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Who are you?
I'm Declan Ee and I wear three hats. I am a partner at private investment firm TLG Capital. I am a co-founder of the furniture brand Castlery. I am also a producer and DJ of electronic music group Trouze. In 2016, we released the Billboard Dance Top 20 hit Age of Innocence with Elephante. We are set to release a remix of the Chinese favourite Qing Fei De Yi that we produced with platinum-selling DJ Sam Feldt. I grew up listening to Chinese music while my years in London opened up the world of electronic music. This remix is a unique blend of both genres; releasing it on the international stage is another one of my dreams come true.
What drives you?
I call them moments of perfection. I'm determined to live out my passions, whatever it takes, no matter how old I get. The greatest feeling is turning an idea into reality and seeing how it impacts lives. With Castlery, I love it when people take home pieces to proudly display in their homes. With Trouze, it is knowing that people love the music we create. And for TLG Capital, our fund supports and strengthens marginalized communities. A significant investment is with Quality Chemical Industries Limited that brought down the cost of HIV medication from US$20 to US$1 a day. We serve over 500,000 patients annually in Africa.
What do you do in your free time?
I go for a 30-minute walk and let my mind drift while listening to music. I also journal at least twice a week. Writing relaxes me and serves as a compass for my life. I make it a point to look back on entries 6 months ago to see if I'm on track.
Finish this sentence: I'm inspired by… the energy I get from people, places and things. It's hard to explain so here's an example: I love jazz, electronic music and Chinese ballads. Whenever I re-listen to songs, they become time-capsules that take me back to the past. I remember distinctly what I was like then, and I compare that to what I am today. It is this confluence of memories against the present reality that creates energies I draw on to propel me forward.
This series is brought to you by MINI to inspire and awaken the passion and creativity within you. Are you a Challenger like Declan? If you think you fit the bill, email firstname.lastname@example.org to say why, plus a photo of yourself. We'll pick the best entries and feature the individuals on this page.