Interview – Mike Keith and his fascinating Bodhi of music
Bodhi is the musical alter-ego of Mike Keith, a London-based musician armed with a guitar and a soft voice that almost appears unnatural when projected from his burly frame. His music is emotional and deeply spiritual, though it’s quite far from anything you’d hear at a massage parlor. Frankly, we find his art rather mesmerizing, so we tactfully attempted to tap into his consciousness with a bunch of questions. Thankfully, he didn’t leave any of them unanswered…
How did you discover your love for music?
I was in a dark place in my life, where I had to reinvent myself and find ways of expression and articulation that could be channeled productively. I just had an old guitar with a beginners guide. The guitar and my voice became an outlet for self expression.
Are you feeling like you belong in London’s music scene?
Not quite, still working out who my intended audience is and who is open to my message. Also sill fully adapting the style which most reflects me and my message.
What’s your preffered songwriting process?
Meditating and clearing my mind of all thoughts, and then allowing something to come in, I then attempt to reproduce in on logic with a guitar or using a loop pedal.
You have a deeply spiritual side. How does music help you cultivate it?
It allows expression of my feelings through sounds. Moreover, sometimes certain things cannot be said or articulated and music allows this to be done freely and subjectively.
What else do you enjoy besides making and listening to music?
Reading novels and books, meeting new people. Attend concerts, open mics etc…
You are citing David Bowie as a major influence. How did his music and persona reflect on your art?
He is a symbol of change and revolution daring to contrast the hyper- masculinity of rock in the late 60’s early 70’s and demonstrate a balance of masculinity and femininity in Glam rock, not scared of his unique identity. This has influence on my work in that I aim to create music with a commercially structured sound, but with a message of spirituality, which is rare in contemporary music. I hope that this can be a movement for change in that all commercial music nowadays tends to stick to themes of money, sex, break ups or self indulgence, mainly to support a global system of commerce and consumption. If I can hide a “worthy message” into a commercial sound then I will be happy. We don’t hear the protests of John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Bob Marley or Janis Joplin anymore, as the industry just doesn’t allow it.
Do you ever see yourself experimenting with electronic sounds?
Yes, in fact I have composed quite a few tracks with electronic sounds.
What are your biggest musical ambitions?
To reach out to at least one person and have a positive influence in finding mental or spiritual peace. To put “worthy” messages back into commercial music.
What things do you like and dislike the most about modern music in general?
The way in which commercial music is structured to meet the needs of marketing for consumption. How artists who start by writing from the heart, a few years down the line write for adverts and super-bowls and go on to misuse their popularity to convey poor messages, instead of using that platform for change. How many artists really have a decent message anymore, other than the ones that align with globalisation?
How has Drooble helped you in your musical pursuit?
Drooble is a superb platform for expression and distribution of music in way which is fair and unbiased. It helps me to get ideas from others and share mine with them. I have only been on here a month and already started collaborating with someone across the globe. It will help me find my audience and write to their needs.