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Celebrity Travel: Go away with Isné Bobo Nuyent

Jae-Ha Kim, Tribune Content Agency on

Just three days after he finished documenting Epik High’s concert at Coachella, photographer-musician Isné Bobo Nuyent was back home in Los Angeles doing a Zoom interview to promote his latest pop-punk single “No More Talking” (https://streamlink.to/nomoretalking). The Vietnamese American artist spent two months on the road with the hip-hop trio, photographing them nightly and creating short videos of their daily events to share with the group’s fans. And after weeks of getting an average of four hours of sleep per night, he said he’s looking forward to resting a bit and hanging out with his parents and sister.

A versatile photographer who has worked with the Jonas Brothers and Eric Nam, Nuyent said “No More Talking” was inspired by a breakup with his ex-girlfriend. He also has a more introspective song that deals with depression, isolation, and this seemingly never-ending pandemic. “Space in the Room” is slated for release later in May, which is not only Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, but also Mental Health Awareness Month. For more information about Nuyent’s work, follow him on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/bobo.xxndigo).

Q: At what point in your life did you start to really travel?

A: After high school, I traveled a lot with my friends. Then I went to community college and wasn’t doing very well and didn’t want to go back. So, my dad pretty much said, “If you're not going to go to school, go do something. Go travel. You need to train your mind and understand other people and cultures and what they go through. So go travel.” He really pushed me to travel the world. I pretty much took the money I had for community college and spent a couple weeks in New York. I went to Korea for about four months, Thailand, Japan, everywhere. Traveling really taught me how to connect with people. I love it.

Q: That’s really interesting, because not all parents would view traveling as a learning experience.

A: Don’t get me wrong, they pushed me to continue my education for the longest time. But I had a sit-down with them and said, “It’s just not for me. I do martial arts, I’m creative, I don’t know what I’m doing with my life, but trust me that something will work out.” I’m lucky because my father is a painter and a poet, so he’s very artsy and understood me. His last name is Nguyen, but he wanted me to have my own legacy, so he created my last name for me. He wanted me to be an original.

Q: What is an early childhood memory that you have of traveling with your family?

A: This isn’t traditional traveling, but my father always showed me how to be a good man without saying anything. When I was in elementary school, he would wake me up and tell me we had somewhere to go. He would take me into San Francisco’s Chinatown and buy 15 boxes of food or whatever he could afford. And then we would give them away to homeless people. He was teaching me that with the resources that we have – even if it’s not a lot – you have to always try to help others. My mother is the same way. She always said, “Always give more.”

 

Q: I know your father settled in Long Beach after leaving Vietnam in the 1970s. What was your childhood in California like?

A: I grew up in San Mateo and there were a lot of white people. There were also a lot of Black people and Tongans. I always had to prove myself as the Asian guy. I had to mentally prepare for all the attacks. I always had to have jokes on hand to combat them. I had to be better than them at sports. I had to be better at rapping when we would all cypher. It was hard growing up, but I think that's also what shaped me into being such a fighter and being able to chase all these things that I want in my life. If I’m not good enough now, I have to keep fighting.

Q: Do you travel well with others?

A: Yes! When you’re on tour, you’re on a bus with a lot of other people for months, you have to adapt. But I love it. Even when I was younger, I would pick up the best habits of each individual I took a trip with. I stayed in a lot of hostels then because I didn’t have much money at the time. When you have a group of friends and you go together, and you meet other people along the way and hear everyone else's perspectives, it almost doesn’t matter where you are. All those different lifestyles really taught me how to adapt to what I'm doing right now. I give a lot of credit to traveling, which prepared me to get along with so many people from different cultures in a work setting.

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(Jae-Ha Kim is a New York Times bestselling author and travel writer. You can respond to this column by visiting her website at www.jaehakim.com. You may also follow “Go Away With…” on Twitter at @GoAwayWithJae where Jae-Ha Kim welcomes your questions and comments.)

©2022 Jae-Ha Kim. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

(c) 2022 DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.
 

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