Every so often, you strike gold on YouTube. This is one of those times. Several weeks back I stumbled on a musical duo (husband and wife) from the Czech Republic, who call themselves Audioproject2. Their names are Adriana and Pavel. I love their combination of blues and gospel standards. They graciously agreed to be interviewed for my blog.
HRA: It is somewhat unusual to hear the same artists singing blues and gospel. I really like that. You seem to express both kinds of music equally well. Is that a difficult balance to make?
Pavel: Actually,I don't find it difficult. At least not as I personally feel it. Blues is about everyday life. It reflects ordinary week-days. Good times-bad times, troubles, love and hate... Gospel - it is Sunday... It's a message. It's a message that you have found something bigger in this world below and it describes the way that led to this finding. But there are still days of the week. These genres are as close as possible for me. Both of them have the same roots - the heart.
(Every good piece in so-called modern music is influenced by blues or gospel ..)
Adriana: Yes, I agree. I never devided music which I like to sing into categories. For me the most important thing is the feeling.I believe there's not a bad music style, but just poor songs. But if I should classify it - blues and gospel are my favourites.
HRA: Can you name some of your musical influences (both vocal and guitar)?
Adriana: My musical influences, they were quite a few. For me definately early music of Ike & Tina, she was my idol and I learned almost all her R'n'B songs. Then Aretha Franklin, Mahalia Jackson and Elvis Presley. I love strong and impressive voices. And I must not forget about Johny Cash.
Pavel: There are many... Paul Anka's Diana was my very first song. I played my guitar and sang it with Czech lyrics. And then, there was a very special genre, we call it "folk" in the Czech Republic. It's a mixture of acoustic music across old time songs, country, bluegrass and Dylan-like singer-songwriters. "Spiritual Kvintet (Quintet)" band, offered a bit more than this. They started to play in the 60ies, i.e. golden age of gospel. Their music was for us at that time a window out of this part of the world, behind the cold war's wall :-). They played and sing about freedom and faith (We shall overcome).
Then SIMON & GARFUNKEL!
And sure, I must mention big rock guitar legends as Hendrix, Clapton, Page and many others during my "Hard and Heavy" :-) years. But most of all DAVID GILMOUR from Pink Floyd was my hero. Also I admire Mr. Guitar - Chet Atkins, Django Rheinhardt and many others.
I have to say I've found a lot of fantastic unknown and very talented artists on YouTube recently..
HRA: How long has each of you been doing music? How long together?
Adriana: My mom says I began to sing long before I could talk fluently :-). Music was the main reason why I began to learn English....Singing has always been my passion!
But till now – just a hobby, because at first I studied law at The Charles' University and then worked here in Prague. As a child I was singing in a choir, then in several bands, but we performed not so often.
Now we'd like to form a band and play live much more often!
Pavel: I got my first guitar when I was 10. On Christmas day. I played Diana till the New Year's Eve... :-) Later I played with a rock band, before I met Adriana. We did a lot of gigs in music clubs all around the country. We played a mixture of reggae, hard rock and rap (old school). The band broke up and I was looking for a singer. And I've found her!
But... we founded another sort of a band – marriage :-)) .
HRA: Do you play live for people at coffeehouses or other music venues? If so, how do you like live performance?
Pavel: Last spring we decided to start with music again. We are practising and preparing our own songs. In the meantime, we play some jazz, gospel, and blues standards we both like. We are glad to share them on YouTube with the others. Hopefully we'll be performing live soon...
Adriana: Not much experience so far, but I'm looking forward to it!
HRA: Do you have any idea of putting a larger band together, perhaps with electric guitar and drums?
Adriana / Pavel: Yes, we are in touch with other musicians and working on it. But also we like acoustic playing especially for minor genres of music. It's something like a test, if you are good enough to play and sing live, because every little mistake is heard pretty loud!
But of course the more instruments the richer sound, so we are putting a couple of good musicians with the same musical taste together (which is not so easy,for the majority of people here prefer playing rock and folk).
HRA: Anything else you would like to tell the readers about you or your music?
Pavel: We really much appreciate your interest in our music!
Adriana: I would like to thank the readers and listeners for their time, and wish them all the best! If you find among our songs some that you like we'll be very pleased. And the biggest THANK belongs especially TO YOU PAUL for this great offer!
Thank you so much. Adriana Pavel AudioProject2