Dark and dreamy neo-classical singer-songwriter, composer and pianist Jyoti Verhoeff released her new album, ‘The Sky Of You’, out now on all streaming platforms.
The album includes several collaborations with artists from a diverse range of genres. The result is a cacophony of sounds shifting from Jyoti’s trademark of dark ambient folk to an unexpected neo-classic progressive rock vibe, underscored with cinematic style.
We caught up with Jyoti to learn more about how it all started for her when it comes to her musical journey, the album and more.
Varun – Welcome to this edition of T.H.E Interviews Jyoti! We’re glad to be talking to you. How have you been? How’s the past year been for you both personally and on the music front?
Jyoti Verhoeff – Hi! Thanks for the invitation! The past year has been a challenging year in many ways. It made me think even more deeply about the world we live in then I already used to do. It also fueled my spirit to musically translate how I experience the current world crisis. Due to the fact that most of my concerts were cancelled because of the Covid rules, most of my income dropped away. The positive side of it was that there was a lot of time to dive into the studio and start recording.
Varun – Your relationship and engagement with music started very young in your life – could you tell us a bit about how it all began?
Jyoti Verhoeff – I think it’s because I am blessed (though it took me a while to understand the blessing part) with being born with disabled eye vision and due to that I developed a highly sensitive hearing and feeling. Automatically my eyes became my ears and feelings. For as long as I can remember I have heard music everywhere. Also I translated everything I heard and felt inwardly into music. When I discovered the piano at a young age, a great love for this instrument arose and I was so happy to have found something which made it possible to translate my inner world with.
Varun – What does it mean to be intuitively capable in the music making field?
Jyoti Verhoeff – Wonderful question! One side of it is that I don’t make music to entertain people, I actually think that’s boring. I see sound as one of the most powerful languages in which frequencies make it possible to communicate in a very profound way. In this I experience myself as a tool that tunes in to energy. Communicating different worlds, passing through consciousnesses. Isn’t it wonderful that sound has the ability to stir up our perception, like the process of alchemy, shifting reality and offering the elixir of healing for every ancient wound of the heart…
One other side of being intuitively capable is that I am completely self-taught and can’t read any notes. A few years ago, the latter was something that prevented me from getting my music out there. I felt way too insecure and had to overcome many fears to openly dare to just be who I am. Being fully autodidact did create sometimes funny situations in my collaborations with highly educated musicians but I learned that communicating out of my heart is never an obstacle, quite the contrary.
Varun – You are back with some new work with ‘The Sky Of You’ album. What inspired you to make this album? Is there a story we need to know?
Jyoti Verhoeff – ‘The Sky Of You’ consists of inner reflections upon the current global situation. Poetically trying to find meaning, love, and shelter in the power of nature’s deep pathways running through our bodies, while the world is rushing to follow the artificial intuition of technology.
In case there is a human species that has the desire to overcome all of its natural self by technology, then so be it…I am not that kind of species.
This world seems to be rushing to follow the artificial sermons of science and it prefers to solely use its rational capacities to navigate this universe. In an increasingly specialized and sterile way of reasoning, one may well have lost touch with “the bigger picture”.
Either we blindly follow the artificial intuition of technology to overcome our human nature, or we overcome our rational blinkers and stop denying that spirit and matter are inseparable.
Despite all the comforts this world offers, it’s not difficult to see that this current world runs straight against the majestic symphony of the core of our being.
In a constantly performance-driven world where time and freedom can be bought with money, it’s easy to forget or to even consider the basic rhythm of our existence.
It is not necessarily a brilliant thing that we allow technology so deeply into our lives.
It has clearly been proven technology is not solely a good thing. Certainly – It has the potency to make our lives easier and more comfortable. But it also has the potency to alienate us from our own nature and from being human.
Shouldn’t this be one of the most important topics of our time, in order to make conscious decisions that determine the future, our future? It can’t be the case that we just invisibly pass by this crucial point in our history and gently slide into a new technological era, can it……?
Letting technology literally penetrate into our cells on a daily basis, without questioning, would be beyond extremely stupid. Just as stupid as believing scientists and those who fund them, only work with the very best interests and motivations to only generate more love on this planet.
This topic drove me into the sound world of ‘The Sky Of You’ which wants to emphasize an important rich emotional world. It seeks safety in the deep connections we have with nature and with each other. It only wishes to empower us to move towards a world where we live in harmony with nature’s principles.
Varun – Quite a few guests have featured on this album. What do you have to say about the collaborators on this piece of work?
Jyoti Verhoeff – Despite the fact that these times made contact difficult, needing to find creative solutions, ‘The Sky Of You’ brought many beautiful talented artists together even though they were based in different countries.
For me it was an honor beyond words to collaborate with Kalin Yordanov, The Wong Janice, Meidi Goh, Henk Phillemon Bol, Philip Xander Steenbergen, Erwin Tuijl, Karwan Hamid Haraq and Fraukje Ramona Weishaupt. They are all very different and brought exactly the eight energy I was looking for in specific pieces.
Varun – I really love your take on ‘love’. What does love mean to you? And how is it expressed in your works?
Jyoti Verhoeff – Residing in the wisdom of pure love in the heart of nature, we still know and feel the depth of our existence – be it unconsciously.
We may not remember anymore how to listen into the heart of our cells that speak within us -and outside of us in nature – but we still receive the whispers of our core in many ways.
Music is able to penetrate into the heart of our cells, our very core being. This is endlessly exciting and inspiring to me.
Varun – Finally, what’s in store for the rest of the year?
Jyoti Verhoeff – Oooh yeah, I can hardly wait to share it! Soon there will be released a new music video for ‘As Daylight Wanes’ the second track of ‘The Sky Of You’
For the rest I think I will take it easy with live concerts and continue being productive in the studio.