New York's hottest new label, 2MR, talks with their Russian protégée, Kedr Livanskiy, before they take over Le Bain's skyline on Friday, July 1st.
2MR: Why did you choose the name Kedr Livanskiy, which means "Lebanese cedar" in Russian, and how does it sound to non-Russian speakers?
KEDR LIVANSKIY: To the Russian ear it sounds quite logical! I invented this name when outside Russia. No one knew me. I think maybe it sounds a little weird and not very easy to pronounce, though maybe I'm wrong; I would be interested to hear from Americans. To the European ear, I think it sounds like some Japanese name, because it's just a bunch of letters and it's difficult to build some kind of association. I must admit that it sounds quite ridiculous to the Russian ear how English speakers pronounce my name and it sounds especially freaky with a German accent!
How have your shows in Europe (Paris, Berlin and Tallinn) been going so far?
The first concert was in Paris and everything went perfectly! Music overcame the language barrier. People responded and it seemed like everything was great and vibrating. It proved once again that the energy of music can move people more powerfully than anything else in this world. The concert in Tallinn was maybe the best in terms of my performance. I'm of course using some general words, but it's a super experience, people are cool all over the world, and I'm glad. I have many new friends!
How are you preparing for your upcoming shows in the US?
Last week, I barely left the house and I didn't hang out with my friends at all. I wanted to accumulate a sufficient amount of energy, which I will need a lot on this upcoming trip. I placed all my focus on the music, although I really wanted to go for a drink with friends. But knowing myself, I postponed those plans. [Laughs.]
Kedr Livanskiy's "No More Summer Rain" (2MR, 2015)
How do you deal with the unbearably cold weather in Russia?
This is almost a rhetorical question for Russians. Russian people look for the answer their entire lives, because it really is a very strong influence on the country and almost everyone falls into a depression one way or another. I think we just wait for the winter to finish, drink a lot of alcohol, and with the arrival of spring, we're reborn like phoenixes! All these extremes make up a big part of being Russian.
On Friday, July 1st, Le Bain presents 2MR Label Night
featuring Kedr Livanskiy (live & DJ) and Mike Simonetti
10pm | The Standard, High Line