When an old lady whips out her camera in the middle of dinner, better believe that someone important is coming.
That someone was DJ Ravin, walking through the dining area of the lavish Buddha-Bar Manila, followed by a slew of photographers and VIPs.
The iconic French spinner who originally hailed from Mauritius Island was in the country Friday to launch Buddha-Bar XIV, a compilation that is the latest in the Buddha-Bar music franchise. He is behind the trademark sound of the Parisian-born restaurant/club, which has 25 branches all over the world.
“Habillage sonore, to decorate a place with your music,” DJ Ravin said in an exclusive interview with InterAksyon. It was what he was in the country—or in Buddha-Bar Manila, more precisely—to do.
From the first CD to the 14th, DJ Ravin called the creation of sounds “a journey.”
“We love to give emotions,” said the calm, smiling man with a ponytail. “We love to give people new music, new talents never been compiled before, never been released before. I receive a lot of tracks. Every time I try to give something new, a new flow. Not always the same kind of boring music. [I am] always searching for new evolution on world music.”
Listeners can expect that “evolution” of Buddha-Bar XIV, the first CD titled Dhimsa, with 16 tracks, and the second CD titled Bhangra with 14 tracks. “They are two styles of dance,” said DJ Ravin. While the first was more of a sensual dance, complimented by “mellow and smooth” music, the second was a bit more upbeat, with “more rhythm.”
A mixture of various styles from Greece, China, Turkey, the Balkans, “every country,” said DJ Ravin of his music, it is intrinsically marked by India, the place he grew up in before his family moved to France.
“All the Bollywood films, the traditional music, it was very influential for me. At the time I was listening mainly to Punjabi music. These are my roots.”
He grew branches in Paris, which had “a different kind of style, a different kind of mood.”
However, he found it “not very easy to be a European citizen, especially when you’re really bad in school.” Which was why he found himself “selling records, at record shops, working in radio, playing some music in some private living rooms, parties” at the age of 17.
Now that his music is no longer confined to friends’ homes, or his home-country, he hopes Filipinos can “share the music” with him and enjoy the Buddha-bar experience.
“Come to the place because it’s a unique place, beautiful, very romantic.”
In true habillage sonore fashion, guests did seem to enjoy both the music and the atmosphere. ”The dance music is not the type you’ll hear in the radio. It’s catchy dance music,” said a patron.
Her companion replied, “Music’s pretty good. What I like is the place itself, the design. Very elegant, and the food is good.”
“You don’t feel like you’re in Manila or Makati,” she chimed in. “We’ll definitely come back.”
The first on the dance-floor, a foreigner had been to other Buddha-Bar restaurants around the world. “This one’s more lounge-y,” he said.
Perhaps local talent will soon be heard in the other Buddha-Bar restaurants, too. When asked if he had the chance to listen to Filipino music, DJ Ravin said, “I would love to. Maybe tomorrow I will buy some CDs of traditional music. What’s a famous band here?”
This writer mentioned a popular band that makes the rounds of local bars.
“Okay,” DJ Ravin said. “What kind of music is that? Where can I buy this? Maybe on the next Buddha-Bar I can use this one.”