The Polish Ambassador (“TPA”, real name David Sugalski) is raising the bar for what it means to be a professionally touring musician. The world’s funkiest diplomat is also using his popularity to steer the millennial generation toward a nourishing and sustainable way of relating with art, community and the planet. From birthing the Permaculture Action Movement (a movement where the energy of show/festival goers is catalyzed into community action), to creating a program where nutritious beverage options are available at music venues on a routed TPA tour, the Ambassador is using his clout to make real, tangible change, and along the way inspiring hundreds of thousands.
With a stack of 17 albums and countless remixes, over the last decade his sound has dipped and swirled through a staggering range of styles, each album exploring uncharted sonic territory. Warm, analogue dreamwave; mind-altering glitch; world-infused groove; bass-fueled breaks; sexified down-tempo; electric lullabies; and psy-fi funk are just a few of the genres that have poured from the Ambassador’s soul into earbuds and ghetto-blasters across the galaxy.
What environmental issue(s) do you consider to be the most critical at this time?
The issue that strikes me is the one that is closest to home right now. Some call it global warming, some call it global weirding, but the fact is that we’re burning up so many fossil fuels and are, in some sense, slowly setting our planet on fire. We’re slowly warming it up. That feels to me like the #1 concern. The overconsumption and heating up of this planet. This planet is a place of balance, and eventually if it heats up to a certain degree, the planet is going to balance itself. The result will be the earth itself coming back into balance by whatever means necessary, which I imagine will cause even more difficulties for all living things, animals (including humans) and plants alike.
What has inspired you to combine environmental activism with music?
The inspiration started as a question. Can we use celebration as a means of creation? This question has now turned into an experimentation, and investigation. We’ve asked and enough people have said yes, so we’ve decided to see what’s possible. That is why the TPA music project is running in parallel with permaculture and the idea that we can capture this energy of thousands upon thousands of people descending on one location at a festival. We can harness that energy and transform it into something of beauty for the environments, the communities that we’re celebrating in. A giant thank you to the earth and to the communities we choose to call home for an extended weekend.
Where is your favorite place in nature to go to find solace or inspiration?
I love going out to all sorts of places. Different mountain ranges, different rivers, different lakes – I do a lot of that. I think about trips like that as quick doses of medicine, each one can help me in it’s own way. But when I think about depth, and being in nature in a deeper way, my answer to the question would be our own garden on our land. I say that because the depth that comes from pulling a seed from a sunflower and putting it in your mouth or starting it in your own soil, on your own land for next season, and continually doing that year after year, watching things grow from seed to flower to seed again, reignites a feeling of magic in me. That magic helps fuel the creative inner muse when it comes to making art.