Just ahead of his performance at Envision Festival in Costa Rica this weekend, we had a moment to get to know a little bit about Goldcap. Over the past few years, Berge Sahakian has carved his place in the scene as a prolific curator of music, creating truly unique mixes with pieces from every corner of the world ranging from Oriental to Middle Eastern Folk and Ambient to Classic Rock. With releases on Sol Selectas, Underyourskin, and Cenote Records, Goldcap is solidifying his name as just as much a talented producer as he is an eclectic curator. Sitting down with Goldcap, we talked about his influences, inspirations, and rise in the underground music scene.
WWD: To me when I listen to your songs and mixes, I feel as though they are very geared towards certain geological locations like the desert and Burning Man. How would you say your environment shapes your music? What inspires you? And what drives you towards those sounds?
GC: I grew up with a lot of Middle Eastern music in my life —Armenian and Arabic. My parents are from Iraq but Armenian. So growing up, it was a lot of Middle Eastern & Oriental movements, sounds and styles. That was definitely a big part of why a lot of my music gets related towards the desert and the Burning Man styled vibes.
It wasn’t a conscious decision for me to play outdoor desert music. When I first started doing this, it was more about just taking influence from what I grew up with and a lot of the Folk music I listen to from around the world and it just happened to be on more of the Middle Eastern / Oriental side of the spectrum.
When I did finally go to Burning Man, which was 3 years ago, I understood why people were relating my music to Burning Man; the space is just so appropriate for those desert sounds from all over the world.
WWD: Do you have a favorite song or style of music that you catch yourself playing time and time again?
GC: Well, I listen to world music everyday but to pick a favorite just doesn’t really make sense. There are not many artists that I can say are quite as well known but its more traditional folk music that floats it for me at this point. Also The Doors have been a constant source of inspiration for me for over a decade now.
WWD: How did you get involved with Sabo and Sol Selectas?
GC: I met Sabo through a mutual friend, Eduardo Castillo, and we had met once or twice before going to Burning Man together. It was my first year at Burning Man and the first time that I got to really spend time with Sabo. Our friend Eduardo had a night at this place called the Panda Lounge and the lineup basically just me, Sabo, Eduardo and Acid Pauli.
It was an amazing opportunity for me to play. Sabo heard me perform and he was impressed enough to ask to go back to back with me sometime. We ended up hopping on the decks together that same day and we still have that set up on SoundCloud. Since then we’ve had a really powerful musical connection; he’s definitely one of my brothers.
And with what he’s doing with Sol Selectas in the last 2 years — I mean he’s been running that label properly for nearly the last decade — has been really next level and I’m really happy to hear his sound evolving the way it is. He’s taking on all these amazing artists that really deserve the opportunity to get listened to.
WWD: What would you do if it wasn’t music?
GC: If I wasn’t doing music as a career I would probably be in the arts; I’ve been an artist since I was in my earliest ages. It was always art and music for me. I went to the Art Institute of California for a degree in graphic design, digital art, canvas, sketching.
WWD: Do you ever incorporate your art into your music?
GC: I do some of the designs for myself whenever I need it done but I’m not running a record label or anything that needs album artwork all the time.
But anything that comes to my mind that I’d like for myself or for my own amusement, I’ll just work on art. It’s a good way to center yourself and even take inspiration from the art to the music or vice versa. So it was always art, music, and more recently, cooking.
WWD: Cooking? What would you say is your favorite genre of food to cook?
Oh man. I’m pretty comfortable around the BBQ and the pan, but can’t handle an oven.
WWD: So you’re not a baker. Continuing on, what has been your favorite party… ever?
GC: My favorite party… ever?
WWD: Yeah! Could you give an anecdote of a memorable party experience?
GC: I don’t think there’s a singular experience I can think of right now… because each party I’ve been to has its own flavor, its own moments. I’ve been to some parties that were amazing for me but horrible for maybe 80% of the crowd because the DJ was doing something really strange. I quite like it when DJs feel free to do something that they aren’t actually known for.
There are so many good parties out there but if I had to pick just one, I’d have to say Burning Man. It’s definitely a party that I look forward to all year because its a great place to meet with like-minded people who are all sharing the same journey together and you can just feel the energy in the air. It’s truly electric.
There are a lot amazing events in the world that have just honed in to this niche that’s really working to their advantage, given the space, their followers, and the acts that they bring in. They all cooperate in such perfect synchronicity that they figured out what really works for them.
Catch Goldcap this weekend at Envision Festival in Uvita, Costa Rica.