Mixing genres effortlessly and infusing UK citizenship with her Middle Eastern roots, Shiva bridges the world's deepest rhythms with undeniable soul.
When she's not igniting the dance floor, she loves to balance the “darkside” with a beam of brilliant light by making meditation music. Inspired by her own wellness journey and passion for personal evolution, Shiva has given birth to RETURN TO SOUND; a meditative bass experience. She recently teamed up with UK based, bass-mutating, funky and house blending underground aficionado Roska for their latest release "Shapeshifter".
We got to ask Shiva and Roska a few questions about Return to Sound, what they look for in a relaxing track, production habits and more.
Can you tell us a bit more about Return To Sound and how the idea got started?
Shiva: Return To Sound was born out of my own healing journey. Right after graduating college with a music degree and budding DJ career, I was diagnosed with two severe autoimmune conditions within the same month. My life that felt like it was just beginning came to what felt like a dead end - and it continues to be one of the most profound and beautiful experiences I’ve ever had in my life. From that pain, I was gifted an opportunity to wake up out of a fog, and to see and feel life through new eyes. I started on a journey of deep introspection that led to studying metaphysics, mysticism and the law of vibration and attraction
I started practicing kundalini yoga, breath-work, and meditation and went all in with my spiritual practice.
I started creating meditation music for myself and recording mantras over them to play at night while I slept. I didn't realize at the time that this was a form of self-hypnosis.
Through the joy of creating the music, and the power of shifting my thoughts, how I felt changed, and my body started to naturally heal itself.
I didn’t share this story for 7 years. Then, one day the name ‘Return To Sound’ came to me -- and It felt like a portal. A portal for me to fully accept myself. To share my story, and to share the music that has been such a big part of it.
Returning to Sound, not only as in music, but in remembering your true vibrational essence.
What impact do you hope Return to Sound will have on its listeners?
Shiva: Soothing. A vibrational permission slip to help release resistance.
Roska: For me personally it’s a great opportunity from Shiva to showcase some versatility in a different world of music. My musical style is known for drum driven percussive styles with minimal melodies
Is there a sound that you find surprisingly enjoyable?
Shiva: It’s not surprising, but I always love layering tropical sounds in my meditative tracks. I grew up in Florida and it takes me back to being a child and exploring the magical vibrant green jungle around my home, where I had my first spiritual experiences .
Roska: My tastes of music are quite eclectic but working on this project has opened my mind to a completely different area in music and now more than ever are therapeutic styles needed.
Do you have a first memory of music?
Shiva: Probably 10 years old listening to the Gypsy Kings in the back of my dads car. I had what felt like a full out psychedelic visual experience with my eyes open. I could see the band and all the instrumentalists that were playing the music - and I felt like the conductor. I even told my dad, “Dad, I made this!” It was that real to me in the moment.
Roska: I grew up listening to a lot of R&B and Soul via my mother and my father played a lot of Reggae and Dancehall.
Do you have a most meaningful experience with music that stands out above the rest?
Shiva: Having people come up to my crying after a Return To Sound meditation set. Thanking me for sharing my story and the music.
Roska: Watching my music travel to other cities and countries outside of London and the U.K.
What instruments do you like to incorporate in a relaxing/meditative piece?
Roska: A pulsy sub bass.
Shiva: Going with Roska on this one - give me those soothing bass frequencies.
Do you prefer mostly ambient sounds for deep relaxation or is there room for a beat?
Shiva: Room for both. I’ve been finding that the ambient sounds allow me to explore and ‘space out’ a bit more, while the subtle percussion tracks help me focus in on a task or subject.
Roska: I think there is room for both but for this style no beats. Maybe the odd subtle bit of percussion
Is there a particular production process/ritual you like to follow?
Shiva: I practice the pomodoro method in the studio. It’s a time management technique that allows you to tap into the momentum of your focus with ‘deep work,’ rather than ‘shallow work.’ I use a kitchen timer and set it for however long I feel like. Usually 1-3 hours. During that time I go on ‘airplane mode’ and focus on just one thing - the music.
Aside from music, what other ways do you take care of your own mental health and well-being?
Shiva: Meditation and movement. These days, lots of weird dancing at home :)
Roska: Gym and sleep.