With a new sound and culture, the creators of a new generation of music, Jayasri, have opened and performed with international artists such as Third World, UB40, The Wailers, Inner Circle, Temptations, Ziggy Marley, Shaggy, Gentleman and many more. The twin brothers, Rohan and Rohitha Jayalath, will be here in Sri Lanka for the FestiLove season until the end of next year. One of the brothers, Rohitha spoke to The Sunday Leader about their success and plans for the future.
Q: Why did you suddenly feel like coming back to Sri Lanka?
A: We come home to Sri Lanka twice every year during the December/January season and April New Year season.
Q: Do you think that there has been a change in the country after the war?
A: Yes, of course there have been many positive changes! The war has taken many valuable lives of our people, people were afraid, but now our country is free from terrorism. We must be grateful to all those who sacrificed their lives. We have to now look into the future and get together as one nation and rise up! As people we have to work more to find peace among different races and religions, to respect each other and unite as one nation.
Q: What do you think of the music culture we have in Sri Lanka in comparison to other countries?
A: There are good things happening and there are also areas that need to be improved. In terms of business, we need to work on securing the musical rights of composers and singers. Musically, we have a lot of imitation rather than originality. Local musicians tend to imitate and follow others, but my vision is different. We do what we love and convey positive messages through our music. That´s our duty, like all our great musicians did in the past. When you do it right, then the popularity and success will follow. At the end of the day, we must be satisfied with ourselves with what we do. We have achieved our success as Jayasri in the international scene mostly by being original, learning from the great musicians and their work is important and to do your own thing is your talent.
Q: What is the reason for your success?
A: Being original and unique is the main key for our success, along with a lot of hard work and a big portion of luck with the blessing of higher power above us! Also, we write our own lyrics and compose our own music. Whether we are performing or recording, we give it everything we got.
It´s a very rare that type of oneness that we have as a band that helps us to work together so well. Also money is not everything, we don’t run after it. We do what we love and stay true to our message and creativity.
Q: How did you come up with your style and image? Did your originality become a reason for your success?
A: Yes, our success is our originality! When we won the World Music Award in Austria Europe 2003, the judges said, “This music can be heard only from Jayasri!” So that answer says all. Musically, performance wise, our identity and personal styles are different to others.
Q: How to you balance work with your personal life?
A: Personal life we keep very personal. It helps us to continue our lives very peacefully and happily. Also we live very simple lives and are happy with what we have.
Sure, we also go through ups and downs in our lives like any other person, but we must have some time to ourselves every day, so that we can reflect and calm down in a spiritual way.
Q: Do you think that you’ll ever settle down here in Sri Lanka?
A: For the moment no because as a band we are based in Europe, and that’s where most of our work is. Our reach internationally is better if we are based there too, as we get opportunities to perform at international festivals with big stars. Though we have lived more than half of our lives in Europe, our roots are in Sri Lanka. This we will never forget.
Q: What are your plans for the future?
A: At the moment we are enjoying being at home and being with family and getting to perform in our country. There is a lot coming up in 2016, as in January we will be releasing our fourth album LOVE, and we will be taking part in the Rock meets Reggae Festival 2016 on January 30 at the Viharamahadevi Open Air Theatre. We hope to see everyone there, as this festival will have an international feel to it, as it is organized by Chity and Red Circuit. It’s a good example of Sri Lankan artists, who are based overseas, giving some love back to the motherland!
More info on www.jayasrimusic.com and on Facebook: www.facebook.com/jayasrimusic