with Kamal Sabran of Space Gambus Experiment
Name: Kamal Sabran
Bands: Space Gambus Experiment
Websites: https://spacegambusexperiment.bandcamp.com, https://instagram.com/kamalsabran, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOfDSGkUGAKZNiMSR3PftzQ
QRD – How old were you when you first realized you wanted to be a professional musician?
Kamal – From when I was small I knew I liked art very much. I started drawing intensely when I was 6years old. My father gave me a guitar as a birthday present when I was 8 years old. My first music composition was at 9 years old. My first punk rock band started when I was 10 years old. & now other than being a musician I’m also working on my PhD with a research project entitled “Sound Art & Alzheimer’s Patients’ Memory”.
QRD – What are a few highlights of your musical career?
Kamal – Invited as artist-in-residence for National Space Agency Malaysia. 2005. Creating music that incorporated outer space radiation into a musical composition for a planetarium.
QRD – At what age did you decide you wanted to become a father?
Kamal – My first plan was to get married at 30 year old. I needed to travel the world & do art. But I finally got married at the age of 24 with my beloved wife Dalina. We had a son after a year. Now I have four handsome sons & 1 beautiful daughter.
QRD – What are some positive & negative impacts your family has had on your career?
Kamal – It’s not easy to raise a family, time consuming & all the other typical problems other families have. But with family & those responsibilities, it’s not a burden for me but actually a power & driving force that develops a lot of my personal ideas, thinking, decision making, logic, emotional balance as a father & also as an artist. That really effects my art & music perspective & direction.
QRD – What are some positive & negative impacts your career has had on your family?
Kamal – Same question I guess.
QRD – Have your children effected the music you make &/or listen to?
Kamal – I think so, because I am so close to my kids. They have lots of time with me at home. My studio is at home too, so they have lot of time looking, wondering, playing, & trying my musical instruments. I do believe my music has effected them in certain way. A wide musical selection so they can discover new things, listen to more genres. I do have a feeling that music contributes to the way they think & look at the world in larger perspective. They develop a well balanced emotionally & spiritually.
QRD – Do you think being involved in music has made your children different than their piers?
Kamal – I think so, yes. Music is a universal language. It’s a freedom. It’s a path to the key of understanding everything. A journey. I think they are different then than their piers. Exposing music to children in early ages is important for their minds. Music is knowledge. I can see my kids have that understanding.
QRD – Have you had problems with the lack of steady money from a musical career providing the security you feel necessary in your household?
Kamal – Yes, it’s not easy to be an artist or musician. Lots of hard work. But I have plans & methods that help me a lot when dealing with creativity & bills. But that needs real life experience. Everybody has their problems in their profession. So it’s normal to me. It’s just different solving problems to each one. You just need to relax & find the solution rather than focusing too much on the problems.
QRD – Given the limitations having a family has on being a touring musician, would you have toured more earlier in life if you’d known?
Kamal – I don’t think so, I think when I was a young musician, I didn’t get all of the opportunities to be on tour & be so productive. I feel I am happier & more productive creating music & art with a family.
QRD – Do you think being a father or a musician has a greater impact on your community?
Kamal – I think my creative works. Music does have some impact on the community. But the most important thing is that community is the greatest influences on me. I learn & absorb a lot from the people surrounding me, they are my fuel. They are my creative source.
QRD – Would you rather see your children eventually become musicians or parents?
Kamal – I don’t expect them to be musicians. They can be who or what they want to be. As long as they love it. As a father I will gave them all full support.
QRD – Both family & music seem like things that will take up as much of your time as you’re willing to put in. How do you end up dividing your time?
Kamal – It’s always family first.
QRD – What do your kids think of your music?
Kamal – I am surprised they love it. They are so young to understand experimental & avant garde music. But they just love it. I know when they describe it in words & put in the perspective of a higher level of appreciation.
QRD – Do you think you could ever do a musical project with your child?
Kamal – Of course. I’m working with my son & daughter on some projects now. My son Imran Iman, eleven years old now, works with visuals projection while I do live music. He is very talented young man.
QRD – Any words of advice to young people?
Kamal – Always say YES to NO.