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Avy was kind enough to come into Phanganist HQ to tell us about his wonderful musical talents and his story of Koh Phangan...
How have you ended up on Koh Phangan?
Would you be surprised if I told you about a love story? I ended up here like most of the people I think, for holidays and party times two years ago! But things got really unexpected, as we spent all our time of our trip only on the island, connecting more and more with all of our friends from Europe and most of the party organisations.
We quickly got involved with parties as performers, running from place to place with our drums, juggling balls with all of our good, happy, fresh, French vibes.
Soon before we were due to leave for France, there was this crazy Eden party on the 16th of March 2014, it was one of those mornings you know, those ones where you fall in love with a place and above all with someone that maybe can change your entire life.
So, we've just postponed (again) our tickets to Bangkok to spend more days here, until the last minutes .... sharing only love and graceful life moments. The universe was definitively asking for me to be back!
One month later, I was back for two weeks, in full lover mood, starting to appreciate and understand the Koh Phangan way of life with my dear beloved Iza Viola, who has lived on the island for a while already. So that's how everything took another path in my life plan.
As we had a great season tour with my band in Europe in summers 2014, I offered Iza to come and join me in France to follow us as our official photographer and she came!
Round three and we were back for Christmas 2014 on the island together again.
That's what I call love, and the story goes on, from Paris to Phangan, from Phangan to Paris, with Love, Music and Happiness. Today is round four for me here, and I really feel grateful about it. Kap Khun Kap Universe.
What is your background in music and what are all the instruments you play?
I started by myself when I was thirteen as a bass player in many different projects, from groove fusion bands to improvised jazz bands, whilst also learning and drumming in western African style for ten years.
I can say that I'm maybe one of those kind of guys that just learn to play everything that falls in his hands, with a room full of instruments.
As I was traveling a lot I ended up in India in 2005 and started to learn Indian classical music with the Tablas, and then naturally a few years later, I turn myself to the Sitar for its beauty and deep commitment.
At that time, I was also part of a large party organisation in Paris (Atomes Association), whilst managing the events, I start djing around progressive and psytrance vibes, but not for long actually because life had a different purpose for me I guess, I do it now but only for fun and friends parties.
Then came another key point in my life, I met and joined the Goayandi band later on as a percussionist and sitar player, and that's actually my main project.
I guess I am lucky to always meet the right people and have a good hand/good hear combo!
This is how my musical journey is still going on now, becoming a way of life, a way of traveling, and a way of meeting others by sharing the ‘now’ with them all.
You are focusing on the Sitar and Djembe, why these two?
I have been focused on them only since I’ve been involved in the Goayandi project.
I feel that both of those instruments maybe reflect two different sides of my personality.
One is rough, tribal, rooted, very centered on the pulse and the ground, it's the power of the Djembe.
Also it is related to strength and dance.
Then comes the Sitar, a beautiful tool of contemplation, self discipline and also an open door to meditation and spirituality, it's a call to more sweetness, to more deepness in the sensation of playing and feeling the music. The Sitar needs to be precisely tuned to give it's best sounds, it's related to wisdom and sacred music.
Tell us a bit about your band Goayandi….
Goayandi is a French live band show that brings a new shape to Acoustic Trance Music, we usually call it Natural Trance because we are only using our instruments with fx boards in addition to a heavy kick and bass techno vibe.
Our music is quick and the main purpose of the performance is to put people in a communion state with us, with the languages of the electronic music through dance and consciousness travels.
The band is also a love story, between all the members and we are working hard to live this utopia, getting higher summer after summers.
Goayandi is composed of Kastor on the Drums, Damien on the Bass, François on the percussion and the Jew's harp, Dorian on the Didgeridoo, and me on the Sitar and the percussion, there are five musicians, supported by Max, our sound engineer. A sweet and nice family that we love to extend with other performers when the venue allows it.
Our biggest show will probably stay as the Opening of Boom Festival 2014 in Portugal, a huge chance and honour to be heard by nearly 45.000 crazy folks from all around the world!
What styles do you play and what is your inspiration?
Actually, I love to play any kind of style regarding my surroundings, from jazzy groovy vibes to heavy rock. I'm pleased to enjoy the feeling of all kinds of Trance states with the music. My inspiration comes mostly from Trance music as I have been raised going to festivals all around Europe since I was twenty, so for fourteen years now. On the side I have always maintained a deep connection to the traditional part of music, mostly Indian and African.
Mixing those influences look to be my way of expressing and connecting different dots from all around the Tribes.
What makes a good performance for you?
Many factors can make a good performance! But there is only one that blast all of them to my mind. Exchanging smiles with the crowd, this simple feeling of sharing, with hundreds or thousands of people. For us to give with pleasure and for the audience to receive with love. Whatever comes after will stay!
You are performing at Jungle Experience, tell us about when you have been before…
My first one was two years ago with my best partners in crime, François (drums) and Baptiste (contact balls), we were introduced to the Jungle Experience by the Alien Sistars (Thanks to Andrea and Luana) as performers, and as we love to party as well, we got ourselves fully involved until late in the morning as you can easily imagine.
Totally body painted, full of fun, full on Bandaiii, we were crazy playing on our drums, having much fun with the fire guys and back on stage.
The party was so sick!!! What a piece of life, what a mood!! Maybe the best way to meet Koh Phangan’s backstage. Since then, I'm happy to be back for Jungle every time I'm on the island. It’s like a ritual, and I hear once again, ‘welcome home bro’!
Are you looking forward to this one and how will you make it special?
My aim is to mainly drive people crazy and bring new colors to the performances over there at the right moment. I really love to push up the tribal vibe into the House music, people usually react to it super good when it kicks hard.
Drumming brings a more human connectivity to the dance floor I guess... that's why I love to perform on Dj sets, I'm always able to surprise you, just after the kick.
What are your current and future projects?
I’m totally dedicated to Goayandi, just like all the members of the band, as we are getting bigger and bigger each season.
For now, me being alone in Koh Phangan is more about going deeper inside my instrumental practices, from the Sitar to the Drums, I'd also love here to have more time to go on an ambient project, meeting and gathering with other musicians in many nice places, or simply at home, facing the Jungle.
What do you enjoy about the island in your free time?
Most of all, my woman, because that's the only place where life is so sweet!! And if you speak about the ‘real free time’ then it is really is hard to get it for me actually, as I'm constantly working online for my company in France, most of the time I'm running from the beach to the office, while picking my instruments for new adventures.
However, being on the island I'd really like to get myself into yoga as I always missed the point and couldn’t go to any classes seriously yet. I guess I won't have much free time this year if I succeed in balancing myself, but I'm quite ok with this idea.... As I used to say for fun ‘Hard life in Koh Phangan’.
What would you say to aspiring young musicians?
Dude, be patient, love yourself, do what you feel and make it your best, meet people, never be afraid of failure, always be respectful, be loving, be open and just listen to others.
Music is not just about making noise, it's about a subtle combination of feelings and musicals actions. Be Water (as said Bruce). Music is only a dance on a very specific level, you just need to pulse it, "Everything is Possible"