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Currently releasing music under the alias of Ninshū (aka ‘Le Vancho’), Levan is a Live instrumentalist, singer, DJ, and producer hailing from Tbilisi, Georgia. Currently based in Amsterdam, Netherlands., he’s a member of Traum Schallplatten label and Critical Bookings agency roster, having performed at many reputable venues and festivals in Georgia, Estonia, and Armenia. Now, he joins the ranks over at Blessed Cross Records with his brand new album, ‘Eri Madlieri’.
To celebrate the landmark release of Ninshū’s ‘Eri Madlieri’, we catch up with the Georgian artist to talk about the significance behind the album, his move to Amsterdam, how he coped with the pandemic, and more.
Electronic Groove: Hi Levan! Welcome! It’s a pleasure to sit down with you for a chat. How have you been doing? How are things in Amsterdam looking like? Have you joined the UnMute Us protests?
Ninshū: Hello Electronic Groove! Thank you for having me over for an interview. I am doing great. This city is beautiful, it’s always alive and active, you immediately feel freedom and comfort while being here. People in the Netherlands are very hardworking and responsible, and they can easily unite to achieve mutual goals. This trait of their character is noticeable in everything, even in organizing peaceful protests like Unmute Us was, where more than 150 thousand people gathered to restart the music industry and it was an incredible feeling to be one of the protesters, where everyone felt united and happy.
Electronic Groove: Why did you make the move to Amsterdam from Tbilisi? Did you grow up in direct contact with music? What were your first interactions like?
Ninshū: I moved to the Netherlands because I became a crew member of one musical venue called ‘P60’, where I will work for the next year and for me it’s a big honor to be able to work with the team because they are professionals in the music industry with 20 years of experience behind them, and I can learn a lot of new things from them. I can see how the job is done. As a musician, I feel like I need to gain this kind of unique experience. Another reason for the move is that the Netherlands is one of the most developed countries in the field of electronic music and in general in all forms of art.
Electronic Groove: And when did you make the transition to electronic music? Was there a record or live performance that changed your perception?
Ninshū: To be honest, while writing music, I never imagine or separate any particular genres. I just like to follow the process and feelings and not being limited by genres. It so happened that the album consists of tracks from different genres including Electronica as well.
Electronic Groove: And how would you describe your sound? You’re known for the implementation of Georgian ethnic vocals. How did that come about?
Ninshū: I think my sound is atmospheric and melodic with groovy beats. This sound can fit both indoor and open outdoor spaces. I always wanted to have some kind of Georgian flavor in my tracks and I used to take vocal lessons in direction of Georgian ethnic singing, so I was just trying to create something unique.
“Feeling gratitude improves our physical and mental health. It gives us self-acknowledgment and helps to clarify the perception of the world in a right or better way”
Electronic Groove: Speaking about your sound…you’ve got your brand new ‘Eri Madlieri’ LP out via Blessed Cross records. Congratulations! What can you tell us about this one? Is there a concept tying it all together? Where does the name come from?
Ninshū: Thank you! ‘Eri Madlieri’ means ‘a grateful nation’ in Georgian. This album is dedicated to the importance of gratitude in our lives. In my opinion, the Georgian nation and, generally speaking, people need gratitude to be sequenced and open to the challenges of life. Feeling gratitude improves our physical and mental health. It gives us self-acknowledgment and helps to clarify the perception of the world in a right or better way. The album says: ‘let’s be more grateful with ourselves and share the gratitude with each other’. So that is the main message behind ‘Eri Madlieri’.
Electronic Groove: How long has this album been in the making? What can we expect, sonic-wise?
Ninshū: I started the writing process in May of 2020 and finally it’s out. During the pandemic lockdown, I moved to my village with my family, so that was the place and time when I first started thinking about the concept and writing the LP.
Electronic Groove: How would you say this is different from previous music released? In which ways do you seek ‘evolve’ as an artist?
Ninshū: I think that being an artist, first of all, means to learn, explore yourself, your visions, and then share the honest feeling you have with the world around you. Lockdown helped me to learn more about myself because I could stay alone for many days without any problems about lack of communication and develop my ideas alone even better than I could with people around. Whenever I’m not devoting a lot of time to music, I always try to be out of my comfort zone, visit new places, meet new people, change a place of living, get any kind of new and natural experiences, that helps me to grow.
Electronic Groove: Are there plans to bring ‘Eri Madlieri’ to the clubs as a live performance? Would you be doing everything on-stage?
Ninshū: Yes, for sure! A good thing is that regulations are becoming soft and relieved, so I am planning some dates with DJ + Live performance after the release, so I hope everything will work out.
“I think that being an artist, first of all, means to learn, explore yourself, your visions, and then share the honest feeling you have with the world around you”
Electronic Groove: What else can we expect from Ninshū in the future? What new milestones are you looking forward to in the coming months?
Ninshū: Well, currently I am building up a small new studio and waiting to receive some new analog synthesizers, so I can create more music with new sounds. I am also working on some EPs and singles at the moment. And, yes, I am planning to film a panoramic live set video with the tracks from that LP and also some new unreleased tracks.
Electronic Groove: Thank you for your time, Levan! We wish you all the best for the future!
Ninshū: Dear Electronic Groove team, thank you for having me, that was a big pleasure to speak with you!
Ninshū’s ‘Eri Madlieri’ is now available via Blessed Cross Records. Purchase your copy here.