The feeling of discovering a brand new artist whose sound you immediately fall in love with is indescribable. That’s what makes digging for music so exciting, and it’s what I felt when I first heard GOVI‘s “EUPHORIA,” the lead single to his brand new debut album, WHERE DO WE FALL. The project officially was released this past Friday, and with such a quick resonance, I had to know more about him.
In a conversation with him over email, I learned more about the earliest beginnings of his career, where he would travel from outside of Toronto to try and score DJ gigs in the musical hotbed. After persistence, he finally landed one and realized he wanted to make his own music. Incorporating his deep love for science fiction films, GOVI culminated a mysterious and robust sound that is not only heard but felt, too. The result can be heard on WHERE DO WE FALL—a project filled with rich electronic music that spans any type of subgenre.
In our conversation, GOVI expanded further on how sci-fi films inspire him, DJing vs. producing, and much more.
You can check out our conversation with GOVI below, alongside his new album. Make sure to give it a listen. Enjoy!
GOVI – WHERE DO WE FALL
So we know you’re into sci-fi films. What are your favorite sci-fi film scores?
My top sci-fi [films] have to be the classics like 2001: A Space Odyssey and Solaris. Both of those films have very classical scores and I feel like that is a reoccurring thing with older sci-fi movies. Something about going to space feels so grand and having these big orchestral, classical themes can really capture that epic feeling. Another sci-fi [film] that I thought had a really intriguing score was Beyond The Black Rainbow. It’s kind of a trippy movie but the soundtrack is amazing.
What is it about them that you find so inspiring? And how does it affect your sound?
I love when a movie can take me to a place I’ve never seen before. Thinking about space has always intrigued me; the great unknown. The idea of traveling through space feels very futuristic to me. I think that futuristic feel is something I strive for in my music. That’s one thing I really looked up to artists, like Daft Punk, when growing up. Their music felt so forward-thinking and also timeless.
Your sound is very distinct and refreshing. When did you realize that you had something unique?
Thank you, I appreciate that. I feel like I’m still figuring it out as I go. I used to wonder a lot about what my “sound” would be early on. I think the distinction of my sound comes down to the feeling my tracks give. As more time progresses I’m getting closer to a sound that feels true to me. I try to have a balance of atmospheric and electronic sounds with a human feel to it.
What were the earliest stages of your DJ career like in the Toronto scene?
The earliest stages of my DJ career in Toronto definitely involved getting a lot of no’s. Coming from a town outside of the city, I always felt a bit outside of the Toronto DJ/music scene. I didn’t have any connections in the city and had no clue how to get started playing events. When I was 19 or 20, I would wait outside bars and clubs before they opened to catch the manager walking in to hand them my business cards. I find it funny because that tactic never worked once, but it helped built character, to say the least, haha. As I gained more connections in the city, I got the chance to open up for FKJ in 2016. This was my first time performing in front of a real crowd. That show shifted my path and made me want to produce my own music instead of just DJ.
What’s changed the most about your creative process since your earliest 2017 releases and now, with your debut album?
My early releases in 2017 were basically the first-ever original tracks I made. I learned a lot from putting those songs together, but some of them feel very young to me when I listen back. I had no musical experience when I started, so I was learning everything from ground zero. This new album is an honest representation of where I’m currently at in my journey. The biggest change in my creative process would be the daily repetition. When I started making music, I would wait for “inspiration” to create, whereas now, doing this full-time, I’m lucky enough to do it every day. I think you get something special from repetition. Some of my favourite ideas came from the nuances in my day-to-day routine. Each song on the project brings me back to the day I was having no matter how exciting or mundane it was; almost like it was my journal. I wanted to look back on this project and remember who I was and what I was doing at the time of making this.
The balance of DJing/producing is fascinating to me because they’re two different worlds that are inherently tied together. How would you say your productions compare to what you would spin at a club?
The tracks I create are typically inspired by the sounds I would want to use DJ in a set. When I’m in producer mode, my way of thinking shifts to being more critical of the music I make and listen to. Then whenever I have to DJ or make a mix, my brain almost switches to the opposite and I’m looking at songs so much differently. As a DJ, I feel like you appreciate music in such a unique way. For me, they’re both equally important and they balance each other out. Every time I DJ and have to find new music, it realigns my taste. This always helps me remember the type of music I want to make.
Do you want to perform WHERE DO WE FALL as a part of a DJ set, or more of a live situation?
I really want to play the songs from WDWF in my DJ sets. Part of what made me so excited about these tracks was imagining hearing them on a massive sound system one day. I wanted the music to have this grand feeling, something that you could get lost in. Eventually, I’d love to put a live set together, maybe after learning more instruments. I recently started taking piano lessons so hopefully that can be a cornerstone in the live performance at some point in the future.
If you could perform the album in any live setting, with no restrictions at all, where would it be and why?
It’s always been a dream of mine to have a Boiler Room performance. Ever since I started DJing, I’ve watched countless sets and it’s been at the top of my bucket list. I think hearing the album live in one of those environments would be so cool.