Where are you from and where do you live?
I was born in Bojnice, in Slovakia, a little country in the heart of Europe. I moved quite a lot but finally settled near the city Banská Štiavnica.
How long have you been playing the piano?
I first started taking piano lessons at the age of 10 but after 3 years I gave it up, mostly due to the lack of interest caused by the uninspiring educational system and I switched to guitar. Later, at 19, I started playing piano again and this time I took it seriously. Now I’m 26 so I’m actively playing piano for 10 years, more or less…
Do you play other instruments as well?
Yes I also play the guitar- acoustic, classical and electric too, Ukulele, I learned something on Mandolin but can’t say I can play it well, I would have to spend more time with it. I also play traditional Slovak instruments such as ‘‘Fujara‘‘, ‘‘Koncovka‘‘ or ‘‘Dvojačka“ which are sheperd flutes and so I can also play the flute, and I play Kalimba too. I love learning to play different instruments. Besides, I also sing, if that counts as an instrument.
Tell us about how you started playing music
I always loved to sing since my early childhood and had an ear for music. My father reckognized this interest in music and my parents signed me up for singing and piano lessons at the age of 10, that’s how it started for me.
How long have you been making piano music?
I composed my first piano piece at 19 and I have been composing piano pieces since then so it’s been 7 years now.
Tell us something about that moment you realized you could make songs yourself!
It was shortly after I started taking my first piano lessons, I just sat at the piano, played something out of my head and at one moment I realized that the melody I just played is my own and that I actually like it. I was also writing songs in my head around that time, it felt so natural. None of the musical ideas from my early era were finished though, I wrote my first completed piece at 18 and it was a guitar instrumental piece.
Have you made music in other genres before?
I have written a few pieces for the guitar, composed computer games music, I was writing songs too…whatever came to my mind, I am very open when it comes to the music I make.
What are your favorite artists in this “piano genre”?
I love piano music in general whether it’s the great composers of the past or the contemporary ones. If composers who compose piano music but it’s recorded by someone else count too, then I was always very much into the classics such as Claude Debussy, Frederic Chopin, Erik Satie…and from the contemporary ones I recently discovered a Japanese composer Mayumi Kato and I totally fell in love with her music, I had to buy all her discography. And from the composers who also play their music it’s Ludovico Einaudi, Yann Tiersen, Yiruma and the list goes on.
Is there a song you could play over and over again as soon as you sit down by a piano? Your own, or someone else’s?
I have to admit that I very rarely play something I didn’t compose myself, I wish I would play other pieces more but the time I invest into music, I spend composing or practicing my pieces for the live concerts and recording, but amongst the pieces of other composers I always love to play is Gymnopédie no.1 by Erik Satie and I started learning ‘’Guilty’’ by Mayumi Kato some time ago but haven’t yet finished learning it due to the lack of time, but I can’t wait to get back to it because it’s such a beautiful piece. From my own compositions I always like to play the title piece from my debut album ‘’Ballerina’’. Everytime I sit at the piano or I try a new piano somewhere, I play ‘’Ballerina’’.
What song inspires you the most when you’re making music? Can you name just ONE song/composition?
I think I have at least one for every genre, haha, and it always changes. For example, when it comes to classical music, I had a long period when I could listen to Symphony 3 by Górecki every day and I was always moved to tears the very same way as the first time I heard the piece. Then there was a time when I was obsessed by ‘’Letter from home’’ by Pat Metheny. I could also listen to ‘’River flows in you’’ by Yiruma all the time when I was 18, it was actually one of the reasons why I got back to playing piano. It’s so diverse and it changes all the time for me.
Tell us something about your latest release
If singles count too, I have a new guitar single called „Ráno“, which means „morning“ in Slovak. It’s one of the first pieces I ever composed but I revisited the piece and recorded a new version. And regarding album releases, my latest album release is also my debut album and It’s called ‘‘Ballerina‘‘. I released a promotional CD a year before Ballerina, but that counts more as a special release than a full length album. Ballerina a very special album for me not only thanks to the fact that it’s my first one, but also because it reflects 5 years of my life and the change I made in my solo music direction. You can find my very first piano piece there as well as the latest one, prior to the album release in october 2017. It has received very positive reviews in the media and from the listeners so I’m very happy and thankful for it.
What’s happening next? New releases etc.
I’m currently working on my new album which I’d like to release sometime in 2019. I will most probably release a few singles before the actual album release.
Anything else you want to share?
I would like to thank all my listeners for the support I get. It keeps me going and gives me a great satisfaction that the music I make, makes sense. I can honestly say that I put all of me into my music and that my music will always be honest from the deep of my heart. I treat all of my pieces with the same passion and love.
Thank you very much for this interview and I wish lots of success to Sleepy Songs!
Well, Thank you Oliver!