Devon Farr (left) and Aline Braga (right) celebrate with primitive chanting and a fusion of sound and imagery.
On January 15, 2021, The Chants band came alive in Topanga Canyon with their worldwide debut video and song, “Hey-Ya,” featuring international singing artist Úyanga Bold. (https://soundcloud.com/user-390601463/hey-ya)
The Chants originated with Jamie Papish, 30-year Topanga resident and world-renowned music percussionist and songwriter, and Kevin Fraser, reggae/rock singer, songwriter and percussionist. They met at the “Octogon House” just before the lockdown in March 2020 and found they shared a vision of moving people by layering simple chants to sing and infectious rhythms to dance to.
“My inspiration was the possibility of bringing people the hope of a brighter future where we are all connected,” says Papish. “Making the video was like having an intense dream with non-stop action and problem-solving. You come out of it exhausted but knowing it was worth whatever I had to go through.”
Feeling they also needed the feminine balance of vocals and energy to complete the group, they recruited longtime friends and fellow musicians, Dawn Marie Yurkovic and Renette Jobst. Together, they birthed a fusion of sound and imagery inspired by the celebration of primitive chanting mixed with percussion instruments and rhythms of the world. With the idea of transcending the current climate of societal uncertainty, The Chants created a sound designed to empower and give a voice to the people in a visual journey from the present, to the past and through the future.