Hailing from Austin, Texas we have Shane O’Madden, an acclaimed electronic producer that has performed at huge concerts like Coachella and Lightning in a Bottle. Trained as a classical violinist, his pieces are often infused with an orchestral ambience. All of his releases have been met with acclaim and he is currently working on his next project “Decadence”. While his older work possesses a more Eastern chill-out flavor, his newer works are tinged with “Psybient Glichiness” and dubstep influences. He has been producing since the 90s and being able to tour with heavyweights like Shpongle, Thievery Corporation, and Bassnectar are a testament to his skill.
His two releases Worlds Within and Sound Sutras remain amongst my favorites and are a must for anyone interested in deep, danceable chill-out. It brings me great pleasure to bring you an interviewed with the seasoned veteran, Govinda.
Prox: Let’s begin by hearing a bit about yourself. Where are you from and how long have you been producing music?
Govinda: I am from Austin, TX. Most people think I’m Indian but that is the actor Govinda. I started producing electronic music in the late 90’s after I heard Portishead's “Dummy”. Before that, I studied music composition at the University of Texas and wrote orchestra and symphony music.
Prox: What initially drew you to Electronic music as opposed to continuing down the road of classical compositions?
Govinda: I fell in love with beats and ambient textures. I love the way electronic music focuses on the sound architecture and frequency separation. I think it’s as important as the content itself.
Prox: Why did you choose Govinda as your production moniker? Are you a practicing Buddhist or interested in any other Eastern dogma?
Govinda: I attended a spiritual growth workshop in Vancouver, BC where I had an awakening. As thirty people were chanting “Hare Govinda”, I had an epiphany that I was supposed to make music to elevate consciousness. I used the name that we were chanting from then on.
Prox: Who are some of your musical and artistic inspirations?
Govinda: I am loving all of the Psy-Dub, Psybient and Glitch coming out now like Eurythmy, Tipper, Sixis, etc and I also love classics like Tango, Indian, Middle Eastern, and Classical.
Prox: Take us all the back to 2004 and 2007 for Worlds Within and Sound Sutras. What was going on during your life at the time and what were the circumstances surrounding each release?
Govinda: I was with a label that was selling chill-out music. I was also making music for video games and raising a family. My life was light and airy then.
Prox: What’s tour life like? How does it feel to able to travel to so many places around the world because of music? Does “being there on business” take away from the grandeur of any particular location?
Govinda: I love my job! I don’t get to stick around too often after the show but I do enjoy traveling and exploring different people and cuisines.
Prox: You have performed at some pretty big festivals like Coachella and Lightning in a Bottle. How does it feel to have your music embraced by so many people from all over the world?
Govinda: It’s amazing. I absolutely love being able to touch so many people around the world. I love playing festivals but prefer to stay away from them after the shows. It gets a little crazy.
Prox: Up until to this point, what has had the biggest influence on your life and music from an artistic perspective?
Govinda: The thing that keeps me going is the opportunity to touch people’s lives with my art. There is nothing like seeing everyone dance ecstatically with that huge blissful smile!
Prox: Have you ever experimented with psychedelics substances? If so, what would you say are some of the inherent values of these sacraments?
Govinda: Of course I have. I have seen many esoteric openings in the matrix of art and life through these medicines. It’s allowed me to feel on different dimensions and create music that spans many planes of consciousness. I am very careful to only use these substances sparingly as I know they only provide openings and it’s up to us to walk through the doorways in our natural state.
Prox: What can your fans expect from the upcoming release Decadence? Will it harken back to the sounds of Worlds Within or Sound Sutras?
Govinda: I know I have taken a lot longer to release this one. I have been working to create a new sound again. More of the same vibe mixed with some of the old. Much more violin and Psybient Glitchiness.
Prox: What are some of your favorite hobbies?
Govinda: Traveling, cooking, skiing, architecture and design.
Prox: Tips for new producers?
Govinda: Always be true to what comes out of you. Many try to make music in certain genres but I feel like that limits your true expression.
Prox: Final thoughts?
Govinda: Love life.
You can purchase Govinda’s work, here.