If we visit Goldcap’s facebook page and go to the about section we read: “Berge Sahakian AKA Goldcap’s roots in music are based in an eclectic pool of genres since his earliest ages. From youth, having picked up instruments like the electric/acoustic guitar, bass guitar, classical piano, and various different percussive instruments, it was only natural for him to incorporate an organic vibe into his musical selections. Also being a fan of poetry, films, ambient sounds, traditional instruments, and the spoken word, you will often find him incorporating an eclectic array of samples into his sets.” So we decided to have a small chat with him to learn more about his magic tricks and here’s how it went:
1. Let’s go back to where it all began. What triggered you to get into Dj-ing?
Hi Maia, happy to take this time with you. Well, to be honest, it was a bit of an accidental career. All my life I have engaged and dabbled with music. From classical piano to jam bands in garages and studios and all sorts of situations. Mostly it was just a need to understand any musical instrument put in front of me, even if I wasn’t any good at it, but I kept trying because it filled me with joy. Around 2008 is when I started to listen to electronic dance music a friend of mine left his CDJ’s at my house for a week and I decided to learn the craft of mixing. Eventually, I made a mix of all my favorite songs from other DJ’s sets, just for my own personal driving music. I made one copy for a friend and it got passed around, and later I was approached by a couple of friends who encouraged me to make more. And so, I did, and completely fell in love with the art form. I never thought I would make a career out of it, but here we all are.
2. What has been your ultimate inspiration and in what way?
It’s hard to say that one thing has been my ultimate inspiration. I draw inspiration from almost everything. Art, music, poetry, different cultures, films, soundscapes, much of nature, and other aspects of life. I believe everyone is the culmination of all past and present experiences, so the creative process must expel a product from all that experience up until that point. If you pressed me for one musical group that could be my greatest inspiration though, I would have to say it would be “The Doors”. The music was raw, honest, romantic, psychedelic, visionary and necessary in the time of its occurrence, and it still challenges the heart and mind to this day.
3. You’ve played to countless crowds, what is the best memory that you have made so far?
So many memories from so many incredible gatherings. One that will never leave my mind was having to honor to play at the Oregon Eclipse festival in 2017. Performing just hours after the total solar eclipse to a high vibrational crowd swimming in dust. Ending the set with the hope theme from “Star Wars” solidified the experience for everyone, including myself. I won’t forget that moment for all my remaining days on this earth.
4. Let’s take a walk to the dark side. What is the biggest challenge that you face as a DJ?
My biggest challenge would have to be my inability to produce music while I’m traveling for performances. I need to be in my home studio with all my instruments in order to deliver what I envision. So being on the road with a laptop, some VST’s and maybe a synthesizer just doesn’t cut it for me. Hopefully, I can find a balance soon.
5. You have an exotic mix of different music genres in your sets. Which non-electronic genre inspires you the most?
I listen to everything! Classical, gospel, rock, funk, rap, jazz, blues, world music from all decades and regions, even film scores, poetry readings, and everything in between. There is a lot of horrible music in the world, no doubt about it. There is a war over the soul in my opinion, and sadly, mind closing music is what is most prominent on the radios today. But in every genre, I have found artists and music that elevate the experience of life, opens the mind, opens the heart, fills you with purpose, and projects a meaningful intention. The only bittersweet fact of this is that I will never be able to hear everything in one lifetime. But it’s out there for all to discover.
6. Your presence behind the decks is as mesmerizing as your music. Is the presence of the DJ as important as his sound?
I appreciate you feel it’s “mesmerizing”, but I think music is the most important part of a performance. The showmanship hierarchically belongs on the back burner, behind the sound quality, space curation, lighting, and many other aspects to what makes a good night. If you see me moving and dancing behind the decks it’s just because I’m feeling the music the same as everyone else, because I genuinely appreciate the music I decide to share, it’s not a calculated part of my performance. But the presence of a DJ does in some way create a tether of energy and connectivity between the audience and the DJ, so I suppose in that sense it adds to the overall experience.
7. If you were asked to explain your music to a deaf person, how would you do it? (I understand this is a tough one, so we can skip it if you want)
Well, that’s quite hard to do as I wouldn’t have a frame of reference to explain the music in terms a deaf person would understand. It’s hard enough explaining it to people who hear just fine. I do find it comforting to know there is no title for this genre, it is freeing and opens up possibilities in a DJ set as opposed to fitting into a mold. I do have one acquaintance who is deaf, who always attends my shows in LA and other parts of the world. Seeing him on the dancefloor feeling the energetic vibrations as well as the sonic vibration puts the biggest smile on my face, every time. We always have a lip-reading chat afterward with many hugs and smiles. It’s amazing to know, through him, that the magic of music is not always about the hearing, but also about the feeling of it.
8. You’ve closed the season at Kaynouna last year (It was insane!) and you’re opening the season this year (And we cannot wait). What is so special about this party that keeps you coming back? (So happy you are!)
I love the Kaynouna family, from the people throwing the event, to the people working it, to all the people coming to support the night. It’s a really nice experience every time and I’m looking forward to being back to share some more music with you and everyone else deciding to attend it.
9. When you leave a party (or the after-party), what do you listen to?
I’m not much for afterparties, but when I leave a party, I have just played I usually just need some silence to process the events of the night. It’s interesting to me that being surrounded by music is a new phenomenon in human history. I’m sure it used to be that the only music you would hear in other eras of history was a very special thing. Maybe you heard it at a religious gathering, or a wedding, or a funeral, or a communal gathering, or maybe you had a vinyl record to play after a long day when the phonograph was available. We are quite spoiled with our access to music today if you think about it. So I do like to miss music and appreciate the lack of it when I can.
10. What advice would you give to upcoming producers trying to make their way in the existing cluster?
Haha, “cluster” is a great word to use here. There are so many people projecting so many kinds of music today. I would just advise upcoming DJs and producers to be genuine, to be true to themselves. Just because you appreciate one kind of music doesn’t mean that is what your signature sound is. Keep working on diving deep into yourself to discover what unique message you must share with people.
11. Finally, let’s be rebels. If you were to break one rule in music, what would it be?
There are certainly structural and harmonic qualities to music that ring true across all countries and cultures, but I wouldn’t call them “rules”. There are no rules when it comes to music, therefore we cannot break any. Music is what we as individuals decide it is. Have fun!