martedì 31 maggio 2016

Sam Garrett Interview

Hello dear listeners and readers ! Summer is here and we are so full of energy and happiness. It has been a while since the last interview isn't it ? So here we are with something really special. We came across this incredible artist thanks to his friends Roaman, NyOh  and Nate Maingard. Beside their solo careers you might remember they belong to a fantastic collective: 'The Lyrical Nomads ' which I am personally very fond of, and our guest is part of this collective as well. So lovely RQL friends we are very glad to introduce you to Sam Garrett !!

 - Hallo Sam, would you like to introduce yourself for our listeners\readers ? 

Hi, well my name is Sam Garrett and I am a singer songwriter from England singing songs of love and of self realisation on my journey so far. 

-When did you start playing\singing?

I have always sung my whole life as far as I can remember but I started getting interested in the guitar around 7/8 years old and would mostly just sort of pretend that I was playing it walking round with it pretending to be a rock star. Then I started to learn around age 9 and would listen to old tapes that my parents had of different bands and singers and copy the sounds on the guitar. 

-How would you describe your music ?

The music is calm, peaceful, some reggae influences are in there, it's music from the soul for the soul. It's music to heal and to shed light, wisdom and truth to those who can connect to it. 

-What inspires you writing your music? Can you tell us something about your creative process?

What inspires me is life itself, along with all the great saints and sages and Awakened beings throughout the ages that have come and delivered their message of unity and love is a continuation of that through music. Somehow when I am empty of 'me' the songs come from that space it's hard to describe but it's like the body is a vessel for something higher to use to bring forth this wisdom and universal truth. There is also love songs which have arose from experience and other things that I choose to say when I feel it is necessary. 

-Which message can we find in your lyrics ?

 As I said before the message is no different from the Buddhas or what Christ said, to me it is always the same message and that is that you are the peace you are looking for, that we do so many crazy things in this world to find happiness and peace yet we are the self. The self is that principle which is eternal consciousness, it is peace and happiness yet we look outside for fulfilment and pleasure but it is always short lived. Better to turn inwards and find the source of life itself and then true happiness will be revealed and has always been and will always be.

-We read that you have been living in an ashram for a while and then travelled to India. Can you tell us something about this experience ?

Yes it started when I was younger and had a real fascination for India, I started reading books like Be here now by Ram Dass and books written about Ramana Maharshi and Sri Ramakrishna and was hooked straight away. Reading those books something was being satisfied inside and I knew I would have to go to India to experience it for myself. It has influenced my life in such a big way and led me to my guru and deeper realisations within myself and for that I am very grateful. 

-Your first two EPs are truly beautiful, soothing, joyous,engaging. We know you're working on your first full lenght album right now. What can we expect from it ?

Yes, well this album is a lot different from my two previous E.P's because neither of them especially Namaste have any production and were quite rushed being recorded in very little time, Namaste was recorded in a day and so when it came I recording these songs I knew I wanted to take my time with them. 
There is 12 songs in the album some of them you will have heard as I have posted some very rough videos of me playing them on YouTube but a lot of them are new songs which people haven't heard before and like I said there is drums, harmonies, bass lines, keys, percussion lots of stuff going on which is what I've always aspired to have but its never happened before. Now I am lucky enough to have a great team around me who support me and believe in me and are taking the music to that next step which is really exciting and I look forward to sharing it with you. 

-Which is your favourite song among yours ? And your favourite song ever ?

My favourite song, at the moment is a song called shrines which looks like it could be the first single from the album. It's a special song to me because I wrote it in India and it just encapsulates everything that I want to say in music, it's just really honest and it is my heart layed out with no fear. 
My favourite song ever would be between Hara Hara Hara Mahadev/Om Namah Shivaya by Jai Uttal or Zion Train by Bob Marley but it's hard to say because there are so many greats. 

- Have you worked with any other artist until now ? If you could work\play with any artist, who would be ?

I've worked with Sway, a rapper from London who is now producing my album, errm Roaman, Ny Oh, Thomas James Smith, Nate Maingard we've all collaborated in some way or another but if I could choose someone to play with it would be probably Trevor Hall, just because I would love to sit down with him and I feel something would stir from the roots upward and magic could rise. Also Mike love I'm really into him right now and would love to collaborate with that man.

-If you could make a wish, which one it would be ?

Hmmm one wish to rule them all..... It would have to be peace on earth I can't think of anything else that I'd really enjoy. I think just to see it would be incredible, to walk down the street and give five our brother and give a hug to your sister everyone knowing the real deal. But I know in the greater picture life has to be like this and everyone shapes their own world out of their own experience but it's a nice wish ;) 

-Do you want to tell something to our listeners\readers?

Yes please go and check out Ramana Maharshi, go to and take a look at my baba, and be kind to yourself and to others and know there is really no others it's all you, you are the self and I love you.

-Where can we follow you (social network, web-site, youtube ... ) and where can we buy your music ?
It's all samgarrettmusic, Instagram, Facebook the lot. You can download my music from ITunes, listen on Spotify or sound cloud. Big love, Namaste

Thank you so much Sam for this interview. It has been so heart warming to get to know such a love-driven talented artist like you. Keep sharing your music and your wonderful thoughts. You're up for great things !

martedì 24 maggio 2016

Around the world

After the interview with Kati Kivilahti-Fagerudd and Beniamino Borghi we were so eager to see this year's spring show. We have been given the chance to follow the process of 'building the show' very closely and it has been a fantastic experience. The excitement, the cooperation, the mutual effort to give birth to a fantastic performance it's a priceless experience. I consider such an important aspect of this yearly appointement the fact that the whole town is basically involved in its success. Local companies, normal people, parents and relatives of the dancers, everybody tries their best for a perfect outcome.
This year's core idea for the show was especially dear at RQL staff. The name of the show was 'Around the world'. As Kati Kivilahti-Fagerudd said during the interview '' Last year we were very much in Finland, so somehow it felt very natural to go abroad. Somehow I felt it was a very important thing considering  what is happening in the world. People are moving from different places, maybe some of them wouldn't like to move somewhere else. Somehow we are all a bit of a kind of refugees, searching the best place to live, and find new friends and new interests wherever in the world we are.'' And of course we can relate with this feeling, being newcomers here ourselves but calling  Loviisa 'home', nowadays.
So it was with a lot of excitement that on sunday I went to see the show and it has been an amazing experience. The Loviisan Tanssi Opisto really lead us around the world, with its music, colours and moves. It is always a pleasure to see how this school let everybody joining in, no matter the age, no matter their skills, the main point is that through the dance we can express ourselves, we can travel, we can get to know new things, and it will always turn out beautiful because it will be an expression of our truest self. But this year there was also this added concept that was a real gem to pass on our youth, the idea that ''the younger people have the world in their  hands, because nowadays it's so easy to travel, even just only by internet, the world is basically our home, our neighbourhood really'' using the words of Beniamino Borghi.
So here now a visual reportage of the show 'Around the world' from Loviisan Tanssiopisto.

Showdance, coreography by Susanna Karvinen
Nykybaletti, coreography by Beniamino Borghi
Bailatino, coreography by Elina Mieskolainen
Jazz, coreography by Paivi Ahvonen & Fanni Fagerudd
Nykytanssi jatko 2-3, coreography by Beniamino Borghi
Nykytanssi 4-5- lk, coreography by Kati Kivilahti - Fagerudd


 So this was the amazing spring show ''Around the world'', of course our pictures can give you only a glimpse of its beauty and unfortunately we can't show you images from all the different groups.

Thank you Loviisan Tanssiopisto for this beautiful show.
It has been great to leave for this magic trip around the planet with you all.

domenica 1 maggio 2016

Elin Kåven Interview

Hello RQL friends ! Today we have an interview with a very special artist quite dear to me : Elin Kåven or the arctic fairy . I'm especially excited for this interview for so many reasons. Before moving to Finland for good, as a family we made a wonderful trip visiting the 'great north', all the way up to the arctic circle and than more north until we arrived in North Cape in Norway. That was the first time I got to know the Sami people and culture and for me it has been love at first sight. I felt like I've been stolen something as a human being for not been told or taught anything about this ancient and rich culture and wonderful people in Europe. How is that possible. So since then I tried to learn more and more about Sami, and let me tell you it's not an easy task in english language. But long story short, during my 5 years long quest for learning more I bumped into Elin music and finally now, with this web-site of ours, time were ripe to connect with her for an interview. I'm sure you'll enjoy it as much as I did, since she is truly a fairy.

- Hello Elin, would you like to introduce yourself to our listeners\readers ?

Hello! I am Gárdin- Inggá Brita Elin. That is my sami name. The sami name is the name of one of your grandparents (Gárdin-Ingá), one of your parents (Brita is my mother) and your given name (Elin). Elin Kåven is my Norwegian name. I am from Karasjok in the north of Norway, I lived a away for about 16, years, but a few years ago I moved back to nothern Norway. I live in Alta now.

 - You belong to the Sami people, how was to grow up as a Sami ?

We hade a very close and dear relationship to nature. We always gather berries, fish, hunt and get our own wood for burning from the forrest. Every summer I would spend with my grandmother in the moutain house where we would fish and gather berries. The life cycle is very much tied to the seasons, and we follow the natures rythm in a different way then living in the city. The sami way of raising a child is to make the child as independent as possible. I feel like I learned by experiencing, we used knives at early age, and we played alot out in nature.

 - When did you start singing\composing ?

I started singing when I was a child. At the age of 4 I had already told my aunt I was going to sing on stage like my father did. He sang in a swing-band at the time. During my childhood I did alot of TV and radio for sami children. Sami children's programs are made by and for sami children. It was alot of fun! And it´s fun to listen to it now. I think I wrote my first ever song when I was about twelve. That song was about how the world would be if we all lived in the same building and we all spoke the same language and knew each other. How big the building would be... hehe.

- Do you play any instrument ?

I used to play alot of guitar when I first started writing my songs for performing. And the first year as a solo artist I did play guitar on stage, but when I got a professional guitar player, I started dancing instead of playing guitar on stage. I still play the guitar sometimes, but never on stage... 

- How does your Sami heritage has influenced your music ?

My sami heritage has become more and more important for my music. When I started writing and performing music it was mostly to express my own feelings, and for therapy, self-expression reasons. I wrote in English until I started to write in Sami - because I didnt want to loose my language. But I still continued writing in English as well. But since I started recording music I have only written in Sami. It´s is very rare for me to write in English now. But because I sing in Sami language my audience and everyone I meet tend to want to talk about my sami Heritage, so in that way this is something that I have very often had in my mind. It made me realise how unique we are and how important it is that we preserve our culture. It has also inspired me to learn more about my own culture, and the last years I have finally started joiking on my concerts. Joiking has been illeagal, so I did not learn to joik as a child, but now as an adult I understand that I can do it, and it has connected me with earth and nature in a new way. My music has brought me closer to my sami heritage and it has shown me the way to preserve our culture in my own way.

- Do you write either the lyrics and music or do you work with someone else ?

I write all the lyrics myself. But for my last album I worked with a known sami writer Inga Ravna Eira. She is a poet and also an expert in Sami languge. The sami laguage is unfortuately very coloured by Norwegian and English ways of saying things, so this time I wanted to make sure that my lyrics where written in as good Sami as possible. I wrote the lyrics, and she helped me adjust the sentences to make sure I use the correct sami casus or the way to build sentences.

- Would you like to say something about your creative process? What inspires you ?

I have always found the most inspiration in nature. I don´t know how to expalin it properly, but when I am in nature I feel like the whole world is supportive of my creative prossess. The trees and the tundra where my first audience, and they always felt like an supportive audince. And not only supportive but also encouraging. Like they where sayin: "Sing, Elin! Why don´t you sing? We want to hear you!". When I spend time in nature the songs and lyrics seem to come into my mind nonstop. They way I write songs is usually that I record a melody with or without lyrics on my phone or recording device, and later I willl adapt the lyrics and melody to each other. Not before this is done my producer and I will use any instrument to the song.

- Which kind of message can be found in your songs ?
I think most of my songs are personal songs of my own experiences and life, and my last album is also very private. I sing about my niece, grandmother, cat and ex-boyfriend. The lyrics are my experiences in life. My other topic is sami mythology. If I don´t write personal lyrics, I would write about sami mythologi like "ulda" underworld creature from nordic mythology, and I feel more and more like this is a topic I want to continue writing about.

- You're also a dancer. How important is dance for you (either in life and during your shows ) ?
My dancing is actually more important then many would think. I started my music carreer at the same time as I started teaching dance, and both of the careers grew simultaneously, and I became very successful in both. So successful I was no longer able to do both, because I had 2 different full-time careers to take care of. There was just not time. It was as a dancer I got my nickname "The Arctic faery" - because when I danced people would notice that I came form the north through my expression. They would say that I looked like a wild arctic faery that had been under the tundra for a 100 years, and now emerged dancing. After I realised that I could not be doing both as much as I wanted to, tried to combine dancing and music in a way that I would dance more and more at my concerts - and this is something I have loved to do, so I see more of this in the future as well.

- Would you like to tell us something about your last album ?
My last album is as I said more private then my other albums. This time I feel like I have actually returned to my roots. I have recorded joiking for the first time, and I have approached music in a more sami way. It is normal to joik things that are close to you, and things that you love, and that is also the reason why this album has become to private. The songs are written after I moved back to Sapmi after 16 years living in cities, and when i moved back I also felt like I connected with nature and the Sami culture, so for me this album is the album that is closest to my sami roots.

 - If you could make a wish, what it would be ?
To make a wish about anything? I think we all wish for happiness, don´t we? That is kind of what we all seek deep down. I think we are on earth to learn how to be happy and what happiness is. I wish that all people would know how to find happiness. I think that would make a huge difference in the world. People often look for happiness in wrong places. The world we live in is very much focused on material things, when the only thing that can actually make us humans happy is when we look inwards, and act on that - not the other way around. We often seem to think that someting outside of ourselves can make us happy... Unfortunaly this is something commercialism has taught us. That happiness is someting we can buy....

- Where is it possible to follow you ( social media, web-sites ) and where is it possible to buy your albums ? 
  I mostly on instagram @elinkaaven and on facebook 
But I also use snapchat a lot. @elinkaaven. and a youtube channel.             
My web page is and I also have a bancamp page for listening and buying my music. .       
 And of course ITunes, Amazon, Spotify, tidal and other digital platforms for music. Its also possible to buy my music on the German record label

- Do you want to say something to our listeners\ readers ?
Music brings you to magical places. I have been working fulltime artist and dancer for 10 years now. I feel very blessed to have so many great fans who always support me, they are truly beautiful people. I am happy to be inspiration to you, but at the same time you have also inspired me in so many ways. I truly look up to you! I am happy to have you in my life, and thank you for being so great people! I wish you all happiness and everything good!

Thank you so much Elin for this fantastic interview and for you wonderful music,
We really look forward to see you live one day !