Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Introducing Ojala: Debuting and Headlining at D.I.Y Fest on Sunday

Last year we introduced you to Phantasmagoria, a two person team that opened up my eyes to a type of music that I had not traditionally been accustomed to listening to. That project made me realize that I could like electronically created music, if it was done well. I became a fan of Chris Jarvis and also started listening to the music put out by his solo act Ancient Language. I quickly learned that Chris was a talented and creative person who is constantly attempting to challenge himself musically and personally. It's actually quite inspiring to have a conversation with this guy, he is always looking for the good in the world, something I can't say about most people.

Photo Credit: Ron Brown

Chris has decided to challenge himself again and started a new project called Ojala that will literally perform for the first time on the main stage at DIY this Sunday. Talk about putting it all out there! This is a pretty big place to debut a new project, but I have no doubt that when they finish we will all be fans of this new endeavor. This time he has enlisted a full band to join him on stage and promises that this new music will be a little different that what he has done in the past. As he grows so does his music.

I asked Chris to talk to us before the show and tell us a little more about the creation of Ojala leading up to their first performance. Read what he has to say and make sure to check them out as they close out the show on the WAB Stage this Sunday, September 15th at DIY.

Hip In Detroit- What made the two of you (yourself and Adam Fitzgerald) decide that you wanted to write music together?
Chris- "Everything about this project has been based on synchronicities or fate or whatever you wanna call it. We didn't exactly decide, the universe brought us together. We've been good friends for years so when we both suddenly found ourselves without anywhere to live we decided to move in together and making music together just made sense. We've both been fans of each others music for a long time."

Hip In Detroit- Why did you choose the name Ojala?
Chris- "Again, we didn't chose it, the name chose us. Ojala means hopeful or for the religiously or spiritually inclined "god willing" which has deep personal meaning for both of us where we are in our lives. The word became a sort of mantra that we use in daily conversation."

Hip In Detroit- I know that you work off a laptop, what is your current software/ hardware setup? Do you think this factor matters when writing and performing your music?
Chris- "The laptop has been an important factor in my solo and past music projects but it takes the backseat in Ojala. I'm only using the laptop for samples and interludes in between songs. Ojala is an entirely live experience with Adam on vocals and guitar, me on keys and synth, Jeff Cuny from James Linck and House Phone on bass, and Zach Pliska from FUR on drums."

Hip In Detroit- Your first live performance will be at DIY, why did you choose this as your first appearance?
Chris- "Once again we didn't really seek out playing at the DIY street fair, the festival chose us. But we love the festival and all the people and artists involved so we're honored to play our first show there."

Hip In Detroit- What artists are you currently listening to and how do they influence the music that you write?
Chris- "We've been listening to Paul McCartney's Ram a lot which is one of my favorite albums of all time. The Beatles - Revolver, Paul Simon, Joy Division, Interpol - Turn on the Bright Lights, Broken Social Scene, Arcade Fire - Funeral. It might inspire our music indirectly but we never talk about it. I think the influence is more apparent in our recording process and techniques."

Hip In Detroit- In your own words, what is the meaning of life ?
Chris- "Nobody knows for certain but I think the meaning of life is to make the world a better place in your own way. To awaken to your life's true purpose and rise above materialism and the debt based consumer culture that were born into with no choice. Art is the only thing that will save us. Only through beauty will people be awakened to their true potential. We're all hurtling towards the end of time, only we can decide what that means for us as a species."

Hip In Detroit- Do you think were alone in the universe?
Chris- "No, I don't believe we are alone in the universe, but I don't necessarily mean extra terrestrials in the physical sense that most people think of. I believe there are those too, but I think were more influenced by interdimensional beings or entities that exist on different planes of vibration."

Hip In Detroit- When will you release your first album?
Chris- "We haven't discussed a release date yet, but we're working on it. You'll hear it as soon as we finish it."

Hip In Detroit- Ferndale, Royal Oak, Ham Town or Detroit, which is your fav place to party? Which is the best for picking up girls?
Chris- "I'm biased because I live in Ham Town, but I love Detroit too. I seem to meet a lot of intriguingly beautiful girls in both cities."


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