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Sound and soul: An exclusive with Genish

Rooted in experimental music, Genish has a strong passion for music research and audio experimentation.

Photo credit: Genish – Official

His unique sound, a fusion of electronic, acoustic, and Middle Eastern music, is backed by meticulous sound design. Known for his superior music production skills, Genish combines elements to create the perfect mix. His music, released on platforms like Ya Hala Ya Hala, Multi Culti, TAU, and Blue Shadow, highlights his musical prowess.

Genish’s performances are notable for their extravagant sets, filled with a blend of organic and analog sounds.

This interview delves into Genish’s latest collaboration with S H I R A N and keyboardist Ron Bakal on the new EP ‘Layla’, his thoughts on the intersection of technology and music, and his predictions for the future of electronic dance music.

EG: Hi, Genish! Welcome to EG. It’s a pleasure to have you here with us. How have you been? What have you been up to?

Genish: Hi! The pleasure is all mine, thank you for having me! I’m doing great as I’m currently working on two new LP’s and developing a live act that I’m really excited to tour with soon. In addition to this, I am busy promoting my new EP ‘Layla’ with the talented Shiran, which I’m very excited about.

EG: First of all, congratulations on the upcoming release of your latest collaborative EP, ‘Layla’! How are you feeling about this one? What has the initial reception been like so far? Do you remember the first time you played these live? (If you have)

Genish: Thank you very much. I am really happy about this joint work, which connects religions, languages, and hearts. The reception has been overwhelming, to be honest, as it feels like Layla brought a fresh new vibe that everyone is missing nowadays. The first time I played ‘Layla’ was at a festival in Bulgaria called Lost Gypsy Land, and from the first kick, the audience felt it completely. Everyone started moving in a more circular and sexy way – it was crazy!

EG: So, what’s ‘Layla’ all about? Is there a concept to this EP? What can your fans expect to find music-wise on ‘Layla’?

Genish: In Hebrew and Arabic, the word Layla, Leila, or Laila means night, or dark, and the name is often given to girls born during the night, signifying “daughter of the night.”

‘Layla’ stems from my general approach to music, which is to bring as many cultures as possible to the world of electronic music. I have a lot of curiosity to understand authenticity and translate it into music while preserving my musical style and groove that my audience loves, which you can hear clearly in the B-side ‘Galbi’.

I think the fans of my music can find 100 percent of me in this EP, without masks, more mature, more connected to myself and the environment, and softer in certain moments.

“I have a lot of curiosity to understand authenticity and translate it into music while preserving my musical style and groove that my audience loves”

EG: ‘Layla’ finds you linking up with S H I R A N and keyboardist Ron Bakal. How did the project come about? What was that collaborative process like?

Genish: So it all started with one of Shiran’s first songs. By chance, the person who styled her for the music video was a friend, and he uploaded the video to Instagram. Her voice just drove me crazy, and I said to myself that one day I have to do something with them.

A year ago, while I was cutting my hair, my hairdresser told me that he just did Shiran’s hairstyle for a new music video and that I had to work with her. I got her contact information and set up a meeting with Shiran and her husband, Ron Bakal, who is, by the way, one part of Shiran and an independent, well-known producer. We clicked immediately as we spoke the same language, and from there, the friendship and the music really started to fly in the studio; we became friends. There was lots of laughter in the studio, lots of support and love for each other, and I’m really proud of this collaboration.

EG: As an EP, ‘Layla’ fuses electronic beats with Middle Eastern melodies and Yamani vocals. How do you approach this blend of styles? Is this something to play with, or must one be mindful of certain aspects?

Genish: I don’t think you should be aware of certain aspects at all. That’s the beauty of art—that everyone can bring their heart out in a million ways, everything has a place. Specifically in this EP, I decided that it would be Genish the Yemenite, something actually new. With Ron’s melodies and Shiran’s amazing vocals, you can simply do anything, which is the very natural way it should be.

EG: Speaking about the scene, what do you think the future of electronic dance music looks like? Are all these innovations and big-screen festival performances bringing us closer or farther away from the music?

Genish: The future of electronic dance music is a topic that elicits mixed opinions and perspectives. On one hand, the constant stream of innovations and the spectacular displays seen at big-screen festival performances have undeniably captured the attention of audiences worldwide. These visual and technological advancements have created immersive experiences that draw people in and offer a new level of engagement with music.

However, some argue that these elaborate productions and emphasis on visual spectacle might, at times, overshadow the music itself. Concerns arise as to whether these innovations are bringing us closer to the music or if they are moving us further away from the original essence and purity of the genre.

While the integration of technology and stunning visuals can enhance the overall experience, there is debate about whether it is truly advancing the music or merely becoming a distracting spectacle. Some argue that it is important to not lose sight of the core elements of music and to maintain a balance between innovation and preserving the essence of music.

In the end, the future of electronic dance music is uncertain, and it will likely continue to be a topic of discussion as the industry evolves. It will ultimately depend on how artists, producers, and audiences navigate the delicate balance between innovation and staying true to the authentic spirit of the music.

EG: Being such a hot topic, how do you feel about the recent implementation of AI in the creative side of music? Have you used any form of AI in ’Layla’?

Genish: Now, in regards to AI and all the innovation around it, I have never used it because I like the touch of a player, the feel of an instrument, or a real voice. I don’t think it’s a bad thing if it is used wisely to produce original things.

“I like the touch of a player, the feel of an instrument, or a real voice”

EG: Finally, can you provide some insights into what’s next for Genish? What can we expect from you in the coming months? Where can your fans catch you next?

Genish: So in the coming months, a lot of new music is going to be released; each EP or LP will be on a very specific topic to give a general experience and a point of view on cultures. In addition to having a very interesting live act that I’m going to do and opening my own label, I’m going to be at Burning Man this year and at some interesting festivals that I can’t talk about right now.

EG: Thank you so much for your time, Genish! See you on the dancefloor!

Genish: Thank you very much!

Genish’s ‘Layla’ is now available via Ya Hala Ya Hala Records. Stream and download here.

Follow Genish: Spotify | Soundcloud | Instagram | Facebook

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