The artist, singer, model, DJ and actor known as Christ Diva is a rare beauty with a strange name whose unique personal style can sometimes distract people from immediately recognising the remarkable amount of talent she possesses as a true modern renaissance woman who refuses to limit herself to just one artistic discipline or career pursuit.
With an abundance of tattoos decorating her arms and legs and a shaved head somewhat reminiscent of 1980’s Irish pop-icon Sinead O’Connor, Diva has – intentionally or accidentally – managed to call into question the Cambodian cultural norms regarding beauty and the excessive use of make-up and styling by most women when attending an occasion of any social import.
Christ Diva is – of course – a pseudonym or stage name adopted about a year ago when Diva began to seriously explore a career in the entertainment industry, performing as a singer, DJ and actor – and appearing in music videos, in particular.
Her bold decision to shave her head has attracted a great deal of attention, though not all of it has been positive. She perseveres with the style because of her strong belief in the ideal that a woman’s beauty doesn’t depend on her hairstyle or a cosmetics-laden face but on the totality of who she is as a person, which can include physical appearance – but should also transcend it.
Diva’s recent rise to local fame and celebrity began not long ago during the pandemic around the time when everything was either locked down or under heavy restrictions. Diva and her partner Alex Matt were doing live shows online playing and mixing music just to pass the time.
One day, she says, she noticed a very sudden and precipitous upwards trajectory in their number of viewers – the numbers just kept climbing and climbing for reasons they couldn’t fathom then or now, but it was at that point that people began to take notice of her and her various creative pursuits.
“I feel a connection to the entertainment industry and I’m sure it’s something that I’m going to continue to be involved with in the future. I had roots in it even when I was young but back then I really knew nothing about it as a business.
Diva has actually been involved in the entertainment industry since 2013 when she at a young age she began her initial baby-steps as a singer, but it wasn’t until this past year as an adult when she decided to just go all-in and really try to make this into her career.
“I honestly just loved the feeling of having fans and receiving love and appreciation from them. I’ll admit it – I do love the spotlight – and I do like to look pretty, but also dramatic and larger than life. It’s neat,” Diva, 24, tells The Post.
Diva doesn’t like to speak disparagingly of her family at all, but in conversation her hints add up to the obvious conclusion that most of her family members are not big fans of her career choice or her activities as an artist.
Her grandparents still object to her being an artist in particular, but her parents have gradually learned to be open-minded as they came to understand while raising their daughter that she was going to follow her passions and walk her own path without much regard for anyone’s objections or approval.
“When you’re passionate about something you just understand that it’s something that you’re meant to do. It’s not based in logic, it’s a feeling. When we are born to do something then we will always long for it no matter what obstacles present themselves. If something blocks your path then you just climb over it, push it aside or break it into pieces,” she says.
Diva still is uncertain whether her parents will ultimately be satisfied with her decision to be an artist and support her in achieving her dreams but for now they are willing to give her some space to explore this aspect of herself and figure out what she wants out of life.
“No one else in my family has any artistry in their blood to be honest. They are all into working and are business people. So, I guess that’s one of the reasons they find it hard to understand why I’m insisting on such an unusual career choice.
“But I believe that you must seek whatever you wish to find. First you try, probably at first you fail, perhaps many times even, but then ultimately hopefully you succeed. But it all starts with trying and if you never try you can never succeed,” she says.
Fashion design is another pursuit that Diva is passionate about and for the past three years she was co-owner and investor in one particular clothing shop, but recently she let it go and now she is entirely focused on her entertainment career. However, she says she’s still designing clothes for herself, her partner, her friends and for select projects.
One big adjustment she’s been having to make is becoming a public persona or celebrity who is subject to a constant barrage of other people’s opinions of her and everything she does. Some of them are very supportive and positive and uplifting, but there are just as many that are negative and even downright cruel and it takes developing a thick skin to ignore the trolls.
“Last year I used to do like a club online where I’d DJ and I would livestream and talk with fans. It was really fun until I started seeing these rude comments asking about me going bald – over and over and over again – and I was just really irritated by it because they keep repeating the same questions and a lot of them are just mean.
“But I know this is normal. If we want to be entertainers and we love having a career in the spotlight then we need to get ready to hear whatever people have to say about us and it won’t all be pleasant. Basically, we need really strong mental health to continue doing this and handle it without snapping.
Diva shaving her head also caught her parents off guard in a big way. At first all of her relatives who saw her at family events began suggesting places where she could buy wigs to cover it up – as if that was the point she was trying to make – but she just laughed it off.
However, as time has passed, some of her family have gotten used to seeing her with a shaved head and have begun to see the beauty of it and now her mother even admits that it complements the shape of her face quite well.
“I have no hair but I do so many other things in my life in order to shine. I show my beauty through my attitude, behaviour, presentation, style and talent. And most importantly we all need to know ourselves and love ourselves because that’s all that really matters,” she says.
As far as musical inspirations go, Diva says there are two singers who she looks up to the most: Tep Boprek and Sous Visa.
“Bong Boprek once said ‘when you are invited to any event, big or small, you should make yourself beautiful, sophisticated and glamorous in your appearance, not for the sake of your own glory but in order to honour the person who invited you’,” according to Diva.
Diva mentions that Sous Visa used to say that “even the tallest skyscrapers are built from the ground up starting with small blocks of stone, one upon the other until they tower into the sky, so one should never give up – even if you feel you have nothing at all, because every little stone – every building block – each one of them is necessary in order to reach those clouds. That has always been with me,” she says.
Diva says that every person in this world who has a dream and wants to achieve it badly enough has only one path forward they can possibly take: To keep trying. Don’t be discouraged. Don’t give up. Don’t lose hope. If you keep trying, you will find a way, she says.
In the very near future Diva says she plans to compose some music that is going to take Cambodians out of their comfort zones and shake things up a bit and that it will be risky, but she can’t wait for people to hear it.
For more information about Christ Diva visit her Facebook or Instagram pages:
Facebook: Christ Diva