David Sye – singer and son of Legendary 60’s entertainer Frankie Vaughan and a cousin of Amy Winehouse talks about his journey towards ‘NO MAD KARMA’.
Over 30 years ago the painful and crippling effects of a physical illness drove me to seek out an alternative solution to the looming possibility of an intestinal bye-pass operation that the medical profession had proclaimed was the final prognosis to my condition. Around that time I had heard of a couple of yogis who had trained in Tibet and professed to be able to cure my condition, and to cut a long story short, the encounter with these yogis not only completely reversed my physical condition but changed the entire direction of my life and I ended up studying pure metaphysics alongside yoga and then later qualifying as a yoga teacher myself.
From day one I had grown up literally on the road. My father was a well known singer called Frankie Vaughan, and my mother was a chemist, as early as I can recall we all travelled along with the shows and appearances my father made from city to city, country to country, and as I grew up, music and performance were just a normal way of life for me, and so later on, these elements naturally became woven within the style of my own teachings.
But 30-years ago it was almost impossible to earn a living teaching yoga so although I kept my singing and music alive alongside my yoga teachings, I went through a huge variety of occupations just to stay fed and pay the rent – everything from DJ’ing to driving lorries, from radio journalism to running restaurants, and whilst running ‘Manna Restaurant’ as its Head Chef in London’s Primrose Hill, I first met up with Preston Heyman (an ardent Iyengar Yoga Practitioner) who was also the drummer for the likes of Kate Bush, Terence Trent D’Arby and Phil Collins. So we started recording some of the songs I had written in his studio, but around that time we received a very lucrative invitation to become DJs for a new radio station out in Belgrade Yugoslavia.
Having had my quota of running a restaurant, my life was about to radically changed once again. I remember taking the last plane into Belgrade before international sanctions were brought down upon Serbia by the international community, and five-years later I emerged back in the UK from that war torn land with a style of yoga that I called Yogabeats – which was formed naturally in response to surviving the environments of a war, where I used loud music to drown out the sounds of overt conflict, and used continuous movements which I called ‘micro moves’ which allowed the practitioner to feel comfortable within their own physicality, regardless of their personal levels of fitness.
To begin with no one in the yoga community back in England took me seriously.
In fact I was totally avoided, but my infamous Yogabeats classes in London’s Finsbury Park were overrun by dancers and clubbers, and physiotherapists and body-workers all supported my work. Yogabeats went on and spread its influence of irreverence and joy to Israel and Palestine – where I brought the first premier class of Israelis and Palestinians together in one class back in 2006 and I’ve continued this work each successive year since then. Yogabeats techniques are highly effective in high security prisons and amongst street gangs to alter social infrastructures notably in Brixton, South End, Glasgow and the ‘Easter House’ projects in Colorado.
It took the yoga community a few years and a mountain of testimonials until the BWY asked me to open up their conference at Warwick University and the IYN elected me as a Yoga Elder!
Preston and I always stayed in touch – then just over three-years ago, he approached me to see if I would like to write the English lyrics to the songs of a band named ‘Urker’ from Kazakstan who he had met playing at The Ministry Of Sound in London. Aidos, their founder and composer (and also a Kundalini practitioner) wanted to break an album worldwide using ancient traditional Kazakh instruments melded with cutting edge western sounds. Three-years later the task was complete –and the band Urker re-emerged as
‘NO MAD KARMA’, and I found myself as lyricist and lead vocalist, and our premier single release “27” which was written on the tragic day that I learned that my cousin Amy Winehouse had died, is now receiving serious attention and power plays from ‘A’ list DJs across the globe! It really seems there is no escape from the early Karma in my life. A karma that was always nomadic. NO MAD KARMA!
Aidos Sagat, is Sye’s fellow band member in NO MAD KARMA, he is the son of Kazakh symphonic composer Mansur Sagatov. Aidos lives in the beautiful city of Almaty, Kazakhstan, where since 1994 he has been the singer and keyboard player for the number 1 Kazakh Band Urker. He also wrote all of their Hits!
“I obviously have less experience in yoga then Sye and Preston. About 18-months ago, my friend brought me to my first Kundalini yoga lesson. Since then I didn’t miss a day without doing my exercises, usually at 6 am every morning.
As a result, I gave up drinking after two-months of training and eating meat after four-months. Kundalini yoga works very fast and changes you totally.
It clears your mind and gets rid of any unnecessary, depressing or bad thoughts. I also stopped worrying about everything and I’m enjoying life itself, just breathing! I’ve learned that we don’t need much to be happy. Just feeling alive and thanking God for every new day. There is no fear, anger and irritation in me anymore. And I’ve got crystal clear and balanced consciousness. I never thought that such a miraculous transformation could happen to me. Maybe it’s the most amazing thing that happened in my entire life after my kids were born? Of course meeting with Sye and Preston also inspired me to start practicing yoga. And who knows – perhaps by starting to practice yoga and meditation I’ve changed my karma a bit? No Mad Karma?
For more information on David and Yogabeats, visit www.yogabeats.com
To see NO MAD KARMA visit them on Youtube.