New Family Member Melissa Zabihi
Interview by: Per Rynvall
Welcome to our little family; Melissa Zabihi!
Can you tell us a about yourself? Who are you? About your artistry?
My name is Melissa and I’m a 22-year-old skateboarder and photographer. I use a lot of other art forms in my photography like styling, makeup, sculpture, and typography. Creating photo-prop and evolving characters for photoshoots is a big part of my artistry. Photographers who have had a big impact on my style are Anna Koblish, Choi Seok, and Jack Bridgland.
Can you tell us about your journey into skateboarding, how did it start?
I tried skateboarding for the first time because of a girl-skate camp in Gothenburg when I was around 11 years old but it was when I was 14 I started skating frequently and I haven’t stopped since. I remember hiding in a corner at Actionpark and being scared of everything and everyone but after a while, I got braver and met some friends that helped me get better and also helped me get a proper skateboard (instead of my stadium one).
Skateboarding spots can vary greatly – from streets to skate parks to DIY spots. Could you describe an unusual or unexpected location where you've had an unforgettable skate session? Together with whom?
Me and my close friend Oscar Berg have a lot of unexpectedly good sessions. This summer we went to Kungsbackas skatepark. It’s located right next to an indoor swimming hall with waterslides and spa. We had a great skatesesh and then went to the spa and waterslides directly after and later kept skating, great combo!
What's your favorite skateboarding trick and why does it hold a special place for you?
My signature trick is definitely my no-comply 180 flip and my no-comply to staple gun in the ramp. No-complys holds a special place for me because it’s fun and easy to play around with. I’ve used it to avoid committing tricks as well haha, I learned kickflip to no comply before I landed a normal kickflip.
Skateboarding, music, film, and art are often considered a form of self-expression. How has your personal style evolved over the years?
People around me inspire me to be more creative in my skating style. I love combining different tricks to create new ones and not taking everything too seriously when I skate. My personal style has evolved a lot since living in Barcelona because it gave me more confidence and now I try to be more and more brave when I skate.
Best skateboarding movie of all time, inspiring/style/skater?
I love both mid90 and kids1995. I think they represent the skateboarding culture in a real way that both shows the beautiful things about skate but also some of the toxic parts of the culture.
Skaters who inspired me when I was younger were Jason Park and Kento Yoshioka. I just loved seeing how fun they seemed to have while skating. Today I find myself getting a lot of inspiration from @stickydickies and @_palice on Instagram.
Beyond the physical aspects, skateboarding also involves a strong sense of community. Can you share an experience that highlights the positive impact skateboarding has had on your social connections?
When living in Barcelona I met many amazing people through skateboarding and I’m forever thankful for that. The girlsskate community is also something else, moving to Malmö from Gothenburg was such a milestone for me because of the inspiring girls who skate here.
Music and skateboarding have a long-standing connection. Are there any specific songs or artists that you find particularly inspiring or that get you in the right mindset for a great skateboarding session?
I love skating to blink 182 and the chats when I want to close off everything around me.
Can you share some insights into your daily routine (art, skate, music, etc)?
I usually use my mornings to listen to music and work on freelance projects. When I’m done with my “to-do list” I go skate or hang out with friends or do both.
Your favorite movie and film director?
My favorite movie is absolutely Lilo and Stich. I love the colors, the illustrations, and just how the characters look visually. It’s a banger movie!