TF Archives

Barefoot Doctor- I am a Hippy Why Should It Bother Me-

Author: Benedetta Skrufff
Sunday, November 16, 2003
"I don't want fame as such. To be honest, I've always wanted to be able to carry out my artistic projects. What I've learned from an early age was that unless you have a story, nobody in any industry is willing to help you because they can't get anything out of it, and nobody would be willing to buy your product unless you make some kind of noise. In making that noise, one of the after effects is the so called 'fame', but it's such an illusive, ephemeral concept because fame is other people's perception of it."

With his perfume range, books, website and now artist album, Taoist spiritual healer The Barefoot Doctor (know to his family as Stephen) is both fulfilling his artistic desires while increasingly gaining recognition, though his own perception of what he's about remains frank.

"You don't control your life, your life it's controlled by forces of cause and effect, environment, political/economic conditions around you etc," he says.

"But you can take command of how to experience your life by creating an ambience that reflects that. For example, by having a positive vibe, you can attract people who also vibrate positively, increasing your opportunities in experiencing fun and a positive outlook on life."

And bringing him the most fun right now is undoubtedly the creative project that's closest to his heart, music, specifically his new artist album Om, Baby, a spiritually inspired record of ambience, bliss and typically wise words. Chatting to Skrufff's Benedetta this week, the Doc stressed his message remains joy.

"I hope though that by listening to Om Baby people will understand the irony, that there's a self-deprecating humour in a title like that," he said.

"To be honest, it's not so much a hippy thing either, it's a spiritual title. It's honouring ancient eastern teachings, but it's placed in a post-modern frame like 'baby' ".

Skrufff (Benedetta Skrufff): Did you write the lyrics with a stream of consciousness approach or with loads of re-editing-

Barefoot Doctor: "I wrote them with a stream of consciousness. Then again, I always write like that, everything. I just let ideas come through, I don't compose it, the words kind of presents themselves like a letter in the post or an email in my brain. I let it all come through, write it all down, which takes something like a minute, then round it all up, I edit it not to take bits out, rather to make everything flow smoothly."

Skrufff: How much is the lyric process different from when you're writing your self-help books-

Barefoot Doctor: "My book writing actually developed from lyric writing. People have noticed there's a meter to the prose and quite a lot of rhyming in there, which comes from writing lyrics, which in turn, is generated from an internal or external dialogue going on inside me. For example, I may be having a conversation with you, and if you say something nice, I'll write it down and that might trigger off something else and I'll go on from there."

Skrufff: What input did you have in the music-

Barefoot Doctor: "I had total input, because I wrote all the tracks. As you can hear they're all guitar based songs, since I write music on the guitar. I play the song on the guitar and then all the other musicians add on their bits, but I've had total control on what should be in or be dropped out. I also co-edited it with a sound engineer. The only thing I didn't do all by myself was the mixing. I co-mixed three tunes and I left the rest to them, because I wanted to have somebody else's touch and keep the fun."

Skrufff: Does saying 'Om' really work- Why Om particularly, not Um or Ah-

Barefoot Doctor: "Om is the sacred sound syllables from Sanskrit, which is where the Tibetan and Indian spiritual paths derived. It's something to do with the construction of 'a', 'u' and 'm', the correct spelling is in fact 'Aum', and it's a sound, which also incorporates all the other vowels. That is the so