A few months back we had the pleasure of introducing talented newcomer SWAYLÓ to the site for the release of his tribal house song “Ancient Forest.” Now the eclectic artist is back with the full release of his new Reflections EP that’s a journey from start to finish, now out via Gravitas Recordings. The project draws inspiration from various cultures and sounds from around the world, creating a refreshing change of pace from much of the electronic music landscape.
Real name Noah De St. Croix Kessler, SWAYLÓ wears many hats. In addition to being a producer, he’s also a seasoned event organizer, booking with C3, Meow Wolf and his own event series OASIS to curate unforgettable events. The OASIS event series “incorporates meditation, yoga, celebration, food, spirits, and special decor + design,” Says Kessler, “Party with a purpose. At Oasis you are invited to indulge in your senses, expand your perspective and to join this adventure of art, fashion, dance, ritual, love, expression, and cultura.”
With Oasis we transition the community meditation “tuning in” into a celebration and dance party that is focused on mindfulness. Party with a Purpose. People raise their frequencies through meditation to find their center which allows them to connect on a deeper level during the event. World House music get’s people moving and grooving, releasing negative energy, connecting with one another. – SWAYLÓ
The music and OASIS project go hand-in-hand, taking us on a cultural journey. Throughout the EP, SWAYLÓ blends various international percussive elements within his house music sound. Here he blends various sounds from around the globe into one cohesive sound, incorporating rattles, shakes, and tribal chanting together effortlessly alongside a four on the floor beat and punching basslines. There’s something about the music that captures ancient sounds, while maintaining a futuristic vibe. The blend of worldly organic instrumentation with crisp house production creates a distinct, mythical sound I can’t get enough of.
This new project purposefully aligns with the Fall Equinox today, as Swayló explains “This represents a time to honor transition to redefine balance and equilibrium. We are encouraged to follow through with new commitments, choices and event to reset. Where it is both time for harvest and planting new seeds. It is both the end and the start of different things.”
We got a chance to learn more about both the music and event sides of the project in an exclusive interview below so be sure to check it out and enjoy!
SWAYLÓ – Reflections EP
Released in sync with Fall Equinox on September 23rd. This represents a time to honor transition to redefine balance and equilibrium. We are encouraged to follow through with new commitments, choices and event to reset. Where it is both time for harvest and planting new seeds. it is both the end and the start of different things. We can be inspired by all the potential that is and we can also remove certain aspects that no longer serve. Honor this process of letting go for it will bring new space to manifest new intentions. Don’t fall into irritation, rather, let it inspire positive work.
What does sound mean to you?
Sound is a powerful force – a wave length, a vibration, that propagates as an audible wave that passes through a transmission of matter. I have always been fascinated and imagined this wave of sound starting and then continuing all the way around the globe – having a ripple effect of its intention and meaning effecting all that it meets on it’s journey.
You have a unique and worldly house sound. What is your background and what are your musical influences?
I was raised by international parents, my mother Lisa De St. Croix is South African and my father David grew up in Switzerland. My brother Simon and I were born in the Pueblo of Zuni, New Mexico. This is where I was first introduced to the tribal drum the beat of life. As well as rattles, flutes, and sacred chanting. This sound was profound and influential in my life and in my connection with heART. My father was musical and taught us old traditional folklore rhythms, songs of prayer. I was encouraged to truly play with sound, with different instruments, mainly with out form. Growing up visiting Southern Africa and then living there when I was 18/19 has been influential in my discovery and connection with music. I have a deep love for the energy in African music. Again it was the connection with the drum, rattles, shells, and sacred chants. It was almost the same vibration as in Zuni. Through my time spent in Mexico I came to the conclusion that it actually was the same vibration. That there is a common thread in music around the world.
During my time at University of New Mexico I got really deep into the hiphop scene. I’m talking about old school hiphop – Zulu Nation + African Bambaataa style – like the four elements of hiphop. I was producing hiphop and trap music at the time. But this is also where I first really connected with house music. It was in the breakdance cyphers where the b-boys and b-girls were battling at local community events. I started spinning it out and dancing to it. I also started playing it out at the clubs with the homies Burg and Bowra. It was a vibe. I never really knew what do with the hiphop beats I made, they sort of sat after being created. It wasn’t until 3-4 years later where I was visited by a Leopard in a vision of SWAYLÓ and sharing house music with sounds from around the globe…
How do you feel world house music fits with your mission as an artist and event organizer?
It is all in the name, house music. Where the universal language of music brings people together from all sides of the globe under one roof and one house. House music gathers people of all shapes, sizes and cultures to dance and sing and be joyful. It is a community. It is family. House music has no bounds, it mixes all sorts of different styles and influences of sound into one with a common 4 count drum/bass dance beat that weaves all of the pieces together. My mission with my music and my events is to connect sounds from around the globe to unite the dance floor in an environment that is safe, free and full of fun. This work is taken to the next level through the manifestation of events, where the goal of uniting people through an experience is devoted to strengthening community and connection.
Can you tell us more about the Swayló project and how it ties into your Oasis event series?
For the seekers. The dreamers. The creators. The adventurers.
Swayló fosters universality oneness and liberation through the power of music and the experiential activations OASIS. This event series incorporates meditation, yoga, celebration, food, spirits, and special decor + design. Party with a purpose. At Oasis you are invited to indulge in your senses, expand your perspective and to join this adventure of art, fashion, dance, ritual, love, expression, and cultura.
OASIS has activated in Austin, Denver, New York, Santa Barbra, Los Angeles and Mexico City. We collaborate with musicians, artists, yogis, teachers and other people focused on similar work. We are excited to continue to pop up in different cities around the nation and the globe.
Does your background booking events Voodoo Festival with C3 and Meow Wolf have an influence on your music and events?
Absolutely, working with C3 presents gave me invaluable perspective into the inner workings of the international festival industry and concert promotion business. C3 is the leading festival production company in the world. Their dedication to provide the artists and fans the best experiences is inspiring and beyond impressive. Working for C3 has been a major influence in my perspective on business.
Meow Wolf is at the forefront of the rapidly growing experiential art / music industry / economy. Their programming and model at Meow Wolf is focused on interactive engagement rather than passive consumption. This aligns directly with the SWAYLO project. Keep your eyes out for a SWAYLO x Meow Wolf collabs in 2020!
How do you feel mindfulness plays a role in the live music space?
As the world grows more stressful and intense for so many people, the need for mindful and centering practices increases. I believe music gives people a space to escape from the constant daily tasks and connect with others in a creative environment. We create spaces that are not only a haven for good music and dancing, but curated experiences with wellness leaders and teachers. We have found that through mindfulness, yoga, and meditation before the party the group is able to further connect. Together, we party with the same intention – to be light and share light and to elevate our experience in life.