Buddhi De Mal
Musician living in Los Angeles, California, USA
Buddhi De Mal, a musician, was born and raised in Sri Lanka "the Paradise Island also known as the Pearl of the Indian Ocean", as described on Buddhi's Web site. Buddhi now lives in Los Angeles. After learning about The Jüdische Kulturbund Project, he wrote about his life and the power of music for social change. We'd like to share Buddhi's story with you, below.
I was in third grade and our school van would pick me and my two classmates an hour later after we got off for the day. We would be exploring the school wilderness most of the time, but on this one particular day, I heard a loud thunder which came from far and for the first time in my life, I felt the impact of a big bomb. I didn’t know it was a bomb till I got home to see my Grand Mother and Aunt watching the blast on TV. The Central Bank of Sri Lanka was bombed and the first thing that came to my thoughts was my Mother who worked at a bank not far from CBSL. The attack took place on January 31, 1996 when a truck full of explosives crashed through the main gate of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. This was one of a few more incidents that would occur in my city till the war was over in 2009. This was my upbringing and when I look back now, my biggest inspiration to write the way I do with my music.
A couple of months after the Central Bank Bombings, Sri Lanka won the Cricket World Cup in 1996. This was not just mine, but the world Nation’s hope for Glory in a state with no peace. Over night cricket became my passion and the piano lessons I took as a kid stopped immediately. I played for my school cricket team from the age of 13 – 17 at and performed pretty well as a right arm leg spin bowler. At the age of the 15, I was first introduced to Tupac’s music by a couple of my senior cricketers and to Eminem’s Marshall Mathers album by my classmate and to Guns N Roses by another. Everything changed and I wanted to have my own voice playing music and it had to be Rock so I gave up cricket to form a Rock band. I didn’t leave my parents happy, but with the war going on, I knew Music was my way of speaking out to the world and I never gave up.
After I started Wagon Park in 2007, the civil war was at its peak and I noticed my lyrics were speaking out to people and Wagon Park was getting noticed. The war was over in 2009 but my awareness of social wrong doing grew more and my writing took to its attention. After winning the best band a war in Sri Lanka in 2014-15, I decided that I needed to study music and become a professional so I could take my music to the next level which is international. Moving to Los Angeles and studying music at Musicians Institute opened up doors for me I never imagined. I gained so much experiences and made connections where I could produce music even for my band back in Sri Lanka. I made an awesome Rock band called The Sutra with a talented group of friends where we released an EP and played at Prestigious venues such as Whisky A Go Go and Saint Rocke.
As a solo artist, I have grown a lot by working with great talent in LA and “Colours of Hate (No More)”, shown above, is a great example for what we can do to make a positive change in the world by getting together. The number of people who were involved from around the world were over 20 and the song clearly come to a level where it can reach a global audience so the message of love, peace and unity can spread. Zoe Pelloux, the Producer of the music video along with the Cinematographer and Director, Benjamin Gabriel understood the meaning and were excellent in executing the imagery to keep up with the message of the song.
I believe in the power of music and the positive changes that it can bring to the world. In my life, it has been the one thing that has been there always, grown with time and my most loyal companion. I would not let it go for anything else. Period!
In the short documentary, above, "No Dubs — Busshi De Mal", Buddhi speaks about his music and the issues in Sri Lanka and the United States that affect him and drive his creativity.