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Aslam Anver talks about Sri Lanka’s culture, its tourism industry, and Tropical Wax: a collective effort to redefine the South coast’s party and music scene for the better.
Whenever I travel to a new country, I usually go there with culinary endeavors and excursions into nature at the forefront of my mind. But when I reflect on where I’ve been, it’s the people I met there that truly etch a place into my heart.
My cousin Randall and I were fortunate to arrive in Sri Lanka knowing Aslam Anver was waiting for us. Randall had met Aslam through a mutual friend the year prior; I was excited to meet the man I had heard so much about, and we became fast friends. Our tour guide, party guru, and roommate, he made an incredible effort to share his country with us from day one.
Born and raised in Galle Fort, the world’s only “living fort” and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Aslam has witnessed firsthand the wave of tourism that has swept across Sri Lanka’s south coast. High-rise hotels, secret surf breaks discovered, and an influx of white people in his home village—the island was changing right before his eyes.
Aslam could see the direction his homeland was headed, and after working with friends to operate a beach bar on his home break of Dewata, he decided to buck the family trend of legal counsel to study hospitality and management. He now manages Hajime Sushi, in the tourist hotspot of Unawatuna, carefully crafting a vibe that complements the mastery of eponymous sushi chef Hajime-San.
In fact, setting the vibe is really what Aslam is all about. He’s a man of taste. Always dressed for the occasion, ever aware of the fine details—the guy’s got style. He puts an energy and an effort into a space that few people I know are conscious of. And it’s these little touches that take an atmosphere from cool to unforgettable.
Spending time with him shaped my sense of style more than he probably realizes. He also imparted some dope new music into my playlist rotation—perks of living with a DJ, or rather a “selector of music” as he prefers.
Being around Aslam and the Tropical Wax crew totally shifted my perspective on what it means to party. These cats know that the sound comes first, and when the music is good, the ambiance can flow.
Having moved into our new house together (on Sri Lankan Independence Day no less), we took some time to talk with Aslam about Sri Lankan culture, surfing, and where Tropical Wax is going next.
Born and raised in Galle Fort, Sri Lanka, Aslam saw the growing tourism industry in his country and decided to play his part in shaping it. As a surfer, selector of music, and event organizer, he has contributed much to the culture of the South coast scene.
Randall had a good run at the corporate life (Blizzard Entertainment), but a series of devastating personal losses made him realize that NOW is the only time to live. Through music, yoga, surfing, and travel, he’s since been able to craft a life that’s anything but ordinary
An impromptu trip to India in 2015 illuminated Siler’s path, lighting the way to Alaska, Hawaii, and Southeast Asia. As his personal practice deepened, Yoga revealed itself as the natural outlet for all of his creative energies and ignited a passion to share with the world.