Sadhu Sensi is the solo project of Andrew Winer. With a long history in the South African music scene, Andrew decided to focus on Sadhu Sensi in 2012. His sound can be described as an eclectic mix of organic and digital instruments, blended into a downtempo, ethnic grooving vibe.
Howzit Andrew! To kick things off, tell me a little bit about how you became involved with music. What projects were you involved with prior to Sadhu Sensi?
Hey Evan! Well, I started playing in the early 2000’s playing a rock/reggae band called 7th Son. While playing with them, I started experimenting with electronic music.
After about 5 years with 7th Son, the bassist and myself started an electronic dub duo called 7FT Soundsystem, which furthered my experimenting with electronic music. It was at about this time [in 2008] that I started Sadhu Sensi, but did not really take it too seriously.
After a while, I wanted to get back into the band scene, so a friend and I started a band called Two Minute Puzzle, which I produced.
Around 2012, I decided to focus solely on Sadhu Sensi and released my debut ablum called Owl Medicine [in 2014], followed by Tales of the Red Cat [in 2015].
Who/what were your early inspirations for starting the project?
I covered some of this in the previous question, but I would have to stay that my experiences in the psytrance / psy chill scene heavily influenced my vibe, as well as the early 2000’s deep house scene in Cape Town.
How would you describe the range of genres that Sadhu Sensi makes up?
This is always a tough one [laughs] Electronica, Downtempo, Ethnic, World, Chillout, Dub, Slowmo,
What feelings do you want to evoke with your music?
Joy, Playfulness, Mystery, Healing
How did you connect with Iboga Records?
Iboga Records approached me in 2016 to do two EPs for them, so the album was just a natural progression from there. I guess the connection came about through the global psychedelic movement.
The new album is called Mystic Sun. Can you tell me more about it?
I am super excited about it! It is really the culmination of 10 years of self-exploration through music. It will be out on the 16th of March. I feel the sound really represents where I’m at and the vibes I want to put out.
Mystic Sun is the title of the first track of the album and feel it really sets the tone for the journey.
Quite a few artists have abandoned the LP format and would rather release an easy-to-consume EP, focusing on 1 or 2 tracks.
I think they both have benefits. The EP is great to just get your name and sound out. But yes, the LP definitely offers the opportunity to show more diversity and take people on a journey.
For me the artwork is a huge part of the release, its the visual representation of the sound. I have always worked with Alexis Aronson on all my artwork. We have a very good understanding of the vision we want to put out.
Can you take me through the typical process of a Sadhu Sensi track? It seems you record quite a bit of sounds from nature?
Yes, I like to use a lot of organic sounds and instruments. It gives it a certain feeling and captures the power of nature.
Usually I’ll just start with a basic loop/groove and if it excites me I’ll start layering some instruments and go out and find some samples or sounds from nature. Once most of it is down I will refine and add things it until I feel it is compete.
Congratulations on becoming a father. Has it influenced your music?
Thanks! Yes, it has. I now have to be more selective with my gigs, and slightly less traveling (for the time being). Although I haven’t had much time in the studio in these early stages, the inspiration is definitely flowing, and I feel there is some amazingness to come.
What was Global Eclipse Gathering like last year?
Wow! Very hard to describe in words! It’s is such a mind blowing experience and was definitely up there with one of the best gigs of my life.
Any special international bookings this year?
Yes, but i’m not allowed to mention yet [laughs]
Do you feel like music besides typical full on & progressive is under-appreciated at psychedelic festivals in SA?
Yes, there is a lot more variety and appreciation around the world, hopefully Cape Town will catch up soon. Having said that though, I have seen a massive increase of fans at my sets and other alternative styles in recent years.
You have also launched your own events, Sunlit Souls. How did that come about?
Since the band days, I have always enjoyed organising gigs and events. I have put a few on in the past, but Sunlit Souls is definitely the biggest. It’s a collaboration with some like-minded individuals who just get the sound and vibe. We want to offer something slightly different for partygoers.
Are events with a focus on music, but not on partying & alcohol making their way to South Africa?
Yes most definitely. I think people are just becoming more open to trying new things, as well as the rise in health consciousness. Guess banging it 24/7 is just not sustainable.
Thanks for the interview! Anything to add before we finish off?
Thank you for the interview! I’ve got a few gigs lined up in Cape Town – Love & Light, Retreat Yourself, Bazique and Organik Love Project 2018. See you there!