International exposure shaped his outlook
On singer/songwriter Dirk Lind’s Facebook page, he has two small sentences under the “about” heading that read “I eat life and poop music. True story.”
That is Lind in a nutshell – what comes out of him are songs that urge listeners to leave their worries at the door, close their eyes and sway or get up and dance like no one is watching.
“We are all connected to each other and to everything else in the universe,” he said. “We are happiest when we are kind to one another.”
His beats and lyrics encompass the notions “enjoy the ride” and “it’s more about the journey than the destination,” advising others to “take a seat and find the tune, try and laugh it will all be over soon” and to not “fall down and lose your heart.” Lind explained, “I think the closest I’ve come to effectively expressing some of those ideas in a song was with ‘All of Us Are Strangers.’ The title is a bit ironic, because the theme of the song is really how we are all connected, and how we are so much alike.”
In other songs, he suggests that if you look closely at another, you might see yourself and that sometimes we trade our childhood for loneliness and pain; while he does touch upon life’s woes, he does it in a way that makes you think that it’s not so bad.
“There are enough people out there writing great songs about heartache and sadness,” Lind said. “I’m a happy, optimistic guy, and I want my music to reflect that feeling.”
Lind’s musical journey began in Mussoorie, India, where his parents taught music at an international boarding school. For 11 years, Lind “scampered around the mountainside” and had friends from all over the world. Before moving to the United States when his father was offered a conducting job in Virginia in 1980, Lind knew how to play the violin and the cello. He explained the transition on his website as culture shock: “I was completely unprepared for the world of racial divides.”
Lind’s move to America opened him up to a whole new world of popular music. “I had totally missed out on 1970s pop culture,” he said. He saw the Ramones in concert and began playing in punk rock bands. Later, reggae introduced Lind to Jamaican sounds while Paul Simon’s “Graceland” album opened his ears to the music of Africa.
Lind has played in many bands and plays an array of instruments – percussion, guitar, keyboard, bouzouki, mbira and didgeridoo. He has made three albums with bands and two solo albums. In his South Hill home, he has a basement studio where he records his music. In the near future, a detached garage will be made into a music studio.
You can catch Lind performing Thursday evenings at Luxe Coffee House, 1017 W. First Ave.
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