Govinda Opens Up On His Musical Journey and Latest Album
With the release of his latest album Decadence, violin virtuoso and electronic music maestro Govinda, has once again proven why he is one of the most unique artist in the world of dance music. Since I came across Govinda’s fusion of trance, glitch and eastern inspired sounds on his Luminance EP, I was instantly hooked. With a huge contribution from live instruments and sultry vocals, Govinda is able to capture a truly inspirational and enchanting aura. Along with this highly anticipated release, Govinda has a full summer ahead stacked with festival appearances at Kinnection Campout Festival, Rootwire Transformational Arts Festival and Sonic Bloom Festival. While he was in town for his New York visit on the Decadence Tour Govinda took a few questions from Sensible Reason about his musical journey, creative process and favorite festivals.
Sensible Reason:: You recently played at Slake in NYC. How do you like performing in New York and what are your favorite aspects of the city?
Govinda: I love playing in New York. The music and show I am producing is much better understood by people in fringe cities. New Yorkers are well experienced with art forms and expressions that push the envelope and that makes my show more appreciated.
SR: How would you describe the progression of your music from early releases like Sound Sutras and Worlds Within, to your most recent album Decadence?
G: The music has evolved to accommodate more edgy, younger audiences that have energy for dancing. The new sound gathers a more intense and sensual feel that brings out a serpentine fire that older Govinda music made much more subtly.
SR: You have quite a few collaborators joining you on Decadence. What do you look for in a good collaborator? What is the creative process like when you work with them?
G: I usually work with singers that have a unique quality to their voice. Something memorable and quirky since the music sometimes lacks hooks and traditional form. Usually the singers live in other cities so I’ll send a track via the web and they will compose/record something and send it back so I can mix it .
SR: Your music is clearly heavily influenced by the culture of your ancestors. Can you tell us about what it was like growing up with those unique sounds and textures in your home?
G: I grew up listening to art rock of the 70’s since my parents worked in the music business. I only became aware of the music of my ancestors as I heard it along my own explorations in college. The music spoke to me in ways that touched my soul so I knew I had to learn it.
SR: Can you think of one album that really opened up the world of electronic music for you? Why was it so important?
G:The first time I knew I needed to make beats was when I heard Portishead’s “Dummy.” Up until then, I was only focused on classical and orchestral composition.
SR: It seems that electronic music has become an intrinsic part of the mainstream culture, however you have found a way to be very successful while remaining incredibly unique. How have you been able to navigate the industry so long without losing your creative spark?
G: I’ve always been an ambitious person with a dream. I don’t give up easily and always had just enough in the hard times to keep me going. It doesn’t hurt that it’s rewarding enough to make your own art.
SR: You’re obviously an amazing violinist and composer. Who are some of your favorite classical composers, and what are your favorite works by them?
G: I love all of the Russians composers of the 19th century and also Nicole Paganini for violin works. The French impressionists gave me a dreamy sound inspiration but my greatest aspiration is film scoring! My goal is to get into this in the next few years .
SR: You’re music has an undeniable cross over quality, almost like an east meets west uniqueness. Did you initially set out to capture that sound or was that something that sort of developed over time.
G: I have always been inspired by music from around the world. The music of my ancestors plays a big part the music’s direction. However, if anything, I am evolving from this world blend as I explore the next era of my musical expression.
SR: What are some of your favorite festivals to perform at and why?
G: Lightning in a Bottle and SonicBloom are some of my faves. I love the small to medium sized festivals that are efficiently run. The sound, organization, weather/natural terrain, and how the promoters/festival staff treat the artists are some of the most important things to me. These are among the best!
SR:. Do you have any pre-show rituals that you enact before a performance?
G: Not really… but I do like to get centered. I also usually try to find and dine in the best restaurant in the city I’m in…because I’m a snobby foodie.
SR: Finally if you weren’t a musician what other calling do you think you would pursue?
G: A designer, architect, or restaurant owner. I love food and designing spaces!