Last week we published the Deya Dova Artist Spotlight. This week, we go more in depth with the Australian Singer-Producer, discussing Aboriginal cultural influences, musical and spiritual inspirations, artist collaborations and her new EP “Symbiotic Remixes.”
*Interview by Inga West & Nicola D’Alonzo
Which musician’s work do you find most inspiring? What have you been listening to lately?
I’m inspired by a broad range of cutting edge electronica, especially when it incorporates organic, tribal, vocal &/or saucy elements. I’ve been super inspired by the sensory succulence & production mastery of Tipper. When producing my own music, I like to explore the place where the organic and electronic merge alchemically. Between the raw, realness of the primal human voice and the refined, tech realm of the electronic. The Artistry of women like Fever Ray & Bjork have inspired by carving fresh trax vocally & electronically. Other vocal Artists, Lisa Gerrard from DeadCanDance, Laurie Anderson and Merridith Monk all inspired me while I was teaching myself to sing by giving me unconscious permission to explore the farther outer & inner regions of my voice. Currently, I’m turned on by most things Bass driven. Saucey-ness on the dance floor inspires me endlessly.
How did you become aware of the connection to Sirius and Alcyone? Could you speak a little about that connection?
When I was asked as a child what I wanted to be when I grew up I would intently reply – an Archeologist, Singer & an Astronaut. I’ve always had a fascination with the stars & the mysteries. Growing up in a desert region of Australia the star scape was a natural part of my personal universe. When writing music & when I sing I tune in. I listen to the still place inside. I relate to what is stored within this infinite place & what pours from its zero point as Ancient Memory. Writing “Footsteps In The Stars,’ in which Alcyone & Sirius were sung, was this type of experience. Rather than a cognitive concept, the song arose through moving aside to listen to a resurfacing memory, moving aside to be sung by its story. Through the song I saw the stars, the planets, our planet & our intimate, & incredibly ancient connection with it all. Alcyone, a blue giant star, the brightest star of the Pleiades, which the Maya refer to as the Central Sun & Sirius with whom we do a larger orbit again, were both prominent in the song’s story as homes of our ancient ancestors. This is extensively documented within indigenous stories from around the globe. The similarity of the stories are striking like those of the Pleiades – Seven Sisters (Greek), Ice Maidens & Makara (Aboriginal), Sparkling Suns (Navajo), Subaru (Japanese), Chuhukon (Hopi), Krittikas (Sanskrit) etc etc. In this time of the great unveiling we are becoming more & more aware that we are an extremely ancient race, one that has been through many transformations, evolutions & upgrades. “Footsteps In the Stars” honors & pays respect to this, our hidden history, & acknowledges the Sky People.
What archetypes influence your work?
Archetypes that remind me of, & empower me toward greatness, & my infinite possibility & potential as a Woman & a Human being. Star beings, White Buffalo Calf Woman, Rainbow Serpent, Huntress, Magician, Lover, Warrioress, Queen, Pacha Mama, The Feathered Serpent, Kachina’s, Shape Shifter, Explorer, High Priestess, Isis, Sekhmet, Yemaya, Inana……I witness these archetypal energies showing up & moving through, being embodied to infuse & enhance a story &/or journey wanting to be told. I write my music & design & create costume for my live shows from this place between the worlds where mythology, archetypal energy & symbology are native tongue.
What do you feel is the most important message for women today?
To be our whole, uncensored selves. To really bring online our authentic Feminine qualities & wisdom. Attracting through Being-ness rather than doing-ness, practicing receptivity & sensitivity, playfulness & gentleness. Inspiring Wonderment. Creating beauty & seeing beauty in all. Loving & accepting ourselves as we are. Remembering it is our birth rite to shine, explore & enjoy our Radiance unabashedly. Remembering it requires great practice and courage to show up in the empowered Feminine in a 3D default world that still predominantly affirms the masculine perspective, even in some of our more seemingly alternative cultures. And also, in our showing up, to relinquish all conditioning to compete with one another. To rather give space & soak up the essence of one other’s magnificence, acknowledging our sisters as reflections of ourselves. I’ve seen within myself that the more responsible I’ve become in facing my feminine shadows the easier it has become for me to show up in empowerment, strength & wisdom within the unified Womenhood.
Can you speak a little about your experience at the recent Black Hills Unity Concert?
During recording “Grandmother Tree & The Feathered Serpent” onsite at a sacred site on the East Coast of Australia, I understood that I would soon be guided to other sacred sites to ‘Sing up the Land’. Months later I was invited to travel to Adnyamathanha ‘Rock People’ Aboriginal Country in South Australia & sung amidst some of the oldest petroglyphs on the planet that whisper of travels through the eye of the Emu in the stars. Shortly after returning, I was invited to sing at the Unity Concert at the sacred Black Hills. All of these sites are connected by Songlines & the journey felt serendipitous & of higher order.
The Unity Concert was organized by a collection of Visionaries, Lakota Elders Artists & Activists to help bring awareness to what is happening in the Black Hills. It also marked the beginning of a unification process to stand beside the The Great Sioux Nation (Pte Oyate / Buffalo Nation) in supporting the 9 bands of the Sioux to come together to help ‘officially’ reclaim their rightful guardianship of the Black Hills. The more research I did in the two weeks leading up to my spontaneous journey there, the more shocked & outraged I became. I really encourage people to inform themselves to what is going on in this part of the world to our Native brothers & sisters & see that it is not localized, the corruption & calculated genocide is happing to our indigenous communities throughout the world. The resemblance between the Sioux & the Adnyamathanha Aboriginal situation is striking. Open pit uranium mining, feuding between tribal families over who is selling out for Land money, splitting the strength of the people, sickness & poverty while countless minerals are leached from the sacred lands. [Aaron Huey’s TED Talk is a great place to gain some awareness.]
It’s hard to speak briefly about this journey, as the experience was profound for me on many levels. It was a great honor to bring & share a message from an Adnyamathanha Aboriginal Elder from the Flinders Ranges to the Lakota people; a beautiful expression of solidarity & understanding across continents. I was overwhelmed by the support of my fans, family & friends who, through a spontaneous crowd funding request, helped me raise the money needed to travel from Oz to South Dakota in just 2 weeks. From walking onstage to sing & feel all these people who had supported rise up with me, to arriving into the wonderment & purity of a one-day freak snow shower, having never seen snow, to 5 days of traditional Lakota Ceremony, Wiping of the Tears, Inipi Sweat Lodges, creating a large earth Medicine Wheel alter with brothers & sisters from around the world, wild Buffalo & Tribal council meetings, to recording live at two sacred sites marked with ancient petroglyphs–singing at The Unity Concert was potent. Spirit surged & I could feel our collective prayers of Unity & Forgiveness being heard. Performing alongside Earth ambassadors like brother Xavier Rudd, Nahko Bear & the Earth Guardians was full power. I fell in love with & felt adopted by many Lakota families. Such beautiful, people of Prayer. So willing to share their culture & connection with the Creator. And ultimately… to simply walk the same land that White Buffalo Calf Woman originally appeared & gave Lore to the people! I felt I had come home. Deep tribal & global healing occurred personally & collectively all around. The ripples will be felt worldwide.
‘Grandmother Tree & The Feathered Serpent’ :
Can you speak about your connection to the indigenous Australians?
I grew up in a small town on the edge of the Nullarbour desert and the Great Australian Bight, where the inland desert meets the sand-duned cliffs of the Indian Ocean. Traditional Mirning, ‘Whale Dreaming’ country & Wirangu ‘People from the Sky’ country. Also, home to the Kokatha & Pitjantjatjara. I’ve always had a strong affiliation & connection with Aboriginal Culture. Although I grew up with Aboriginal friends & worked in Aboriginal communities in Arnhem Land, my connection has been a deeply intuitive one. When I was younger I naturally made dot paintings & x-ray pictures of animals. At Art school I created totem & funeral poles & photographed them in the landscape. It always felt natural for me to dance in indigenous ways & make statements about the struggle of Aboriginal culture in modern white society. I left Art school not long after being told by lecturers to stop ‘appropriating’ Aboriginal art. In the following years as I was discovering music & teaching myself to sing, indigenous languages began to pour into my songs. I’ve always sensed that I have Aboriginal blood in my ancestral line but to date have not been able to track it. This is the case for many Australians because of the stolen generation & old associated shame… both ways. When I record onsite in the landscape I feel acutely aware of my Aboriginal connection, and feel a strong connection with the Spirit of this Land. I’m very excited by the current Mitochondrial DNA [MtDNA] testing which is revealing that the human race in fact… came out of Australia.
[The research of Steven & Even Strong is a great place to start if interested in these theories – http://forgottenorigin.com]
Can you speak a little about the dreamers associated with the indigenous peoples of Australia?
The Dreamtime is a place existing outside of time & space as we know it, where Past, Present & Future are one. For Aboriginal people this is where Lore & Ceremony come from, Creation stories, place & people have Dreaming, connection points to this infinite. Simply put, Aboriginal Australia has been living Quantum Science for hundreds of thousands of years. My understanding is that when we attune to the Dreamtime we are connecting with all of Creation, to the place where our entire ancestry is stored and from where the Lore of Life arose. Personally, I find this seemingly enigmatic place less & less mythical & more & more realistically experiential in the current climate of conscious evolution. I understand it to be a very natural state of Being-ness. ‘Dreamer’s slipping between the worlds, connecting to all that is.
What is the message you’d like your fans to take away from your music?
That we are Vast, Noble, Ancients Remembering. That like the sentient, living, breathing Earth who we share intimate symbiotic relationship with, we Humans too are Vast Living Libraries plugged directly into the Source. That it doesn’t matter what culture, belief system or color of skin we each have, within us lives this deep & unifying Ancient Memory. Within our cells, DNA, water, rock, stone & Soul. We are infinite high tech crystalline memory sticks of stored information. And as we align with prayer, intention, inner guidance, celebration & reverence & respect for all life, we take our thrones as powerful co-creators. It is from this place that I love to sing & it’s this ceremony I bring to my live shows.
Who is/are your spiritual teachers?
My spiritual journey has been about cultivating & practicing a personal & direct connection with the Great Spirit / Creator / Great Life Force / Beloved / God energy. It’s been about learning experientially to move out of the way, Surrender & become a conduit, a hollow bone for Spirit to move through. And then trusting & following the inner guidance that comes from this Source. My paths not been about having a spiritual teacher or guru, but rather receiving directly.
What is your spiritual practice?
I’ve practiced the Latihan Kejiwaan of Subud for the past 18 years which encapsulates this way of Surrender.
Who are your heroes?
My three children & husband who I co-create with. Visionaries, Time travelers, Lovers, Eccentrics, Mystics, Revolutionists, Authentics & Creatives. Those with open hearts who walk their talk with style & show up in their uncensored Awesome-ness.
What daily action could people take to make the biggest impact of change in this world?
Remember everything outside our selves exists within. Remember that all colors, Black, Red, Yellow, White & the mixture of all Brown exists at varying potencies within each individual. And to extend this awareness to calibrate the masculine & feminine, & all duality & difference inside oneself. Within this cultural perspective I believe there can be no judgment, discrimination, racism, classism or sexism… only recognition, empathy & understanding of the depth & breadth of diverse experience in being Human.
And lastly, are you working on another album?
Yes, I’m super excited to be releasing an EP of Global Bass remixes NOV 24 through US label Desert Trax. It includes remixes of my last EP SYMBIOTIC from legends Kalya Scintilla, Whitebear, Drumspyder, Temple Step Project & Dakini & Dancing Tiger. It’s available at http://music.deyadova.com & all favorite digital outlets. I’m also currently working on a new EP which we’re planning to launch before an American West Coast tour next summer 2015.