Smooth Artist Interviews

Threestyle - Magdalena Chovancova
Threestyle - Robert Fertl
Threestyle - Gabriella Chovancova
ThreeStyle feat Magdalena Chovancova, Robert Fertl & Damon Dae

How did this new album and overall concept for it come about, and what are your ultimate goals with it?

We wanted to create a unique sound, an original blend of styles and grooves. To bring together the musical ideas and feelings that mean most to us, and to convey this excitement and enthusiasm to our audience. Since we compose, produce, arrange, play, record and mix without outside help, we have the freedom to create and craft the sound product we really want.

What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of recording a new album?

MAGDALENA : To really explore the music, its feeling and moods; to make it sound good musically and aesthetically, and above all to produce something that will make the audience feel good - in a phrase, to create a good vibe.

Music is a bit like cooking. You have to combine your technical skill and your intuition to create something your guests, your audience, will love.

ROBERT : For me personally the most challenging part is also the performance and musical exploring, but at the same time getting the technical aspects right - getting the mix right, sculpting an acoustic landscape that will enchant the audience.

How would you describe what inspires you to do what you do?

MAGDALENA : I get my inspiration from listening to lots of music, all kinds of music. I love traveling, and we've been very lucky in that our work as musicians has taken us around the world, so we have been able to learn a lot from listening to genuine local music played on authentic instruments. These new impressions stay with you and provide you with new ideas for your own work. But I also get my inspiration from emotions, feelings, love, moods, experience, exploring nature... And my intuition helps me blend all these together. There is no fixed formula - sometimes inspiration comes suddenly out of nowhere with a ready-to-go idea, and sometimes it grows slowly while I'm playing and trying out new things.

ROBERT : Yes I agree you can learn a lot from other musical cultures but, for me, inspiration is a mystery; it comes from inside, new ideas are just suddenly there.

What elements do you look for in a song that makes it especially satisfying for you to perform?

We love performing music that gives us space for improvisation and for communicating musically with one another, and also with the audience. For this a good rhythm section is very important. The audience must be involved so they feel the vibe, and the performers must get a good vibe from their audience!

What are some of the most important goals you have for yourself in the next five to ten years?

Without giving too much away, I can tell you we plan to do a lot of recording. I hope to record together with some of my very favorite artists, but it's too early to name names.

What in your life outside of your music drives you in a creative sense?

Perhaps you've already guessed it - cooking! There's a great affinity between a lovely meal and a beautifully performed piece of music. For both, you have to select your ingredients very carefully and blend them in just the right way to give the best result. And you have to use your intuition and feel happy improvising! And always remember who you're doing it for! And of course, it's not just cooking; there are other things too, like traveling, swimming, diving, skiing, fashion, hiking with my dog, exploring nature, architecture and culture, and most of all friendship and love...

Is being one of the few prominent women performers mostly fulfilling, or do you find it to be a challenge?

I am a female saxophonist and my twin sister Gabriela is a female drummer too..There are pluses and minuses - it comes out about even. Whoever you are, you have to be dedicated to your art. You have to make a big personal investment in becoming proficient on your instrument, and you also have to invest in tons of professional equipment before you can start playing gigs. And then there's no guarantee of a job! When you first start out as a musician you might sometimes have to choose between your lunch and new strings for your guitar or saxophone reeds, unless of course you're lucky and your parents feed you anyway!

What question do you wish someone would ask you that has never been asked of you in an interview? And your answer?

There is a question people ask :

What about "Who shall I make the check out to?"

But seriously, there is the question people ask:

"Why SJ?"

And the answer is that for me, as a musician, communication is just as important as expression. I'm not an artist for art's sake, I crave an audience. But my style of communication isn't "in your face". That's why the smooth jazz genre suits me so well. My message is one that seeps gently into your consciousness, and is there for you when you turn your thoughts to it. It's there to add value to your living, not to take over your life!

Thanks to all smooth jazz fans, musicians, enthusiasts, radios and promoters for keeping this genre alive! Magdalena and Robert from band Threestyle

Album 'Feel the Vibe" by Threestyle : written by : Robert Fertl guitar, bass, trumpet, programming and Magdalena Chovancova : saxophones, flute, piano, keyboards, programming, Gabriela Chovancova- drums, percussion, vibraphone).