Gervay Brio
MARQUIX GLOBAL NETWORK LOS ANGELES GERVAY BRIO AWARD INTERVIEW Gervay Brio's '1 Knight in Malta' flees your speaks like a wild paladin dodging trees as he races through an enchanted forest, horse feet pounding out an insidious rhythm while he rides. Gervay Brio is a French deejay-producer powerhouse. Incredibly prolific, his name now appears on over thirty different compilations of artists from nations far and wide. A modern-age knight, it is only fit that he should compose a song entitled ‘1 Knight in Malta’ after an epic journey to the beautiful island of Malta. The title is a clever play on words, but the track itself is pure reverb magic with pulsing synthesizers and a swirling, almost robotic vocal weaving about the rhythm. Brio isn’t just a pretty face on a pulsating track; he’s also a humanitarian who has lent his skills to multiple international charities, such as an album to benefit the victims of the tragic Nepal earthquakes and a piece for a film made to support the fight of Baba Amte against the intentional flooding of the Valley of Narmada. It’s not often that talent and responsibility come together in one personality, but Brio is living proof that it does. To know this fascinating artist better, reporter Lily Clark recently caught with him about his past experiences in music and his hopes and expectations for the days to come. LILY: Let's just get this out in the open - what's the craziest thing that's happened to you in your music career? GERVAY: Without doubt, the meeting with Miles Davis when I arrived in Paris. Some friends who had organized his venue for his Théâtre du Chatelet concert in 1982 had given me the responibility of taking care of him and welcoming his VIP friends. Ever since I was young, Miles was The Father of my ‘Holy Trinity’ with Jimi Hendrix The Son and John McLaughlin, The Holy Ghost. Miles was emerging from a long sickness and was weak on his legs, so while backstage he just like fell in my arms. I brought him to the stage, where he kindly invited me, with a hoarse voice, to stay right next to him for the concert. That was an amazing experience and a deep blessing. LILY: Your song '1 Knight In Malta (Club Mix)' is receiving a positive listener response on radio. What was your initial reaction when you first heard your song playing on radio?[ GERVAY: It’s always the same feeling: it's like raising children and later you discover they have a life of their own. Songs are like that, they come from your deepest solitude and intimacy to reach thousands, millions of others. When I hear one of my songs on the radio, it’s like receiving a postcard from my family. My songs are my sons. Actually it’s easier to listen to my music on the radio, than to see a ‘pseudo deejay’ playing it, getting applause as if he did the job! LILY: What was the inspiration behind your debut radio single? GERVAY: I wrote ‘1 Knight In Malta’ when I returned from the magic island of Malta, where I performed last summer. It was like there was an invisible connection between the legendary Maltese knights and my Celtic knighthood family roots that had always fascinated me. I like and defend the chivalric message of love and protection of the weak—music is my ‘sword’ for that mission, and the dance floor the ‘battlefield’! I think that, in these difficult times, music should act for salvation, not be a weapon of mass destruction or to raise selfish idiots. The words of the song speak about ‘epic love’ beyond time and space, about the symbol of eternal links in an impermanent world. It is a message for lovers to raise their relationship above daily life and its limiting illusions. LILY: It is often said that great art arises from difficult experience. Is there something in your life experience thus far that you would describe as the ‘catalyst’ or ‘fuel’ for your desire to create music? GERVAY: Music comes from my heart. It has always been a catalyst for compassion, to give happiness and consciousness to others. Like every being on earth, I have had good and bad experiences, and many times, when I was really down or in great pain, I've composed a very joyful and positive song that healed me. I've learned how to become my own best friend with music, how to overcome obstacles with confidence and perseverance. LILY: How would you characterize yourself as an artist/musician? (Ex. Down-to-earth, serious, fun-loving, complicated…) GERVAY: I've been a musician since childhood, and music has always been my favorite language for sharing my deepest nature. I had a very unusual path by meeting great musicians and real spiritual guides, who gave me an inner consciousness of the ‘secret power of music’ and of myself. I was first a pianist, then a guitarist, and later a music-therapist, and finally a deejay-producer. These four steps of my life have given me a broad vision, mixing wisdom and music with the objective of awakening consciousness. Wherever I play, even when I play with popular moods and rhythms, it’s a meditation for me. LILY: What has your experience been like working with the other people on your team? GERVAY: To be honest, it generally is very difficult for me to play with other musicians, even if I love it. Most of them have such a big ego, they want the ‘cake before it’s cooked’ and don’t work on their ‘inner self’. They can be great performers but poor human beings, and that makes me sad, so I prefer to work alone and invite some features when needed. Same thing for studio technicians and other ‘specialists’. Today I’m absolutely independent and produce everything, from A to Z, like a painter or a sculptor. I’m the captain of my own ship, like my grandfather was. LILY: Did you come from a musical background? Are there other musicians in your family? GERVAY: Until I discovered that DaVinci and Nostradamus had a notary father, it was difficult for me to accept that my father was also a notary, very much working within the establishment. He worked with dedication for law and justice, and we had serious problems together. However, besides his career, in his private life he had an artistic side: painting, landscaping, writing poems, filming, and he was a very good photographer. My mother didn’t work, but she also painted and was excellent in floral art. She introduced me to music at the same time I was learning to read and write. She was my first muse. My brother is also a musician—a famous bass player in the small world of French show business, but unfortunately it's been years now that we no longer speak to each other. LILY: What do you find most rewarding about being an artist? What do you find most challenging? GERVAY: The award I recently received from the Akademia Music Awards of Los Angeles is symbolic for me. The fact that I was working in my studio in Paris on that music, that it was awarded from the other side of the planet one month after its release—this shows what music can do. It shows that ‘where there is a man, there is an army’! The challenge is to never give up and follow the music as it flows into the future without losing your original purpose and your integrity. I live in Montmartre, a very famous artist area of Paris, where Van Gogh and Modigliani and Picasso and so many other artists lived, and it’s an inspiration for me to live in their shadow and their light, always trying to find the right tune of my life through music. LILY: Who are your role models in music? GERVAY: I already mentioned my ‘Holy Trinity’. Later, I was very much inspired by Frank Zappa, the greatest musical genius since Mozart; by Jean Luc Ponty, the only French prodigy talent, who I was so lucky to meet and sympathize with; by Carlos Santana for his spiritual and unique tone; and by Vangelis as the master of real electronic music. In terms of deejays I also love guys like Nick Warren, Dave Seaman, or Sasha. They are real artists and brilliant producers both in studio and on stage, very different from some other ‘famous’ freaks. For me, an artist has to be first someone that's real, with unique personal qualities, having not only ‘talent but also a unique soul, a shining light for humanity. If not, it is just entertainment, and that’s another job! LILY: Describe your best or most memorable performance. GERVAY: Probably when I arrived in Miami for the Winter Music Conference in 2008 to present my song ‘Incandescent’ featuring Diva Avari. I knew nobody there, had no club for a set. My first evening, I met the lady director of the hotel who took care of things and asked her friends to open the Rain for me, where I played two days later with the best Miami vip people and made new friends. I was supposed to stay just one more week, but instead I ended up staying three months, playing in the best clubs, receiving honors, such as ‘Maestro DeeJay’ by the WMC jury; meeting Robert Owens, a great house producer who became a friend and contributed to my book. That’s what music can do! LILY: What advise would you give to young, aspiring artist our there who are unsure and need guidance? GERVAY: First, be sure to be a real artist because it’s certainly not going to be easy. Getting to paradise, they will have to face hell every day, no doubt! To be an artist is not just to be famous and have a great life, it needs inspiration, work, concentration, dedication, and abnegation and that's the most difficult part! The current generations have to fight to protect their creativity, that precious human quality that can help them not only have fun, but also allow them to discover more sensitive aspects of their personality and to change them and the world for the better. That’s what all great artists of the past have tried to give us. It's their precious heritage. It’s like a lineage across the centuries that keeps reminding us that we’re not robots. LILY: What's next for you? Is there a new single in the works? If so, what can you tell us about it? GERVAY: My new release ‘Kalagia’ is connected with the Musical Humanitarian Campaign ‘Not Dancing Alone !’, to help victims of the recent Nepal earthquake. Fifty percent of the royalties will go to I composed that song in 1977 when I first met H.H. Karmapa XVI, who encouraged me to continue music for the benefit of all. Today, I work with his new incarnation Ogyen Trinley Dorje Karmapa XVII and his foundation to remind people that only a few months ago a horrible catastrophe fell upon Nepal, one that everybody seems to have forgotten, especially given the silence of the media. As a tribute to Nepal, I produced 4 new remixes and a video clip trilogy to try to bring some help to the people of the Buddha’s Land. For me, it’s also a way to dedicate my award to a just cause, to share it and show that music is a universal weapon for peace! LILY: I am looking forward to hearing it, and I suspect the next year will bring big opportunities for your career! © 2015 Marquix Global Network