The Dubai spinner talks to us on his inspirations and the rise of 'spiritual house' music
Five minutes with Dubai DJ Pierre Ravan
Dubai resident Pierre Ravan is one of the few artists leading the charge in the next wave of electronic music. The DJ and producer is at the forefront of creating house music more fit for the yoga mat than the dance floor. Dubbed ‘spiritual house music’, the beats are hypnotic and evocative with an avant-garde bend. You can hear and relax to it when Ravan performs as a part of the XYoga Festival on Friday at Dubai’s Kite Beach.
The first album I bought was... On reel-to-reel tape, it was Pink Floyd’s first album, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn. On vinyl, it was Jean Michel Jarre’s Oxygen and on CD, it was as the soundtrack of Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ, Passion, by Peter Gabriel. It was a double CD featuring some of the biggest musicians of the world from all corners of the globe – it was, and still is, amazing.
My first gig was back in 1989 in Prague after the fall of communism. It was in the National Theatre where some of Prague’s top musicians and DJs - featuring all different types of music - played for 72 hours non-stop to celebrate unity and mark a new era for what was then Czechoslovakia.
One of my favourite musicians... Well I have two favourite musicians actually - Bob Marley and Stevie Wonder. Despite being a DJ, I have so many favorites from all different times. I listen to a lot of classic musical but out of modern musicians, Bob Marley and Stevie Wonder are at the top of my list. I find their music very intuitive, their lyrics are natural, and from the heart.
A song I wish I wrote would be One Love by Bob Marley. The lyrics are so powerful and truthful that you feel that as a human you’re all from all one single family, that you’re all together as part of something bigger – one love.
My songs are from the heart and are meant to connect with the hearts of the audience. It also allows them to connect with one another, unifying in the meditation and music - this is what my music is all about. Regardless of the style of music that I produce, it has the touch the heart of the audience.
How do you describe your style of electronic music? I would describe it as Spiritual House Music, it’s house music that not only entertains but enters the heart as it combines the practice of Heartfulness meditation with house music. Heartfulness meditation is all about living by the heart and connecting with our higher self to ultimately reveal the potential of the heart. It involves deep meditation, letting go of all the external noise of daily life and pressures and instilling a sense of inner balance and calmness.
Is what you do a new sub genre of electronic music? I think rather than a sub-genre, this form of music is the next evolution of music and a genre in its own right, as it resonates with a lot of people, especially those who had appreciated house music from the beginning. The deepness element that you get in house music is still there from upbeat to low beat – from dark to soulful – these are all elements of house. My first album actually was very spiritual to me, featuring a lot of Drum & Bass.
Pierre Ravan performs at XYoga Dubai Festival on Friday at Kite Beach, Dubai. Activities begin at 8am. Free entry upon registration at xyogadubai.com