The Prince of Paris just rolled thru and filled out some [dots] that I threw at him recently. Sourya Panday, also known as Soy Panday, a pro skateboarder from Paris. He consistently makes things happen for himself. He is a good soul out there pushing around and making Paris moves. He is the new co-owner of a dope skateboard company called Magenta. Hopefully you haven’t been under a rock, and you’ve taken your ass to this site or your local shop to purchase a Static 3 video. Within that vid, you’ll find a nice little part Josh Stewart put together of Soy. You should also check out the Landscape part he had too. After he skates, he’ll find the time to draw articulate drawings. Once he compiles enough of them, he holds little gatherings at his house to show his work. As of lately, he and a couple of his homies are getting a solid independent skateboard company Magenta going stronger and stronger overseas. With that said, lets see what else Soy can tell us about living the dream…

Soy, fill n the [dots]…

My name means…

Sourya means ‘sun’ in hindi. After naming me, my dad decided to add a second name, the translation of which is ‘light’, as he thought the sun itself would be a bit too wild to handle. I guess he wanted me to shine but not to burn others or something. People have been calling me Soy forever though.

Eye Patch John Ford by Soy Panday

Eye Patch John Ford by Soy Panday

The last ten years of my skating have been…

Last ten years could pretty much fill up a book… I moved to Paris about 10 years ago to complete my Master’s Degree in Economy and Business Management. That’s when I first got hooked up by a company, Tikal, a wheel company started by my friend Samir Krim, with a team consisting of J.J. Rousseau, Vincent Bressol, Mathieu Levaslot, Bertrand Soubrier, as well as a young Lucas Puig.

After Tikal, Samir, along with myself and our friend David Couliau, and a young Vivien Feil as an am, started a board company called Minutia. I think people out here were pretty hyped on it, but we did some serious mistakes, and the company lasted no more than 2 years. That’s when Fos asked me if I wanted to skate for Landscape, I was stoked on the company, so I quickly agreed, and stayed there until Vivien, his brother Jean, and I started Magenta.

That whole time, since I was done with my studies, I traveled a lot. The first to have helped me out for travels was Flo from Bud skateshop, who paid for some of my flights when no one else would. Then Planet Earth clothing, who I was riding for before it ‘died’, helped me out a whole lot, helping me go wherever I wanted to go, and I got to see so many countries. Thanks to Travis Howell for that! Then came Dekline who helped me out for a couple trips before kicking me off the team. In these years, I have had the luck to see both coasts of the US, England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Spain, Bulgaria, Estonia, Lithuania, Russia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Greece, Israel, Finland, India, Thailand, and Japan.

It all seems quite far away now, I have traveled way less in the past few years, as I’ve had to pay for my flights myself, and the money is hard to gather. But I do feel like I have plenty of things to do here at the moment, so I am definitely not complaining.

My hometown skate spot consisted of…

I grew up skating in Belfort, a small town on the east coast of France. There wasn’t too many spots and the city was small, and I guess this influenced the way that I skate. We cruised the city and the suburbs searching for fun things to skate, and skated everything that was remotely skateable. I could never really set foot in a skatepark without getting depressed and wanting to quit skating altogether, so I just skated anything else. Then at 19, I moved to Grenoble, an hour south of Lyon, for my studies, and skated there the same way, making new friends along the way.

When I think of skateboarding, the first thing that comes to my mind…

Used to be freedom. I’m afraid to say I’m losing faith in skateboarding a little, or maybe I’ve just lost faith in people more generally speaking, which the skateboarding population is just a fraction of.

Skateboarding is a fun thing to do, it’s inspiring and influential, it can even be deep, in a certain way. The different outlook on architecture and urbanism, the questioning of why should a bench only be used as a bench for instance — which is also questioning the authority and speaking out your freedom. And then the art aspect: skateboarding is beautiful, it’s almost like a dance. Producing a photo or a footy clip is close to painting in a way, you have to choose your scenery, it has to make sense as an image. All that makes skateboarding something very interesting.

BUT, there is also a down side. Fake companies, marketed trends, lies, fabricated idols, competitiveness, jealousy, tv shows…… The list goes on and on.

Skateboarding is at the same time sick and a bit lame, so yeah, I’m not sure of the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of skateboarding. I guess it’s something that is fun to do, mainly.

First time I saw Tom Penny…

First time I saw him was at a skateboarding contest in Switzerland, at the Lausanne Grand Prix, in 1996 I believe. It was amazing. He looked like a dirty lion, and skated amazingly well. Got qualified without even showing up for his second run, his style was just so outstanding…

I met him briefly a few years later, although it didn’t feel to me that I was really meeting him. He was super nice, but Tom Penny, to me, can only be seen in the 411′s of the 1996-1998 era.

Some board graphics I really love…

Damn, there’s been a lot… Most of the time, and oddly enough for someone who is designing board graphics himself, I won’t remember the artist, or the board. I don’t have the best memory. I’ll just occasionally see a board that I think looks good.

I really like my friend Marke Newton’s graphics, what he’s done with French company Metropolitan Skateboards. His work is a big influence for me somehow.

The biggest differences about skateboarding in Europe versus the states is…

There’s more people and more business in the US, and the business is older. For these reasons, people in general and skateboarders in particular look at skateboarding differently here and there. There’s no such thing as a career to be made here, no one is really making money from it.

It’s in a way the same reason why people don’t look out for spots as much here; less business, so less at stake, means less competition between skaters… not so many people are ‘trying to come up’, it’s a little more relaxed. Which, oddly enough, doesn’t mean there’s less jealousy here. I guess there is jealousy and lame behaviours wherever there are human beings.

Also it’s less regulated here, so there’s a lot of big spots that are ‘allowed’ to be skated, or where it’s at least tolerated.

The social security system is different here, going to the hospital is pretty much free, so no one is suing anyone at the first drop of blood to get their hospital bill paid for plus some extra cash. This is one of the reasons why most spots are more skateable here than in the US…

The way my Static 3 part went down was…

It’s funny, I just emailed Josh one day out of the blue, long before ever meeting him, after he released Static 2, only to thank him for putting out such a good video; as one video with Puleo, Kenny, and a comeback from Oyola was pretty much a dream come true for me and a lot of others. To my surprise he wrote me back, saying he would like to work on a part with me. In the next emails we exchanged, I didn’t really talk about all that as I thought he only said it to be polite, or maybe I had misunderstood.

Then I took him, Ed Selego, and Guru Khalsa on a trip to India, without having ever met any of them, we filmed one trick there, and he was still talking about trying to do a part with me. I was really stoked, although a little scared, and I planned a trip to Miami to stay with him after the winter. Then I broke my ankle in Paris that winter, and didn’t set foot on my board until I made it to Miami a few months later. My trip was pretty much hell, I was super stoked that he offered me to film a part, but I had lost all my confidence, and my ankle was still hurting a bit. I filmed 2 tricks in 2 weeks, and I thought he was gonna tell me we should just forget about the part — I was very close to telling him that myself. But I was waiting for him to say it though, and he didn’t.

Anyway, next he came to Paris with Nate Broussard for a week, and that turned out to be the most productive week I’ve ever experienced. That’s most of my part, most of Vivien’s tricks, and some of Nate’s, plus a few things he ended up not using. It was a fun week.

Origami Camera by Soy Panday

Origami Camera by Soy Panday

While filming my Landscape horizon part…

I’m not sure there’s anything too memorable that happened while filming for this one, that comes to mind. For the main reason that for most tricks, I didn’t know I was filming for the Landscape vid. It’s footage from here and there, stuff I had used nowhere because I had nowhere to use it for, stuff Josh wouldn’t use, stuff I filmed left and right with filmers I wasn’t too in touch with, and stuff I filmed especially for that video, with my friend Sylvain Robineau and with Alan ‘The Man’ Glass.

With all that said, I think out of all my parts, that’s probably the one I’m the happiest with. There was no sense of rush and no stress whatsoever, and I like how it came out. Glass edits are really sick, and I could finally use a Wu Tang song!

A skateboard company that I always was into growing up…

I was into a few. I liked companies that seemed sincere, like early Real and Stereo, early Zoo York, American Dream Unit, Girl and Chocolate, Alien and Habitat, early Element even…

Now most companies turn to shit to please the kids, I guess that’s the way business goes. I usually like small companies better, because you start pleasing people by doing your own thing, and it gets more tricky when you grow bigger and have to fight to keep or broaden your audience…

It’s a funny evolution in the life of a company, starting with doing their own thing to get an audience —basically not giving a shit as they’ve nothing to lose anyway— to then be scared to do their own thing by fear of losing that audience —that’s when you decide to add all kinds of bright colours to once sober graphics, and some skate robots to your team, because most kids have very little understanding of what personality is…

So yeah, I’d say American Dream was one company I was pretty stoked on. I’d see a Lamont McIntosh photo with a fucked up board with half the griptape gone, in the middle of winter, and that would be my own American Dream right there somehow…

Magenta was conceived…

Magenta was conceived because Vivien and I had talked a bunch of times about doing our own brand, so that we could do what we please rather than just represent someone’s else’s thoughts. He left for a trip around Asia for 6 months as soon as he was done with his studies, broke out of a 6 year long relationship with his girlfriend, and was in a way seeking constructive direction with his life. On my side, I had always been drawing stuff, had made a couple graphics for Landscape, that not always came out the way I wanted it to, and well, basically knew that was one of the things I wanted to do with my life.

So he and his brother Jean gathered their money —I didn’t, and still don’t, have any— and we started it. I did the logo and all graphics, while Vivien did all the commercial paperwork —banks, administration, manufacturers, etc. All the while filming for our first video Microcosme, in 3 months of winter last year.

Magenta wood comes from…

Well, Magenta boards are actually made by Generator in San Diego, so it’s the same wood as Real, Anti Hero, Krooked, among many others. It was always Vivien’s and my favourite wood, and we wanted to have high quality products, so we went for it…. Even though it’s financially harder for us, as pretty much every other company now uses China wood…

The boards are now available in a bunch of shops in the US, among which KCDC and Autumn in NYC, MIA and Westside in Florida, HUF in San Francisco, to name a few.
If you want to support us, which I can only encourage you to do, you can put your shop in contact with Josh Stewart (for the east coast) at staticvideo@yahoo.com, or Evan Kinori (west coast) at evan.magenta@gmail.com.

The Magenta team consists of…

Right now, the Magenta team is Vivien Feil, Leo Valls, Jimmy Lannon, and myself.
Vivien, Leo, and I have all been friends for a while now, and have about the same vision and understanding of skating. Vivien and I have been skating together for the past 10 years almost, and so have influenced each other. Leo is younger, he’s one of the few of the younger generation to read between the lines, and to do his own thing without caring too much what people think, or whether what he does is ‘legit’ or not. That’s a notion that has always amused me, that everything has to be ‘legit’ nowadays, that tricks have to be hard and that there are certain standards, that there’s only one direction with skateboarding and it’s going forward. Fuck that. Skateboarding is an expression of freedom, it’s supposed to represent what your heart says, not what technical level you can achieve. It’s not so much what you do or how you do it, but why you do it. I guess this is why Japanese skateboarding is a source of inspiration for us.

Am I off the subject yet? Hahaha…

As for Jimmy, we have a lot of common friends, I met him super briefly in Miami years ago, but we didn’t really talk much at the time. We were really hyped on his skating and just asked him if he’d want to skate for us, and he was super stoked.

Magenta Skateboards welcomes Jimmy Lannon

Magenta Skateboards welcomes Jimmy Lannon

Here is a little “introducing” clip of Jimmy Lannon for Magenta: I think everyone on Magenta is really skating his own way, this is ideally something I would like Magenta to represent. Do things your own way and don’t care too much what other people think. We have only one lifetime to do what we please, so fuck what people think, if it’s preventing you from doing what you really want to do.

Yes, I do drift off questions, usually. Hahaha…

Magenta will stand out because…

Well, let’s see if it stands out. Let’s see if it stands to start with. Haha… If one thing, Magenta should stand out for sincerity.

In my very personal opinion, it should stand as something that isn’t one marketed direction, but a weird little mix between everything we like: rather innocent artwork with gentle colours, Wu Tang tracks, or any other rap song that contain gun shots, humour, sarcasm, street skating the way it actually happens on a day to day basis —and isn’t the process of 5 years of filming… stuff like that.

If that makes any sense. Haha…

I’m not a big fan of labels and categories, I don’t really want Magenta to be very easily identifiable, like “oh, they skate like this, so they probably like this kind of music and this type of skater…” I’d rather have it not completely make sense I think. I dunno. I might be drifting off the point again anyway.

I met Vivien Feil…

Let’s start by clarifying something that might be misunderstood a little on the other side of the ocean… Vivien isn’t helping Magenta, he IS Magenta. It would have never started if he hadn’t pushed me and Jean. And once we started, with his and Jean’s money, he’s the one who’s been working the hardest, dealing with all the shops, distributors, manufacturers, banks, and much more. And on top of all that, he filmed pretty much all of my part for our video, as we didn’t have any filmers here.

I met him skating in Paris, when he was just visiting the city. We quickly became good friends, and he moved in with me for about a year, before moving in with his girlfriend.
We shared an apartment on boulevard Magenta, where I still reside today, and this is where the name of the company came from.

Kevin Rodriguez pole jam bs smith — photo Jean Feil

Kevin Rodriguez pole jam bs smith — photo Jean Feil

Jean Feil…

Jean is Vivien’s little brother, he’s a really good photographer who works for Sole Tech Europe, and for Sugar magazine, contributing to other magazines as well. He’s also a little genius who can learn anything quicker than anyone else. And I mean really anything. Photography, kickflip back noseblunt slides, piano, chainsaw tree cutting, wall demolition and reconstruction… I could seriously not list it all. It’s impressive. Unfortunately for the world, he doesn’t really give a shit about anything. Haha..

Jean Feil Artwork

Jean Feil Artwork

Some recent new drawings are…

Well, lately, I have been mainly focused on Magenta, so I’ve drawn stuff for that, and so have been doing more graphic design than actual drawing… I have little art shows coming up next year for which I need to start painting, but it is hard to find the time for everything…

I’ve attached a few things: a t-shirt graphic I just made for a skateboard contest in Estonia called Simpel Session, happening next February; a drawing for an Elwood t-shirt that came out last summer and that might still be available; and… I don’t know. A couple other drawings.

Soy Panday for Simpel Session

Soy Panday for Simpel Session

Elwood Truck by Soy Panday

Elwood Truck by Soy Panday

The artists that inspire me…

Two really big influences for me are definitely Austrian painter Gustav Klimt, whose work don’t cease to fascinate me, and American folk singer Sam Beam of Iron&Wine. Pontus Alv and Bobby Puleo are also inspiring artists, in their own way. My friend Marke Newton too.

A drawing or painting I could never sell…

I’d say maybe that sheep drawing I made last year, because my mom wants it. Otherwise, I don’t know. It’s hard to depart yourself from a piece of work you’ve made, sometimes, but it’s also stupid not to let go. There’s no use in being your own biggest collector…

On the other hand, I could say all of them, not because I don’t want to part with them, but because nobody’s buying them. Haha..

Sheep and Moon by Soy Panday

Sheep and Moon by Soy Panday

When in paris you need to go to…

Damn, when in Paris, there is a shit load you need to do and see. Visiting the Louvre, walking around with your nose up to look at architecture, eating crepes, cheese and drinking wine are some of them for sure, but I’d say the most important is to meet the right people, as your experience of the city will be completely different. A city is not so much the walls that make it than the souls that inhabit it.

The best thing about Paris…

That there is always something going on, a bit like in New York. Rarely a dull moment, at times there are almost too many things going on. It’s hard to rest, there’s constantly something to do or see.

The worst thing…

Winter might be the worst part. I usually make it through by staying home, haha. I don’t really have the motivation to skate in freezing cold temperatures anymore… Although I actually skated quite a bit last winter, to film for the Magenta video, as we only had a couple months of winter to film it all pretty much..

People can be snobs too, here, that definitely isn’t the best aspect of Paris.

Best Wu-Tang member album…

I’d have to say Genius – Liquid Swords I think.

The last time I was in NYC…

Well, the last time I was in NYC, I wasn’t actually skating. I have a really bad ankle, that sometimes prevents me from skating for two weeks in a row, and then one day the pain leaves me alone and I’m good to skate for a while. Well, that pain didn’t leave me alone for my last visit, so I couldn’t skate for my whole stay. But my good friend Steve Brandi, who I was mostly there to visit, was also injured, so it didn’t matter. We just drank coffees all day and people watched. Lurked around in the city, talked about whatever. It was super sick. Can’t actually wait for my next visit to do about the same, haha.

Skateboarding wise, I remember filming with Josh and skating a spot that later revealed to be “owned” by Bobby. Hahaha. I have the utmost respect for Bobby, his skating and his standpoint, and enough sense of humour to not be offended too easily. But anyway, we were there skating, and Bobby somehow learned about it, from the other side of the city, and just called Josh on his cell phone, while he was filming me, and said “You gotta leave that spot, you can’t skate there, stop filming Soy, tell Soy to hop on a plane and go back to France”. Hahaha. I thought it was hilarious. I like Bobby a lot. There’s stuff he’s told me before, like his opinion, about people from the skateboarding world, that couldn’t be repeated… but that is nonetheless amazingly funny.

Next movie I will star in…

Haha… that’s a good question. I’ve just appeared on a little short movie that a friend of mine made for an art exhibition, called “Yo Moma”, which is a version of that American TV show “Yo Momma” in which every insult is linked to an art reference (the title itself being a reference to the NY Museum of Modern Art)… It’s very short and very smart.

Then my friend Sylvain Robineau (the guy who made PARISien and who’s done all the other shorts I’ve been in) and I have some short movie ideas, and an actual film project, that I’m currently writing the script of, and that we would like to start next year.

Oh, talking of Sylvain, he just released his latest video project called “Which is to be the Master?”, and it’s a must watch. A very smart movie about skateboarding. And life and stuff.

Any shout out’s or thank you’s…

Thank you Alex for your support, my family, friends, and whoever has ever helped me in any way. Cheers.

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