Who are some of your current favorite artists, Smooth Jazz or otherwise?
I really admire George Duke’s blend of jazz and funk. His music has such a unique feel and groove. It is something you cannot learn I guess – you either have it or not. He played here in Hungary last year and I was lucky enough to attend his show. It was marvelous! Then there is Candy Dulfer – she is the queen of saxophone and funk for me. I also like Jeff Lorber whom I consider the “best of the best” in smooth jazz.
What are you most proud of at this point in your life and career?
Right now it is definitely our debut album, Pink Spirit. It is kind of intimidating to have my own CD out at the age of 19 – a recording that I play violin on, an album that features some really great musicians. I am especially proud of the song “Be Free” which was voted the best contemporary jazz tune at a jazz radio station in Hungary last year. I still have a hard time believing that this track was written by me.
Outside of your musical career, what else in your life gets you excited and fulfilled?
That is a very difficult question because usually my entire free time is devoted to music. I attend college during the day, studying technology and engineering. I would like to graduate as soon as possible so that I can focus entirely on music. Playing with my group, the Peet Project is the main thing in my life now but I also want to continue to grow as a producer. I work with many different artists producing R&B, Hip-Hop and Pop records for them so there is not a dull moment in my life – I feel truly blessed. I have a big, loving family, we spend a lot of time together and I am so grateful for it. The same with my friends – they are also very important for me.
What are some of the most important goals you have for yourself in the next five to ten years?
I don’t really plan too far into the future. I prefer focusing on the day and always do the next thing in line. I obviously want to get Pink Spirit to as many people and possible, play as many shows as we can and of course I strive for becoming a better player and bandleader. That is definitely a lifetime objective. Talking about brave dreams and distant goals, I would really love to play in the US one day.
What aspect of the creative process, from concept to market, do you personally find to be the most rewarding?
I love creating music with other musicians – I find that the best ideas come from teamwork. When Adam (our keyboarder) and I start composing it is like a ball game. He comes up with a melody then I take it over and add my own thing to it. Then the ball is passed back and forth between us. The best moment is when the groove or the main theme of a song is born. That is a very rewarding experience.
How did you come up with this idea of playing violin in smooth jazz and what are the main challenges you are facing in this respect?
Indeed, the violin is not a common instrument in this genre. You can hear violin in traditional jazz music but almost never in pop-jazz or funk. Adapting my playing to this style of music is a real challenge. Besides practicing a lot, I also consult other musicians, seeking guidance on how to use the instrument authentically in a smooth jazz and funk setting. Naturally, not all tunes sound good on the violin. You have to find the right musical background so that the sound of the instrument feels natural for the listener. Since I either write or co-write the tracks, I can shape the tunes accordingly. I hope to prove that it is still worth learning to play a classical instrument because you can use it in contemporary musical styles as well.