His unique music could be described as an original blend of strange futuristic-electronic sounds, ancient mystical voices and spiritual percussions from different parts of the world.
Born and raised in a multicultural family of artists poets & musicians, Oxaï Roura began to learn the art of drumming at the young age of three.
Fascinated by the ancient sacred african polyrythms and chants, he received serious teachings from some of the greatest masters of the drums: Famoudou KONATE, Mamady KEÏTA,Maré SANOGO, Soungalo COULIBALY, Adama DRAME, Sega SIDIBE, Cece KOLY taught him Mandingo rythms and chants; and Orlando POLEO & Martha GALARRAGA taught him Yoruba chants and rythms (congas & batas).
Immersed in learning the traditional ways while at the same time openly interested in varied music styles and genres, Oxaï performed gigs and made recordings with a lot of different kinds of bands (Metal, Reggae, Jazz and Jazz fusion, Salsa, Bossa-Nova, Traditional African music, Electro etc.) during his formative years, thus blending many genres into his musical palette.
Moreover, another important aspect of Oxaï Roura’s work consists in traveling the world as an ethnomusicologist (South Africa, Brasil & other parts of South America, Melanesia & Oceania…)in order to collect different kinds of endangered sonic forms.
Last but not least, during these ethnomusicological travels Oxaï improves, on one hand, his musical skills & theoretical knowledge with great local artists and, on the other hand, his comprehension of sonic wisdom.
Oxaï Roura utilizes his music as a spiritual tool which assists in the discovery of hidden things within the inner self. His creations are meant to entertain and bless as well promote the spiritual dimensions of human experience.
What Musical Genre Do You Feel Best Describes Your Music And How Would You Describe Your Sound?
You know, since the beginning of my solo career in 2003 with the E.P “The Exu Experience”, I tried to create several brand new musical genres. For example, with the Exu Experience project, I tried to create a new genre named Atabaques’N Bass.
For info, “The Exu Experience” was “Atabaques ‘N Bass. Volume 1”. 14 years later, In 2017, I went further into this experience with the project called “ Atabaques N’Bass meets Japan”. This special project is only available in the video section of my Facebook fanpage for now (except part 01 which can be also found on my Youtube channel).
Then, in 2004-2006, I worked on a new innovative project with Afro-Cuban & Afro-Venezuelian musicians. In fact, I tried to create another original musical genre: the Bembelektro or Bembeelektro. In this new genre I tried to invent several new styles (or sub genres if you prefer) such as Bembe Dub, Bembe Trip, Electro Macumba, Electrolumbia…the results of these creative works can be found in the Dvd “Spiritual Heritage Part.01. Secrets Of Afrika (Live)”.
Later, in 2008, I worked a lot in South America on different creative projects; therefore, when I released a new album on this year (“Afro Amazonian Spirit. Naturosophia”), I once again tried to create a new musical genre: the AFROAMAZONIKA musical genre.
In 2016/17, I felt it was time for me to try something new & different. So I worked a lot and created a musical concept & genre probably never heard before: the AFROHIMALAYAN Musical genre. The 1st musical piece related to this new musical genre is called: “Afro-Himalayan 01. GanEshou”.
Last but not least, in 2017/2018 I tried a new experiment in unknown artistic & musical territories. It is called Or1 and the first musical-artistic piece related to this new conceptual approach is called “Back From Sirius B (Nommo)”.
And right now, in December 2018, I am working on new ideas, concepts and creations… I hope they will be innovative and useful for the world.
Now, in order to answer the second part of your question, I feel like saying this: for many years now, I am doing my best to be a composer of new and very unusual musical forms. My music is frequently described as (being) “unique”. It is, in fact, an original blend of strange futuristic-electronic sounds, ancient mystical voices and spiritual percussions from different parts of the world...
In a nutshell, I call my musical genre "TraDreamZ Music"(in other words: traditional music from the dreams)...
How Did You Get Your Name? Is There A Story?
Well : Oxaï Roura is my name. Roura is also, in fact, the name of a beautiful little city located in the Amazon Jungle also known as the Amazon rainforest.
This city was created by my ancestors in a wonderful country named Guiana; The word Guiana means several things; for example it can mean “the land with abundant waters” (in the Arawak language) it can also mean: “What can’t be named” or literally, in French, “Ce que l’on ne peut nommer”… What a program !!! Guiana is also known today as French Guiana, South America.
I’ve been told by serious people that the name Roura means many things. For example, it could mean “the one who gives/brings Justice”.
The name Roura is also very probably related to ancient Egypt. In fact, in the Ancient Egyptian language, the name “Roura” has a deep meaning; It means: the mouth of Ra/Rê, the Sun God…
What Are or Have Been Your Musical Influences?
When I was a teenager I was a vocalist & rhythm guitar player in various metal bands. So, I listened to different kinds of metal music (Thrash, Death, Grindcore…); My major influence from the metal sphere is a Californian band called Cynic (Progressive Metal) their album named “Focus” is absolutely incredible ( and they are still producing unique and amazing music until this day)!
Then, later I seriously thought of becoming a jazz man (a jazz guitar player), because creators such as John Coltrane, Steve Coleman, Ornette Coleman & Thelonious monk impressed me a lot with their philosophical concepts & musical creations (to say the least lol). I love creative Jazz music such as M’Base Jazz ( a concept created by the legendary Steve Coleman and all his teams such as 5 elements & the Mystical Rhythm Society…), Jazz Fusion ( Chick Corea, Joe Zawinul, Weather Report…), Progressive Jazz (Allan Holdsworth, Vinnie Colaiutua, Scott Henderson…) Free Jazz (Ornette Coleman, Eric Dolphy, John & Alice Coltrane…).
I’ve also been deeply influenced by Minimal Music (with composers such as Steve Reich and Lamonte Young) and original electronic music (with composers such as Björk, Aphex Twin, Amon Tobin, Dj Shadow…).
Also, Dub Music & Electro Dub are another strong influence that I have (for example: fantastic Jamaican teams such as the Roots Radics & Israel Vibration for the dub part, and Mad Professor concerning the electro dub influence)…
And, of course, I must not forget to mention sacred traditional music from various parts of the world! As a researcher in the field of ethnomusicology, I had (and still have) opportunities to discover some fantastic ancient and new forms of traditional music from the four corners of planet earth…
Last but certainly not least, I would like to say that my growth as an artist have been influenced not only by musicians and composers, but also by other types of artists like David Lynch, Stanley Kubrick, Salvador Dali, Pierre Fatumbi Verger, Tsai-Ming Liang, Apichatpong Weerasetakul, Hayao Miyazaki and Jean-Michel Basquiat…
What Are You Working On Now? Any Future Collaborations We Can Look Forward To?:
Right now I’m trying to collaborate with different kinds of artists like visual artists, poets, writers, martial artists…
So, for example, I’m now working on a new creative project called “The Black Rook Of Hiroshima” with a very unique artist-poet-writer from England named Cassandra Swan; we hope to release this very special project in 2019.
Besides, I am now collaborating with a special martial artist named Yannick Theolade, a.k.a Sawani Makan (from Cayenne, French Guiana, South America), who is the inventor of a new Amazonian martial art named Djokan. We’ll see what will come out from this collaboration, probably in 2019…
Also, let me share a scoop for the first time in exclusivity on the College Underground Radio Cameroon website… this is especially dedicated to all my African fans: I am now collaborating with a creative African artist ! I won’t tell his name for now. I won’t tell where he’s from. But I can tell you this: the results of our collaboration will be exciting! You can join my Facebook fan page, Twitter followers & Youtube channel in order to know more about this special collaboration…
Last but not least, I’m also working now with a talented slammer-rapper (from Seattle, Washington, USA ) named Steve Osborne. In fact, we released a first song called “Defying Gravity (Experior)”in February 2018; and we are now working on other things…
As a matter of fact: on December the 1st 2018, we released the next step of our project called “AmericaS+Europe 21: The Secret Alien Union”! It is called “Wrathtful” and it might be surprising for a lot of people !
I hope our fans and the whole world will appreciate the result; because we put a lot of good positive efforts and love in this project… For your curious readers: “The Secret Alien Union Part 02. Wrathful” is now available for everyone on my Youtube channel & can be bought on my ReverbNation page!
What Is Your Ultimate Goal In The Music Industry? What Is Your Plan Of Action?
Well, everything is constantly changing and nothing is permanent here, including goals… so, to be honest, it’s hard for me to directly answer this question (because I do see things a different way). What I can tell you is this: 1st, one of my main goals in music is to succeed in creating an original alchemical “Grand Oeuvre”, a kind of sonic gold that could be useful for myself and all the beings. When I say useful I think about, for example, the therapeutic side of sound & music.
I do have a strong intuition concerning one particular point… deep inside of me I’m sure about one thing related to music & sound: Sound can cure any disease! In the future, sound will be- very probably- capable of healing almost every known and yet unknown diseases. This is already partly true.
Please let me add a few words about this… because I know this interview will very probably find some readers in Africa, I have a humble appeal to make to all the people involved in the medical field on the African continent. Please: do explore the very powerful healing possibilities of sound (and music). Maybe one of you will find a way to definitely cure & heal terrible diseases such as A.I.D.S, Cancer and Ebola…maybe several of you will find a way to wipe these terrible diseases out of Africa and out of the world !
2nd: I would like to create a kind of music never heard before, something deeply new, innovative & directly related to the power of imagination. Almost every day I work diligently on this project for many years now (I begun to play music when I was 02,5/03 years old, and I had this vision of my musical-artistic path very early in my life).
3rd: I would like to find a well-balanced way to earn honorable, frequent and decent amounts of money with all my independent artistic and musical creations. This kind of challenge is hard for almost all of us, not only the artists. Therefore, I am seriously working to create this victorious reality with my art. I am confident about the fact that these good wishes & dreams will come true at the right time for me.
And concerning my plan of action, as it is said in different ancient ways of wisdom: “Orare Et Laborare. Sator Tenet Opera Rotas”…
What Is Your Favorite Track To Perform Live and Why?
To be honest, I don’t have a favorite track to perform live. I do love all my songs. And, as a matter of fact, I also use “Live events” as experiments to give different textures forms and aspects to my songs.
Therefore- in a way- it is possible for me to say that my songs, when they are played live, are always the same and at the same time always different (just like Parmenide said about the lake and the man…). Consequently: all of my songs are number one in my heart!
What Has Been The Biggest Challenge In Your Career Thus Far?:
Wow! Well, struggling for good visibility is something big. It’s quite delicate to succeed in being seen and heard by the right persons at the right moment with the right timing.
Another thing is to never give up and never surrender even when you do have money problems; because as an underground/non-mainstream artist it’s not always easy to get money from your creations! But it’s part of the game brothers and sisters: let us never give up and never surrender until we’ll get complete victory in our good projects!
What’s Your Typical Songwriting Process?
To tell the truth, I don’t have a typical songwriting process.
Sometimes, ideas come to me when I am working on my instrumental and vocal techniques.
Sometimes musical ideas come to me while I am praying and meditating.
Let us say that, in fact, I have an intuitive songwriting process…
I just feel that some sounds could be good for me and-maybe- for other beings; then, I go deeper and develop the ideas. I just let my imagination go where it wants to… I try to be one with the waves of creation…
How Has Social Media Influenced Your Career As An Artist?
Well, social media gave me a wonderful opportunity : the possibility to interact daily with all my Family Friends & Fans (I now call them FFFAMAa) from all over the world; Moreover it gave me the possibility to get direct feedback about my creative works from my FFFAmAa without any useless filter…
Besides, as a matter of fact, social media gave me a better international visibility.
Therefore these new tools of human communication helped me, for example, to collaborate with various artists from all around the world in an easier way than the time when social media did not exist yet.
This is just great and, in the future, I wish to be able to use social media even better than today…
What Are Some Tracks and Artists Currently On Your Playlist?
Well, to be honest I’m actually in a very creative phase of my existence; therefore, right now, I mostly listen to my own creations.
Creations that are not published yet.
But, on a daily base, I’m also listening to Yogi Hari (“A Garland Of Moksha”), Steve Coleman’s latest musical project (residency in L.A), and movie soundtracks such as 2001 a Space Odyssey, John William’s music (Star Wars etc.), David Lynch’s music & sound design (Twin Peaks) …
What Did You Do Before You Started Making Music?
I studied political science. In fact, I did some researches in the field of political philosophy when I was in college. And after that, I studied ethnomusicology even deeper…
Any Advice For Young People (Men or Women) That Want To Succeed In The Music World?
You know, broadly speaking, I don’t usually like to give advice to people. Why? Because, to my mind, all human beings are FREE and intelligent enough to know what they have to do. But I feel what’s hidden in your question so to speak…so, I will share some words in order to help all those who are now struggling & battling really hard to become the best musicians and artists they can be.
So: here is what I feel like saying to them, from heart to heart, from soul to soul, from brother to brother, from brother to sister: Keep the faith in yourself ! You are unique. No one else can offer to the world the hidden & beautiful treasure(s) you’ve got deep inside of your inner self.
Never give up, never surrender ! If you fall down this is not important at all. Just stand up again and move forward! You know, everybody will not tell it to you (because today the trend is to share only success stories) but, in fact, we all failed and we all hit the ground one day or another. The idea of failure is just another illusion in this strange world of ours. Hang on to your good dreams.
And…Take ACTION: don’t let your good dreams and ideas to die! Make them live, Let them be, express them and share them with the World with Integrity Love and Light.
Ya: You can make it! In fact, if you look behind, you will notice that you already did more difficult things in your life than this one...
Everything is still “quantumly” possible anytime, anywhere.
Believe in yourselves & Be yourselves! And please, as Baba Mutwa from South Africa says: "light a little lamp of beauty hope and creativity for the world".
You could also meditate on this ancient African wisdom: “ when you’re involved in the field of creation (it could be music, writing, painting, dancing, poetry, photography, architecture etc.) you are not only doing things for yourselves ! In fact, you are also doing things for those who are coming in the future ! We are one”.
So: do your best to stay healthy, humble, strong and confident; then: good things will come for you at the right time…
What Would You Change In The Music Industry If You Were A Top Music Executive?
I would very probably open the doors for all the undergound talents of the world. They are many but it’s very difficult for them ( in fact, for us, because I’m actually one of them) to get their voices heard even when their creations are really original, imaginative beautiful and useful for the world.
Also, if I was a top music executive I would give a bigger chance to women! Because, to my mind, women are not represented enough in the music industry today; even when they are extremely talented...
How Do You Feel About Originality?
Originality is a Key of Good Life. As a matter of fact, all of us are unique and original beings.
There was no one exactly like us in the past and there will be no one exactly like us after our disincarnation/disembodiment in the future.
So: let us be who we really are deep inside! By doing so, we will feel fully Alive and probably make our world and dimension a better place…
Is There Anything Else We Should Know About You Or That You Would Like to Add?
Yes indeed: I would like to thank warmly all the persons who work in the College Underground Radio team all over the world ! Specially the men, women boys and girls who are now working in the College Underground Radio Cameroon. Why? Because, to my mind, these people are pioneers and are doing exactly the kind of good work Africa needs today: a constructive work in the fields of education, culture and art.
This is great ! I also want to thank all of these friends brothers and sisters because, if you are reading these words on this website today, it is because Steve Osborne & I won the Discover Contest on November 2018 (with the song “Defying Gravity”). This contest was organized by the College Underground Radio Cameroon, and this interview is a part of the prize we won. Moreover, the Discover Contest was indeed a fantastic opportunity for an underground and non-mainstream artist like me & for all the AmericaS+Europe 21/SecReT ALieN UniOn Team ! So: thank you all for the invitation !!!
And, of course, I would like to thank all my ancestors, all who are not born yet but will do great things for the world in the future, and all my ancient actual and future family friends & fans (a.k.a FFFAMAa) who are supporting me as well as they can for many many years !!!
And Now: let us see what kinds of good things are waiting for us all in the Future…
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