Monday, March 20, 2006

TIPP interview

Full page interview with "the enigmatic Hungarian female voice", in the weekly entertainment magazine TIPP with 250000 readers in Northern-East Hungary


- As I am a girl from Borsod - born in Ozd, grew up in Kazincbarcika and was dancing in Miskolc for several years -, I would like you to be amongst the first ones to know in Hungary: Dialogos 3, the Spanish blog known for the latest news of new age/world music, mentions Andrea Gerak as the artist who could follow the World Star of World Music - wrote to our paper Andrea Gerak recently. We contacted her via internet mail.

Outstanding voice, in several styles

The article has appeared in many music magazines, let's quote a few lines: "At the beginning, this woman from Budapest was a soloist, a dancer and singer in various folk groups of her country, and now she tries to guide her career as a solo vocalist, therefore she makes herself known on these web sites that are promoting artists who are just beginning and who have not even sent an album to the market yet. She performs primarily Hungarian folk songs, either a capella or as world fusion, or with electronic instruments in a marriage with a fusion of textures. Other styles can also be found in her repertoire: pop, rock or jazz tunes."

Singing and dancing became her life

Andrea told us about herself: - A couple of moments that determined my life: I was very small when my grandmother that I probably loved the most, was singing lullabies for me and my cousins and I thought to myself: "I wish I could also sing so nicely!" With my other grandma, I liked to go to the church, because I was fascinated by how she and all those women and men were singing. In the kindergarten, I got the main singing role in the Mothers Day performance. Later on, as a school kid, for three years I was going to the "village" two times a week: the music school used to be there that time. I loved solfege, found it extremely interesting. Mrs. Hamori was our teacher, I thank her a lot, for giving me such a good foundation. However, after 3 years I quit the music school but I discovered folk dance.

The dance stayed with her

- From that on, that was my life for the next 15 years. While going to high school, I was a member not only of the Borsod Folk Dance Ensemble in Barcika, but of the Avas in Miskolc as well, and a bit later, of two dancing groups in Budapest: Csepel and the famous Bartok. It would be hard to compare the joy of singing and dancing and the unforgettable memories of my dancer years, to anything. I was dreaming of becoming a professional dancer, one day. Oh yes, I was also going to the school choir. Ever since, how many times did I hear it in my ears when Mrs. Selenyi commented on me at a rehearsal: "This little girl sings very nice!" Despite all this, when it came to having to choose a profession, I didn't dare to stand for my aims, and as I was a brilliant student, I applied for university. But that wasn't a purpose of mine - so they didn't take me on.

Years of finding the way

After graduation, exactly 20 years ago at Sagvari, I was searching for my way, for quite a while. I moved to Budapest, and I was always doing something to earn a little money with, which was considered as "decent job" and not "useless art". If I needed to, I was hitch hiking even to 100 kilometers, to get to a folk dance festival or camp. But I didn't have enough guts to do everything necessary for making my dreams come true: actually, I was just adrift, for years. Having my baby son and raising him made me busy for some time. I can be really glad about this extremely bright little being. My marriage with his father, however, blew up, and we divorced. I had some hard times in my life: 11 years ao, I was struggling to be able to buy a yoghurt to the bread roll for my little child for dinner. Later on, when I was nearly 30, it was almost an astonishing cognition for me: I have made the greatest effects on people with my voice, so it follows that I have to sing!

Giving hope with her singing

- From that on, it became easier, the road smoother. I' performed exhibition openings, jazz clubs, private and corporate events, festival. I was busking as well, which was not only good for travelling and making some cash, but I probably also did something for that beautiful young girl on drugs who wrote in my guest book: "There is still hope...Thank you!"
A short time ago, I got married again to a Swedish man who is my perfect mate. I can also call him my career consultant. We are establishing our common lives in Stockholm, but I am planning to spend as much time in Hungary as possible, as well. There is no management machinery or agency behind me; everything I reached so far, I did it on my own, with the support of my family and friends to whom I am very grateful.
- Interview by Klementne Biro Aniko

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