Electronic music duo Vallis Alps could have never anticipated that a small EP for just family and friends would lead to almost half a billion online streams worldwide within just a short few years.
Founders David Ansari and Parissa Tosif first began their musical collaboration while on their youth year of service at the Baha’i World Centre in 2010. Upon returning to their respective homes in Australia and the United States, they continued to stay in touch, building on one another’s musical ideas from afar. In 2013, they completed their first EP under the name Vallis Alps. Eighteen months later, their first self-titled album was released and much to their surprise, it became a huge success!
Within six months of that EP release, David had moved to Sydney and Vallis Alps took their music on the road for the first time, headlining shows and playing some of the biggest music festivals in the country. In January 2016, just 12 months after its release, their first single, Young, was featured in Australia’s top 30 songs released in 2015. This quickly spiralled into international tour dates, playing for audiences all over North America, Europe, Asia and the Pacific.
Today, Vallis Alps continues to grow and draw attention from audiences all over the world, with their uplifting melodies and thought-provoking lyrics. Since David now lives in New York, most of the band’s work is done remotely. In this episode of Cloud9, we chat with Vallis Alps co-founder, Parissa from her home in Sydney, to learn about their long-distance collaboration, and how it has been aided by the Baha’i perspective on consultation:
Let us also remember that at the very root of the Cause lies the principle of the undoubted right of the individual to self-expression, his freedom to declare his conscience and set forth his views. – Shoghi Effendi, Baha’i Administration, p. 63.
The shining spark of truth cometh forth only after the clash of differing opinions. If after discussion, a decision be carried unanimously well and good; but if, the Lord forbid, differences of opinion should arise, a majority of voices must prevail. – Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, p. 87.
In the spirit of consultation and collaboration, Vallis Alps also made their stems (raw instrument files) available for download, free of charge, on their website. They did this as a way to give back to the community that offered them so much, and to allow budding musicians and professional artists the chance to play with and mix their own original tunes using parts of what David and Parissa had built digitally.
In this Cloud9 interview, we’ll explore how Baha’i-inspired themes of beauty, coherence and joy also tie into Vallis Alps’ music, by reflecting on their intentions and purpose as artists, as well as the nobility of their listeners:
When eloquence of expression, beauty of sense and sweetness of composition unite with new melodies the effect is very great, especially if it be the anthem of the verses of oneness and the songs of praise to the Lord of Glory. Endeavor your utmost to compose beautiful poems to be chanted with heavenly music; thus may their beauty affect the minds and impress the hearts of those who listen. – Abdu’l-Baha, Tablets of Abdu’l-Baha, Volume 1, p. 59.
In this interview, we’ll have the opportunity to hear a few of Parissa’s favorite Vallis Alps tunes, and ask her to share more about the origin and inspiration behind their lyrics and melodies. We’ll also learn more about their upcoming debut album and tour dates!
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