Getting To Know... Electric Sufi

After spending the last few months building and developing their sound, emerging UK-based outfit Electric Sufi have now delivered their captivating new single 'O Ignis Spiritus'.

Lifted from their forthcoming debut album 'Breathe In Love', which is set to arrive later this year, 'O Ignis Spiritus' makes for a wonderfully compelling listen. Channelling a dense and atmospheric direction that conjures influences from a spiritual and ancient background, this new offering is a rich and distinctive addition to their dynamic direction to date.

So with the new single available to stream now, we sat down with Professor Chill from the group to find out more about his origins and what has been inspiring him most lately.


What was the first instrument you fell in love with?

It was the piano. I started lessons aged 5, and went on to study piano at University, before taking up writing music.

What kind of music did you love when you were younger?

I’ve loved lots of music, but I was a big fan of early ambient, chillout music and trip hop, including Steve Reich, Gavin Bryars (who I studied with), Brian Eno (who Gavin worked with), the Orb, KLF, Massive Attack, Portishead, Transglobal Underground, and Banco De Gaia. I’m signed to Banco De Gaia’s label now!

What was the first album you remember owning?

It was probably Stratosfear by Tangerine Dream, some obscure German electronica I saw in a library on Cassette, with an amazing cover, that I just had to buy.

What is the one song you wished you could have written yourself?

Teardrop by Massive Attack, I think it’s the most beautiful album I own.

Do you have any habits or rituals you go through when trying to write new music?

It’s usually late at night. I have to be feeling calm and centred, connected to myself. I start at the computer recording, and just get lost in a kind of trance. I can sit there for 6 hours without really moving except to write, until the main part of the idea is fully formed.

Who are your favourite artists you have found yourself listening to at the moment?

Because I’m an electronica producer working with two amazing world music experts, I’ve been catching up on Sufi music and other world music material, especially Mehdi Hassan and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, but also Natacha Atlas, Jah Wobble, and Angelique Kidjo.

If you could open a show for anyone in the world, who would it be?

I’d love to work with Tinariwen. They are Tuareg desert people, playing music that is part North African, part Jimi Hendrix blues, incredible sounds.

What do you find is the most rewarding part about being a musician?

The most rewarding thing about working in music is working with amazing people from different backgrounds. Finding out more about Sufi music and culture from Sarah, and Egyptian and Coptic music from Mina has been amazing. It’s fantastic to spend your life working on something like music, which is a passion as much as a career. The best bit is when you are playing, when you lose all sense of time and are just lost in sound, in the experience of playing. There’s nothing quite like it.

And what is the most frustrating part?

The most frustrating part of the music industry is just trying to get heard. Electric Sufi is the most amazing music project I’ve been involved in, despite a really long career in the industry, and I want people to hear this wonderful music, but it’s a real struggle to find ways to get your music out there, especially if you are in the North of Britain rather than in London.

And what is the best piece of advice you have received as a musician?

The best piece of advice I ever had was to work hard and be nice. Firstly, anyone who is a pain doesn’t usually get very far, no one wants to work with them more than once, and treating people well costs nothing. And then it’s the people who just keep trying, just keep going that I see becoming more successful, mostly they work incredibly hard, you just occasionally need a bit of luck, or to be at the right place at the right time, to get a break that pushes you forward. The trick is, I’m told, to keep putting yourself out in places, so that you have more chance of one of them being right!


Electric Sufi's new single 'O Ignis Spiritus' is available to stream now. Watch the new video for it in the player below.