by Coral Lee, Heritage Radio Network Research & Radio Intern
I sat down with Cynthia Cherish Malaran, AKA DJ CherishTheLuv, this past Friday afternoon at Robertas patio. Swatting away summer flies, we chatted about the music we love, versus music we like, versus the music weve missed. This is how Cynthia, also an ordained minister and self proclaimed music missionary, has come to define her DJing style her creative formula. By mixing nostalgic tracks into todays hits, she touches the mind, heart, and soul, allowing those on the dancefloor to even if just for 3 minutes wiggle away the nonstop stresses of life. Music is a happy pill. One you swallow through your ears.
On surviving breast cancer, Cynthia attributes her wellness to keeping her head in the music. She continued to DJ all throughout chemotherapy, even to other patients through the walls of the chemo suites at Memorial Sloan Kettering. If you're miserable, and getting that kind of hardcore treatment into your body, you will barely survive it. I told myself that if I could project manage my cancer, help others and grow because of it, it would all be worth it. Otherwise, I'd just be destroyed.
DJ CherishTheLuv DJing from her chemo chair to fellow patients at the Evelyn Lauder Breast Cancer suites at Memorial Sloan Kettering
As a result of making her positive attitude public over social media, Cynthia was invited to become a voice on Heritage Radio Network, by then-Executive Director, Erin Fairbanks. She started by producing her first show Primary Food, in which she documented the good things she "fed" herself with. While secondary food refers to what you put in your mouth, primary food, a concept she learned at Institute for Integrative Nutrition, is everything else in life that nourishes you before you eat. So you'll notice, if you had a crappy day, you will go eat some crappy food. DJing is a form of primary food for me when I am DJing, being fed by a great crowd, I always end the night like how did I not eat for 6 hours? Because I was being fed spiritually, psychologically, emotionally and I knew I had to keep this concept first and foremost as I was going through cancer treatment. I knew I had to load my life with really good primary foods: friends, music, art, entertainment, petting my dog, traveling, to keep my happiness levels high, so my body could repair itself.
Refusing to see life as mean and cruel, Cynthia, armed with music, is now working to re-introduce as much good as she possibly can into the world. She recently returned from a 3-week trip to Ecuador, in which she taught young girls at an orphanage how to DJ. Actually, I taught these young teens how to express themselves creatively and loudly, under the guise of DJing. These girls have been traumatized. Silenced. Teaching them how to express themselves gives them the green light to ask for what they want. To say no! To ask for a raise at work. It can change their life. Even save their life. I went there thinking I had something to teach them. But actually, they taught me I came back a few days ago, Cynthia reports, and I was looking at all these sad, unhappy faces here in our awesome New York City, and I was so confused. I came back and realized we have everything. We have everything and yet, we're not happy. The girls at the orphanage have the bare minimum, yet they are so happy. Why? Because they have each other. Here, we have objects and things like cars, smart phones, wifi things we love but they will never love us back. We may have everything but we don't have one another. I learned that the more things I have doesn't contribute to happiness at all. Maybe I even have so much stuff I can't see what my life is really about or like, maybe I have so much stuff I don't really know who I am.
A few months ago, Cynthia got a phone call from Maike Both, founder of the "Unfuck the World movement. Maike asked Cynthia if she would be interested in coming down to Ecuador and meet with legendary recording engineer/producer, Erwin Musper, who has worked with David Bowie, Bon Jovi, Elton John, Metallica, Def Leppard and more, with his name on 80 million records sold, and counting, to spread some good vibes and cheer. When I was asked to fly down to Ecuador and meet the orphans, I immediately pictured myself teaching them some DJing so I jumped at the opportunity to help out.
I packed my portable Pioneer mixer, thinking OK, I'm going to gift these kids ME, Cynthia laughs. Of course you go into something like this, just like with my work at Riker's, thinking you're going in with something to give them. And then you realize it's you who has the deficits, and they gift you so much knowledge, understanding, eye-opening love. I think in the past 2.5 weeks, I've gotten hugged more than in the past two years.
Cynthia shares how teaching the girls products of rape, abuse, neglect, subject to silencing how to express themselves was profound in so many ways. I don't speak Spanish; they dont speak much English, but music is the universal language, and rhythm transcends words. The kids had never heard a song sped up or slowed down before, they were totally shocked! I didn't want to teach them how to be a DJ, but how to express, how to experiment, how to feel free. I didnt learn how to express myself and be free until my thirties, and I'm a born and bred Manhattanite. Even just teaching them to hit pause or play when they wanted to, adjust the volume to their likingI could see it was doing something for them. It was giving them the green light to make a difference. And I know that they'll take that lesson and apply it somewhere.
DJ CherishTheLuv teaching young teenage girls DJing basics at an orphanage in Ecuador.
Cynthia tells of how on one of the last days of her visit, one of the shyest girls became Cynthias student teacher. This student stepped up and would say in Spanish, to the other girls, no, this is how you do it, and would show the other girls while Cynthia just stood back back and watched in awe. Shy and reserved for a myriad of reasons the girl was new to the orphanage she was, for the first time, speaking up and being heard and respected. Through DJing, she had a way to confidently and comfortably socialize with the others at the orphanage.
DJ CherishTheLuv and some of her DJ students at the orphanage.
These girls taught me how to think about survivalism. As a breast cancer survivor, I thought I had the understanding of surviving down pat but there's really so much more. The youngest is a 2 month old orphan who was brought there at 2 days old. Her mom is 12. She was a product of rape by the uncle, and the orphanage is raising this kid like family. It's a paradise there, because they all have each other. There are the mamitas (the women who run the orphanage and keep daily order) and the psychologists on-site. They do everything they can to make sure the kids are really cared for, and the kids care for each other. The way they experience love might not be from their parents, but learnt from this layer of their life.
Cynthia told me about a typical day at the orphanage. They wake up 4 or 5 in the morning, they start preparing food, take care of their own needs (showering, fixing up their space, getting dressed), and get their school supplies together. Kids that are old enough, go to school regular schools. They come back at 2pm to the orphanage. They eat. There's playtime. Erwin Musper has set up English classes (taught by volunteers), and guitar classes where Erwin teaches them how to play Beatles songs and more. Each week the mamitas choose a few of the girls to have a special night on the town on the Muspers. I got to go along for pizza night. The girls were drinking soda after soda after soda, so happy it was so sweet.
One evening, Cynthia remembers, a taxi cab pulled up with a young woman. Erwin explained that she was raised in the orphanage, got old enough to leave and go to university to become a social worker, and she returns to visit her younger sister, living at the orphanage. Their system works! All these boys and girls have transcended their traumatic pasts enough to now envision a future with dreams to be something: one girl wants to be a marine biologist. They know what they want to do. They have dreams because of all this incredible love and support. I want to keep helping them get support.
Erwin collected funds to help them get a refrigerator; they just recently got ceiling fans because the orphanage is made of cinder blocks and metal tin roofs that trap the heat when the sun is out, making sleep very miserable. The older boys live in a place called Gandhi a bit down the road. Cynthia has donated money from her earnings DJing at Whole Foods Bryant Park, for the construction of raised beds, so that each of the older boys can have their own garden and learn how to grow food, feed one another, share, and learn about responsibility.
Erwin Musper and half of the children at the orphanage.
Erwin photographs everything; kids are able to watch themselves grow. If you're already robbed of your identity who you are and where you're from and then you're able to get pictures, physical pictures, and see yourself grow... these kids are going to value this so much decades from now. This is the stuff they can look back on. The good stuff.
Going to the orphanage was another piece of healing for Cynthia. Yes, going through cancer was heavy, scary for me, but if I also experience really great stuff, it crowds out the bad. Being at the orphanage teaching DJing outweighed other negative experiences. I feel like everyone needs to see that genuine love, happiness, and care exists. This is a place where the kids are happy, dancing and celebrating everyday, because if you have 60 kids and there are 52 weeks in a year, there's going to be a birthday all the time. You cant just focus on the bad; you're going to see this world as mean and cruel. But instead, see the good: Erwin being there, me being there, the kids eating birthday cake every week, singing happy birthday more than you'll ever do in a month's time. I feel like my family grew. I never gave birth to children in my life, but I feel like I have 60 kids. That's really something.
Meet the children in this video created by DJ CherishTheLuv and Erwin Musper. Consider donating to the orphanage and becoming a part of the family by visiting this link.
Cynthia Cherish Malaran, Rev. DJ CherishTheLuv, is host of Primary Food and Wedding Cake on Heritage Radio Network. She is a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutritions Health Coach Training Program, where she learned about Primary Food and other nutrition and health coaching concepts. Learn more about the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.
The Morning Email
Wake up to the day's most important news.
Continue reading here:
- The Terminator Created a New Kind of Hero With Kyle Reese - Yahoo Entertainment - October 27th, 2019
- Bitcoin Might Head To The $6,000 Region In The Near-Term According to Wyckoff Logic - ZyCrypto - October 17th, 2019
- Low Tide Review: The Goonies Meets The Treasure of the Sierra Madre in Sharp Coming-of-Age Thriller - IndieWire - October 4th, 2019
- As the climate collapses, we can either stand together or perish alone - The Guardian - October 4th, 2019
- Gary K. Wolfe Reviews Trapped in the R.A.W., A Journal of My Experiences during the Great Invasion by Kaylee Bearovna by Kate Boyes - Locus Online - October 4th, 2019
- Oregon 'Hate Map' Reveals 11 Racist, Separatist Hate Groups In The State - Patch.com - August 18th, 2017
- Doomsday Desperation - Southern Poverty Law Center - August 18th, 2017
- 'American Made' Review: Tom Cruise Flies Between Comedy and Tension, Missing Both - TheWrap - August 18th, 2017
- North Korea: Nuclear War Fears Spur Sales of Preparedness Goods ... - Fortune - August 14th, 2017
- For Doomsday Preppers, the End of the World Is Good for Business - New York Times - August 13th, 2017
- Film Review: Good Time - Consequence of Sound (blog) - August 13th, 2017
- What I Learned From the Neo-Nazi in My Prison Book Club | The ... - The Marshall Project - August 11th, 2017
- Nine Inch Nails - Webster Hall, New York City - Gigs - Reviews ... - Soundblab - August 11th, 2017
- Film Review: The Glass Castle Fails on Almost Every Level - Splice Today - August 11th, 2017
- If North Korea targets Guam, how should the US respond? - Fox News - August 11th, 2017
- Naked - slantmagazine - August 10th, 2017
- Noir Thriller Wind River Examines An Ignored America - Willamette Week - August 10th, 2017
- Silicon Valley luminaries are busily preparing for when robots take ... - Mashable - August 10th, 2017
- Review: Nolan's 'Dunkirk' is as Riveting as it is Groundbreaking - First Showing (blog) - July 23rd, 2017
- Do you Have What it Takes to be a Christian Survivalist? - CBN News - July 19th, 2017
- Morning Star :: No growth but lots of opportunities | The People's Daily - Morning Star Online - July 19th, 2017
- 'War for the Planet of the Apes' Review: Finale of biblical proportions - Rappler - July 18th, 2017
- Queued Up: 'The Lego Batman Movie,' 'XX,' 'Logan,' and More - Aquarian Weekly - July 12th, 2017
- Film Review: War for the Planet of the Apes - Consequence of Sound (blog) - July 11th, 2017
- Review: Paranoia thriller It Comes At Night is impressively tense and ... - Norfolk Eastern Daily Press - July 8th, 2017
- Review: Paranoia thriller It Comes At Night is impressively tense and ineffably creepy - Norwich Evening News - July 8th, 2017
- What it Means to Finish Pikes Peak + Results - Hot Rod Network - Hot Rod Network - June 29th, 2017
- 'It Comes at Night' a Spellbinding Tale of Family and Survival - Shepherd Express - June 29th, 2017
- Are you ready when disaster strikes? These Minnesota doomsday preppers are - Charleston Express - June 26th, 2017
- Are you ready when disaster strikes? These Minnesota doomsday preppers are - Arkansas News - June 25th, 2017
- Where billionaires are stockpiling land for the apocalypse: Map - The Real Deal Magazine - June 19th, 2017
- Map reveals where billionaires are stockpiling land that could be used in the apocalypse - Business Insider Nordic - June 17th, 2017
- Map reveals where billionaires are stockpiling land that could be used in the apocalypse - SFGate - June 15th, 2017
- Billionaires are stockpiling land that could be used in the apocalypse here's where they're going - The Advocate - June 15th, 2017
- Next "Far Cry" video game is set in Montana - KRTV News in Great Falls, Montana - KRTV Great Falls News - June 11th, 2017
- Veteran teaches disaster preparation skills at Heights library - The Killeen Daily Herald - June 10th, 2017
- It Comes At Night stars on survivalism, the apocalypse - WDEF News 12 - June 9th, 2017
- Recently unveiled documents reveal anarchist strand festered at Evergreen for nearly a decade - The College Fix - June 9th, 2017
- Margaret Atwood on the utopias hiding inside her dystopias and why there is no the future - Vox - June 9th, 2017
- Humanity 2.0: The Unstoppability of Singularity - HuffPost - June 8th, 2017
- Upcoming "Far Cry" video game is set in Montana - KTVQ Billings News - June 6th, 2017
- Survivalist shares experience in Harker Heights - The Killeen Daily Herald - June 5th, 2017
- Click Your Hiking Boots Together: Oz Farm Is NorCal's Eco ... - 7x7 - June 3rd, 2017
- You'll Find Far Cry 5 ProvocativeEven if It's a Mess - WIRED - June 1st, 2017
- 'Alien: Covenant' and the Nature of Horror - Film School Rejects - June 1st, 2017
- Via 'The Florida Project,' meet two of the youngest stars in Cannes Film Festival history - Los Angeles Times - June 1st, 2017
- Alien 3 is far from the worst Alien movie. In fact, it's pretty great. - Vox - Vox - May 23rd, 2017
- These Minnesota doomsday preppers are ready for disaster to strike ... - Grand Forks Herald - May 14th, 2017
- These Minnesota doomsday preppers are ready for disaster to strike ... - Duluth News Tribune - May 11th, 2017
- Are you ready when disaster strikes? These Minnesota doomsday preppers are - The Bozeman Daily Chronicle - May 9th, 2017
- Homesteading and Survivalism Living a simple life - May 6th, 2017
- On Ketamine and Added Value - E-Flux - May 6th, 2017
- A Memorial Day Festival for Colorado's Most Famous Cannibal - 5280 | The Denver Magazine - May 4th, 2017
- Learning Survival Skills - Mother Earth News - April 30th, 2017
- Seedship Review The best parts of Sci-Fi - A 90s Kid - April 30th, 2017
- Vanishing: Where Is The Music Of The Impending Apocalypse? - The Quietus - April 27th, 2017
- Community pays tribute to 102nd anniversary of Armenian Genocide - Twin Falls Times-News - April 25th, 2017
- To Sunderland owner Ellis Short - this is for you - Roker Report (blog) - April 25th, 2017
- Did the Movie-Theater Audience Ruin Personal Shopper for Me? - New York Magazine - April 23rd, 2017
- Mitzvah-Lite: What We Miss When We Only Follow Moral Commandments - Forward - April 21st, 2017
- Conan Exiles to be released for the Xbox One in second half of 2017 - Windows Report - April 17th, 2017
- Adrienne Truscott Presents Solo 'Non-Dance', THIS at New York Live Arts - Broadway World - April 13th, 2017
- Conan Exiles is coming to Xbox One here's why you should care - Windows Central - April 13th, 2017
- A Small Step for Man: Life Frightens Without Inspiring - The Georgetown Voice - April 12th, 2017
- The Founding Fathers Of Survivalism - Survive Tomorrow - April 7th, 2017
- Brazil Really Needs Its Most Hated Politician - Bloomberg - April 7th, 2017
- Crazy In The Desert - Men's Journal - April 7th, 2017
- Bunker mentality - The Exponent Telegram (press release) (registration) - March 27th, 2017
- Coming of age after Purim - Jerusalem Post Israel News - March 23rd, 2017
- Jay Weatherill's big energy call is a survivalist fix of last resort - The Guardian - March 17th, 2017
- South London's Phobophobes Share Sinister New Music Video - Broadway World - March 10th, 2017
- One of Trump's treasury assistants is a survivalist who invented a bizarre techno-bow - The Verge - March 10th, 2017
- Wingin' It - The Portland Mercury - March 8th, 2017
- Feminist pacifism or passive-ism? - Open Democracy - March 7th, 2017
- How a mythical 'hermit' criminal hid in the woods for decades - New York Post - March 4th, 2017
- Wolf Pack 2017 - Creative Collectives Australia - March 1st, 2017
- MAGIC Fall 2017 Fashion Trend: Puffer Jackets WWD - WWD - February 28th, 2017
- Witnessing the Ghosts Of the Past and the Struggles Of the Future in Kashmir - The Wire - February 28th, 2017
- The Essential Animation Charms of 'My Life as a Zucchini' and 'The Red Turtle' - Film School Rejects - February 26th, 2017
- Green politics can save us - Drexel University The Triangle Online - February 24th, 2017