By Anahit Tokatlyan
Special to the Mirror-Spectator
LOS ANGELES — When you ask Armenians about their music what usually comes to mind are artists like Tata or Armenchik. The sounds are usually created by traditional instruments such as the dumbeg and duduk, and when listening to the music, it is for the sole reason to have some kef or fun. Rarely do Armenians, especially Armenian youth today, talk about or even listen to the great composers and musicians in the past such as Komitas or Aram Khachaturian.
Artist Bei’Ru, from Los Angeles, has dared to be different from the rest with his album, “Little Armenia,” a tribute to those who shaped and created Armenian musical history.
Bei’Ru (Baruir Panossian) was born and raised in California — specifically in Hollywood and in the area known as “Little Armenia.” He and his parents had immigrated to California from Lebanon, for this reason and the fact that not too many of his peers could pronounce his name, he was given the nickname, and used today as his artist name, of Bei’Ru. From a very young age, Bei’Ru had been exposed to music. He started playing the piano at the age of 6, and like many children, he recalled not particularly enjoying this experience. However it was in his teens when he started to appreciate music and in particular the art of making it.
Bei’Ru’s interest in creating music pushed him to teach himself how to really create music. He started this particular adventure in music with his job as a DJ. He became popular and was able to work in various clubs throughout Los Angeles. His musical preferences, he said, are “all over the place,” and that he “had been through many phases.”
Even though he had experimented with genres such as hip-hop, avant-garde and jazz, his real passion and interest was always close to home.