Theme and melody created with good taste

Their music is enchanting, combining synthesised electronics with real musical instruments; melodies flow and ebb, with guitar and flute chasing each other. Even their name is attractive — CherryVata — as is that of the keyboard player, Diamos Roll, (alias Dmitry Litvinovich) who also leads the group...
By Andrey Veselovsky

Our stage name reflects our style. At the time, I was thinking of a DJ name for us. My friends suggested Spanish-Italian sounding ‘Diamos’ (from Dmitry) and ‘roll’ — as in a drum roll.

You began as a DJ in Minsk clubs before deciding to compose your own music...

It wasn’t a sudden decision. I was very interested in 1990s culture, listening to music and combining DJ sampling with traditional composition. My friends (also musicians) liked my first attempts, so I built on those.

You didn’t study music but your compositions are very well arranged and played.

I trained as a radio engineer and designer-technologist; of course, there are people with academic degrees in the band: bassist Alexey Budko and trumpeter Valery Ketris. They also work for professional orchestras.

But you bring the musical ideas to the band.

Usually, everything starts with my drafts; then, the guys add their ideas for the melody and lyrics. Alexey and Yura, our lead guitarist, also write music, while drummer Pavel Gorbach recently produced his own CD. We share a common outlook so it’s easy to collect ideas and layer them.

As a result, your style is unique — a combination of reggae, break beat and jazz, with drum’n’bass and trumpet arriving from nowhere...

I studied music theory, concentrating on rock and jazz, but realised that freedom of expression is best, without reference to firm genre. When we gather together, we create something unique. We work with a great many musicians, showing them something which inspires them further.

You make beautiful, rich music with a commercial, dance beat which must prove popular.

You know, we don’t aim to do that but our music fits the club scene and works for corporate events and festivals. We’ve performed with such giants as ‘Camouflage’, ‘Banco de Gaia’, ‘The Herbaliser’ and ‘Boombox’ to huge audiences. Traditionally, they aren’t interested in pop-culture, preferring a cheerful mix of jazz, electronics, beautiful voices and live instruments, as ‘CherryVata’ presents at its concerts. I believe that our fans have their own opinions and tastes.

So why do you lack commercial success?

When we came together in 2003, we were independent. We’ve gradually broken into various markets but we haven’t achieved world success yet (laughing).

Would you like to?

‘CherryVata’ isn’t performing live right now but we’ll do so again as soon as we finish the album. I personally want to review and rewrite much of our work, assessing its prospects...

Will the new album differ from ViaVanilla of 2009?

We’re free people and have no inclination to follow a particular style or direction. I hope that we’ll continue to grow and change with the music industry. There will be a lot of electronics and live instruments on our next album.
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