Musician Jesus from 'Jesus and the Russian Mafia'

12 Feb 2021

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Hey Jesus so what is your Koh Phangan story?
I used to live here before, I came for three weeks and stayed for year and a half in 2014 to mid 2015.

Then I came back, just to get my stuff I had left here and got stuck again! I was supposed to have been gone already!

Why do you think you get stuck here?

I love the energy of the island and the music also, I have a lot of musician friends here.

So you are a busker, how did this start?
I started travelling ten years ago, I went to New Zealand for three months working in restaurants and in construction and would play music for friends.

Back in Brazil I had never done this so I started on the streets and began making more money than in my other jobs.

I had a band in New Zealand and stayed for a while but then started going to Europe, back to New Zealand and all of South America where I was working in hostels and playing music.

I’ve been stuck in Asia for two to three years now.

Does Brazil influence your music still...

Most of my influence comes from funk, the swing and the energy it has and of course Brazilian music also. Mostly the rhythms, I can do famous songs with a samba, latin and salsa influence.

The funny thing is that the songs I’m writing I never play to anyone, that’s my personal thing.

It’s all about sharing happiness and my biggest pleasure is to see people having a good time.

How did your musical background start?
I started by myself in my room when I was fifteen and taught myself to sing and play guitar, I would spend nights and nights writing songs.

Tell us about Jesus and the Russian Mafia...

In 2014 I met Artem and Pavel at The Jam, then we had a few jams which was really nice. People liked us so we decided to put the band together.

We did rock, funk, reggae, pop rock and 60’s rock n roll and the name comes from everyone calling me Jesus and Russia (band members from Russia) being linked to the mafia so it was an obvious choice.

So what are your plans for the rest of the year?
Now we’re going to Cambodia for three months with the band and in September with drummer Hudstin I’m going to India to play.

Are you looking forward to it?
Yes, I’ve been to Cambodia but for India it will be my first time.

Do you think Phangan is getting more well known for live music and not just parties now?

To be honest now I think it’s the opposite but there are really great musicians here, I’ve met so many.

Amazing guys like Steven, Tez, Jho, Robert and other musicians who have come. The Jam was the best so hopefully they’ll open again.

I think it’s a great place to meet musicians, there’s a great magnetism for them to come here but it could be better.

What do you hope for yourself as a musician in the next five years?
We’re going to do these things now but I hope to record my own songs once and for all and also with the band.

I’d also like to go to China and Japan and to just keep travelling.

What do you enjoy about Koh Phangan in your free time?

I do yoga by myself and meditation, I’m also writing a book and I read a lot. I spend time with friends and go to the beach or have a drive around.

I like the secret beach and bottle beach and the one behind Guy’s bar.

Leave us with your music philosophy?
Live in the moment.

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