JAYASRI: Good vibes, peace and love! | Daily News

JAYASRI: Good vibes, peace and love!

They need no introduction. They are not just a musical group, but a musical phenomenon, which changed the Sri Lankan music culture, made history, and took it to a new dimension.

They are not just a band, but also a global ambassador for Sri Lanka, taking Sri Lankan culture and rhythm all across the world – and thus doing mother Lanka proud.

I still remember when one of their number one hits ‘’Mod Goviya ‘’ came out in the 2000’s. We were just doing our A/L’s at that time -;a crazy bunch of students grooving to the song whenever it was aired on Radio or TV. It was a favorite at any event, family gathering or a party. We were impatient to know who these guys were with an ‘’odd singing style’’ and later found out it was called ‘’Jayasri’’.

Up to now, the music they have created has been amazing. Having an amazing ability to send ‘’good vibes and positive energy’’ wherever they perform, it’s always a pleasure to have a chat with the Legendary Jayasri twins, Rohitha and Rohan Jayalath, being the brainwaves behind the whole process.

The whole world is going through a terrible pandemic today. It has also created a global economic crisis. Needless to say, just like any other sector, the music industry has been hit as well. It’s almost like a transition period of our lives – to make us think of how we should change. These are challenging times, but the Jayasri twins are able to look at it with a positive attitude, sending good vibes, and hoping everything will change for the better.

Being back at home, the Jayasri twins seem to be making the best out of their break apart from music work – Rohitha with his painting (amazing ones at that!), Sculpture and Architecture Design Work, while Rohan is busy with his Agriculture garden work, plus having studio work and appearing on TV programmes. To learn more about their latest progress, we sat down for a chat with the ‘’Big bro ‘’ Rohitha, who is also a creative architect by profession. So it’s all Good Vibes, Peace and Love with Jayasri on TnC this week!


Q: So Rohitha, how does it feel to be back in Sri Lanka with Rohan and taking a break?

To be back in Lanka and to be at home with ammi is always nice. Including this season, now for nearly two years without really being on stage is very difficult and disappointing…. we miss that live closeness with people…. but life must go on with positive thinking and hope the good times will follow, so let’s stay safe!!

Q:Tell us about what you ‘re up to these days - music and otherwise.

Music wise nothing much, just some weddings and events. We took time for more TV programmes too to be in touch with our fans. Also some studio work is planned. Apart from that Rohan spends time with his Agriculture garden work and I do some paintings, sculpture and architecture design work.

Q: How did you and Rohan first establish yourselves in the music scene?

We were crazy about music from childhood...to form a band and play music, tour the world ...... and we worked hard for our dream, learning instruments and after O/L s our father bought the sound system for us and managed the band, that time it was SERENDIB.

Q: Performing both at local and international platforms - what was Jayasri’s best musical moment?

There are many such moments in our career!

In 1993 signing with SONY MUSIC Europe and the first single with project CON-DOM tops selling charts TOP 10 around many countries and to be the first Sri Lankans to be in European Charts was a great moment, as we come from a tiny island and to be among the huge names in the music business.

Later followed by many such successful projects, in 1999 we formed the band JAYASRI and 2003 we won the AUSTRIAN WORLD MUSIC AWARD, was a great achievement, out of many bands around the world.

Also that gave us the boost and we had the chance to perform with many international Bands and artists, sharing the backstage together…. with whom we dreamt to see live when we were in Sri Lanka.

Q: Can you recall your first experience as a band, and the challenges you had to face?

As SERENDIB we played in hotel circuits, we worked hard, not like nowadays…. we had to fix our own sound and play and pack again and drive home. Lots of practices to be updated with repertoire and also to cope up with my architecture studies and work…. hard times, but we were energized and had loads of fun too.

Q: You have performed with a large number of international artists and bands, plus international music festivals. How has the experience been?

Yes! I believe this was a great blessing! Just imagine, a long time back you have a cassette of such International artists in hand and now suddenly you meet and greet them and play on the same stage with them… Those were dreams which came real in our lives. Also playing our original songs in sinhala and english on international music festivals made us unique as an Asian Reggae + World music band.

Q: What’s the difference you see between international and local audiences?

Most of the international festivals, shows we perform are packed in particular genres. Let's say in a Reggae or world music festival, you have the majority audience who understands that music and once you come on stage all of them are 100% in your vibe. You don't need extra effort to emphasize them. In local audiences you have a mixed crowd...some understand the music, some are after a hard day's work and there to enjoy and forget the worries… We enjoy performing to both these audiences and share love.

Q:Jayasri has contributed its musical talent for the cinema field as well.

Yes. We did a lot of theme songs and music for many Films and Tele dramas. Starting from Boodee´s Mille Soya (Nimnayaka hudakalawa, Sathya, Rumassala etc..), Oscar nominated Uberto Passolini´s Machan, Chamara Janaraj´s Piyavi, Raahu, etc. It's great to work with such talented people.

Q: What does it mean to you, winning so many international and local awards, numerous accolades for your contribution in music?

First of all, I should say… We don´t do music to win awards. But it's great to get recognition for a creation done by you and it motivates you to continue your doings. Firstly, we won some international awards such as Austrian World Music Award 2003 and also Austrian Grammy Amadeus for Ravers on Dope (Global Deejays) best dance single, then later we had numerous local awards. All those are really appreciated and some turning points in our musical journey.

Q: What do you think of the current Sri Lankan music industry?

There are some positive things and also some areas to be developed. There are very good musicians, bands in different genres. Many are technically very good and the feel can be improved. Internet and media plays a big role for learning, producing and presenting than our times. Also chances to watch and listen to the world. But as a music industry, for the Authors, Composers, Performers Copyrights and royalties, media station payments etc... the whole system should improve a lot up to international standards.

Q: How is the response from the international music crowd?

Based in Vienna, JAYASRI we have come a long way with our own unique style and giving our best to our audiences. The international crowds appreciate our blend of 3 continents Asia, Africa, Europe and share the positive vibes we give.... Also sing along our sinhala songs as well. We have come down to Sri Lanka 3 times with the full band too and performed at Rock Meets Reggae Concert.

Q: How has Rohan's and the rest of the band's support been?

We are a 7-piece band ... playing together for more than 20 years!! Sumal, Moses, Parvez, Bidu, Herb, Rohan and me.... some members were long time together with us from our earlier projects. So it´s really a great brotherhood, we share equal and everyone knows who is capable of what and their position and we have no leaders.!! We just enjoy going on stage and give our best with a good vibe...and we transfer that vibe to the crowd.

Q: What do you think of the current pandemic situation? How has it affected the local and global music industry?

Crazy n Dangerous!!! I think the Nature gives us back.... The Return...!! Karma... what we have done bad to Mama Earth. We have told this in our songs Mama Earth, Hanumantha, Keep Lanka clean. A very serious situation that we all must take care of us. The entertainment industry globally shutdown. Local and globally musicians and all who are attached to the music industry going through hardships. From a small gathering to some thousands of audiences closed with no idea, what´s next?

Q: Any message which you can give to our upcoming musicians?

Spend time for what you love.... make it your passion. practice n Learn well.... master your instrument... learn from the Legends n best from the world .... don´t copy... be unique.... jump out of the box... stay humble on the floor.... keep the headroom.... Respect each other... chase your dreams... never give up...!!!

Q: Looking back at Jayasri’s musical journey, how do you feel?

We are very happy and thankful to everyone who helped and join hands us in this journey !! we have come a long way and achieved a lot... a long way to go. It´s not money or fame what we are interested, We love to live inside people and to be with them in need, with music, words, positive messages, good thoughts , love to nature, live in harmony.... simply sharing PEACE and LOVE !! We are on a mission and feeling good.... like Bob said...ONE LOVE, ONE HEART, Let´s get together and feel alright !!

You can get more information or listen to Jayasri tunes on www.jayasrimusic.com www.youtube.com/user/jayasri www.instagram.com/jayasri.music www.facebook.com/jayasrimusic