Monday, August 08, 2011
Seven questions... with Vishal Kassie aka 'You Are My Symphonic'
Discovering You Are My Symphonic was a real highlight for me... I really, really love his music. I think he has real potential.
I wanted to know more about his creative process so I caught up with him via email and asked him my seven questions... this is what he replied:
1) Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Vishal Kassie and I write and perform folk/electronic/ambient/neo-classical music as You Are My Symphonic. I have a small home studio in my Montreal, Canada apartment with windows covered in green vines where I like to continually add and tweak layers. I really enjoy writing and producing the same song under different seasons and passing weather to fuse a piece those changing feelings to the music. Some of my best days are when I spend the entire day and evening in that sanctuary.
I spend my working hours as an aeronautical engineer in a large team currently developing a portion of a new commercial airplane. In my younger years, my uncle would take me to the top of multi-level parking lot that was near the runway of Toronto airport. Since then, everything that flew brought excitement. Aviation has a deeply romantic history mixed with adventure & exploration and I'm ecstatic to be a part of it. I volunteer with the local Red Cross supporting people that have been displaced due to a fire or other emergency. When I can help, it's truly gratifying and full of true human moments.
Most of my time is spent laughing with my girlfriend Mar.
2) What are you working on at the moment? I just put out my latest album "I Found Your Faces of Montreal" which was a true journey for me. It was written, then stolen, then re-written over 3 years. It turned out to be my personal diary of moving to Montreal and all the romantic thoughts I had of the city growing up and how all the aspects of my life converged. I put together my first live set at the CD release party which was held in an old church with high ceilings. It was a beautiful set of moments. Now with that momentum, I've been promoting the album and thinking of new ways to enhance my live show.
3) Who inspires you?
- Name an artist who has inspired you.
It's been a long life-long journey of various styles of music which, I hope, all made their way into You Are My Symphonic's style. Sigur Ros, Radiohead, Ninja Tune Records, Silver Mt. Zion, Ulrich Schnauss, Spiritualized, Nico Muhly and the ton of artists from independant labels or collectives doing truly interesting and engaging projects.
- Name place that has inspired you.
I think you have two categories of places that can touch you in different ways. "Romantic and Adventurous" is that dreamy place where you see yourself feeling whole. Montreal is the flagship for me, especially the island where Expo '67 happened. The diversity of the world is vast and Europe, South America & the South Pacific are all pulling me in. "Familiar and Nostalgic" are the houses you've lived in and moved from that are always reminders and points of exploration of who you are. I was born in Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean and we later moved to Canada where I spent most of my life. Many houses and viewpoints of my character and the life-long lesson in family.
- Name some "thing" that has inspired you.
The "World Press Photo" exhibit that travels around every fall is a very strong event. It showcases photojournalists from around the world, all capturing different themes and contrasts. Lots of human emotion here and its a clear window to the different forms of life who are all very similar in many ways.
The seasons here in Canada are pretty polarized. Extremely cold and snowy winters, hot and hazy summers. In between, there are the spring and autumn. Much like our lives and the varied emotions and moments, the seasons keep me on track and force me to change. Autumn is my master though - rich in beautiful textures, colours and abrupt goodbyes.
4) What drives you to do what you do?
The pursuit of filling your entire soul. Making those dreams a reality and fostering the dreams of your friends and families. Sometimes I step back and ask myself: "what are you waiting for?" which is always a pleasant reminder. I'm convinced we are all going somewhere, so let's do it together.
5) What values do you wish your creativity to express?
I hope the feelings of nostalgia, romantic yearning and self exploration of my music will come across to the people listening. In the end, my biggest hope and satisfaction will be if someone takes it, makes it their own and looks back on the album as a marker or diary album for some nostalgia they'll feel in the future.
6) What role does community play in what you do?
We are all connected in many ways. We flow through the people and places we live, and here in Montreal, I feel that all the time. Daily interactions at the cafe or meeting artists at a show all contribute to creating a home and inspiration.
7) What is next for what you do?
I'm going to step away from the studio for a while to stretch my legs and promote "I Found Your Faces of Montreal". I truly enjoyed re-learning the songs and bringing them to life on stage. I want to do more of that and who knows, maybe I'll be able to see the world through playing at some small indie music festivals. Romantic and Adventurous...
Thank you Vishal... if you haven't checked out his music, please go here :: http://youaremysymphonic.bandcamp.com/ or here :: http://youaremysymphonic.blogspot.com/