saQi Spotlight

#Shambhala2018 Official Mix Series 06
& Artist Spotlight

•• Saqi ••

SaQi is a multifaceted musician who knows no fear or limits when it comes musical expression. The California-based artist is known for his fusion of live instruments and electronic beats to create unforgettable sultry sounds, including on his brand new album Temples In The Sky that was released through Jumpsuit Records.  

SaQi is no stranger to Shambhala Music Festival and has offered some crucial tips for those attending the festival as well a special guest mix to get you familiar. Listen for a taste of what’s to come and read our interview with him below to learn more about SaQi before he hits The Living Room Stage at the 21st Annual Shambhala Music Festival!

This mix features released and unreleased material, remixes, collaborations, a cover of a traditional gypsy song and a track from SaQi‘s label mates Ultimate Fantastic


What have your heard about Shambhala Music Festival?

I’ve heard many a wondrous tale of Shambhala and been part of many myself. Went my first time over 10 years ago, played the opening of the Grove stage and am really excited to return and play the Living Room stage. Should be epic.

What are some of your wildest memories from playing and hanging out Shambhala in the past?

Hmm….well the first time I went to Shambhala Music Festival was with the 20 piece gypsy marching band “March 4th” I used to play with. We caused all kinds of trouble, marched all over and rocked renegade sets, played a crazy set next to a skate ramp while two naked guys shredded, etc…The first puppet show that happened when the Yard Dogs Road Show and the Fungineers met was off the charts. We called it “When Canada met Cali”. The insane creativity that spawned in subsequent years from that collision of worlds is pretty much indescribable. Those were definitely “The days”.

What advice do you have for someone attending Shambhala Music Festival as a veteran of the festival? Any tips you have would be great.

Advice?… Uh… Have fun, drink water, pace yourself, don’t put pills in your mouth from guys that haven’t showered in the past 30 days and…try to find music that is off the beaten path, you might be pleasantly surprised 🙂

Big ups on the new album. What can you tell us about Temples In The Sky and how that release came to fruition?

Temples in the Sky was a journey like all my albums. Started out as a few tracks I was working on then before I knew it I had an album shaping up. Most of my records tend to take on a life of their own, I merely guide the process. With this one it was about transcendent realms, death and rebirth etc. Honestly it started to scare me a little bit but I shrugged it off. Crazily enough the night of my CD release party I wrecked my car and almost died. Ended up being a big check in for me. Im very baffled at how much the spirit of the music is in tune with my world. It is truly a way of life for me.

Who are some artists and releases in any genre that you can’t stop listening to?

Well, I don’t listen to a ton of electronic stuff but when I do I really like the Berlin sound. Acid Pauli, Nu, Mimi Love, Nico Stojan, KMLN, and some of the South American stuff. It’s been a huuuuge breath of fresh air for me as I’ve been making my own brand of mid-tempo worldly dance music for years and I stoked to finally have some company in a west coast scene that has been mostly bass music for a decade. Honestly though, I mostly listen to music of the Native American Church. I sing and play it myself and for me it goes so much deeper than any of the musical genres I typically have access to. I like to find music that is as void of human ego as possible these days. Dunno, I’m kinda weird.

How has your experience with classical music and various instruments impacted the way you approach your music?

My study of music in school was a double edged sword. It definitely gave me a lot of tools to work with and a vast range of experience to draw from. However, there was a certain indoctrination that I experienced that has taken me many years to work my way out of. Western classical music a very much about interpretation and preservation of respected traditions. It’s very easy to lose your own intimate connection with music while trying to perform and impress others. Also, the Western music is often very ethnocentric. They teach us that all these other “World” traditions are under-developed forms of music played by primitive people, which couldn’t be further from the truth. I’m stoked that I had the opportunity to study and I definitely use it in my music. I’m always trying to find ways to let go of my ideas of what music is tho so I can keep a fresh perspective on creation. 

What are some of your favourite hobbies and activities outside of making music and playing shows?

I practice and teach traditional Tantra yoga, I like to go on road trips, be in nature, hike, swim in natural water, etc. I study politics, history, art, spiritual systems, mythology and whatever else comes into the picture. I snowboard when I can and just started doing some partner dancing 😉

What will your Shambhala Spirit Animal be?

Hmm… probably the river otter. My favourite Shambhala activity is hanging on the river with buddies and catching vibes from the Living Room.


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