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Friday, 06 May 2011 08:39

Wired in #11: Okinawa Lifestyle

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This week's interview features two great musicians, Gigi Jikia and David Datunashvili from the Georgian capital Tbilisi. They play as an electro duo under the name of Okinawa Lifestyle. If you have already seen the first episode of E&M's documentary A Transnational Adventure, their music might already sound familiar, because Okinawa Lifestyle provided a lot of the soundtrack!

Find more artists like Okinawa Lifestyle at Myspace Musik

E&M: Okinawa lifestyle seems like a reference to life in a Japan, why did you choose that name as a Georgian band?  

OL: It actually happened accidentally. We needed a bandname for a Georgian music course, it was last day before the application was due. So we quickly started to read English directories to find some titles, and we found this name, it sounded exotic and in some way really fitting for our Georgian life.

E&M: What do you enjoy most about living in Tbilisi? 

OL: Oh, that's a very long story. It's hard to describe Tbilisi briefly, the life here is really unpleasant and strange, but interesting. Actually, Georgia is very strange country.  I personally love and enjoy the potential of Tbilisi, Georgia, Georgian people and culture, which has been absolutely lost for the last 20 years, our independence years. I can't say there's a light in the near future, unfortunately everything's going wrong here. Nevertheless sometimes I have those moments of hope, you know, Georgia could be a very beautiful and fascinating country, with beautiful, interesting cities and an interesting lifestyles. Also, the countryside and the girls here are really beautiful.

E&M: Do you work exclusively with computers to create your music? 

OL: Not only. We also play instruments, but the computer is the easiest way to create music at home in Tbilisi. Guitars, bass, drum, synthesizers… it's all an expensive pleasure for us.

E&M: Before starting an electro band, have you ever played traditional instruments? 

OL: Yes, we both have a particular musical education, Gigi is more professional in this way, he has been taking piano classes for almost 10 years. Before we started making music as Okinawa Lifestyle, we played in an indie-rock band called Landmark, I played guitar and bass, and Gigi played the drums.

E&M: How do new songs come together? 

OL: Well, usually we work separately on some projects and then we exchange them and finally we get together to see what we can do about it. Sometimes tracks are finished like that already. But that was when we made Naha and Lazy Friend tracks, it's really the old way. We want to play live music together with live instruments in some cozy rehearsal place.

E&M: Not having lyrics for your songs, is it more about finding a cool melody and beat and matching it with a fun title, or do certain things really inspire your songs? 

OL: Well it happens differently, Lisi Lake is, for example, actually a Lake in Tbilisi and it inspired the title for one of our songs.

E&M: Why did you decide to give out all your music as free downloads?

OL: When we first decided to release our production, it was the best way to promote our music. Actually the music itself was not at a totally professional level and the quality was not high enough to sell it. We just needed some experience.

E&M: What are your upcoming projects and plans? 

OL: At the end of 2010 we made another EP, called Underwater, we wanted to find some label for releasing it and "Progrezo Records" got in touch, they signed the album and it'll be available in digital stores in May. We've also planned some local live shows in may. Check them out here.

E&M: And finally, what does Europe mean to you?

OL: Culture, intelligence, humanity. You know, for Georgian people it's like the horizon. Young people in Tbilisi don't really enjoy living here and they know there's London, Berlin, Paris, Stockholm… so it's like our hope and dream for a better life.

For more on Okinawa Lifestyle check out http://okinawalifestyle.blogspot.com/.

Last modified on Sunday, 08 May 2011 07:41

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