Drummer Oded Kafri has become a fan favorite in the Drum & Bass community after a very successful performance changed his life.
He started receiving recognition after a video of him playing an impromptu set on the streets of London made rounds on the internet. Viewers quickly commented on his exuberance, skill, and style. Oded’s frenetic talent and vibrant energy helped him secure a spot in the hearts and minds of his healthy fanbase.
Finding his place in the world wasn’t always easy and the Israeli product has sited hardships before finally becoming who he is today.
An avid traveller, Oded sites his wanderlust as a constant source of inspiration and an activity that helps him grow musically and spiritually. With his band, Kafri, he is always looking for a new gig to play or country to explore.
Prox: What does Drum & Bass offer you as a drummer that other genres can’t? Why did you find so much joy in playing it?
Oded: I like to refer to D&B as "What Saxophone is to Jazz, drums are for D&B.”
This music is based on drums and bass so it has a lot of space for the drummer to express himself.
The mood of drum and bass corresponds with my intense playing and hectic being... I like to explore the possibilities within this genre.
In the street where I started my career as a solo artist, it's required to play fast and with loads of dynamic energy in order to keep the crowd tuned in.
Prox: Were you surprised by how well you have been received by onlookers from your street performances? How does connecting with fans in this way enhance your experience as a musician?
Oded: Yes I was and it was like "This is where I am being understood" (and still am!)
The crowd in the street gives me everything I need: Their attention, honest feedback, their honest feelings, and encouragement. I feel very blessed to be able to connect with so many people from so many different places and cultures. This was and still is a life changing experience.
Meeting people everyday in the street gave me a sense of belonging and of being normal. No matter how "shitty" my days were, as soon as I get to the street and play, I feel better and better. It's a great gift.
Prox: How did visiting Africa change you as a person and a musician? What was the most important thing that you feel that your learned about yourself and the continent during the trip?
Oded: Visiting Africa was the best thing I've done in my life so far. Being there and observing people with literally nothing in their pocket and very little to eat making music in such an honest way, made me understand the real meaning of being a musician and the purpose of my life. I don't think that without visiting Africa I would have the courage and strength to endure playing in the street for 8 years (!) now...
The most important thing I've learned about myself in Africa was that we should always connect with our heart and hear it beating.
The most important thing I've learned from Africa is that the "western" life can make you forget many important things that haven't been forgotten there.
Africa is the fire of my soul and I always long to be there!
Prox: You’ve mentioned before that when you’re playing it’s like a prayer. Who or what are praying to? How does playing help you become closer to this force(s)?
Oded: The praying is to the universe to make me able to detach from my everyday thoughts and stress and to connect to a place where it's not me anymore who plays, but the spirit. It is the duty of the artist to give back to society what he gets and I see myself as a channel that transmits the energy of the people into the drums and back.
I do meditate regularly and it's similar: I try to forget the ego and to let something bigger flow through me.
Prox: Could you give us some tips for aspiring artists?
Oded: Travel, learn, read, love, dare, forgive yourself, do little things everyday to achieve a bigger goal, never give up, and listen.
Prox: Please tell us something that influences your work that we may not know.
Oded: Everything that happens to me and everyone that I meet influences me. I guess moving to Paris, France at the age of 16 and having to endure a lot of inner struggle shaped me a lot and made me who I am. I take it as a task from the past to remind me and others of how hard the road was and that we should not give up in face of adversity.
Prox: Who are some of your favorite artists, creatives, or intellectuals?
Oded: This year I've been watching a lot of stand comedy and director Louis CK. His braveness, controversy, original, and honest approach to life are amazing. His drive for creativity is like no other and he has a positive influence on my life and my girlfriend Jessy too. :)
Through out my life favourite influential figures have been :
Prox: Anymore information on other upcoming projects and releases?
Prox: Final Thoughts?
Oded: This world is becoming saturated with information, I am looking for the inner peace and inner awareness acquired from the magic of life. We do not need all we think we need and we ARE a miracle if we would only let it happen!
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