DAGAMBA: we’ve different nationalities, but the music is uniting us

DAGAMBA: we’ve different nationalities, but the music is uniting us

We continue discovering new names worthy of your attention, whose stars are shining outside our country. Today we will introduce you to very cool guys, those who are not afraid of breaking the traditional stereotypes and are ready to show that music is magic that unites all in this world – generations, people and completely different, seemingly genres. To your attention, the DAGAMBA band – those who skillfully combined Beethoven and Rammstein, classical musical instruments and rock music, those who really are worth being heard.

  • Hi, welcome to our Ukrainian music portal U-Bear. Lately, you’ve been to Ukraine with a performance at the Moto festival, what do you think about the public and about the country in general?

First of all, I would like to tell how we went to Ukraine. Our first concert was not in Moto fest, our first concert was made by Mikhail Sorokin and we performed in Dnipro in a theater. It was a full-time show and it went great. And at that point, we realized how Ukrainian audience is open and they really listen to what we do. This is really the most important thing for a musician. And then we were introduced to Konstantin Dudko who is the organizer of Moto fest and he invited us to perform in Motofest. This was our second time, we performed at this fantastic big stage, with high-level sound, lights, the best what you can get nowadays. Both people and crowd in Motofest were great and we enjoyed every second on the stage and connection with the crowd was unbelievable. Thank you, Ukraine!

  • Probably the most common question you hear from journalists: why DAGAMBA, for how long do you exist, where does this name come from and who owns the idea of creating a project

Dagamba was founded 7 years ago by me and the beginning was more like an experiment: what we can do with cello and modern musical thinking. We started with hip-hop music with electronic beats and we collaborate with different kind of singers – this was basically the first album. Then we split with an electronic guy who made beats and produced some songs. We started to think about who we are: we are classical musicians but in the soul we are rockers.  And this was the basic idea of how we should work further. Dagamba was like my way out of a box where I lived all my life and its called academic environment where everything must be as it’s written in scores – your role is more like an interpreter. There’s a little bit different kind of creativity in the academical environment. I wanted to live a different life, then I decided to start Dagamba. That’s it!

  • We know that your collective gathered musicians of different nationalities. Tell our readers who these guys are, and how did it happen that you came together?

We have very interesting guys in the band, everybody is of a different nationality. We have Lithuanian pianist Daines Tenis, Iranian player Hamidreza Rahbaraalam for tambur, a guy from Italy Artur Jermak for drums, and we have Ukrainian cellist Anton Trocjuks and I’m Latvian – Valter Puce. We all met in Riga except Italian guy. because we were at the festival he helped us out and then finally he went to Riga to play with us and live. But we all met in Riga. First of all, I met with Anton, he is my chatted friend and we’ve already started to play cellos together when we were seven years old, even earlier. It’s interesting that we all are with academic education but we all are big fans of rock music. This we discovered when we met and that’s how we started to play together. And it doesn’t matter that we’ve different nationalities and we’re very different but the music is uniting us and this is magic!

  • Each of you has a musical education. Never regretted that you began to play in this genre? Maybe it would be easier to play ordinary works and become just famous symphonic musicians?

Dagamba is like a house where we all live, but if you want to play ordinary classical music – you can do it. You can just go out of the house, go and play and then come back. So, it doesn’t mean that if we play in Dagamba we don’t do other things. It’s for everybody. For instance, we have a pianist who is still studying in the music academy, Hamid is playing music around the world, and I have some classical concerts. It’s possible to combine these things and that’s great about this.

  • Your band, this is like a puzzle, every particle is necessary, every participant is vitally important because everyone has their roles. How would you describe each of you, who is your brain, heart, etc.?

Yeah, this is true. We’re five guys and each role is very important. If somebody takes out the ship doesn’t move so smoothly. I’ll try to compare with what you wrote. Hamid – I would say he’s our cherry on the cake. Drummer Arthur he’s more like a ground because what he’s doing is basically holding everything together on the stage, technically also. Anton Trocjuk, I would say he’s our rock star, because of his attitude. And me and Daines I would say we both sometimes change roles. I’m the brain of the band and he’s like a heart on the stage, and sometimes we switch with these roles because we both create music. Yeah, I think so. 

  • You had a cooperation with Laima Vaikule. Are there any plans for future projects with some famous musicians? Perhaps you have been attracted be some kind of group or performer in Ukraine?

Just a few days ago, in fact, finished Laima Vaikule’s festival “Laima Randevu” in Jurmala and we started a very nice collaboration with Hibla Gerzmava – she’s the well-known opera singer in the world. I think we’ll do some more songs with her, this is in the plan. And then we’re planning to collaborate with Robert Davi – he’s an American actor and Sinatra song’s singer. We’ll try to create something like what we do with the classical music we’ll do with the Sinatra’s music. We will freshen it up a little and make it with a Dagamba-sauce. So, this is for now in the plan. About Ukrainian musicians I don’t have so much information, we’ll check, yeah. Because we’ll go to Ukraine more and more, why not? And maybe, we’ll collaborate with some nice Ukrainian musicians.

  • In your music, you combined Beethoven’s works and rock music, Rammstein was transferred to a symphony, leaving fatal motives. What your fans should expect next? 

This last project with Ludwig van Beethoven and Rammstein was called “Ludwig van Rammstein”. It was the most successful project what we’ve done. We already had more than 30 concerts with big success. And even Rammstein said some good words about what we do – they shared at their official Facebook page one of our live performances. So, yes, this is amazing. But for next we have a very interesting project coming up, we will do Tchaikovsky. A new project, tour, and album, which we’ve started already recording, will be called DAGAMBA feat Tchaikovsky

  • Imagine that they are reading you now, people who have never heart of DAGAMBA are watching photos of you. What can you say about yourself to interest not only to read about you but also to find and to listen to what you are playing?

Interesting question. I would say have you imagined how it would be if composers or musicians, who lived a long time ago, would be still alive. And how it would sound if they were here now.  For example, how would sound Mozart or Beethoven if they were still alive? So, maybe this is the thing, what’s interesting to listen to what we do.

  • During its existence, DAGAMBA  has several albums, performances on famous world scenes. What, for yourself, do you consider the greatest achievement on your creative path?

I think my greatest achievement in my creative path is album what we’re doing right now, what’s coming out. I think this will be the best I’ve done in my life.

  • How do you feel when you’re on stage? Some musicians say that this is a state of euphoria, while others are worried about how not to confuse notes… And what about you? Do you feel a connection with your listener?

How do I feel on stage? I think going on stage is the main goal of my life. We do everything, we prepare new programs, we write music, we work with management – we do all the job everyone was needed to do to get on the stage and to feel this magic what happens together with the crowd, with our listeners. Each concert is special, each concert is different. And you never know how it will go – that’s what interesting of being a musician. This live improvisation, speaking with people, getting a response that’s every time is different. That’s why I love it and that’s why I do it.

  • The cases are not lonely, unfortunately, when the group is known far beyond its own country, but at home, practically nobody knows it. How are you perceived in Latvia?

I would say this is not our case, our concerts and tours are very good attended with an audience. I would say it’s very important to play a lot of concerts in your country and then come abroad. Because you live there, this is your home and these are your people, so for me, it’s very important.

  • How do you see the modern culture? Perhaps, in your opinion, is there something that is especially lacking in it?

Modern music culture is so huge that it has I would say everything, there’s lacking nothing. But philosophically if we would say that we could look at the directions where it goes and I would say it goes more to entertainment direction and less cultural. This may be the problem. But like a joke, I would say there’s missing Dagamba before it was made.

  • What are the nearest plans for DAGAMBA?

Our nears plans are to play some festival, ‘cause it’s summertime and to finish our album DAGAMBA feat, Tchaikovsky, shoot some videos and prepare for next tour.

    • If you had a right to choose any band to work with, who would it be and why? 

Maybe it would be some band or ensemble from the academic environment and maybe from school who would like to go to the modern environment, creating their own songs, arrangements, to go a little bit in the forest find some new colors maybe my help would be useful. Because to collaborate with some famous bands I don’t know it’s, usually, it’s more like a kind of business plan like different musicians collaborate in pop-culture.

  • And our constant part of interviews with international bands – comments on Ukrainian bands.

 I listened to their cover song of Alcest “Circe poisoning the sea”. Of course, it’s very difficult to say about the band just listening to one song. I listened to a little bit to some other songs just to get a clue about the band. As I understand it’s instrumental consisting of two guitars and some electronics. First of all, I want to say it’s quite an interesting band like ambient, moody, this kind of music I would listen to driving a car or like a background music. It would not be like the big stage, live act but it’s interesting. Suggestion for the band to improve better: if you take some other bands music and make cover try to show something different, try to show more of you. Because this cover what I listened this is very similar to the original and I don’t understand then why you need to make a cover. For example, if you have a band in your genre like it’s ambient, I would suggest to take something completely different from your type of music and try to show your sound but with different songs. But generally, I enjoyed listening to this band.

Also an ambient moody type of music. As I understand band consists of guitar, bass guitar, and drums. This band is a little bit heavier but still ambient and moody. I enjoyed this particular piece of music mostly because of the combination of the video and music it felt very well done. But a suggestion for both bands, in fact, if you lay instrumental music and you don’t have lyrics you need to be very careful of what kind of accords or notes you choose, or improvisations, or melody lines that it doesn’t feel boring. So, it’s quite difficult to be an instrumental band and have a success in that kind of music. Because people need somehow get the idea through only the instrumental music that you can tell the story. So you need to have musical weapons quite a lot that you can do that. But anyway great music I enjoyed it, Thank you.

  • Thank you so much for your time! And finally, traditionally, wishes for our readers.

Music can change the world so support musicians around you and they will multiply positivity.

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Діана Зозуля

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