Interview With Serbian Artist: Iveza
Musicperk.com was fortunate to stumble upon this incredibly creative, eclectic artist from Serbia. Yes, it’s a long way from all of us, but music truly transcends distance, language and other barriers. Here is an introduction to Iveza :
1. How did you get started in music? Tell us a bit about yourself!
I first got in touch with music at the age of six when I started playing the harmonica. A few years later, I bought the keyboards, and after a period of active practicing, I started a teenage rock-jazz band, which marked my high-school years. This period had a crucial effect on my entire musical career in the sense that from then on I have continually strived to escape the conventional musical frames and being labeled as an artist belonging to one particular genre. After this period I fell in love with the guitar and this is when my real engagement in music began. Another passion of mine is singing, which I first discovered in a church choir. I could add that besides my musical career, I am a professional fireman in Kragujevac, Serbia, which is a profession I chose in order to help people in a way and also to provide the means for my music.
2. What is the music scene like in Serbia?
I see the musical scene in Serbia as something which can be described as an unstable process of creation. After the very productive years back in the ‘70s and the ‘80s, a civil war breaks out in Yugoslavia and from then on there is a disruption and a vacuum in all spheres of existence, consequently in music as well. What has been lost is the sense of identity, I think, and that’s what our music seems to be lacking ever since. Furthermore, since the vast majority of the population here fails to support real values and bands characterized by originality and creative spirit, with the media attacking us with ‘turbo- folk’ music which basically promotes the idea that we should all embrace materialism embodied in the porno-divas who rule the scene, anybody who does not fit in with the given frame is not allowed to make any progress in any way. It is very rare here to hear somebody with an original sound characteristic only for themselves; instead, there is a widespread practice of copying a model set by somebody else, which has already proved itself an easily-sold product.
3. How would you classify your music?
Basically, I refrain from classifying my music according to genres; however, I could characterize my sound as ‘electronic modern rock’ which would be a mixture of drum and bass, electro, pop, house, post-rock, and even a bit of metal.
4. What is your writing process? Music first, then lyrics? Or does it vary?
The very process of my creation is pretty spontaneous, meaning that it doesn’t really follow a previously established pattern. Most often I make the ‘skeleton’ of a song, a rough draft, after which I collaborate with various people I work with on the lyrics, finally putting the final touch to the given song on my own.
5. How often do you perform- is there a good amount of venues to play where you live?
With the Iveza project I have performed only a few times, since this project is in its early stage of development, whereas with Thimble (hardcore-new metal band) and KBO (which is one of the oldest hard punk bands in Europe) I have performed more than 600-700 times in the ex-Yu countries, Austria, Hungary etc. In Serbia, unfortunately, there are less and less venues to play for artists such as myself.
6. Who are some of your musical influences?
Well I must mention Helmet, Mike Pathon, Faith no More, Boy Sets Fire, Elliot, Coalesce, Pendulum, Prodigy, The Quemists, The Infected Mushrooms etc.
7. If you could collaborate with any artist, who would it be?
That would be .
8. What is the name of your new EP? Can you elaborate?
It is called ‘My brother’, named after the song which the EP contains. It is dedicated to my brother who died last year, and through this song I wanted to eternalize this memory. The song is very emotional and has a firm character and I believe that most of my fans could identify with at least some part of it.
9. Is there a theme to the EP or is each song very individual?
Each song has an identity of its own, both thematically and structurally. By crossing the boundaries of specific genres I wanted to show the wide specter of my musical interests and I believe that people of different musical taste can easily find something to identify with.
10. Do you write and perform alone or with a band?
As I have already mentioned, I usually create my works on my own, but I always welcome the help of my friends when they offer their creative suggestions. As far as live performance is concerned, the Iveza project demands three people max, including myself. I have been accompanied by a female singer Ana Popovic, who I will continue to work with in Serbia, and Matija Sukovic, who is an MC and a DJ. I myself sing, play the guitar and occasionally play the keyboards.
11. Have you been to the US? If so, where? If you haven’t what city would you like to go to?
I have never been to the USA, since Serbia is on the verge of being classified as a third world country, in which not a great part of the population can afford to travel even to a neighboring foreign country. However, I do have a plan to visit the USA by the end of October and to present my music to a wide population of your many countries. I also want to say that I would be most delighted to visit LA and also Portland, where I would get the chance to meet my official publisher in person.
12. What’s your favorite song you have ever written?
I couldn’t really single out any of those as my number one because I am very much attached to each one of them, but I guess I could mention ‘My brother’, ‘Summer’, ‘Ready to Leave’.
13. What’s your favorite instrument to play and why?
That would be the guitar because I can sense the vibrations of the sounds I make directly and transport it to the amplifier and my audience.
14. Is there anything we’ve missed?
I would like to add that I am looking forward to presenting my fans with the works which have not yet been finished and are waiting for the right moment to be released and that I am hoping to affect their lives on an intellectual or emotional level, or at least make them dance to my music.