IN CONVERSATION WITH THE THRILLING DUO ORISHA SOUND

A few days ago the powerful duo ‘Orisha Sound’ released their radio edition of the smashing single ‘Bring The Fire’. The duo consists of producer, dancer and singer Shel K and multi instrumentalist, singer and dancer Orisha who are based between Jamaica and Los Angeles. Together and independently the duo have been releasing and working with music for several years and have together with their project created an intoxicating sound of positive feel good dance music by combining reggae, dancehall and world music. The duo have an enjoyment for life that shines through in every single tune which is part of what makes it so intoxicating. We were lucky to have a chat with the duo and here’s what we found out. 


YMX: Hey Orisha Sound, thanks for sitting down with us. What would you say to all our readers new to your project?

ORISHA SOUND: ORISHA SOUND is like nothing you’ve ever heard before. We are representing the world – global sound mix of live and electronic music. From LA to Moscow through Kingston and London – the most positive group in the world.

YMX: When did you know that music was something you wanted to pursue at an artistic level?

ORISHA SOUND: ORISHA SOUND is a duet. The group consists of two electrifying artists – Orisha (American multi-instrumentalist and singer of Brazilian/Russian descent) and Shel-K (singer/percussionist from St Thomas, Jamaica). Two different stories and backgrounds. Orisha started classical training in music at age 4 and by the age 9 she was a child protégée touring the world with her violin. As a professional musician she has done arrangements and played live with major artists like Stivie Wonder, Kanye West, Anthony Hamilton and others. Shel-K grew up in Jamaica absorbing dancing and music from the streets. His father was a known Kumina player (Jamaican drums) and Shel-K was taking part in local shows as early as he can remember. Up and coming music producer, when he met Orisha in Kingston, he already produced several catchy Jamaican riddims featuring Giptian, I-Wayne, Droop Lion and others. Our first projects together was ORISHA SOUND ft Sizzla Kalonji “Embrace it” and ORISHA SOUND ft Beenie Man “World War Three” both songs were very successful -major airlines had songs on playlists, hot 97, kiss – lots of major radio stations show lo be for the tunes. It was a sign – we had something special going on together.

YMX: You recently released ‘Bring The Fire’. Can you tell us how that project came about?

ORISHA SOUND: Our latest release “Bring the Fire” (radio version)- charged up instrumental and anthem chant melodies. We have lots of positive energy we want to share with the world. Bring the Fire message – live it up, enjoy every day and share this magic with people around. Positivity is contagious. This song is like a lighter -ready to set the world on musical and dance Fire.

YMX: What is the one thing you would like people to feel while listening to the single?

ORISHA SOUND: We want to encourage everyone with this song. Sing alone, start moving – and yes, you will feel better!

YMX: How did the recent pandemic influence your creative process? is remote collaboration easy for you? 

ORISHA SOUND: In the beginning of the pandemic duo “stuck in Russia” and decided to turn this unusual situation into opportunity. Unsteady times bring forward leadership and creativity. In summer 2020 strict pandemic rules were lifted in Russia and ORISHA SOUND were able to complete 9 city tour in Russia , where all performances were organized in the open air. Reggae music – international sound of positivity, unity and freedom – left the audiences inspired and wanting more. Several fan clubs were established cross country and the group social media following rise passing million followers. “Now all we have to do is post a story and 70.000 people watch it. This is bigger than most of the concert halls we have ever performed.” – the group comments. Earlier 2020 duet had performed in Moscow Kremlin with their collaboration song “Jamaica” with Russian pop star Oleg Gazmanov. It was a successful year for us- we had received several awards – International Reggae and World Music Awards (IRAWMA), Best People Awards and just recently this year collected an Iconic Award, sold out several solo shows and headline festivals. “We always careful on the road since the pandemic start. Washing hands, using masks and sanitizers. It’s very important, especially because after the show hundreds of people wait to take a picture and express their love for our music.” – saying Shel-K. Orisha adding: “We also make sure we stay healthy and fit. Take natural vitamins, eat healthy and exercise. Russian winter is no joke – this year weather went below -23C, so you really have to stay fit and strong”.

YMX: Do you feel more confident writing music alone, or within a team?

ORISHA SOUND: We write all our music and produce it as a team of two. Same about all the visuals and social media content. Synergy is a powerful thing especially cross-cultural.

YMX: Can you name the last gig you played? Would you consider doing a livestream concert?

ORISHA SOUND: Our latest big show was in December 2020 – two hours sold out venue – it was very powerful. Major TV station was streaming in live – so people from all over could enjoy it. People were looking forward to come out and enjoy themselves. The last appearance show – just a few songs we just sang at The Iconic Award last week. It was an honor to receive the award. For the last 6 month we have been doing lots of livestream and live video recordings.

YMX: Finally, what are your plans for the future? 

ORISHA SOUND: Teaming up with Petersburg Concert – Russian Music and Culture government entity, ORISHA SOUND is in active preparation for Color & Sound – first multi cultural festival of modern art, which will take place on May 13-14 in cultural capital of Russia – St. Petersburg. Russia has lifted majority of the restrictions and events can go on now to the full capacity. Color & Sound festival will feature Caribbean fashion, art and music as well as cross over Russian art projects. Headlining the festival – performance of reggae songs with Russian traditional instrument band (balalaika, domra, bass balalaika and accordions) and Caribbean percussions. This musical bland is the first time ever incident when reggae music being performed in such a mix, blending two beautiful cultures together.