How long have you been in Second Life and how did you first hear about it?
I joined Second Life in 2013, so it has been about 10 years for me in Second Life. I first heard about it after looking for a new home when the virtual world I was in at the time, called vSide, had shut down. I guess it’s safe to say that Second Life became my new home in the past ten years.
You have been a content creator in Second Life with your store Cosmic Dust for almost a decade! Tell us how you got started, where you get the inspiration for your creations, and what are some of your favorite pieces that you have created.
When I started Cosmic Dust, I genuinely didn’t know what I was doing. All I knew is that I wanted to make stuff and being someone who loves space, I immediately knew I wanted to name my brand Cosmic Dust. What I did have was an amazing support system of friends and family. With the help of some of my fellow creators, I was able to get started and learn the basics of creating/meshing as well as collaborate with friends on some more advanced projects.
I get a lot of my inspiration from pop culture and everyday life. I tend to see things and think, “How cool would that be in Second Life?” My store has been on a bit of a hiatus since I have been focused on my music more recently, but some of my favorite items have been some of my sillier ones such as my backpack bra, as well as the fanny packs and boomboxes I made ages ago.
You’re also a singer and songwriter in the real world. Tell us more about your singing career and do you also sing in Second Life? Where can people hear you sing?
Growing up, I was very into pop music and pop culture. I was always interested in singing and songwriting but very shy about it. I had a notebook where I would write some songs and little tidbits of unfinished lyrics, but I never ended up doing anything with them. During the pandemic, I went through a bad breakup and never got any closure from the relationship. I ended up writing my first song Forever Goodbye, and showing a rough demo to some friends. Everyone was super supportive and told me I should release it. I ended up writing a few more songs, which really helped me heal and give myself the closure I didn’t get. When I finally released my first EP Heartbreak Hotel, I ended up sharing it with the SL community and having a virtual release party, and everyone was very supportive. I am currently working on writing and recording my second EP which should be out later this year.
In Second Life, I am working on making my live singing debut at Smokefest in August, so be sure to catch me there! I am also planning on doing other shows this summer as well. You can keep up to date with me on my Flickr as I will be posting more details there.
June is Pride month and in Second Life many members of the LGBTQ+ community find this to be a safe space to express themselves and feel empowered. Are there any activities or events that you’ll be taking part in or are looking forward to during this month?
Pride month is very important to me as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. Growing up Indian and gay, I felt like I didn’t have the best support system, nor did I know how to navigate battling societal pressures to live life as my most authentic self. Second Life really gave me a safe space to be myself and meet many other people who have stories similar to mine. I am so grateful for all of the people I have met along the way.
Although I do have a lot of RL commitments this month, I will be DJing at Pride At Home twice this month and have a free gift out at the Pride At Home sim as well and am definitely looking forward to attending as many Pride events as I can. If you see me around, feel free to say hi!
My DJ dates for Pride at Home:
Pride Prom - June 24th @ 8 PM SLT
Pride at Home Closing Party - June 30th @ 4 PM SLT
I’ll also be playing, show #1 live at Smokefest on Saturday, August 5th at 6 PM SLT.
Tell us about some of the other Residents in SL that inspire you and whose work you admire.
(Nokey) Kitty.Cat, Rikku (Bitey.Cat) & Glitch (Gae.Passion) are three creators I really admire. Glitch really helped me learn a lot in my early days when it came to creating in Maya for Second Life and she has come so far with her own brand, Quirky. Nokey and Rikku are the creators of HAZEL and STOIC. They create super fun high-quality items and animesh attachments that are super unique.
Geena Carminucci is a wonderful blogger and photographer in Second Life and a great friend in real life. Her work completely blows me away and she often does my ad work for Cosmic Dust. She always inspires me to improve my skills and continue to learn new techniques every day.
Jade (Chibi.Resident) & Jess (xoJessxo.Pexie) : Although these two are not content creators in SL, they have become my family and inspire me to do better and be more creative every day. They are my biggest supporters and always give me new ideas for my creations and music. I have known them for over 8 years and they are some of the people I have known the longest in SL that continue to inspire me.
Sol (Cool.Cat) is an aspiring graphic designer and content creator who is super creative! I love her work and she actually directed my Heartbreak Hotel (Acoustic) music video used in this spotlight!
Video production by Sol (Cool.Cat)
Thank you, Max, for adding your talent and voice to the Second Life creator community and live music scene!
Each of our Spotlight posts features a different Resident to showcase the spectrum of experiences and personalities found in our virtual world. If you have created something inworld that you’re proud of, or have had a deeply meaningful experience that could brighten someone else’s day, please sign up! More info here: https://second.life/spotlight-signup