“Honestly, I think we as a society have lost touch with our true selves. Not the fake, plastic persona we lead others to believe we are. I would start a no cell phone movement for one week. One week so people can reconnect with the person sitting right beside them. A time for them to reflect on what matters and not their Instagram or Twitter feed. To remember a time when there was life outside of the digital device they hold in their hands all day long.”
I had the pleasure of interviewing Sami Chohfi of the Rock Band Blue Helix. Blue Helix is an independent rock band from the state of Washington, USA and São Paulo, Brazil formed in 2008 and founded by songwriter Sami Chohfi.
Following the footsteps of the 1990s movement, their music is a blend of melodic rock and powerful heavy grunge. The band is known for their high energy live performances and their ability to connect deeply with their audience. Blue Helix is proud to write songs with positive messages that offer inspiration and leave their fans with a sense of hope. Blue Helix won the Puget Sound Battle of the Bands in 2015 and a Brazilian national competition promoted by Radio Rock 89 and Movida in 2017. Their anti-bully anthem, Anti-Social Butterfly, was in rotation for two months on Radio 89 and hit the top 10 last December. Blue Helix has just returned from their first tour in Brazil, March of 2018. Blue Helix is Sami Chohfi, Marco Bicca, Arman Birang, and Brandon Wolf Gebhardt.
Blue Helix is an independent band fighting for relevance in a new Music Industry that is more dog eat dog then ever. In a world where Rock is not as strong as it once was they aim to remain true to the music by creating content with a purpose.
That purpose was manifested with their Anti-Bully Anthem for Anti-Social Butterfly. This video took 8 months of filming and production. It depicts a true story of Sami’s childhood and life, put into a music video. It’s message is current and its from the heart.
Thank you so much for joining us. What is your “backstory”?
I started playing guitar when I was 15 years old. My childhood best friend and I started learning together. That same year he passed away and I made myself a promise to continue on with what we started. I developed such a passion for music that I chose to pursue songwriting and starting a career in the music industry. After graduation I drove my 1987 Pontiac Firebird from South Florida to Seattle, Washington. I worked as a waiter to save money to build my own recording studio and producing my own records as well.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your music career?
My wife once recorded a video of me in Kenya playing a Bob Dylan Cover called “Masters of War” for a local Massai village in Amboselli. It was a unique experience. But more interestingly, when my wife and I were at Hells Gate in Naivasha, I started playing this song to test the acoustics of the gorge and by the time I was almost done I realized there was a bunch of young kids and local people watching and cheering. Apparently they heard me playing from far away and came to where the music was.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
I am working on our third official music video release for our song “Anodyne” of our latest release Anti-Social Butterfly. I am also writing a singer/songwriter acoustic album that is a bit different from my songs in Blue Helix. Songs about my unique experiences on this earth.
Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?
Musicians are all pretty interesting people. Some of the weirdest and most unique personalities I have ever met are artists. Some are outspoken and full of things to say, while others are super strange and detached from reality. Its always a test of my people skills when I come across people who are super uncomfortable being human. Lol.
Which people in history inspire you the most? Why?
Beethoven. A man without hearing who overcame his handicap to create some of the most influencial music in history. That inspires me.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I always try to write music that inspires people. Inspires kindness and self confidence. Lyrics that are meant to bring hope to those who have suffered or are in a situation that makes them feel powerless. I find that the words you say today can affect people for the rest of their lives. I suffered from bullying as a kid. The biggest bully I ever met in my life was my father. I recently released a music video for my song Anti-Social Butterfly that touches on the struggles of being tormented and bullied, not only as a child but even as an artist in today’s music world. I created the video to give hope to those who also suffer from bullies.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Honestly, I think we as a society have lost touch with our true selves. Not the fake, plastic persona we lead others to believe we are. I would start a no cell phone movement for one week. One week so people can reconnect with the person sitting right beside them. A time for them to reflect on what matters and not their Instagram or Twitter feed. To remember a time when there was life outside of the digital device they hold in their hands all day long.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
I wish I had mentors in the music industry before I started on my own journey. It would have saved me a lot of heartache and money. For example, just because a big time record producer charges a lot of money because of his/her experience with other global/national artists doesn’t mean they will put that kind of love and attention into your project. You have to find people in the industry who are passionate about what you are doing, not for what’s in your wallet.
I also wish someone would have told me that you don’t need the most extravagant and expensive gear to sound good. Nothing is better than going out and trying everything that is out there to see what really fits your musical needs. I have always been very trusting and naïve when it comes to the music industry. It wasn’t until 4 years ago that I wised up and started really taking the initiative to be more self reliant and trusting in my gut. Try to find artists that are committed to what you are doing. Don’t settle with guys because they are available, make sure they love what you are doing. If not it will show on stage, and it will be a struggle.
I have been blessed with the opportunity to interview and be in touch with some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she just might see this. 🙂
Yes many. I would love to sit with John Houlihan, the music supervisor for some of the most amazing films out there. Specifically John Wick and John Wick 3. When I create songs I imagine them in a scene or film. A lot of my songs I picture in an action/drama/suspense movie. Anti-Social Butterfly and This Tragedy specifically would be songs I would love to sit at a lunch with a talented music supervisor like John to pitch him my creations. I also wouldn’t mind sitting with a Spotify Curator or two, a programmer at Sirius FM, or a program director for Clear Channel. Someone who runs and organizes festivals and tours. That would be amazing to meet someone like that. Meeting someone of influence like Allison Hagendorf who is a national music journalist and the Global Head Of Rock for Spotify, Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, Trevor Noah would also be a great lunch conversation considering all of them stand against bullying, and I would love to share with them my story in detail and my Music Video against the subject. Do you know anyone like this;)
Originally published at medium.com