Words: Pamela Tick, Interview: Kristom Parson
Pamela Tick, New York-based DJ, model, and eternally positive thinker, spoke to us about her personal style, making dreams come true, and her immense love for human connection.
After enduring the histrionics of east coast weather for over a decade, it is still astonishing to witness the first thunderstorm of the year. On a Mid-April afternoon, this one was complete with gale-force winds and marble-sized hail, which bounced from cherry blossoms onto car hoods while garnishing the plates of sidewalk lunch-goers. Thankfully, it was followed promptly by radiant sunshine and blue skies – all in an (eight hour) day's work. As city-dwellers, we tend to have amnesia when it comes to our scale in nature until a humbling series of events like this come around again. We tend to find comfort ensconced in conducting the orchestra of our own thoughts, busy directing the theatrics of unknowns to remember or notice when the biggest comedian in the solar system, the sun, pops back in for a quick finale after a chaotic storm.
It is safe to say most people on earth have heard of New York City, and chances are they have some understanding of its grandeur and madness, both found in its iconic landscape and characters personified in the media alike. Indeed, there are a few "theories" about what New Yorkers are like. While some of them may prove true from personal experience or a cousin's sister who visited that one time, the only sure bet about the people of New York City is that just like the weather, they, too, will always surprise you.
I first met Pamela Tick in 2015. At the time, she was well on her way down a multi-hyphenate creative path, having already assumed the roles of stylist, model, and brand muse for emerging cool-girl brands from far and wide. Her personal style embraces a beachy boho-meets-gamine energy sitting somewhere along the intersection of Birkin, Bardot, Fawcett, and 90s Moss. Thinking back, it took mere seconds to discover that while she is objectively gorgeous, what really stuck with me was her character. This anomaly of a New Yorker with long, blonde locks and a golden tan just breezed in with bubbling energy and a genuine warmth that was undeniably contagious. If you presume encountering this type of personality here is somewhat atypical, slightly off-brand, or even potentially extinct by some standards, you are not wrong. But for someone who naturally lives by the 'work hard and be nice to people' mindset, she proves it possible to unsubscribe to this stereotype, revealing that "…the culture, the energy, it's different every day. You can be whoever you want in New York. No one cares. As long as you are confident, it's your world!"
Being the renaissance woman Pamela is with her good-hearted nature and knack for bringing sunshine to any room is what sets her apart and makes her so sought after – particularly a bonus for DJing. As she recalls, "When I moved to NY and wanted to pursue all the lanes that I love; fashion, music, and lifestyle entertainment – DJing encompassed them all." Naming Carl Cox, DJ AM, and Funkmaster Flex as influential pioneers of the New York DJ scene, she also recalls a genre that inspired her from formative years, "My dad would always play best of the '50s as well as lots of Motown. I am always inspired to find remixes that tie in my childhood tunes with current vibes."
Perhaps it's too obvious, or not complicated enough for our overloaded, modern minds, but Pamela's self-prescribed mantra, leading with kindness, is a valuable reminder often taken for granted. But when paired with patience and grace, kindness allows us to show up for ourselves first so we can do the same for others. In her wise words, "We are all human – we can't ALWAYS 100% of the time be happy. But we can be positive. I feel being positive is the decision you can make based on your feelings. To me, positivity encourages hope and puts out good energy. Why wouldn't we choose that? Something that has stuck with me forever is 'you can either make yourself miserable, or you can make yourself happy – the amount of work is the same.' It's true."
What Pamela hopes to be most remembered for is "Making people feel good," and with our short existence on earth, what is more important than that?
DC: You're a New Yorker through and through, but with this incredibly warm personality that is so contagious and also a bit atypical of the city stereotype. It's such genuine, refreshing energy to be around. Is this the general outlook you've had on life for as long as you can remember?
PT: I've always grown up with the notion "do unto others as you would have them do unto you." For as long as I can remember, being nice to everyone has always been so important but also natural to/for me. In my favorite tips of life, "Be Kind" is at the top. And in New York, it's especially refreshing and doesn't go unnoticed.
DC: Are there times when it's challenging to maintain such generous positivity – especially after such a trying year? What do you do to preserve enough for yourself and those close to you?
PT: We are all human – we can't ALWAYS 100% of the time be happy. But we can be positive. I feel being positive is the decision you can make based on your feelings. To me, positivity encourages hope and puts out good energy. Why wouldn't we choose that? Something that has stuck with me forever is "you can either make yourself miserable, or you can make yourself happy – the amount of work is the same." It's true. In order to preserve my positivity, I try to put life into perspective and share quality time with people who bring out the best in me.
DC: Your style mirrors your personality as well – it's adventurous and down to earth. How do you determine what is right for you and what isn't? Are there specific risks you're unwilling to take?
PT: To me, style is a sense of expression and identity. Like anything else, if I'm passionate about something or if it feels right, it probably is. I have a strong sense of confidence and independence, and I think it shows in what I wear and how I wear it. I usually determine if something is right for me based on if it falls into the "timeless" category.
DC: How did you get into DJing initially? How long did it take you to develop your own style? Are there things you're still learning?
PT: When I moved to NY and wanted to pursue all the lanes that I love; fashion, music, and lifestyle entertainment – DJing encompassed them all. When I first learned how to DJ, I picked it up quickly and was so excited…It was like my own instrument. I am always learning and endlessly creating myself.
DC: When you think of the legendary DJ talent coming out of New York over the years, what are some of the names that come to mind who have impacted you most?
PT: Carl Cox, DJ AM, Funkmaster Flex
DC: Before streaming services made music infinitely accessible for the world to discover, most people grew up with more regionally limited influences that shaped their early tastes. What were some of your favorites in terms of genres, artists, or particular records you still think about today?
PT: My dad would always play best of the '50s as well as lots of Motown. I am always inspired to find remixes that tie in my childhood tunes with current vibes.
DC: Does living in New York impact you creatively?
PT: Living in New York gets my creative juices flowing just by simply walking the streets. The culture, the energy, it's different every day. You can be whoever you want in New York. No one cares. As long as you are confident, it's your world!
DC: Are there people close to you – in your family, friends, mentors – you look up to for guidance that helped sharpen your creative intuition?
PT: I look to friends and family often to help sharpen or support my creative intuitions. My husband is my better half here, though. He says he's the brains behind the beauty, but I say he's the brains and the beauty.
DC: If you were to give one solid piece of advice to anyone wanting to learn how to DJ, what would it be?
PT: Have fun with it. Don't take yourself too seriously. There is no better feeling than letting go when you are DJing and being part of the dance fest and high-energy atmosphere that you've created.
DC: What keeps you motivated in your daily life? Do you have set regimens, healthy habits, self-care routines you can't do without?
PT: I love my "me time." Whether it's a morning drive with a new playlist, stretching and pilates, hair masking, hot baths, making my own nut milk, cooking, or making my nightly lemon honey water – these little things bring me so much joy and comfort in my own home and skin.
DC: Can you share something about yourself people may not know?
PT: Love THC
DC: All things aside, what has been your favorite moment of this year?
PT: By the time this article is published, I'll be skiing in Colorado, which will be a nice change of scenery.
DC: What do you hope to be remembered for most?
PT: Making people feel good
Favorite coffee shop:
Birch UES, Abraćo, and Bluestone Lane
Best conversation with a stranger:
What you’re listening to:
Moby, Petit Biscuit, Damian Marley
In your free time you:
I try and keep a pulse on the things I love – music, art, decor, and sitting on the couch with my bulldog
A secret to living in New York:
If you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere
Best weekend getaway:
The mountains are calling…
where my dog is