It is an endless musical journey which is offered to you when you press the “PLAY” button on your player… and thus your spirit escapes towards infinite lands, see secret of your imagination… and all thanks to these 4 musicians full of finesse : OLOJI !
Very simple ! After the meeting of Laurent, Julien and Othello with Othello Ravez Trio,it was time to find a group name :
Othello / Laurent / Julien O LO Ji
In addition, in India, “Ji” is a suffix that is a mark of respect for a person.
How was the meeting between you ?
Laurent : I first met Othello because I was looking for a Didgeridoo player for Mayaëlo‘s album. Then, Othello had to realize on stage his album which he had recorded in trio, but he could not do it with the artists of the disc… The deadlines arriving, I offered him my services and Julien too. Julien has already worked with Othello for ten years. This new project was under the name of Othello Ravez Trio at the beginning… but, OLOJi was already born and we didn’t know it yet.
Alexandre and I, we already knew each other too, the link was super easy. He joined us to create the sound for one of our first concerts, he quickly took up the position of arranger first and co-composer afterwards. The EP “Orion” and the first album “Osni” were in trio on stage, and Alexandre already made music with us, but not yet on stage. In the double album and box dedicated to meditation “Exploration of twelve Chakras” in collaboration with Gudrun Comtat, we recorded in trio and Alexandre made the sound. It was from the last album “Seed of Crystal” that Alexander joined us on stage with his keyboards.
How did you come up with the idea of finding an album together ?
The group’s first rehearsals for the “Le Rêve de l’Aborigène” Festival concert began in May 2014. Little by little, the rehearsals turned into creation with a new repertoire. In July 2014, during our first concert, we were interrupted by the rain… The programmers took us back for the following year in 2015. In the meantime, we recorded our 1st EP : Orion under the name of OLOJi .
How long did it take you between the day of your meeting and the release of the album ?
We needed three months for the first concert and around six months for the EP in 2015 ! Then we recorded one album per year until 2018 with concert tours.
The album “Osni” in 2016, the box set “Exploration of the Twelve Chakras” in 2017, and our last album “Seed of Crystal” in 2018.
Does your album contain some sort of message ?
After our previous installments, we needed to change the type of expression. Our album “Seed of Crystal“invites to sow seeds of creativity and beauty. Everyone can find what touches them there and be free to travel. With the arrival of Alexandre and his keyboards (bass synth and Rhodes), our music takes on more “pop” colors, less experimental than our previous albums (Osni and Orion).
Your favorite track is “Seed of Crystal“, and what else inspires you ?
“Siko” makes us dance, “Gearing” opens our hearts, “Chase” is powerful and dynamic with trad airs of the Aborigines, and Indian sung rhythms. “Dream”invites us to meditate before a poetic and powerful “Time Out” at the same time.
What efforts or sacrifices did you have to make to improve or bring your album to fruition ?
Since the members of the group did not all live in the same region, the difficulties encountered were linked to geographic distance. This mainly concerned the periods of creation and rehearsals before recording. The latter took place over several days, on a voluntary basis. We chose this configuration because it is the easiest. And we have fun together, it makes us vibrate ! Sometimes it takes effort, that’s true. They relate to our family lives and our other respective projects.
Your best memory in the studio or live ?
We have a lot of good memories !!! For our first album “Osni”, the recording withDidier Malherbe at the Studio Music Unit in Paris will remain etched in our memories.
Othello : Personally I have always been a big fan of the group HADOUK TRIO(like the whole group) and I dreamed of setting up a group where we find this energy, and this poetry. When we were in the studio with Didier Malherbe, I was like a kid with open eyes and heart, amazed. Didier is an incredible musician and a generous human being. He knows how to listen and express the emotion of his play, his music with finesse and poetry.
For “Seed of Crystal”: We recorded in a huge character house in Berry in a mobile studio as we like to do. A superb natural setting for creation. It was great to be able to go from recording mode to that of nature without transition. Live, one of our fondest memories is the “Aboriginal Dream” festival, the osmosis that there is in this festival is just incredible! And above all, this is where the band was born, so it makes sense to us.
Editor’s note : also note that OLOJi played at the HANDPAN FESTIVAL, in Mèze in 2018, which amazed and conquered the public !
Your worst memory in the studio or live for this album ?
The worst memories are often transformed into fun over time. In any case, we wouldn’t have much to tell !
During the recording of “Seed of Crystal”, we had enormous technical problems during the installation the day before the start of the recording… We were on the verge of canceling the session… to say that recording in a castle does not facilitate logistics ! Alex and Antonin did everything to resolve all of this and we were able to start recording in time, it was quite a challenge ! And what an amazing week we had !
We all agree that our worst memory was a concert abroad on a big festival. We had flown with all the instruments, quite new and important logistics for us. First, the airport reception arrived 3 hours late. Then, when we arrived at the concert site, we were surprised to find that the organization was a day late on the editing… We will give you the details worthy of a good book… for a concert announced at 6 pm , we waited until 4am to finally ask to return to the airport … without having played of course and with a nice sleepless night in sight with a date to be guaranteed the next day !!! … Good news: safe and sound return, but very tired !
At the speed of things going today, do you have a personal message for the people who are listening to or will listen to your album ?
We advise listeners not to drive too fast while listening to “Seed of Crystal”…
Here are 4 talented multi-instrumentalists who meet and develop a beautiful universe combining traditional instruments with other more modern instruments… magic! A group full of charm and seduction with respect for music, which makes me think of the group DEAD CAN DANCE by the very marked presence of SANTUR… and the magnificent worlds contained in the 9 tracks of this album “Seed of Chrystal” !!!
For all festival organizers, do not wait 10,000 years to find out if they are good enough to program them… because they are really good !!!