Be your first critic! | Daily News

Be your first critic!

Many have been transfixed by Andrew Obeyesekere’s music. Andrew is well grounded because of his down to earth attitude and his talent in music has made him one of the great avatars of music in Sri Lanka. Melodies features Obeyesekere, a onetime band member of the sensational band Stigmata, whose versatility and open mindedness to new ideas has granted him success in his journey.

“The journey with Stigmata was an interesting one where three college students stuck together for 17 years having fun and doing music. You know how that goes? We had ups and downs like everyone else. Looking back now, I wouldn’t really want much of it to be any different because that journey made me who I am today.”

“I was always involved in music from a very young age. I was just drawn to the Guitar. I started fooling around with the Guitar when I was 13, but only got really serious when I was about 17 when Stigmata was just forming. After that I heard some greatly skilled guitarists and I thought that’s what I wanted to do. I can’t explain why I’m passionate about music but I can say without it I’d feel suffocated,” said Obeyesekere.

Stigmata was memorable and their experiences as a band will always be cherished by all the band members.

“I focused on doing original music when I was with Stigmata, and most importantly the fans gave our music a chance. And I do appreciate all of those that gave us a chance. I changed my path from Metal to commercial music early this year. So far it has been fun and a great learning experience I would say. I’ve realized that I was too focused on technique always. So currently I’m with DeeZonE lead by Damian Wikkramatillake. We perform at Curve bar on Fridays and Saturdays at the Margarita Blue,” explained Obeyesekere.

Always humble and always modest Obeyesekere is like a human sponge, absorbing experiences and absorbing everything that takes place around him.

“I want to be a better musician. I guess with Stigmata, 2006-2010 was my peak and I guess I was known for my skills and technique and the melodic hooks with Stigmata. Now I consider myself a beginner once again, I’m learning to be a more versatile musician always learning new styles,” pointed out Obeyesekere.

When it comes to ideas with musicians like Obeyesekere, when it flows it flows! They can be inspired by anything.

“I haven’t been writing any music for a while because I’ve been busy with my other work. But when ideas happen there isn’t a time or a place. Sometimes when it’s with a band we bounce ideas off each other. Sometimes hearing an awesome piece of music can also inspire us to come up with other musical ideas. So I guess there is a whole lot of inspiration all around us,” said Obeyesekere

Hollow Dreams, Silent Chaos Serpentine and Psalms of Conscious Martyrdom had the wow factor!

“At Stigmata, obviously we did the music that we liked to do since the beginning. We had a formula and a strange way of getting our ideas together. Hollow Dreams being our first album, it was very raw but melodic, and we learned a lot from Shobi Perera at the time.

Silent Chaos Serpentine the second album, to me was the best finished Stigmata album. We also had the guidance of Shafi who produced that album with Shobi Perera.

The third album Psalms of Conscious Martyrdom had great ideas but honestly I wasn’t happy with the production. I’m not blaming anybody, it was in our hands and we rushed it, and I feel it’s lacking the perspective of a “single” producer, because there were too many of us trying to chip in with lots of ideas.

The final and the 4th album although quite technical is where I started to realize the musical direction is not what I wanted to pursue,” added Obeyesekere

Andrew is hoping to do some instrumental rock music of his own. However he hasn’t started writing yet as he is busy with work and performing in the commercial scene now.

“I have a love for music that inspires me and every single person who appreciates it. I’m going to give a very different message to people out there. Try to be the best that “you” can be but don’t try to be better than everyone else. Stay focused on your goals. Be your first critic. Try to learn the good from others and leave the bad out. Don’t feel ashamed to say you don’t know something. Be a sponge. Be humble. Help others to succeed in their endeavors. There is nothing to lose, except you are going to be a part of their success too. This attitude will only improve you and the industry you are in. Success will follow!,” explained Obeyesekere

There are many artistes that Obeyesekere admires such as - instrumentalists such as Joe Satriani, Jason Becker, Yngwie Malmsteen, Steve Vai, etc. Locally there’s some world class talent that he respects and admires. Guitarists such as his first guitar teacher Tony Ferdinandus, then there’s Duleep Chammugam, Kamal Perera, Primal Liyanage, Derek & Shafi, Pathum Malla.

Then there’s the younger generation -Ravin David, Nifal Ibrahim, Dihan Karunaratne, Joshua Perera, Sheahan Davadoss.

Currently Obeyesekere likes to make some new music and also improve his business. Also having fun and enjoying life while doing it, is a priority of his!

“I guess music has a spiritual quality and I’m sure it is experienced by most people. The world is full of people from different walks of life. Therefore it is very easy to disagree on a lot of things. But music can give these people some common ground. It can create harmony within society as well. Music has the power to make people achieve great things and find greater meaning in life. Only if the music is meaningful,” summed up Obeyesekere.


 

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