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INTERVIEW: DAAO



Daao is an acclaimed Armenian musician known for his innovative compositions that combine various musical styles. With a unique fusion of European jazz elements and old-school electronic rhythms, he captivates audiences with his distinctive soundscapes, drawing inspiration from his Armenian heritage and aiming to inspire unity, understanding and collaboration through the power of music.


His new record is HOME. With an artful fusion of European jazz elements and an old-school electronic 808-sounding beat, this extraordinary and evocative LP aims to inspire people around the world to work, educate and help each other more intensely, transcending barriers. of the different beliefs.


HOME represents a bold exploration of musical genres, combining the sophistication and improvisational spirit of European jazz with the infectious energy of classic electronic beats. The album seamlessly blends intricate melodies, harmonies and rhythms, leading to listening


We have had the pleasure of interviewing him and this has been the result.


Can you tell us a little about your early musical experiences?


My first real brush with music started quite early on when I was attending a music school. It was pretty traditional, following a post-Soviet curriculum – not exactly a walk in the park, but it wasn't all bad. This period introduced me to some timeless compositions by the likes of Claude Debussy, Aram Khachatryan, Erik Satie, Ennio Morricone, and Arno Babajanyan.


At the same time, my grandfather's jazz mixtapes were my gateway to another fascinating realm of music. There was something unique about listening to jazz legends like Miles Davis and Charlie Parker – it added another layer to my understanding of music.


These experiences from my early years subtly molded my musical perspective, but it took around 10 years for me to fully recognize and appreciate their impact. That's when, daao, came to life, channeling these influences and creating the music that resonates with me today.


How do you hope that your music influences or impacts your listeners?


When it comes to my music, I've got a few key ideas I'd love to share with my listeners, and hopefully, they'll make a difference in some way. The first one is about authenticity – being true to yourself and honest with the people in your life. I truly believe that it's a fundamental building block for any form of communication or relationship.


Next up is my belief in the power of collaboration. It's an amazing form of interaction where people can create something beautiful and meaningful together. To me, it's one of the purest forms of exchange that exists.


Lastly, I hold firm to the notion that our past is packed with potential. It's not something to forget or ignore; instead, we should learn from it, appreciate it, and use it to navigate our future. That's what I try to instill in my listeners through the creations of daao.



Do you feel that your sound has evolved over the years?


Definitely, my sound has transformed quite a bit over the years. It's not just my music that has morphed and matured, but my appreciation of the world around me has also evolved. Everything from design, shapes, architecture, and fashion to everyday objects, all appears different to me now.


I wouldn't necessarily use the term 'evolved' to describe this change, because it seems to suggest a linear path or an endpoint. But, in reality, it's been more about expansion and diversification. Everything has become richer, more intricate, and definitely more captivating. So, yes, the sound of daao has indeed transformed, becoming a deeper reflection of my ever-evolving world.



How does your latest album differ from your previous projects, musically and thematically?


Reflecting on how my latest album, "HOME," differs from my previous work requires me to delve into the album's genesis and its thematic core. "HOME" is more than a collection of tracks; it's an expression of a universal sentiment that I believe resonates deeply with our generation, especially from the perspective of my fellow Armenians. The struggles of COVID-19 combined with the distress of ongoing conflict in Armenia have created an intense cocktail of emotions. This shared experience has compelled our youth to confront realities from an incredibly raw perspective. We've had to shoulder the weight of cultural preservation, leading us to foster an attitude of resilience, accomplishment, and the will to shape our own path.


"HOME" seeks to explore the multifaceted nature of what 'home' signifies: the feelings it elicits, the physical space it occupies, and the process of creating and maintaining it. While I was traveling, I found myself wrestling with what 'home' truly means. Why do we find comfort in the familiar, and why does being away from it cause homesickness? More importantly, what happens if you suddenly lose that sense of home? That happened to me and, while it was terrifying, it also prompted a shift in my perspective.


I've come to see home as a journey: learning to walk, reveling in the journey, losing your way, and realizing that 'home' comprises all things at all times. It requires recognizing your smallness in the grand scheme of things, accepting it, and proceeding to build your own 'home' within that vastness - a place of comfort and contentment. However, struggle and acceptance are crucial in this process.


Therefore, "HOME" encapsulates a myriad of sounds, visuals, ideas, people, smells, and shapes, all infused with pure emotions and meticulously crafted throughout days of exploration. It's about embracing the spirit of play, collaboration, and learning through discovery and passing these experiences on to the future generations that will journey through life.


In this context, my latest work primarily aims to champion the idea of collaboration, emphasizing that despite differences in our perceptions and feelings, we can always find common ground if we share similar objectives and inner struggles. While the theme of the album holds universal relevance, it carries a distinct resonance for the people of Armenia. In essence, "HOME" underscores the power of shared experience and common purpose - key elements that have significantly evolved in my creative journey as daao.



Do you feel consistency is important in creating music? Or is it ok to experiment with different styles and sounds?


Certainly, I'd say that the need for consistency in creating music is largely dependent on an artist's current mindset and motivations. Looking back at my own journey with music under the daao name, there've been numerous evolutions. Initially, music was a means for me to find my footing and forge connections within my community. It morphed into a tool for self-discovery, giving me insights into my childhood and personal identity. After that, daao became a creative sandbox for me, a space where I could experiment freely and express myself without restrictions.


Today, however, after traversing through these ups and downs, these lefts and rights, I find myself gravitating towards a more defined style, something that might end up being a signature for daao. I've started to appreciate the idea of success and understand that consistency can play a significant role in achieving it. It's not so much about confining myself to a single genre or style, but more about crafting a distinct musical identity that people associate with daao.


How do you see the next few years or your career panning out, in an ideal world?


In my perfect scenario, I'd be traveling around, playing a mix of dance and experimental music that takes listeners on a sonic adventure. I'd meet and work with tons of dedicated, creative people - artists, entrepreneurs, or just anyone with something unique to say.


I also dream of making a few hit tracks – tunes that are simple but have a replay value. I imagine celebrating my future albums with big events in my hometown, Yerevan, Armenia, just like I did with my first two albums. These festivals are part of the daao experience, and I can't wait to see them grow. They're all about bringing people together and celebrating the power of community.


What's the most important piece of advice anyone's given to you so far?


It was really simple advice but It makes sense in so many ways. The advice was “Have fun be honest daao”

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