Swati Sharma is a media professional and podcast host based in Mexico City. Originally from Toronto, Sharma has spent the last few years working in the psychedelics industry. Her media and marketing agency Swati Sharma Co. helps thought leaders and creatives in psychedelics and wellness build their brands and increase their visibility online.
Swati Sharma: Psychedelics, Media, Music and More
With over 6 years of experience in digital media, marketing, education, and broadcast radio, Sharma brings a diverse repertoire of skills to the psychedelic space. As the former Executive Director of Psychedelic Spotlight, she has spent much of her time chatting with psychedelic thought leaders. She helped grow the publication to become one of the most well-respected voices in psychedelics. Her passion lies in creating greater awareness around social justice-oriented issues such as indigenous reciprocity and making psychedelic therapy more accessible for people of color. She has been featured by Psychedelics Today, Third Wave, Microdose Insights, and more.
When she’s not busy with her media work, Sharma is an international DJ and active member in the electronic music circuit, having performed in North America, Central America, and Asia. Her work is focused around ambient and experimental immersive experiences. She has played alongside the likes of East Forest, Ariel Kalma, Christina Chatfield, and has been featured by Resident Advisor, The Lot Radio, and many more. Additionally, Sharma is the "rave mum" hostess of the radio mix and podcast series @vitamin.r_, which amplifies diverse artists and explores music's effects on the body.
Swati Sharma's Psychedelic-Inspired, Ambient Weedsday Playlist
“This ethereal and eccentric playlist was inspired by my psychedelic-lived experience,” Sharma says. “Music has a tremendous influence on dictating the movement of the psychedelic journey, and as an avid dance music lover and DJ, I listen to a variety of music for all moods. Each track caters to a unique phase during the trip and contains a mix of electronic sounds that spans genres. I usually like to get lost in the atmosphere of lighter, dreamy ambient and downtempo melodies during the come-up, getting comfortable in the psychedelic state. During the plateau phase, I generally like to get a little funky, depending on how my mood ebbs and flows. Sometimes I'm feeling something highly textured, trippy, and spacious, and other times I'm craving more rhythmic, tribal, or dubby sounds. I ended this playlist with a rolling trance track that perfectly translates the transcendental and euphoric nature of the peak psychedelic experience. It's here where I feel most connected to myself, nature, the earth, and those dear to me.
There's a sense of creative inspiration that the psychedelic state can bring on, profoundly influencing the physical, spiritual, and emotional. This list encompasses an eclectic look into how electronic instruments can complement these transformations. I hope it brings you what you need during your next journey inward.”
Laraaji - "Being Here"
I had to start this list off with Laraaji’s "Being Here" from his timeless album Flow Goes the Universe. There's something so magical about how Laraaji uses his musical instrumentation - he integrates a unique combination of piano, the zither, and the light touch of the less often used Mbria in his pieces. Each song off of this album is dreamy in every sense of the word, making its listeners feel incredibly held, safe, and comforted in its shimmering melodies. The more extended structure of the piece creates an unending, lasting impression with no abrupt endings or sharp transitions. Everything is floating within the confines of the universe that Laraaji crafted so intentionally.
I've listened to this song while beginning my journey, laying in the grass, or staying at home in my living room wrapped in a blanket. It will instantly transform any setting you're in with its gentle caress and sparkly tones. Laraaji’s masterpiece allows one to "be here, now", in the words of Ram Dass. Truly, I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.
Salamanda - "Overdose"
I'm so happy to include Salamanda (Uman Therma and Yetsuby) on this list, one of my favorite newly discovered acts. This talented duo from Korea has recently signed onto the Human Pitch label, created by Mexico City-based Tristan Arp. This is one of those songs you can just put on, relax, and listen to on repeat forever. The whimsical lead created by the duo's synthesizers in tandem with their creamy vocals on top creates a beautiful combo. The video is simple, featuring the two hanging, making music, and doing what they do best. While journeying, I picture myself underwater, swimming with glistening schools of fish and delicate jellies with this playing in the background.
More than anything, this song inspires me to simply create — because in the process of delving into what we love, we can find comfort in our flow. Salamanda proves that the right minds uniting together in perfect harmony can create magical, beautiful things.
Armagideon - "Step Inside Dub (UK, 1995)"
There's truly nothing more psychedelic and groovy than a percussive dub track with a fat kick. This song by Armagideon is the perfect example of what I want to listen to when I'm vibing on a small dose of mushies, ideally somewhere on a beach in a sweltering hot tropical country far, far away. This track specifically is really fun when journeying because of its trippy synth arpeggios, which I always find alluring in the midst of psychedelic union.
Even though it’s one of the shorter tracks on the list, this one keeps chugging forward, feeling like the perfect vibe on a summer's day in the sun. There are few genres of electronic music that are so impeccably high caliber, that almost no selections can go wrong. Dub is definitely one of them, and if you aren't on the dub train yet, what’s holding you back?
The Future Sound of London - "Papua New Guinea"
If you're feeling like a freaky weirdo and crave something trippy during your journey, you might want to turn on “Papua New Guinea” by The Future Sound of London, produced by the late great Andrew Weatherall. You can guarantee that pretty much any track and video by these guys will do it for you mid-peak, but this video especially is so fun and euphoric. Bringing that unique ‘90s essence to the table, this song is especially good at being able to transport you to the Microsoft Windows 95 screensaver universe.
Not only are the premature CGI graphics such a treat, but the track itself brings a fun flavor to the table which includes intergalactic synth stabs, euphoric trance vocal overtones, and of course, a hopeful chugging breakbeat that takes you away. It truly is the perfect combination of elements that encapsulates you in the nostalgia you crave, and this can be especially enjoyable under the influence of psychedelics.
Sunju Hargun - "ٹرانس (Eternal Injection Mix)"
This slow-roller is probably one of my favorite dance music tracks in recent memory. Sunju Harugun presents 15 minutes of pure bliss here in the form of delectable, ethereal, trancy rolling goodness. The build up lasts almost half of the track - slowly layering delicate drums on top of washed out synths and electric, sacred sounding trance. The track builds to the point where all the elements fade out, and the incremental vibration takes over, creating the most euphoric release when the kick comes in.
It's a unique piece of work, narrating a story of anticipation leading to triumph, but requiring the listener to just be with the experience throughout. The inherent driving quality of the track while still remaining meditative is unique, but this is the type of track you can fully let live on the dance floor and allow the sounds to wash over the crowd, letting them become fully transported.
What are your favorite Weedsday tracks? Tell us about them - reach out at @honeysucklemagazine on Instagram and @HoneysuckleMag on Twitter!
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Featured image: Swati Sharma (C) Jannyl V. Molina