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How did your journey with music begin?
“Primarily through just collection of music. A lot of my first interactions with music are from my parents having their own collections, which influenced me to buy my own.”
What is your form of expression (playing an instrument, being a DJ, etc)?
“I feel like I am a channel. I don’t limit myself to one particular vocation, career, skill or talent…I just feel that God-given ability and voice to express and to share messages. I think everyone is potentially a channel for their own expression, and it’s a blending of their own experience. For me that can come out as music in the form of playing and sharing musical selections that influence me or emits a particular frequency. It can be painting, drawing, even a conversation. Primarily I do sound system engineering and music selecting as professional services.”
How can expression help Jamaica to heal?
“In my perspective, our expression is based upon our experiences, whether it is things that have happened to us, or simply things that we perceive. Our main thing as Jamaicans (and even most Caribbean natives) is that we have come to be where we are through a very long-winded process of traumatization. There is a lot of pent-up and unhealed trauma, unanswered questions, closed doors, and cut ties that form part of our state of being. It could be that we don’t know or ancestry, or our indigenous culture and music…things innate to us. In all of us there is our connection to our creator, and in everything we go through our ability to express is a part of the way we heal. It’s a part of taking that state and making it tangible so someone else can experience and view and listen, and that’s the natural cycle of things.
I think expression, and more platforms for expression, is a way to help people transmute their own pain, trauma, experiences into healing (both for themselves and others).”
How has the local entertainment industry been affected by Covid-19?
“A major effect is that people have not been able to gather physically anymore, and that in and of itself a powerful thing in entertainment and the performing arts. Things like an artiste or musician on stage performing and having crowd response, or people asking for a pull up – it’s that physical sense of community that is affected primarily. I think the business aspect is of consideration, of course. However, if ones are creative and productive enough, there are things that can be done outside of physical events and spaces. The streaming and online dissemination of media has increased exponentially since the pandemic, and it’s really just a redirection of energy; channeling the same intention through a different medium.
A lot more people are expressing themselves through vlogs and weblogs, journaling, articles; a lot more of the photographers and videographers who’ve been sitting on footage have been releasing them. I think it’s also given time to work on yourself and inquire deeper within, a more internally based sense of viewing. You might still have people in your space but maybe less things to do, or hardly anywhere to go so you get a lot of time to yourself. A lot of the creatives are in this time producing some of their deepest and most self-connected work. There’s also a lot of shedding; people have been running from things, and this time has put them right in front of it. A lot of people won’t make it out, sad to say. A lot of people have not made it out, may they live on. That’s just the natural cycle of things; it’s gonna propel those willing to move forward.”
Where do you usually find inspiration?
“It’s just the God-given state of being. Everything we do, everything we feel is my inspiration. One day I might wake up and look at a tree, and the beauty of the tree brings a song to my head; or it might be something happening, like an eclipse or a full moon, or even current affairs. I find in my DJ mixes sometimes that it’s a lot of my personal experiences coming out…things that have been on my mind. I also generally pray when I am channeling frequency and depending in the moment I might ask for something different, and that will guide me. Other times, I just have ideas in my head. Samples will affect my mixes, like for example learning that a part of a song I love is a sample from another song and then from there do some digging into that and find an artiste or a musician that I never know; just that experience and acquisition of knowledge, things that make me feel a certain way.
I’m not the type of person who’s always going to play music that makes me feel good. Maybe there’s something else that I need to feel; or something that I need to express. You might hear something that comes off as offensive, moody or depressing. I’ve heard the full gamut, and it’s inspiring to be able to play and share frequency that connects with me as opposed to the expectations of others. I have a very, very wide appreciation for music and generally people do as well, but not many people are willing to share that. You find DJs trapping themselves by going out and only playing a certain kind of thing, and even if they get a good response, they end up thinking that’s all they need to do; so they go out and do it again. I’ve totally washed away many people’s expectations when I play music. That’s my favourite thing to do when I am in that space – sharing things that resonate with me, but also things that people might not be familiar with. There’s that time when something connects with you that you’ve never heard before, and it’s gonna stop you in your tracks. There’s some music I hear that I just don’t like, but it helps me to know why I don’t like it and that in itself is a lesson. All of these things that open up perspective are a major influence for me. The long and short answer is that my Creator and all that he has blessed me with inspires me, even though at times it may not feel like a blessing.”
Feel free to contact Biko at:
Collaboratively harmonizing in unison, our communal effort will create clear success and memorable musical moments.
All are welcome! The Universe shall ear.
Send collaborative opportunities, inquiries, bookings and audio to:
Phone #: 876-793-8840
Mixes and recordings can be streamed via Mixcloud at mixcloud.com/theuniversalear
Connect with me on these channels:
View Visual Vibrations as ShaWombMan
My online art gallery on DeviantArt : deviantart.com/shawombman
Blessings in abundance!