Francine Zauner Meets Up With Krisna to Learn More About His Love For Ethnic Music.
Krisna Patra is a Eurasian musician based in Bali. He loves ethnic music, believing that it holds the history and culture of many generations. He dreams of going back to basics and living a life that is in harmony with nature. This eco-activist shares with us how it is like for a mixed kid in the music industry as well as his idea of success.
Tell me about your childhood, your roots, your culture.
I was born and bred in Bali, a small island in Indonesia. My father is Balinese and my mother is originally English. She was raised in Australia and moved here to the island in her early 20s. Growing up in Bali has been a real blessing. Experiencing the Balinese culture while having an understanding of how the world works from a global perspective has really expanded my outlook on how things work.
“I am able to live the best of both worlds.”
As a mixed kid, I felt a struggle to fit in a certain ‘category’ for a while but in time I grew to realize that it’s actually a blessing. I am able to live the best of both worlds. As far as I know, my mother’s roots are Scandanavian, Italian, and English. On the other hand, my father is Balinese, and I believe we also have a strong Chinese influence.
The culture here is very strong and incorporates Hindu practices. There is also a strong and powerful national pride.
What sort of music gets you excited and why?
I love ethnic music because it takes my mind somewhere else. Music that has been played for a long time and in many different cultures. It makes me feel that music has been such a great tool for communication for so long, maybe even before language itself!
Could you explain the music you play?
At the moment, I am working on a solo project using a loop station. I play a few instruments, but it is difficult to do it all at the same time. So with a loop station I can record live instruments I use one by one. It is hard to explain which genre it is. I just play what feels good to me, what moves me. If I had to name a few it would be ethnic reggae, roots, funk and soul.
Where do you see yourself a year from now?
My aim is to travel the world playing music at different festivals. I’m hoping this dream will come true by 2018.
How do you define success?
“I do also feel like the ultimate goal of success is to be completely self-sustainable, in every way.”
Success to me is to be content with what you do. Finding enjoyment in your passion. I’ m very lucky to be pursuing what I do, by doing what I love. To be really honest I feel pretty successful already! I do also feel like the ultimate goal of success is to be completely self-sustainable, in every way. Not just career wise but also in all the necessities we need to survive, such as food, water, clothes, etc. by growing your own food, making your own clothes, but this is a long term goal.
What sort of message do you convey through your music?
I try to raise awareness about current situations. For example, in Bali, we have a very severe trash problem. Most people come to the island for a holiday not realising where their rubbish goes, so I try and explain this through the microphone. Or even plastic straws, something so simple, but also so easily eradicated.
What is your idea of a utopia?
To co-exist alongside nature. Finding that balance and harmony we once had with nature. I feel like we have lost touch with the flow of nature for so long we don’t even know how to survive anymore without machines and gadgets. To go back to the bare necessities is what I dream of. Incorporating technology like reusable energy sources as opposed to fossil fuels.
Does being a Third Culture Kid affect your music and the way you are treated in the music industry?
I think so. Most people on the island think I am a foreigner, so they definitely treat me a little differently. But I try and not focus on appearances too much, as I wish for people to listen with their ears as opposed to judging me with their eyes.
Who are your top three musical influences?
They’ve got to be: DUB FX, Josue Gonzales, and WAR.
Check out Krisna’s latest tunes on https://soundcloud.com/nyomankrisnapatra