What and when was your first encounter with electronic music?
I was thrown in the deep end when a friend of mine returned from Goa in 1990 and took me to some parties in London such as Gumbo, Little People, Ahimsa, Focal Point etc. I had kind of missed out on the 80’s rave scene as I was more focused on playing guitar, so my first rave experiences were proper Goa parties drenched in fluoro and full of colourful freaks!! My life was never the same after that…
What inspires you the most in creating your music?
I feel inspired by my experiences on the dance floor and by creating that space for other people to immerse themselves in. To me, Trance music is a kind of active meditation that allows us to experience a completely different consciousness for healing, exploration and FUN! I feel honored to be a facilitator of this.
How do you tell a story in your music during your musical performances?
I just like to get into the flow and let the journey unfold with the help of the people on the dance floor… we’re all writing the story together ;)
What’s the story behind your artist’s name?
I actually inherited the name Laughing Buddha from my partner in Cosmosis, Bill. He had been using the name before we started working together and we used it for our releases on T.I.P. Records. When we went our separate ways he kept the name Cosmosis and I took Laughing Buddha. However, I do think it suits me very well :D
Do you think that artists still play a role in society? What effects can he/she/they have?
Absolutely!! To me, art of all kinds is fundamental to society. It brings people together to form communities and gives them a voice. Without art we are just machines carrying out the function of survival. Artistic expression is an important part of what makes us human and can bring about huge changes in society.
Share with us a funny moment that you experienced in your job.
More memorable than funny, one experience that comes to mind was a few years ago when I was on tour in Brazil. It was my birthday and I was playing at the wonderful Progressive Festival in Curitiba. I wasn’t expecting anything, but at the end of my set a cake was brought onto the stage and 3000 people sang Happy Birthday to me in Portuguese!
Do you have a specific memory connected to Shankra Festival?
The last edition of Shankra was amazing. I had a great slot right before Juno Reactor on the main night and the dance floor was completely packed. The energy was incredible and right in front of me the whole time were two guys dressed up as Vikings going totally nuts and waving their axes in the air!
You will play your music at Shankra Festival Sri Lanka 2022. How will you prepare your set?
I never prepare my sets. Each performance is mixed live and spontaneously in the moment to suit the vibe and energy of the dance floor. However, I will of course be preparing plenty of new blasters to open the psychedelic portal for you all ;)
A special message to the Shankra Family!
Every experience I’ve shared with you guys has been amazing… can’t wait for the next chapter. Love you all!!!!
What does your artist name mean? How did you come up with it?
From 2003 to 2006, I was playing with a band, we were experimenting electronic sounds with instruments. At the same time i was listening more and more psytrance and chillout, and in 2006, after a 3 months trip in Sri Lanka & India, I decided to start a chillout project. I didn't have a name yet, but on my way back to France i had the idea to use the nickname my friends in Sri Lanka called me with, Sudu eya, which would mean something like white brother in sinhalese. It meant much, as it was my first conscious dive into spirituality and in a culture so far from our own in Europe. It blew my mind, gave me a fresh start in life, new perceptions, and a sense of taking control on my own life instead of following what society wanted me to follow. Musically it was so interesting too, so it made sense to have a name connected to that, and I blended those two words together.
How did your musical journey begin? How would you define your musical genre? Tell us more a about your musical projects!
I started to play the violin at the age of 5, guitar at the age of 13, and electronic music came up at 17 years old, so there is a lot of music I went through and discovered before finding what would be the best for me to express what I want to. I love funk music, old school rap, roots reggae, dub, but heavy metal is a big part of my musical DNA, I connect that to classical music, in the power it emits. I love classical Arabic music, and Balkan music has my heart too.
You recently released an album during these unpredictable times…why “Starseeds”(title of the album)?
Starseeds represents the balanced connection between ourselves and the Universe. I got inspired by something new I have been doing for the last two years, growing my own food. There is a power in that, it's grounding, and it resonates within, that's the real magic of Life, that's what I wanted to be seen in the artwork as well, the seeds we plant on Earth are the seeds we plants in ourselves, the process is healing, at least that's how I experience it.
Tell us a little bit about your production process!
I'm working on Logic Pro X, and it starts simply by messing around with sounds, playing melodies on my keyboard, slowly building something up with pads or beats, and suddenly things start to take shape. I like the workflow with computer music, it's different from having something running in your mind that you want to put on paper, it's more like what comes up in this particular moment, and I love that, I love the idea that a composition would never exist if I would have decided to work in the afternoon instead of the morning, or being in a place or another when I put some ideas out, I find it fascinating.
How do you find inspiration to produce music?
In the present moment. Everything that led to this moment has a part of it there, it can be anything.
Do you have any advice / tips to emerging artists that are trying to enter this musical scene?
Be true to themselves musically, and never give up their freedom. Also always check your contracts, many of us tend to be excited when we start to have deals opportunity and sometimes don't read or don't try to understand deeper the terms of contracts.
You have been at Shankra Switzerland in 2016, how was your experience? What is your best memory?
Shankra was so nice, the first thing I remember is that at the time of my psytrance set it was pouring rain, so much that some drops were leaking from the stage roof. We managed to cover all equipment, and what made it so amazing is that almost nobody left the dance floor, they didn't matter the rain, it was so good, to see people stomping full power, such energy, I loved it!
You are going to play at Shankra Festival 2022 in Sri Lanka…how excited are you?
I can't wait, specially because of the connection I have with Sri Lanka, it's like the birth place of this project in a way, so it means a lot to me, and it will be the first time I play over there. The two months I spent back then changed my Life, the people I met, the places I've seen, Nature, culture, history, spirituality, it's a beautiful country.
How did your musical journey start and what’s the story behind your two projects?
Hello! Thank you for having me! I’m coming from a musical family, my grandfather Yuri Kovraiski was a trumpeter and composer, my father Vadim Golutvin is a composer and an amazing, extraordinary guitarist. The story of mine in electronic music is way too long to tell now, but I was producing drum n bass for few years until I heard Parasense and got to my first open air. Never liked goa trance and still not into it. But some music that came out of it I love, like full on and prog. Basically these are not “projects”, it’s just me, my pseudonyms. Furious was much of an exploration, studying synthesis production and sound design, non melodic, not musical approach. More like a vision and feeling given by sound and story then by melody or harmony. CA (Crazy Astronaut) is a blend, fusion of few techniques and genres. Some things from dnb, some from acid, some from psy. With CA it was an intention to produce ravey, less experimental and easier for understanding dance music. Bringing a bit of electronic music tradition to psy music.
What are the most characteristic features of your two projects’ music?
Furious is much more of experimental music. No rules. CA have certain standards that I’ve created and followed. Furious is creative madness, chaotic beast supported with psychedelic grooves. CA is melodic and big, with an intense RAVE feeling in some tracks.
What do you think is essential in the process of producing music?
The essential thing for me is to be responsible for every note and harmony change as well as being honest in what I’m doing. Be a professional. People feel when it’s not honest. Would never think of being someone else then myself.
Do you have any advice to young musicians that are approaching the world of music production?
Yes. Play instrument and learn theory. Tools are changing, theory - never. Find your MUSICAL language. Speak musically. Tell story with melody and harmony, with composition. And then produce it the way you like.
Do you live your job as a daily commitment? What motivates you?
I do. Music is what I make living from. Motivates.. Love motivates me. Family. Time. Other musicians’ great achievements.
An art piece, a book, a movie that you would like to suggest us.
An art piece - Arhip Kuindzi paints, a movie - all Scorsese, all Jarmush, a book, actually THE book - Fyodor Dostoevsky - Karamazov Brothers, Herman Hesse - Steppenwolf.
When did you play at Shankra Festival and how was your experience in our valley?
I've played twice in 2016 and 2017 and it was such a good energy, amazing, amazing people! Lovely! Thank you!
A special message to the Shankra Family!
Listen to your heart! Spread love! Forgive! Don’t regret! Never judge! See you on dancefloor, thank you!