Get to know Our Minds and psychedelic magic you shall find
As we gear up to experience the inaugural festival of Our Minds next Saturday, 10 November, some questions arise.
An event set on providing more than music and a place to escape; how about music and a space not only to exist in, but to thrive in- together.
Essentially festivals/event/parties are a gathering place for individuals with a common interest/s, so why not capitalise and reinforce these connections so that we may learn from each other and go home feeling like we accomplished something other than drinking beers and smoking cigarettes?
While those activities are fine and well, the addition of workshops and talks really amp it up, surrounded by nature and with truly psychedelic music infiltrating your mind, taking you to that magical place within.
The minds behind Our Minds, Regardt Van Zyl and Kyle Kotze, take us from the inception through to the present state as well as the future goals of the label/festival/event/lifestyle/happening.
Read this interview, buy tickets to the event and take a trip down the rabbit hole of evolving consciousness.
Music, Art as well as Literature are some of the most important elements of human existence.”
Firstly, congratulations on creating a festival- it’s no easy feat. But let’s go to the beginning. How did ‘Our Minds’ come about?
Our Minds: Thanks so much! It has been a huge learning curve for us, but we have an amazing team of people helping us so that makes things flow a bit more smoothly.
Kyle: I was on my way back from fetching my visa for EU to attend Boom Festival. Racking my brains on an idea that could let me work and express myself in a creative way in something I love, Psychedelic Music and culture has always been a deep inspiration and interesting realm for me. It was important for me to find my own way to bring something to the table though; Something different and involving the collective mindset as opposed to something I just do by myself, for myself. So, after putting the idea down in writing, speaking to some friends on what they thought, getting positive feedback etc etc, Our Minds was Born. From there I started networking with people and building the brand.
Regardt: I have had the idea of starting a record label for a number years and spoke to quite a few people about it and a vision I had of being an agent to accompany new styles of music into the SA psy scene. One of myself, Kyle and the rest of our teams’ visions was to create a platform for a plethora of world class music, already being produced locally and released internationally by individuals like Myself, Sam Wise, Tyler Archer, Tersius Kabi and quite a few others.
I met Sam Wise AKA Psydewise about 3 years ago and he said that I should speak to Kyle who was a good friend of his and that he already had a media following including art, showcasing music on his website of local producers and a book he wanted to publish about psychedelic culture under the name Our Minds. I met with Kyle and we clicked straight away, and ideas just started to flow and take shape between us. Shortly after this meeting Our Minds Music (the record label) was born.
Your mission is to “bring about positive change. To evolve consciousness through many thought-provoking mediums related to the psychedelic world.” What are these mediums, and do you believe it can change the current paradigm?
Kyle: We believe that all mediums contribute to how one’s consciousness can evolve. Visionary art can evoke sub conscious thoughts and effect your perception from the moment you see an artwork that speaks to you, just as Music evokes emotion and elated states of either happiness and or sadness, depending on the emotion the producer wishes to evoke.
Music, Art as well as Literature are some of the most important elements of human existence there are. They have always been at the forefront of evolving consciousness. We learn from those before us, through all mediums and we wish to be able to showcase these beautiful elements of the human creative spirit.
Regardt: Personally, I feel like art is a crossover point between the material and the divine \ spiritual, a means of communication with the ineffable and a language of expression with which to communicate an insightful and guiding force of change and conscious evolution. We believe that the channels through which this process takes place, like music and art, need to be kept purely original and untainted by the mundane inclinations of the ego.
A non-constricted language which is constantly maintained and altered \ updated as to keep in line with the constant fluctuation of renewed ideas and inspiration, going with the flow of this never-ending evolutionary force which is energy and consciousness. We do this by reminding ourselves that we are imperfect and aim to always take a stance and position of being as humble as we can, knowing that there is a power much bigger at play, a power that has a lot to teach us.
We can say with pride that we think the SA psychedelic scene along with its people, absolutely astounding venues and great weather is something we love very much and feel incredibly grateful to be a part of.”
Speaking of psychedelic insights… Tell our readers about the “Om Book”: how it came about and what do you wish to achieve through it?
Kyle: So, this was the original idea of Our Minds; the book. It’s been a work in progress and is my life’s dream to complete. I feel that with this day and age of technology, the love and respect for a proper book you can hold in your hands is being lost. The idea behind the book is for people from around the world to submit their most profound, interesting, scary or life changing psychedelic experience. We hope that through this information and the sharing of stories we can unite the minds of like-minded individuals, relate and learn from each other’s experiences. We can also get inside info of people’s experiences that they may not share due to people saying, ‘ah you were just tripping hard,’ so not really giving time or acceptance for that person to share their experience seriously. Those stories also get lost and perhaps never shared again. This is what the book is about. The main aim for us with this book, is if we collectively contribute and put our intention into this as a global tribe (like everyone always says we are). We can make a huge impact globally as a collective. What I mean by this is if people are willing to support the idea and the book, we can put that money generated from sales into community upliftment projects, land conservation for future generations, animal welfare etc etc. This is not about selling books, but by finding a medium that can truly unite us for a greater good other than us all partying together. Let’s do something that can make a positive impact together, Globally.
As a label ‘Our Minds’ largely represents South Africans. Are there plans to tap into the global scene of music makers supreme and take Our Minds abroad?
Kyle: Absolutely! We have a few artists that tour internationally every year for the EU and India seasons, so they fly the flag for us and help us network with the right people. Our aim is Global for sure, but we have a lot to learn and no better place to do that than in our home country. We have some plans brewing though and reaching a global market is where our primary energy is focused. Our next VA album release will give you guys an idea 😉
Regardt: We are very very excited to say that we already have South African representatives flying the Our Minds \ South African flag abroad and talking about ideas regarding international events and musical collaborations. So, this is something that we hope to materialise very soon.
How do you feel about the South African psy-trance festival scene at the moment and where would you like to see it go?
Our Minds: We can say with pride that we think the SA psychedelic scene along with its people, absolutely astounding venues and great weather is something we love very much and feel incredibly grateful to be a part of.
South African people are really awesome; our country insanely beautiful and like a lot of European partiers might tell you, we don’t realise how lucky we are with what we have here. Regarding the music and general trends in genre and styles of psytrance we do feel like things can be changed up a bit, but this seems to be already happening with most of the events already.
There is a lot of new up and coming talent here locally and we feel that they need to be given more of a chance to showcase their work. It’s very easy to fall into comfort zones and perpetuate a system that works, but like we mentioned before, we feel that it is of the utmost importance that things are changed up and constantly pushed to reach new heights and produce fresh experiences and ideas. As the universe and consciousness evolves, so should we and our culture. We do also feel like more systems helping with the integration of the psychedelic experiences into our daily lives might be a valuable addition to events.
Talks and workshops focusing on helping people bridge the gap between the psycho-spiritual paradigm and the mundane world of material existence, ways to implement insights into our daily ways of being, to integrate the objective perspective as to what happens when we have transcendental experiences at events, and how we can practically apply this information into our daily lives.
People should attend [Our Minds Festival] if they wish to broaden their musical experience and be open to receive something that is not widely promoted and or played in South Africa, that being Dark progressive music as well as Forest and Dark Psy.”
If ‘Our Minds’ was a song, what would it be?
Our Minds: Hahaha not sure why but this came to mind:
Men Without Hats – Safety Dance
“I say, we can go where we want to, a place where they will never find
And we can act like we come from out of this world
Leave the real one far behind,
And we can dance”
Ah we can dance if we want to, we can leave your friends behind
Cause your friends don’t dance and if they don’t dance
Well they’re are no friends of mine.”
You’re throwing a festival on the 10th of November. Why should people attend Our Minds Festival?
Our Minds: People should attend if they wish to broaden their musical experience and be open to receive something that is not widely promoted and or played in South Africa, that being Dark progressive music as well as Forest and Dark Psy.
Our festival will be a showcase of primarily these genres of music which we all feel very strongly and passionate about. We are really doing our utmost to deliver an event and psychedelic playground which will facilitate a truly unique experience and try and accompany everyone as far down the rabbit hole as they wish. For those who are still testing the waters of these genres, we also have a Tech stage which will be a showcase of some of the finest Psychedelic techno being produced today.