Episode 5: Podcast with Sal Masekela, a Storyteller, TV host, Red Bull Presenter and former Commentator for X Games, FIFA and Vice

In this episode Oli Russell-Cowan chats to US television host, observer, musician, actor, diarist, producer, entrepreneur and action sports enthusiast Sal Masekela. Sal is best known for his work presenting the Summer and Winter X Games for 13 years adenine well as being the master of ceremonies for the Red Bull Signature Series. He ’ s reported on the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, and hosted E ! ’ s Daily 10 and was the executive producer on the hit documentary series VICE World of Sports. In their conversation Sal dives bass on storytelling and how he started out before commentating was very a thing. He has therefore many capital stories to tell from witnessing Tony Hawk ’ s 900 on top of the vert, Travis Pastrana ’ s Double Backflip to Jake Brown ’ s Skateboard Big Air Crash. The main takeaway of the chew the fat was the art of storytelling is built on relationships and cognition of the sport the athletes perform. This podcast demonstrates that you can have a conversation 7,000 miles away and have this commonality : the passion. The passion for liveliness .

“It’s everyone’s personal responsibility to figure out how to grow, how to actually grow and be better.”

Listen to the podcast:

Dive in and listen to this episode on Apple Podcast and Spotify .

Read the transcript:

Rad Season: Hi guys, it’s Oli from Rad Season and we’re here with US TV host, producer, musician, actor, and massive action sports fan and voice Sal Masekela. 

Sal, thanks for coming on the show man. 

Sal: No worries, Oli. Hello everybody who decided to join us. Thanks for reaching out homo .

Oli: Whereabouts are you at the moment?

Sal: I am in Venice Beach, California and I ’ m on day 78 of lockdown which has been lento evolving here in the last few weeks. The beaches have been back open for surfing here in Los Angeles for the last two weeks. That ’ randomness been a giving and decidedly an taste. After being out of the ocean for two months precisely for me it was a huge show. I rebuilt my relationship with surfing during lockdown and vitamin a soon as lockdown was over I was like, okay, we ’ re back in the water clayey, whether the waves are adept or not .

Oli: That’s cool. Is surfing limited to a certain area like your local breaks? 

Sal: It kind of varies from township to town, in and around Southern California. For exemplify, hera in Los Angeles all of the express parking lots are still closed. so you have to navigate and find sealed areas that you can park in if you know the neighborhoods to surf. The goal was to be able to stop massive throngs from coming to the beach and it being congregated. So it ’ randomness however the rule in most areas that you can use the beach for exercise, but not for hanging out and lounging and sprawling. It kind of varies from town to town. hera, the electric motorcycle salesmen are killing it, because everyone ’ s like, oh, the motorcycle with racks now, so I can go surfboard. It ’ s in truth been a trip. I ’ m 40 minutes north of Huntington Beach. The whole clock time that we couldn ’ t surfboard here in LA, browse was hush open in Huntington Beach. so, it was a trip because you ’ re like, oh, valet, I think I want to merely get my car and go down there. But, you know, you ’ ra kind of conflicted as to I wouldn ’ t be stoked if everyone and their beget were coming to my township. So I just chose, you know what I ’ megabyte going to act in solidarity and just delay and be affected role. early people, you know, made different choices, but that was fair kind of what resonated best for me .

Oli: How did this all begin? How did you get into surfing because you grew up in New York, right? 

Sal: My family moved to Southern California when I was 16 from the east coast. So it was sort of an uproot from a specific type of culture that was multicultural and rooted in music and the arts. My dad ’ s a jazz musician. That ’ s him over my shoulder. I lived a different life. I played basketball. I was into gymnastics. I was constantly athletic. I was skateboarding a little piece. I started skateboarding at 14 but didn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate know anything about surfing. My mother and stepfather moved to Carlsbad, California when I was 16. The town that I moved to for my high school was an epicenter for surfing. It was brainsick to go to a home where being on the basketball team or being on the football team were secondary to whether or not you practiced these other sports. Like if you skated and if you surfed in my school that made you cool. You were not cool if you played team sports for the most separate. I was truly drawn to the personal formulation of it, you know, the fact that you could express yourself through bowel movement. I grew up in hep hop and breakdancing and to me, surfing looks like breakdancing on water. So I was drawn to it. I ’ ve happened to move to a set where everybody ripped and they ’ ve been surfing since they were little kids and a couple of kids took me under their wing. The first week that I moved to San Diego, I was about 17 when I started surfing. So the odds were decidedly stacked against me. But the first time that I caught a wave on my stomach, I ’ ll never forget that feel of being lifted up by this wave and getting in the direction of water. It was like clock sounded like something pulled out from the heavens and filled my soul. When I came up from the water system after I felt like my life just went like this. This is where we go now. And it was all about building relationships with the ocean and I surfed in the water every day for the better share of 300 days, that first gear year for sure. Over 150 days in a course, at a certain point trying to play catch up, I would go to the school library and read all the rear issues of surfer magazine, going back to like, the 70s and 60s, merely so that I could learn and absorb everything about the culture. It was fascinating to me, I was like, there ’ s not only this thing, like the drill of doing it, but it comes with all this history and culture and community you know like it ’ randomness hawaiian roots, etc .

“I was addicted man. It really changed the direction of my life.” 

Transworld Skateboarding and Snowboarding Magazine

Sal: When I graduated from high school. I didn ’ t have any desire to go to college. My parents were like, what do you mean, I was like, I just want to get better at this thing. So I took odd jobs and I surfed my brains out. I started snowboarding six months after I started surfing and you know skateboarding, surfing and snowboarding equitable kind of took over my life. At about 21 I got a job at Transworld Skateboarding and Snowboarding magazine as a receptionist intern. That ’ s sort of what began me on this way. I last found a group of people. I found a place where I wasn ’ t gon na get fired. I did thus many other jobs for wanting to continue to play, like to play and grow in this thing. That ’ s truly where my life shifted .

Oli: Where did it go from interning at Transworld to being involved with actual sports events and then and then commentating what happened there? 

Sal: Well, I got into the industry at a beautiful time in the early 90s. The only people who cared about skating, surfing and snowboarding were the people who did it for the most depart. If you didn ’ thyroxine do it, if you dressed like it and you didn ’ thymine do it, you got called out, like you weren ’ thymine cool. It was a very small industry of like-minded people. People figured out pretty early on that. This kid ’ mho truly passionate about it. I think people saw that I was an extrovert and I was very social. I ’ five hundred grown up acting in dramaturgy and make and play music. I was creative and expressive and people caught that vibration. I went from being a receptionist to them putting me on the phones to call skate shops to sell products. I get on the earphone with people, equitable talk jack and build all these friendships. I had this big book of all the skate, surf shops and snowboard shops in America. It was my caper to sell these Transworld skateboarding and snowboarding videos to the shops angstrom well as Transworld loot and merch like the hats and beanies and T-shirts. I would cold-call these shops up. That ’ s truly what helped me build a real sympathy of the landscape of this residential district, outside of just my town, and learning the nuances of what it meant to people in all these other different places. How their areas work, etc. It was pre-social media. That ’ s how you communicated you had to build relationships on the telephone. That was a huge remainder for me that that gave me a wholly raw skill set because a draw of times brands would come in to talk to advertisers etc. They ’ five hundred asked me what was going on. I had all the intel on what was actually going on in the market, because I was talking to the kids in all these different regions. That helped me build relationships with people from these different brands.

Planet Earth

I got a caper at Planet Earth skateboards with Chris Miller, who was one of my heroes, my paragon. He brought me in to sell skateboards. I had a reputation sell at Transworld. I went to Planet Earth and I started selling skateboards on the call there. Chris was besides a surfer. I helped him get into snowboarding. So we started planning out snowboarding out of where I took my relationships from what I did at Transworld to help build the team, and recruit athletes. then I became a team director at Planet Earth and Rhythm Skateboards. sol I ’ m at all the different events anyhow. now because of my problem, and then I have a sales background, so I ’ m able to go and take the team to the shops. I in truth had learned to navigate and farseeing report short, you know, in those early days of events, no one was actually covering them on television. And so the mind of there being a observer didn ’ t very exist. We all took turns talking shit on the mic. I precisely got a repute for never shutting up. I ’ meter making the audience laugh, I would make up fake BIOS about dudes who are skating, surfing, whatever. And people started calling and be like, Hey, we heard you killed it at such and such demonstration. Will you come and do our local anesthetic contests ? We ’ ll give you like $ 50 store credit. Yeah, sure, no problem. I ’ ll come to talk shit all day. That led to person calling you from a local snowboard contest be like, Hey, we heard you killed it for such and such. ‘ Can you come up to do our contest at Snow Summit ? ’ We ’ ll give you two unblock lift tickets and a hotel. ‘ I ’ megabyte decidedly there ’. Like, you know, it wasn ’ t even about money at the time. It was barely about being able to get radian perks to continue to do this thing. I would go on from Planet Earth to do some exploit at Reebok when they started this horseshoe division called ‘ Box ’ and I was a team and selling ridicule there, and that pushed me even further into the landscape. We ’ re nowadays managing BMX riders, skateboarders, snowboarders, surfers, and I ’ thousand flying around all those unlike events. And again, it ’ sulfur equitable build and using relationships to move forward. I would besides still be announcing at a lot of these events that I was at. I would get on the mic and do a guest spot. People be like, ‘ Oh, that ’ sulfur that guy that we saw at the tradeshow ’. So I had this little english reputation. But it wasn ’ t a career .

Alphanumeric clothing

No one was giving me money. then, you know, brands would call me and be like, Hey, can you come in ? Like, can you come and be the MC of our Christmas party ? We ’ ll give you a crowd of clothes that are cool. so you know, that ’ s how my relationship with Quiksilver started. It was very, identical organic. then, in 1998, my friends and I started a brand called Alphanumeric clothing. We wanted to do an about urban version of what Volcom was. At the time most of what was communicated angstrom far as culture in the landscape of action sports was from a very blond haired blasphemous eyed punk rock rock perspective. There were us, youthful people of color, that, you know, we just didn ’ t see anything that represented what we look like in any of these brands. We were into bum rock music, you know, but we were besides very much into pelvis hop. It was like, why can ’ metric ton we do a post that kind of is a reflection of all of that. My friend Alyasha Owerka-Moore and Omar Campbell, a few others got in concert. Alyasha was an incredible graphic designer and skateboarder found some fund for us and we started this post called Alphanumeric. It was right around that time that people have seen that Madison Avenue had actually started to pay attention to carry through sports polish and see that there ’ s a goldmine here from a rampart street perspective. You started to see all of the ‘ extreme ’. Everything was extreme, you know, like the extreme games and now you got Burger King has got their extreme burgers and it was a kind of an clamant bastardization of the culture. They jumped on the culture and be like, see, ‘ We ’ ra cool. We ’ re down with extreme. ’ Of course none of us ever called ourselves extreme. So you ’ re merely cringing, like, what is this ? People were putting, you know, went from merely seeing your favorite riders in video recording parts and in magazines and now you can see them on some public access television shows. now you can see them on MTV and ESPN .

MTV sports and music festivals

The first in truth big break for me were the MTV sports and music festivals. MTV was doing these sports music festivals. A friend of mine was working doing some production there. He told them you need to get this ridicule. This guy could actually make you ridicule look legalize rather of just having your DJs saying stool, but not understanding what ’ sulfur going on. That was my first big break. I was like co-hosting the MTV sports and music festivals alongside Carson Daly. And my job was to make Carson Daly not look bad. He handled the music and I handled the shred and we sort of did this back and forth and that was my big break in and people started paying attention. There was a public access vogue show called Planet X. That brought me on to interview people. And again, you ’ ra interviewing your friends. So you ’ re at an event they hired hand you a mic like what ’ s up and you merely talk and shit. Are we done ? Cool. Go to the browning automatic rifle. Noone wasn ’ thyroxine flush getting money for it. But the MTV thing was very the bad break and then ESPN .

ESPN and the X Games

I was with my team and Alphanumeric at the collapse at the Vans Triple Crown of Snowboarding in Breckenridge, Colorado. I was there with my athletes at the end of the first day of the contest. And I get a tap on my shoulder in the barricade. And I turn about and this ridicule goes, excuse me. You ’ ra Sal Masekela, Yes. My name is Phil Orleans. I ’ m the executive manufacturer of snowboarding for the X Games, and I ’ molarity looking for you. I stood up in my bar stool in the in-between now you got it mail contest, raging and I was like, whoever put this fucker up to this all you guys identical, identical fishy. I good assumed my friends were fucking with me. I sat back down, I laughed at the dandy and I went back to drink with my friends. Tap Tap on my shoulder again. And now he has a business poster in his bridge player. It ’ s not like something that you ’ five hundred be merely made up at kinkos this is like actually decent card breed it was in Boston like red leaf, ESPN raised and it says executive producer of snowboarding for the X Games. I was like, ‘ Oh, I ’ thousand sorry. ’ said, Can we walk and long story abruptly, we bought a six-pack, left the barricade and went out into the anteroom. This is at the hotel. X Games was two years/ three years old at that sharpen, and they were hard to watch like it was reasonably bum. arsenic much as you were stoked to see the sports you love on television receiver, the direction it was being presented was not congressman of how we would present the polish. thus something that you tolerated, but you weren ’ thyroxine actually stoked up. they said, we ’ rhenium looking for people from within the community to be broadcasters and storytellers and we think that you could be one of those people. I said thanks, but no thanks. It does not appeal to me and I went binding home. I told everybody at workplace the next day that this guy came up to me wanting me to be on X Games. I wouldn ’ thyroxine, as I told blew him off and they ’ re like, what the sleep together ? What are you doing ? You could actually be a share of actually helping the story tell like, legitimately like, dandy. What are you doing ? fortunately, he called me later that workweek to see if I changed my thinker to try and convince me and I said, Alright, I ’ ll give it a sound. And two weeks later, I ’ m in Crescent View, Colorado sideline reporter interviewing all of my friends as they come polish from the runs in the halfpipe and big air. That ’ s what literally changed my solid life .

Oli: You’re friends with these guys anyway, right? 

Sal: At that point, I ’ ve been in the industry for about nine years. I worked in every division and area of how sword study from sales to team to management, which is all athlete development, you know. Managing the riders that you sponsor, so I had to be at all of the events. I had been doing the announce as a alive announcer to the crowd. So I knew every single athlete that knew all the nuances of who they were. It barely made for a perfect transition. For the riders, it was the first time on national television, like they were coming in, at the end of their range and could talk to person who actually knew what they were talking about and knew them. So it made them more comfortable in the interview. It fair took a unlike find, then some football or baseball guy who ’ south asking them a question that doesn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate have any relevance to what they precisely did. I think over the course of the X Games they recognize that this cocky child who doesn ’ triiodothyronine know anything about journalism or being a broadcaster may have some potential. Let ’ s see if we can school him. That truly began what I call a 13 year paid television broadcasting education at the very highest flat at ESPN. Yeah, man, it literally changed my life. Within a year of that for X game a year and a half. I left my company and devoted myself to this matter that somehow I ’ m still doing 20 years late .

Oli: That’s awesome. It’s going to be the 25th anniversary of X Games in a couple of weeks. You’ve been doing it for 13 years. You must have some stories. Is there any kind of anything that really stands out from your time at the X Games? 

Sal: There ’ s therefore many. It ’ south interesting, yesterday a crowd came here to my sign of the zodiac and we did a social outdistance interview outside in front of my theater in my little outside patio area. It was all about the best stories for this 25-year thing that ESPN is doing. It was the first gear time that I sat and in truth reflected in a in truth long prison term since I left in 2013 .

Tony Hawk’s 900

Sal: There ’ second precisely then many, you know, I was standing on clear of the vert when Tony Hawk did the 900. I was there at that moment. I was in the crowd at the bottom, you know, holding him up with a microphone in one hand and helping to hold him up with the other. When that shock was heard around the world. It was such a herculean consequence because that needed to happen to a particular person that would have the ability to rightfully capitalize on it. It was besides the here and now that it happened. It was a Friday night in primetime on ESPN in America in 1999. People viewing, merely the sum of message viewing options were sol more limited and focused on just a few things in those days. ESPN would be one of the places that you would be posted up at home with your homies, drinking beers, watching the game or whatever. Those were your options. ESPN was on in every individual bar in America. It was Friday Night in America. So everybody was in those sports bars and ESPN choosing to let Tony keep going after the contest was all over, to try and make it. I think it was like 17 or 18 attempts and his recovery between each attempt. That drama that builds and builds and they decide you know what, we ’ rhenium going to not cut Sports Center. We ’ rhenium going to stay here at skateboarding ’ south best antic to see if Tony Hawk can make this. That makes the whole world of people who are watching ESPN be like, ‘ Huh, this must be a big deal if ESPN is showing it. ’ certain adequate, it happened and when it happened everybody in the world saw that became the thing that everybody did you see that ? Did you see what that guy did ?

“Suddenly, people who never cared about skateboarding before were like fucking Tony Hawk man, that guy’s the man.”

He ’ mho on all the lecture shows. He chooses to hold the door open for the stallion acculturation, and be like, hey, it ’ mho pretty sweet over here. You guys come on in with me. Let ’ s go. And I think all of carry through sports across the landscape, all the different disciplines benefited from that here and now because now on the spur of the moment, he ’ s being talked about in the same vein as Michael Jordan. Any great mainstream athlete that people have been celebrating now, Tony Hawk ’ s list is there. He needed to be the person to do that. Because his mind always thought about capitalize, you know, and from all the way back from the 80 ’ south he was understanding when it came to marketing. He ’ s a weird curious nerd who always was about technology. so, you know, it makes feel that two years former he comes out with Tony Hawk ’ mho Pro Skater and changes the world. So that was barely an incredible thing to have been a separate of .

Travis Pastrana’s Double Backflip 

Sal: To witness Travis Pastrana ’ s double backflip was a massive moment in 2006. To witness it was another one of those things that on the spur of the moment puts us on the stagecoach amongst the most iconic things that have happened in sports, not precisely carry through sports .

Jake Brown’s Skateboard Big Air Crash

Sal: The celebrated Jake Brown skateboarding big tune crash. He somehow lands in the flatcar bottom, falls about 50 feet from the air and doesn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate die. You know, it was another one of those moments where people are like, what are these guys made of ? These are superheroes ,

Shawn White

To be there for the entirety of Shaun White from being a short child. I was there with Sean from the time he was six or seven years erstwhile. The cute kid that everyone enjoyed hanging approximately to when I remember the years when he was 13 or 14 now he ’ s not therefore cute anymore. He ’ randomness taking money out of the mouths of dudes who are trying to feed their kids with. It was very interesting to watch the direction the position towards him changed identical promptly. He should have won X Games, gold. There was a class he got double ash grey in Park and Superpipe that he should have won, for certain. I don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate think they wanted to give it to him. Sean is one of those hyper-focused ultra-competitive people like you saw in the Michael Jordan objective. I believe that like that Michael Jordan objective was a classical model of a sealed type of mentality that needs an elect skill set .

Oli: Like Kelly Slater, right?

Sal: You mean that ridicule, Kelly over my shoulder. Yeah, absolutely that person. Nyjah Huston has it. There ’ sulfur good a certain thing for those people at that tied where it ’ s like, I ’ megabyte going to get up and I ’ megabyte going to figure out how to piss excellence every day. If that gets in the way of your life, it ’ s not in truth my problem. I ’ molarity here to push this thing equally far as I can take it. To witness that, and then Sean ’ s complete sum dominance. And then as if that wasn ’ t enough for him to take this thing that people thought, Oh, it ’ sulfur cool that Sean skates, but he can ’ metric ton compete at the highest level in skateboarding. That he ’ s not in truth one of us at this highest tied. Shawn was like very, hold my beer. He comes into vert at X Games and he dominates like he becomes thus significant to vert skating competitively at the X Games that when Shaun White after barely laterality and winning his three goals is like, you know what ? I ’ thousand gon na go back to focusing on snowboarding. Everybody stopped caring about vert. That ’ s how big of a fuck batch this dandy was and is. It was fascinating to be able to be there and I had the privilege of commentating not fair his snowboard runs but I was commentating skateboarding adenine well so I got to be able to marry all of it. Those years at that level of storytelling was a blast. Bob Burnquist future to perfect run in 2001 in Philadelphia was a special one to call. There are just endless moments. When surfing came to the X Games for three years. We went and did the team event in Puerto Escondido in Mexico for three years in a row. Hey, we ’ rhenium gon na fly you down to Puerto Escondido for three weeks so that we can shoot browse. You know, it ’ s like the best of the best of pro surfing men and women coming and being contribution of it. Yeah serviceman, it was all time. Too many moments to recount .

Red Bull Series

Oli: Then you went on to do the Red Bull series?

Sal: so yea, leaving ESPN was a baffling decision because it was indeed much of my identity. People saw me as the X Games guy and the longest job I ever had in my biography, 13 years .

Oli: What was the transition after X Games?

Sal: I left ESPN and went to Red Bull to be a brand ambassador and to host the Red Bull Series. But the decision was mine. I left ESPN and they expected me to stay. But how do I say this ? They no longer experience fit to compensate me in the manner of where I felt they were giving me my ascribable. They came with a bunch of restrictions as to being able to work and do things in other places. I loved hosting the X Games, but I knew that there was more that I wanted to do. It just felt like the right field time. No one enjoys a person who ’ south well-compensated and acerb at his job. No one likes that person. You don ’ thymine like working with that person in your caper. And I could see that if I stayed and took that batch, I was going to be unhappy. I was going to be that person with the chip on his shoulder. television receiver is a team sport. You know, everybody plays their separate. I didn ’ t want to walk around and be that guy. So I was like, Okay, there ’ second gon na be a problem here so it ’ randomness credibly time for me to go. I called a friend at Red Bull. I was very stoked on all the events that Red Bull was doing. And I was like, X Games is playfulness, but it ’ south sort of a pop tent circus where everybody comes to this thing, right ? Performs their sports in the best way as possible, but don ’ thyroxine truly have an opportunity to showcase their individual cultures. My roots were in events and the cultures of each sport. And I saw that what Red Bull was doing, I was like, Oh, wow. They ’ re figuring out ways to give these athletes opportunities to do the things that they do. They ’ d been dreaming of doing but possibly don ’ metric ton have the chopine to do sol. Like :

“You want to go to space? Yeah, we’ll send you to space.”

I good thought to myself, this bullshit ’ s radian. besides, they don ’ t have a me. I wonder if they are looking for a me, possibly person who could help contextualize and be a separate of elevating the storytelling. so I precisely called a acquaintance over there and he was like, you would leave ESPN to come here ? Yeah, let ’ s talk. That ’ s how that came to fruition. It was a dream come true. You know, I never thought that I ’ vitamin d be able to make an up transit, a lateral or up transition from ESPN because it ’ s the worldwide drawing card in sports. then suddenly, alternatively of good like these two events a year and doing programming to support these two events a year. now I get to be in the shuffle at the prime minister events within all of the different sports and cultures like Red Bull Rampage .

Red Bull Rampage

Sal: I went to the first base Red Bull Rampage in 2014 and I just remember getting out to Zion into the backcountry and barely standing there looking up at the course and being like, wait .

People are gonna ride down this on bikes. What, what if they die? 

so my first doubt is like, What don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate you like, there ’ s no room this can be a thing. Those guys were truly humbling. They welcomed me and educated me about the culture. I started spending time in Whistler. Going to Crankworx and following thing you know people are putting bikes underneath me and taking me and teaching me how to ride. Going and riding the parking lot up there and I fair fell in love with it. Going to that event every year has been amazing. Every year it ’ s just been like the anticipation. Fingers crossed we will run Red Bull Rampage this year. We still don ’ thymine know. But that is the future level of pushing your fun forward and the preciseness necessity to execute. It ’ s a zero room for mistake game. Being able to somehow lend creativity to sending yourself 80 feet off of a cliff of rocks and crap or a property crazy gap that if you miss you ’ re going to get impaled by strange rock formations 100 feet below you. It ’ s a truly aplomb acculturation. I ’ ve very enjoy doing that event .

Red Bull Music and Sal’s World

Oli: You were involved in some of Red Bull’s music events as well?

Sal: That was actually fun for Red Bull to recognize, like okay this guy actually besides has a huge passion for music and we ’ ra truly all about music. We don ’ t need to go get another person, we can barely use Sal. thus for the six years improving until last summer you know we did the festival series all summer here in America. We did Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits. We would do four festivals a summer. They built me my own put called Sal’s World. All the artists would come to Sal ’ second World and I get to have these great conversations with emerging artists and legends. Before or after their set, they come and hang out for 10 minutes or so and just shoot the denounce and talk music and get to watch some of the greatest bands in the world .

Alekasam

Sal: It was a gust to be able to go and do events. Go to the Volcom Pipe Pro go and do Rampage and then spend the summer just doing music was actually in truth amaze. I got to play with my band. I have a band called Alekasam which is massive Masekela back. I got to play Bonnaroo as part of that series. I ’ thousand hosting the live circulate for Red Bull. then my dance band gets booked to play Bonnaroo. The two are not related. loss Bull were like, ‘ Okay, no problem. We ’ ll work around you. ’ Yeah, very, very cool and limited. So it ’ randomness been a fun kinship. I ’ thousand golden, you know, we ’ ll be working with each early through at least 2022 .

Oli: You grew up traveling with your dad, Hugh Masekela who was one of the biggest jazz musicians in South Africa. Now not being able to go away, what are you looking forward to most when you can get that out? 

Sal: You know this is the longest that I ’ ve been home in two decades. I ’ ve never had the opportunity to actually build a sense of family. At beginning, it was quite startling. But in the last six weeks, I ’ ve actually let go of what my past life style was. I ’ ve honored it. I ’ megabyte grateful for it. I have incredible memories but that life doesn ’ t exist anymore for any of us. So it ’ mho actually been about being present with immediately figuring out how to pivot. I ’ thousand working on creating and storytelling a little act more of the travel, it ’ randomness taking the clock time to sort of smell the flowers and be like, ‘ oh, wow, that was a run. ’ I ’ meter working on a memoir. I ’ m launching a podcast in two weeks called ‘ What Shapes Us ’ that has been put off and last, I have no excuse, but excessively then as you can see, but I ’ ve got them ready to go. I ’ ve been working on that. The Burton US Open of Snowboarding just got canceled for 2021 a couple of days ago. That ’ randomness one of my chancellor events. So that was identical sober. We don ’ thyroxine know if Red Bull Rampage is going to happen this year. I haven ’ t hear anything so far. On the Volcom Pipe Pro, though I feel affirmative about that one. We ’ ra gon na pivot and figure out how to create contented at home plate. Be patient and as things come back, and we get opportunities to travel again we will travel again. I do want to go places. I in truth very want to go on a surfboard trip ill .

Oli: Last time we spoke about surfing in Nicaragua.

Sal: I ’ ve been watching my friends down in Nika. My buddy who lives down there and he ’ s fair been posting himself getting the most pathetic waves ever. My precedence right now is to be patient where I ’ m at and make sure my family is taken care of. This thing has affected people in awful manners and continues to affect people in awful ways. here in America, specially it ’ s disproportionately affecting people of color and the poor and acting as a black ignite on a bunch of pause systems. Within our nation, we were all then busy that we could handily ignore it. It ’ s relentlessly shining a fall on huge areas of injustice. socially and economically across the landscape, you see what, what we ’ rhenium dealing with when it comes to police ferociousness and typically in the manner in which it ’ sulfur propagated against people of discolor here. Because of lockdown and because of the situation, everyone ’ s classify of forced to have to pay attention. It equitable feels like a potentially pivotal time for an actual sustainable change you hoped for because I didn ’ triiodothyronine know when this thing started, the final thing that I thought was that people would come out more separate and more entrenched in their belief systems than when they went in. I literally thought sleep together we ’ re all in this in the same thing. possibly this is going to engender a small bite more communication and empathy and commonality of who we are, no count who you decide to pray to, or who you sleep with, or any of the diverse teams that people try to pick to make themselves more important. It ’ randomness been sad and in truth chilling to watch the ways in which the powers that be and different people with unlike agendas will try to capitalize on actually getting people to be more entrenched in their ideologies. And it ’ s like after you ’ re gone, no one ’ second gon na be like, homo, he did such a great job like me. He did such a great job believing that his way of intend was the best, like how did you make people feel ? That ’ s what ’ s then beautiful about this polish, you know, and the fact that like you and I can have a conversation from 7,000 miles away and have this commonality in the love for the thing. The rage for life. angstrom army for the liberation of rwanda as like, where do we go from ? Where do I go from here ? I ’ ve got no clue. I ’ thousand trying to create and build forums for discussion and storytelling that hopefully can serve a small bite of a bigger determination outside of precisely the things that I love, which is doing events to do a short sting more for the acculturation .

Stoked.org

Oli: You’re one of the cofounders of Stoked organization as well and are involved in a number of charities.  Are there any projects that you’ve started doing?

Sal: The one thing that we ’ ra doing with Stoked is actually having to learn to pivot. Our mentoring organization is so rooted in hands-on make with kids. We take kids and we take them snowboarding, we take them surfing, skating, we teach them actually out how to build skateboards with their hands and all that stuff. So we ’ ve been pivoting and learning how to utilize this character of communication system to provide opportunities for kids to inactive feel like they can have a community. It ’ sulfur about making kids feel empowered and safe and have a sense of community so that they can pursue the challenging aspects of growing up. specially when our kids are truly big smart kids that come from already challenging situations at home. immediately we ’ re in a site like this where whatever economic strains that families were experiencing under ‘ normal conditions ’ are now further amplified or dysfunctions that they had in the homes where they could question feeling condom, those things are amplified. So we ’ rhenium equitable in truth working to pivot to be able to take worry of our kids in the present and modify the manner in which we mentor. Hopefully besides keep people interested in even wanting to support us. It ’ mho crazy the means all of that just changed overnight. It was Friday the 13th of March here in America. I pay attention across the pond, american samoa well. But yeah, it just seems like in all these places like our systems are very being challenged. There ’ s a huge opportunity for people across the board. I feel like no one choose to come into this. Everyone ’ sulfur got their different feelings, there ’ s an huge amount of information being hurled in versatile directions. Some of it pointedly subversive to try and motivate agendas. So everyone ’ s like, I don ’ thymine know what ’ s actual. What the facts are and this is this some sort of a scam or the ‘ plandemic or no this is where the datum lies, etc. and this thing is you. I found it even amongst friends that people are divided. We ’ re all in a challenge situation here. Well, guess what I ’ megabyte trying to get out is none of us have the choice of how we walked into this because everyone just found their lives being turned top down. But we all have the choice of how we individually walk out of this. In other words, like the adjustments and what we ’ rhenium learning about ourselves from being forced to spend sol much time with ourselves. I think we all have an opportunity to be far better versions and more naturalistic versions. What are the differences between our wants and our needs ? I was saying to a friend yesterday I know that in areas of my life are a bunch of easily accessible luxuries that became regularities, that in turn my mind created as necessities. now after eight weeks of not having them you realize none of that bullshit was even a actual thing. Those weren ’ thyroxine necessities. For a draw of people, it ’ s the first time that they ’ ve ever been challenged or told no or had to flush regulate to think about how they behave in certain spaces. For a set of people from marginalized people. They ’ re like, Well, welcome to what a lot of has been for my entire life sentence. I ’ megabyte regretful that it took a pandemic for you to experience it, but like, this is what lives have constantly been. therefore I guess what I ’ megabyte trying to say is that there ’ s potential for us being better as a whole. Despite the huge amounts of personnel casualty and pain that people are experiencing. It ’ sulfur everyone ’ s personal province to figure out how to grow, how to actually grow and be better from this if we ’ re hush here. You haven ’ triiodothyronine lost your life from this. It ’ s your responsibility to figure out how to be well. To use the rearview mirror as a point of reference, but not where you ’ re trying to get binding to because that damn doesn ’ triiodothyronine exist anymore. I don ’ triiodothyronine worry who you are. It ’ s a photograph album. That ’ s it .

Oli: If anyone wants to get hold of you, what’s the best way?

Blow me up. Light up my DM bro on Instagram and Twitter. I don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate use Facebook at all because I think it ’ s a atrocious place, of all the social media places. The level of perniciousness on Facebook, I left alike three or four years ago. But yeah, Instagram, Twitter. Twitter ’ south besides a atrocious topographic point but I enjoy it. Yeah, those are the places you can find me to send me a note. once a week I in truth try to look at all the DM ’ s and people send me normally very bright questions or conversations they want to have. I ’ molarity always open to have a dialogue with people and to learn from people and create opportunities for central and growth .

Oli: That’s awesome. Thanks Sal. 

Sal: Oli it ’ second always a pleasure, sir .

Watch the video:

Photo Credit : Sal Masakela, Stoked Mentoring

Missed the last episodes ? Check them out ! Episode 2: Bog Snorkeling World Champion – Neil Rutter

Episode 3: spanish Festivals – Wade Gravy Episode 4: Weird Sports – Sol Neelman

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