Who and what has influenced your musical sound so far?
From when I was a child, the music that was always on repeat in our house was the sound soul, Motown, funk, reggae, etc. So the groove and rhythm and soul of that music remains very much alive in the music I create. Then, going through teenage years, I was incredibly connected with the vibes of garage, jungle and DnB, with the odd indulgence In Evanescence, Metallica and SOAD. My first connection with Hip Hop was through UK Hip Hop when I was at Uni in Manchester. I was entranced by the conscious lyrics from artists such as Jehst and Lowkey, and I had a radio show with Dj Taffa, called, ‘The Homegrown Beats Show.’ From t meat time, the beats of hip hop awoke a beat in my heart that hasn’t stopped since. This inspired me to write lyrics. Just the other day I found my first lyric written on an amalgamation of rizzla papers.
Most recently, I have been absorbing the devotional music and chants from artists such as Jai Jagdeesh and Snatam Kaur. Life also, has played a huge, if not bigger part, than the music.
Over the years, my lyrics have been influenced by my own inner emotional struggle, and the ordeal of simply living on this earth in its current state, as well as the spiritual angst felt in seeking Truth in this ‘half-made world where love has yet to take its toll’, yet in a Brighter mood, more recently, in the Grace of Seeing Truth, Reality and Love, beyond all of that
What is the story behind where your name came from?
Well, you know what. I kinda feel like a cat sometimes, you know. Learning lessons, not learning lessons, learning the same lessons and so on and so forth, and with a combination of a hedonistic crisis in my early twenties and the Spiritual Grace that has been a undercurrent of my life since then (and probably prior to), there is this feeling that this is my last chance almost — to take this life I have seriously, so it is characterised by Love, Strength, and Service and Feeling Beyond the patterning of this body-mind into That Spiritual Grace I mentioned, with the heart of spiritual warrior. Hence, Last Life D’Serious
In what direction do you see your music going in?
I will always love making straight up Hip Hop licks with just the right amount of heart and rebel, which is reflected in my debut album released last year, ‘The Great Search’. And I have been working with producers in different parts of the world on more tracks like this. Musically, the combination of the boom bap with melodies on a track will always be something I do. Currently, however, I am in the middle of a Sacred Hip Hop album — a combination of uplifting and inspiring and devotional raps, with chanting (ranging from Sanskrit, English to Fijian) laid upon traditional and modern instrumentation. I call it, ‘Hip Hop From The Awakening Heart’
Tracks like “The Essence” really capture a unique sound, what was your process to creating this type of track?
I worked on this track with a childhood friend, Reggie. An amazing producer, musician and friend. I had already written the sung intro, but it sounded completely different to how it does now and the notation was a bit all over the place! We literally went through each line and phrase, one by one, matching the piano to each one and decided the next notation after the previous line has been recorded. In terms on the other sounds, Reggie created that hypnotic base line and original beat arrangement and the lyrics were inspired from there. Through the track, we kept adding different sounds and vocals, but they never added anything to the feel of the track, so we stripped in down and allowed the simplicity of the beat and bars to transmit what needed to be transmitted in this track. Sometimes with production, and this is something I am learning myself, less is more; especially the temptation of a million sound packs and plugins that are available now.
If you could decide, what would you like your listener to take from your music?
The essence and feeling which I experienced when creating it, and which I have been blessed as being the vehicle for it to arrive in this world. Whether is it Hope, LOve, Understanding, Relief, Release, Insight, Beauty, Catharsis…
How do you define consciousness and awakened intuition?
I would define consciousness in the same terms as my Spiritual Master,
‘’Consciousness Is The Inherently Free Radiance, or Bliss, or Happiness (Itself), Merely Being Self-Radiant, appearing to be modified as all forms and changes.’’
And I experience awakened intuition to be residing from the Heart, a feeling-sense of the Reality, Happiness, & Love that is prior to and beyond this body-mind, not affected by any condition whatsoever, and always already available to commune with, and Surrender to as the guiding principle of my life. The Sun is Always above the clouds.
Why do you think it’s important to remain self-aware when facing difficulties or times of ordeal?
Because they are gifts for transformation, for healing. In terms of crisis and ordeal, we all have our default — what we normally do. And that can generate and perpetuate karma which has the opportunity to be dissolved and purified in such ordeals. They may be the very basis of the ordeal — karmic! if we make decisions based on Love & Transcendence, going beyond our automatic, patterned, default reaction, then the whole situation can be changed, almost like a process of alchemy — putting in ‘stuff’ and getting pure gold. And it is self-awareness that allows us the objectivity to not be caught up in what we normally do in order to do that.
What does the future hold for Last Life D’Serious?
I have a variety of different projects that I am working on currently -from promoting a vegan rap and performing it at vegan festivals to running Engaging, Educational and Empowering Rap/Spoken Word/Poetry workshops with children/teenagers. But the project that is inspiring me the most is the following. I see myself holding spaces which combine the different energies I have shared in this interview. The space will be for participatory performance. A space where, through my facilitation and in with collaboration with other artists, those in the space, experience and participate in uplifting, healing and inspiring chants/choruses. Then there will be the raps I share that simply add to the feeling-sense of what that particular chant/chorus transmits, evokes and invokes. All combined with a variety of different instruments and (of course) beats, Bhakti Beats! A space that welcome everyone regardless of the genre they normally connect with — it is for those who wish to enter a sacred space, to let go, to feel, and allow the music & melodies to dance them! After all everything is vibration, everything is sound, an eternal echo of Love & Truth. And music affords us a rare opportunity to take a dip in that deep well. So, let’s dive in!