This Q&A was taken from our full profile on Name in Prestige’s December 2016 edition.
While he is known as the heir to his family’s S&P food empire, Prakarn “Name” Raiva is better recognised as the polished front man of much-loved experimental pop band Getsunova. Prestige sits down with one of Thailand’s rock stars to chat about family, fashion, fun and music.
First off, where does the nickname “Name” come from?
“It is a question I get all the time. Both my parents have nicknames that start with ‘N’, and my father wanted me to have one, too. I don’t think he thought about what I would face in the future when people ask what my name is. I tell them my name is ‘Name’ and the response is always, ‘Uh, sorry, what?’”
What do you like most about being this rock star figure?
Being on stage and listening and seeing everyone else sing your song … sometimes you feel like a god, basically. You tell them to put their hands up and they all put their hands up, wave around, scream. It feels like you are in control of the crowd. That’s what I enjoy the most. That is a feeling that you can’t get from anything else. I think that is the privilege of being a singer, the feeling of being appreciated. The feeling of giving people a good time and seeing them cry, seeing them laugh, seeing them enjoy themselves. That’s probably what I would say I love the most. Making people happy.
What’s the weirdest thing any fan has done for your or the band?
There’s so many stories. Not too long ago we played a show in Burma. We normally sell shirts after the show, but this time we decided to auction them off. This one guy, for some reason, bought one of our shirts for 40,000 Baht! We couldn’t believe it. It was just a normal T-shirt, no signatures or anything. We didn’t even sign it.
Who are your creative and musical heroes?
I’m a big ’90s person, so I grew up loving Oasis, Radiohead and Joy Division. I like alternative music. Tom York is a big inspiration of mine, even though I will never be able to understand what goes on in his head. [laughs]
You recently celebrated your one-year anniversary with girlfriend Chicha “Kitty” Amatayakul. How did you two meet?
It’s funny, because this time last year I had just met her, and immediately after that I had to do a music video, and I asked her if she wanted to be in it, and she was like, ‘OK’. And then it kind of took off after that [laughs], it wasn’t my plan to ask her out because of the music video, or an evil scheme to go for her. It just turned out that we kind of got along and yeah.
Did she ever think that is was your evil scheme?
Maybe she did. She probably still does [laughs]
Are there any luxury brands that you admire?
I’m a great admirer of a lot of luxury fashion brands, actually, because I studied journalism at a fashion school in London, so I’ve always been intrigued by luxury brands, and my favourite clothing brand is Saint Laurent, because it defines what the modern male should look like. I’m a big fan of Hedi Slimane, who’s not with Saint Laurent anymore, but he really found the right silhouette for men’s clothing when he was there.”
Your family’s business, S&P, has been a staple in Thailand for the past four decades. What’s your role in the company and how is the brand expanding?
We are trying to reach the younger crowd with the new S&PHQ. It’s my sisters project, but I help her out a lot. We want it to be a space teenagers think is cool to be seen and hang out. it is like a coffee shop/cafe/cake studio. You have your food, your drinks, your coffee, and at the same time there are classes in there where you can make coffee, brew coffee and make cakes as well. It is a completely different look from S&P. we want to increase this concept all over Bangkok as well, but we need to do this without diminishing the old S&P as well. So, it is like a younger generation of S&P.
Do you ever see yourself putting the music on hold to work full time in the family business?
It’s funny because it seems like everyone in my family went off to do their own thing at some point in their lives, but eventually came back to work for the family company. That’s probably what I’ll end up doing in the not-so-distant future. I want to help as much as I can. Without this thing that our family built, I would never be able to do what I am doing today. I wouldn’t be the person I am today. That’s something I am very thankful for, and I have a lot I need to pay back to them.
I have to be honest, there are a lot of life lessons I need to learn and a lot of things I need to accomplish first. [As a kid] I would pray to become a singer. I repeated the prayer since before I can remember, and I still say the prayer now. I still pray for this dream. I still feel like I’m that same child inside.
Photographer: Virunan Chiddaycha
Stylist: Pisit Jirathadaphan
Makeup Artist: Nichakan Sungwian
Hair Stylist: Narongsak Yiamlaengamkool
Art Direction: Kanda Charanawat
Editorial Coordinator: Sirinart Panyasricharoen
Venue: Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok
Clothes: Dior Homme
Timepieces: Richard Mille