I think that’s a part of it. Maybe I’m now what I am because I passed through that phase of contemplation.
>>>What is your dream now?
Yeah… my dream, I’m quite simple. I like a simple, rich life. Rich in the sense of having very good people next to me. Smart as well.. I’m probably now very focused on having success with my music, so I’d like to revisit the success I had before in another level and to play around the world… music.. and that will be a really cool thing to do. So that’s kind of my next objective.
>>>Very nice. Thank you. Thank you. And you are too cool to be here now. You should be playing in front of 20 thousand people!! Haha