A Few Words With...Simrit
by John A. Wilcox
Since 2010 Simrit has been captivating the World and New Age audiences with her engaging and hypnotic performances and albums. Her latest release is When We Return - an album crackling with textures and bursting with ideas. I lit some nag champa incense and entered a trance as Simrit enlighted me on many subjects...
PS: Where were you born?
S: Athens, Greece.
PS: Do you come from a musical family?
S: My birth family is musical. My biological mother is currently still a singer in Greece, and my biological Great-Grandmother was a famous actress and singer in Greece.
PS: What's the 1st instrument you ever owned?
PS: What inspired you to start writing music?
S: I don't know. I always loved singing and making melodies from the time I can remember. In grade school, I used to come home and sit in the corner of the living room and record myself singing melodies and playing piano on my little tape recorder.
PS: Tell me the stories behind a few pieces on When We Return. Let's start with It Is Written.
S: Salif brought this really cool melody for the first half of the song, and we had been working on this one for a little bit of time together with the melody and poetry for the lyrics. Dev and Salif worked on the beat together, and then all of us in the band came together with the parts and created some magic. Also, the second half of the song was created when all of us were jammin' one day together. The melody and lyrical content all just seemed to float on in. It's how we write as a band together, really. We jam out together and come up with some amazing content.
PS: Just A Glance.
S: We played this piece for years before we actually recorded it. We played this one live for about 2 years before recording it. I love how we do that. We pull out new pieces all the time on the road...it's super fun.
S: This one was written in about 1 hour, literally. Then we took it to the studio, and we changed the time signature from 3/4 to 4/4. I wanted a dubby kind of feel to it, even though it's not traditional dub style. I love the heavy bass in this song, the hypnotic nature of it, and the amazing strings sections in here. We layered acoustic cello and acoustic violin in the strings section, and they are totally non-affected(no effects at all), even though all the layers of the strings make it sound affected...but they aren't....and this song really was calling for some dry and acoustic strings. We tried the electric cello with a lot of effects, but the song didn't want that sound in it. It strictly called for layered, acoustic and non-affected strings. There are so many string parts layered in the track that are doing some really cool things like tremeloes, etc. I love so many things about this piece.
PS: Oh Nayhu.
S: We played this track out live for a couple years before we recorded it in the studio. I wrote the basic form of this song and the melody...and then we expanded on it as a band during one of our practices. We came up with some really amazing parts together, and this is such a fun one to play live!
PS: You created your own language for some of your work. What does it express that other languages cannot?
S: It expresses a feeling or feelings that I cannot put into words.....some kind of energy that I don't have words for.
PS: How much of live performance is state of mind?
S: All is state of mind. The practice comes before the live performance. I practice a lot because I don't want to have to think about things and get heady on stage. So all I focus on is being inside the music...not worrying about what notes come next or what lyrics come next. That all flows naturally from the practice. The state of mind determines how palpable a show will be.
PS: How big a factor is feeding off the vibes of an audience?
S: It's huge, but it's not everything. We travel all over the world. Some audiences are super active and dance all the time and are loud. Some audiences sit down the whole time and don't clap. It's different from place to place....country to country. However, the quietest audience we had in Europe two years ago was the biggest spending audience on merch after the show. They were just really in to the music and didn't want to clap or move. They were so still, and me and my bandmates didn't know what was going on the whole show...it felt awkward, and then after the show we went out into the lobby and spoke with our fans, and they were all crying and telling us how amazing it was, and we sold so much merch at that show...it was almost unbelievable. So you never know. That's why state of mind is crucial.
PS: What are you looking to explore next?
S: Guitar. I play a little bit, but I'm looking to get way better at it...so that I bring that into the mix, as well.
PS: Please tell me 4 albums that always make you smile.
S: Gosh! There are hundred that make me smile! If I had to just name 4...maybe 5...
1- D'Angelo and The Vanguard : Black Messiah
2- Bob Marley and The Wailers : ALL Of The Albums.
3- Rage Against The Machine : Evil Empire and Rage Against The Machine
4- Jerry Garcia Band : Electric On The Eel
PS: Please tell me 4 books that greatly influenced your life.
1- The Hero's Journey: Joseph Campbell
2- The Hero With A Thousand Faces : Joseph Campbell
3- The 4 Agreements : Don Miguel Ruiz
4- Autobiography Of A Yogi: Paramahamsa Yogananda (This book is so psychedelic, it will rock anyone's world.)
All photos are copyright their respective owners.
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