Spend some time getting acquainted with Canadian based rockers VAYA in my exclusive interview. The trio have a hard edged sound to them, bound by Victoria's billowing vocal presence that raptures the audience's attention, along with Phil's blazing guitar melodies and Raphael's furious drum patterns that really make the group stand from the outset. The group were nice enough to take some time out to talk about their formation, their musical influences, what their creative process is like, and the group's hopes for the future. And without further ado, here is my chat with them:
Give us your name and your roles in the band?
VAYA: Hi they call me VAYA. I am the composer-singer and doing instrumental
Phil: My name’s Phil and I’m the guitar player.
RAPHAEL, drummer and percussionist
Take us behind the formation of the group and how you all met?
VAYA: It is all about destiny. For me we just answered to the same call: the loud scream of the white wolf from the elders. It connected us for living this trip together.
Phil: We met 2 years ago, I received an email from someone I know who told me I might be interested because it was a new band who was looking for musicians.
RAPHAEL: 3 years ago, I met VAYA through a music store in Gland (CH), and she heard that I play the drums. One day, she called me to record the first drums of VAYA’s album. I’ve never left since. It was a big pleasure when Philippe joined us for the live shows. Playing with so talented and connected people is amazing!
Describe your early musical influences and how they have helped shape and inspire you to this day?
VAYA: Native Indian from North America. 60s Rock, psyche, classical music symphonies. I am just a music chameleon: Unique!
Phil: When I was a teenager, I was more inspired by hard-rock and heavy metal, then later, I started learning and playing jazz and other music, like blues, funk, bossa nova, latin music, country pop etc.
RAPHAEL: Coldplay influences me a lot with the structures and richness of their songs. Jack White has a great experience of the music business and his music is powerful.
How would you describe your band's sound to those who aren't familiar with you?
Phil: It’s very punchy with a great powerful voice and great rhythm and lot of contrast and dynamic!
RAPHAEL: a tribal rock music, with ameridian influences into the rhythms and the vocals. It wakes up the little native there is in all of us.
VAYA: The consequences of our identity: Authentic, instinctive, loud, and Unique.
What is the energy and joy you get out of playing and recording music, how big of a rush do you feel?
Phil: It’s great to play together, when we have a good feeling and are on the same wave length!
RAPHAEL: They are feeding me.
VAYA: I love the essence of the idea. Challenge? Be loyal with it;)
Talk about the recording of your latest release, and what it was like to put it all together?
RAPHAEL: It was a big experience to release a double album (studio+live). What a huge work to release 1’000 handwritten numbered copies.
Phil: At the beginning of the year, Raph’ and Vaya recorded a few songs in a big studio in Toronto and a few weeks later, Raph’ went to my place in Switzerland and then, I added my guitar on a few tracks.
VAYA: we just recorded a song for the next album in Union studio Toronto. Magic is when genius come through each person only with a “spontaneous” way. If you are conscience about it you really understand universe laws.
Besides music, what do you like to do in your spare time?
Phil: Oh I like going out with friends to some bars to have fun, lol or to go to some concerts and jams, or to the movie! I like traveling going on vacations specially for scuba-diving in the summer but I haven’t been diving lately and I miss it!
RAPHAEL: The Nature & my Family.
VAYA: My painting exhibitions, and taking care of my family and friends.
What's coming up next for you, any future shows or new music you'd like to promote?
Phil: We’re going to Canada on April so pretty soon, for a tour and to make a few records and on July we should go to The States for another tour in California and Nevada.
RAPHAEL: We are performing at the Bout Festival in Toronto on 13th April at the Hideout! We will stay all together for one month in order to develop the colour of the next opus, and two days back at the Union Sound Company Studio. We should also be in San Francisco on 14th July to perform at the Californian Women’s Music Festival. We are also planning a tour in Brazil and South America for the end of the year.
How can fans find out more info about you online?
VAYA: on our official website www.vaya-official.com , follow the next trip in Japan for the next video clip!
Lastly, what is the one thing you enjoy the most about being in a band together?
Phil: Spending time with friends who has the same passion for music, have so much fun, play on stage and go on tour if we have the opportunity!
RAPHAEL: We are so connected on stage, that’s beautiful.