Bali Spirit Festival, Ubud Bali May 7-11th, 2025

Yoga Dance Music Healing

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Insights from Desert Dwellers, Markandeya, Kevin James and Mariama

It is magical to watch your favorite musician(s) live…to sink into the music and just be 100% present. But before you get to enjoy the live performances of Desert DwellersMarkandeyaKevin James and Mariama Kouyate at the upcoming BaliSpirit Festival in Ubud, we got to asking them a few questions. Below they share some insights on what inspires them, how they unleash their creativity, what songs and mantras motivate them in difficult times and what they will be bringing to the 2015 festival.

Where do you draw inspiration from?

Trevor from Desert Dwellers: “I’ve always drawn my inspiration from pretty much all types of music and from dancing. These days I’ve been listening to a lot of electronica/pop and deep psychedelic house music, but it’s an ever evolving thing this inspiration stuff!”

Amani from Desert Dwellers: “From the diversity of ancient world music systems, keeping up to date with the most cutting edge electronic music producers, and always taking a moment to listen to the ambient sounds of nature when travelling.”

Kevin James: “I draw my inspiration from anything and everything, it’s completely random. Sometimes it comes in dreams, I’ve literally woken up with a song playing in my head and realized that it was not from anyone else so I grabbed my guitar and found the chords. Nothing is ours. We just borrow everything.”

Mariama Kouyate: “First I give thanks to my ancestor who gave me the skill and showed me the way to begin. My inspiration is connected to the earth, nature and human beings.”

What do you do to “unleash” your creativity?

Markandeya: “I perform, write and record music almost non-stop and find that it’s more about how to manage the creativity that’s given to you, in the most constructive way possible. When you are relaxed, honouring life and your purpose, creativity and sharing is a natural way of being.”

Trevor from Desert Dwellers: “For me it’s just about focus, about stopping doing things that are distracting me and just focus my energy toward music.”

Amani from Desert Dwellers: “I find that centering myself always helps in being creative – things like meditation, hiking in nature, or listening to inspiring music.”

Kevin James: “I stop and make time for myself, preferably on my own and then it can take a few days to come through. I go into a different space where I can’t engage in normal conversation because I’m living and breathing the songs. I can become almost anti social but actually I feel very connected but can only talk deeply and in the moment.”

What is one song / mantra / quote that helps you get up and go?

Kevin James: “Life is perfect.”

Treavor from Desert Dwellers: “Life is short…”

Amani from Desert Dwellers: “Be the change you wish to see in the world” and “Om Mani Padme Hung”

Markandeya: “The lines that come to mind at this moment are from the reggae band Midnite, “Love right, Live right”, album Ras Mek Peace.”

What should we expect from you at the BaliSpirit Festival this year?

Treavor & Amani, Desert Dwellers: “We have a new album coming out on March 20th called “The Great Mystery;” so we will be playing a lot of new material from the album, which is geared more towards an upbeat dance vibe. We will also be collaborating with some amazing performers as well for Bali Spirit fest. ”

Markandeya: “This is a big year for us; apart from touring overseas we also have our brand new album “Mirror of Words – Part Two” with us on this tour. Live we bring a massive sound with a beautiful dynamic of acoustic and electronic elements. Inspiration overflow!”

Kevin James: “Oh, hopefully the next level of last year. It seems to be going that way. Each year I think we could never top this height of bliss and sure enough, we go even higher. It’s not about me; it’s the community that joins us in the circle. All the work we do on ourselves as individuals to surrender and allow the spirit to shine through us just creates a vortex of co created magic.”

Mariama Kouyate: “As this is my first time at the BaliSpirit Festival, I am very excited to be part of it and connect with you all, sharing it.”

We hope these little insights may give you some ideas you can apply in your lives – everyone could use some extra creativity and inspiration! Next week we have more answers from Deya Dova, Farafi, Matsumoto Zoku, Murray Kyle and Vieux Cissokho!

Written by : BaliSpirit


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