It’s not uncommon to see foreigners coming to Auroville to get a break from hustles and bustles of city life. Erika Lernot is one such musician from Paris, who has come all the way here to get inspiration, to work on her upcoming album.
The jazz and Caribbean music specialist, who has been in Auroville for the past one year, is working on her second album, while also entertaining the locals with her performances. In a conversation with DC, Erika speaks about her experience in the country, her love for Indian music, and about her second music album.
“I still feel like a small kid in this entirely different atmosphere. I see and learn something new everyday and it has a positive influence on my work!” starts Erika. Speaking about why she chose Auroville, she says, “After completing my first music album Le Voyage, I felt that my next album should be more on the lines of self realisation and evolution. It’s only possible to write on this theme if we stay away from the busy and mechanical city life. That’s when my friend, who is based here in India, told me that I can’t find a better place than this. I should be thankful to her.”
The 32-year-old also says that she’s overwhelmed with the positive responses she has been getting from the locals. “My confidence increases a notch after every single performance here. People in India understand music very well — they not only appreciate my work, but also give me valuable suggestions. I am also happy to say that I will be performing in Chennai very soon. I vow to give my best there,” she muses.
During her year-long stay, Erika says that she has been listening to lots of Bollywood and Tamil songs — “One fact which helps me connect with Indian music is that the rhythm in the songs is similar to Caribbean beats. There are many talented musicians in this country and I wish I meet a lot of them during my stint here.”
Being a vegetarian, the pretty singer is all praises for the local cuisine — “In Paris, it’s pretty hard for a vegetarian to survive. But, over here, I’m spoilt for choices! I can even say that I’m addicted to idli and dosa now!” she laughs.
Now that she’s almost done with her project, Erika says that she will have mixed feelings when she leaves the country. “I’ve written all the songs and I’m looking forward to releasing them next year. Though I don’t know how long I will stay in Auroville, it would always remain close to my heart,” she concludes.