Your first two albums did not have a rock essence. Is this genre even your thing?
Belongs. He was always with me and never left. While my mom and I listened to female singers from a young age and she made sure I learned the basics of songs from them, my dad was a rocker who loved AC/DC, the Rolling Stones and more. We listened to their albums together, watched recordings of performances, went to concerts and watched rock music documentaries.
I’ve always had a weakness for a good guitar riff, I’ve always loved rock music. But my primary instrument was the piano. I even think it took me a little away from rock in terms of authorship. But not for listeners.
So do you mainly listen to rock?
I listen to a lot of music genres. I don’t care if it’s rock, pop, rap, disco or something else. When I was a teenager, I was most drawn to rock bands Linkin Park, Paramore, Green Day and the like, I had their posters in my room.
When we already did concerts with the group, part of the program was always a cover version of a band’s song. Until recently we played one by Led Zeppelin. The color of my voice, my love for rock and also people’s demand for rock repertoire led us to it.
They often asked me after the performance if I would record some rock music, because they could imagine me in it with my voice. Eventually it got to the stage where I made a rock record. Moreover, at a time when rock gained strength on the world stage.
Have you ever been in a rock or punk band?
Never. To exaggerate a bit, I listened to Linkin Park on headphones at home and then played Celtic ballads with my mother at the piano. I’ve always had a colorful life. To this day, some people are confused by what I listen to. A friend of mine (musician and rapper Marpo, editor’s note) recently asked me why I don’t focus more on a certain genre. I answered him truthfully that I listen to everything I like.
Did you start recording the new album thinking it would be rock?
It started with a desire to record a rock song. I wanted it to be built around guitar playing and have a great riff. Therefore, in January 2020, I went to a studio in Liverpool to film it there. I paid for the whole trip out of my own money, I didn’t want to burden anyone with my current taste in music. In addition, at that time we were finishing up my previous album Weird & Wonderful, which was released in May, at the beginning of the pandemic.
I had no intentions with that song. But when I started talking about it with the people I wanted to work with on the next record, and a few more songs with a guitar riff were created, I realized that I was making a rock record.
There are many people who worked with you on it. It’s a trend in the music scene, after all. Are you comfortable with such a wide team of collaborators?
I recently learned that it is also a trend to write more authors’ names on songs on Spotify, i.e. even those who practically did not participate in it. It is believed that everyone can draw attention to a song. I found it partly understandable and partly strange.
I’m glad to have a credit on stage as a composer. At the same time, I enjoy working with other authors and producers. Sometimes it’s a lot of fun, a big party, other times it’s more like joint therapy.
The second option. That’s why I need people with me who suit me personally and I can spend some time with them. It takes me a while to open up to them. But, for example, the Dutch team with whom I composed in Berlin became very close to my heart. I like to return to it, I found my people in it.
The producer, composer and musician Ondřej Fiedler collaborated with you on the first two albums. Does the shift to group composition with various co-writers mean the end of your collaboration?
Definitely not. The fact that the new record was also created in collaboration with other authors, producers and musicians played a role in the fact that we each wanted to deviate in a slightly different direction. Although Ondra has punk rock roots, he has an excellent understanding of the music that forms the basis of the new album. But he is a sought-after producer, very busy, and I respect that.
After all, his and my collaboration is on the album. In February we got together in Berlin and composed the song Live there. Laugh. Cry. It took two days to create and it was a great experience.
The lyrics of your songs are dominated by relationship themes. Are there any new ones on the Heartbreak Culture record?
Yes, they are there, even if relationships are related. For example, the opening Superpower is about a drug. Animal was originally supposed to be called Dream Within A Dream and is about falling from dream to dream. The theme is from the beginning of the movie Inception with Leonardo DiCaprio. Friendzoning is again about a boy who fell in love, he would do anything for the girl, but she still takes him as a friend.
I also tried out various new phrases. Cooperation with new people has moved me a lot in this regard. For example, I had an idea while writing that I was not able to formulate. But in the end, someone was found who did it for me with a clear head.
In November, you will play a big concert in Prague’s O2 universe. What will it be like?
It was originally conceived for my previous record Weird & Wonderful. However, because we had to translate it due to the pandemic, we were forced to change the plan and redo everything. Practically nothing remained of the original ideas. On the contrary, the positive thing is that we will introduce new songs and we can build the program from a larger amount of material.
We take it as if everything turned out as it should. The scene will be created by Matyáš Vorda and I have a few ideas, tricks and moments of surprise in my head. I can promise that when people come to the concert, they will not be disappointed.