Mark Baker has a reputation and a vibe of a fireball here in Bali: it looks like this man is on a mission to prove there are indeed no boundaries or limits for a human being! Constantly evolving, restlessly reinventing himself – a British PRO-skater, a “godfather of New York nightlife”, as he was once dubbed, a healthy lifestyle advocate – this legend is being positively contagious for everyone who gets to know him. We chat to a man of many faces about Bali nightlife, the Pretty Poison generation and wearing sarong in public.
1. We can keep up with Kardashians but we can’t keep up with Mark Baker – you seem to be all over Bali and beyond! We do need some first-hand update: what are you busy with at the moment?
– I have a motto: you’ve got to be in it to win it!? I just have so much energy right now and am loving life in Bali. I’m just inspired to bring all the good things we have done in New York and around the world to Bali (and leave the bad stuff behind!) In here, every day is an opportunity to create new things so for me that means: juice bars, organic farming, nitelife, beach clubs and much more – all with the Bali twist and flavor! Also, my idea is to create jobs and business in Bali FOR Bali. There are too many companies that create business here and take the profits OFF Bali…we want to try spread the love here, too!
2. We see you wearing a sarong in public during the day – meaning, you’re a real Bali guy now?
– I’m 50+ and can wear a sarong in public – I’ve earned it! Actually, since my first trip to Bali in ’82, when I fell in love with this island – the ceremonies, the people, the culture – I’ve always been a fan of sarongs, they are so comfortable! I’ve worn them in Manhattan too, haha. But it’s more acceptable here ? I’m not a fan of clothes these days so a sarong is just fine!
3. So you are back into the club business after a short break, so we’ve heard? How does that feel?
– There is that great moment in The Godfather movie when Michael Corleone says: “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!” Haha! Seriously tho, whilst I love my new healthy life here, a part of me will always be drawn to the nite, and when Mac Pedari and I were discussing the current state of Bali nitelife and his vision to open a great and exciting new venue, I just couldn’t resist the call. There is nothing like opening a new venue as opposed to an old reincarnation, so after Townhouse morphed then burnt, I believe this will be the next exciting venue in Bali for an upscale, fun and sexy crowd. Bali needs to lead Asia with nitelife and I I think OPIVM can fill that void!
4. You surely know what ‘cool’ means. What will be the next cool thing in Bali in the next few years?
– Well, being healthy is def the thing now as opposed to being self-destructive. So the keywords would be: organic farming, juicing, meditation, spiritual awareness, retreats. The industry that supports this lifestyle will grow. Of course, beach clubs and cliff clubs will proliferate, and you will see many great DJs coming to Bali. Conferences and networking business retreats are the next big and cool thing too. Remember the words networking, retreats and festivals! It’s all about the balance: work hard, play hard, travel, cleanse, repeat!
5. A PRO-skater, a nightlife PRO, a juice master, a wolf owner…what is Mark Baker in 2017?
– Ha-ha! A work in progress!? I’m just trying to be present and enjoy each day. I’ve spent my whole life in New York stressing over the next day and never really fully appreciating the moment, so I’m trying to learn to love each and every day now. Bali has a wonderful (and tough) way of stripping you bare till you are naked and vulnerable, and then – if you’re prepared to submit to its magic – it can build you up again better than ever, a reincarnation of sorts. If you can hang in there and love and respect Bali, it will love you back. So I’m all about love these days! Sounds corny but it’s true: the world is a mess right now, and we can play our part to show the world the love is strong here in Bali…a refuge of sorts from all the anger and madness in the world at the moment.
6. A message for all the cool kids in Bali – skaters, surfers and Canggu boho babes, please?
– Bali kids are very cool and I love to see places like Pretty Poison full of these fun skaters and surfers, stylish, multilingual – and they are ripping! I’d say, keep the magic in your hearts, don’t let the angry world make you toxic. Love and respect Bali. Be creative. Dream! Act and follow your ideas to fruition. You are the new generation. And of course stay away from the bad stuff…I’ve never met a junkie who wins.
Read our review of one of Mark Baker’s enterprises In The Raw here.