BAE Puts You in Touch With Your Divine Feminine: BUST Interview

by Janeth Gonda

 We sat down with mama BAE, DJ, yoga teacher, meditation leader, and all-around badass, Reem Abdou and talked about her collective BAE. The BAE community has quickly spread across several creative spaces creating an environment that feels safe and inclusive. The collective celebrates their one year anniversary this Thursday at Lot 45. The event sponsored by BUST Magazine will feature an all-female and female-identifying lineup of curated music, crafts, immersive experiences and more all in the name of divine feminine energy! You can also catch the BAE collective at this year’s BUST Craftacular


So first off tell me a bit about yourself, your djing and bass yoga, you seem to be involved with everything 
I am a creator who has finally and unapologetically come into her creative potential! I make binaural music for BASSyoga and other ecstatic experiences, teach yoga and meditation, produce BAE, and connect other creators to each other so they can make things and spaces for all of us to thrive in. My musical expression is a communication. It’s sensation infusion. It’s about a feeling. It’s always about a feeling … extended upswells of euphoric sound mixed with primal impulses to step and sway … Tribal rhythms, groovy basslines, pulsing 808s, glittering synths, ancestral vocals… I identify as less a DJ, and more a genre-bending vibe curator. My intention is to soundscape you connecting, and communing, and creating with yourself and with others. I play what the bodies, the spaces, the environment is asking for — this is my offering. I’m here not just to speak, but also to listen, too. And, ultimately, to serve.


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 photo by (@elementsfestnyc)

BASSyoga is rooted movement + fluid sound — synced. It’s designed to be a deeply primal experience in bonding back with The Source; the first sound we hear, our mother’s heartbeat — the BASS. Merging the science of yoga with the science of sound vibration, my sis and skilled teacher Nikki Ortiz leads an intuitive flow sequence while I live blueprint it to electronic bass music, ancient rhythms, powerful binaural beats, and ambient soundscapes. We enjoy and are genuinely liberated by music + movement in a similar way. so our intention is to offer an accessible meditation on being in love, grace, openness — feeling real healing —� while having fun!

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Photo by (@collective.BAE)

So what exactly is BAE and what does it stand for?
BAE stands for Before Anything Else. It is a series, gathering, experience, and SPACE curated, produced, and performed by women, for ALL. The intention is to amplify connection, collaboration, and co-creation by, with, and for the communities that we come from. At BAE’s core, we celebrate and support female creativity and divine feminine energy — the hidden talent and hushed magic of NYC, and beyond. We are holding these safe and hyper-inclusive spaces for people to do their thing fully and unapologetically with the vision and intention of shifting the status-quo. Greater equality, greater awareness, greater room for the modern yet renaissance woman. The real idea is that YOU are BAE. Putting you and your art and your mission before anything else enables others to show up in a way that honors themselves, their art, and their own mission, too. Ultimately, we coalesce to co-create and co-habit a world where we are all doing our thing and helping each other do it, too.


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Photo by (@sfreneenyc)

What inspired you to start BAE
A year ago, there were very few spaces in NYC like the one I am describing to you. At least, within the communities and neighborhoods that I was going out in. If they existed, they felt few and far in between. Of course, in many ways, we are a product and reflection of our environments, and so my not knowing about parties or collectives that empowered the feminine spirit is perhaps the truth that I needed to create those spaces — selfishly (because I’m into redefining that word) — for my self, and for my friends, too! I’d been teaching yoga for a couple of years and when I wanted to go out, I wanted to meet other like-minded people. I wanted to feel impacted by a positive energetic force. I wanted to feel just as balanced in my feminine nature, as I was getting validated for my masculine qualities. I wanted to honor the duality and multidimensionality of my being. When I began to DJ, I craved conscious dance floor experiences that left me feeling restored and inspired the next day, rather than drained and confused. I wanted to play at parties where people looked each other in the eye and didn’t need to lose themselves to find themselves, and where I could meet and support other women who were doing the damn thing — hustling, running businesses, building whole worlds in this city, changing the status quo, IN REAL LIFE. Now, there is a whole contact list of amazing, entrepreneurial artistic women for anyone to connect to and collaborate with (stay tuned for the BAE website launch with direct links to ‘em!). We put each other ON.

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 Photo by (@shotbyrod)

What kind of events does BAE typically throw or involve themselves with?
BAE creates super-charged, high-vibrational experiences featuring a uniquely all-female and female-identifying lineup of music-makers, live artists, and matriarchal healers. We feature interactive activations, live performances, and immersions across mediums and genres that highlight the most collaborative creators, artists, craftswomen, and local female-led collectives. When we collaborate with others, we are looking to both be in alignment with the organizers, and also to be contributing something really valuable to the event. So that even if the alignment is a little off, we’re holding a space that can serve as a portal for those attending who are craving what we are offering!

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Photo by (@junxionnyc)

There are so many amazing women involved in the BAE community! Where did you find them all?
Synchronicity! Speaking of alignment, every single soul involved in BAE is connected somehow to myself or someone else who is involved. The community has become a web of interconnectivity — degrees of separation that become smaller and smaller. Those who are naturally drawn to the community, are called to collaborate. I love to think of this as a Divine Feminine force shifting people, places, and things into authentic alignment. Sometimes, thanks to social media, myself or another bae will come across someone who creates and offers something incredible. We reach out. We actively diversify our lineups. We intentionally make it feel new each time. Plus, we keep our channels incredibly open. Direct Messenger has been our booking agent. Either way, nothing and no one gets forced or rushed. That’s the biggest lesson I’ve learned when all I was itching to do was bring into fruition something that wasn’t ready to be. Women have experienced much over the millennia. We are patient.

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Photo by (@chas_photoyogaphy)

What advice do you have for young girls and women who are trying to pursue their dreams in a world with so many obstacles and oppression against women?
As a female, you are a creator by nature.
You are a vessel for life.
Your dream — whatever you wish to do or have in the world — is your baby. It is what you bring forth into existence. It has as much tangibility and soul as anything else.
There will forever be obstacles; this is the nature of life itself. I like to think that without them, life would be uninteresting. There would be no real growth, or change, or evolution.
We’re entering a new age now, you know.
We are re-imaging and re-evolving our world.
We are not just demanding justice from dated modes of power, we are delineating and constructing it ourselves. We are sourcing our own happiness and success and systems.
Even in a world where oppression still exists, in the grand scheme of things, how lucky are we to be girls and women. Vessels for life! Ships that sail and ships that sink and create whole underwater universes where everyone can breathe.. We are unlimited. 

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 Photo by (@sashabphoto)

first photo by (@sebastionxmatt)

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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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