Pop-Rock Icon David Lapadat Shares the Value of Music Business
American Pride Magazine
I once heard a man say the expression “Taking care of business”.
I cannot say how important it is to know these four words. So I guess I see the music business like a big old black dog, that sometimes barks or bites, but you just have to take care of it, otherwise you are walking blind @david_lapadat
How did you get your start in music or what inspired you to begin?
Childhood. I’m sure that 90% of musicians will say that they started practicing and loving music in their childhood. And they say that because it’s very true. So my story seems to be the same, or is it ? I can’t say that I was a good singer at that young age in fact I can’t remember having a voice at all. I remember a big piano in the hall of my kindergarden, our teacher used to play it sometimes. I can’t remember any songs though, I can’t remember having a favourite singer or band, but really now, how many 4-5 year old children have favourite singers, I know I didn’t. But what I did have was a huge desire to touch that piano, to explore those black and white tiles. The kids used to touch it all the time, but just one or two notes, just seconds, and then they used to run away as not to be caught, like they were commiting somekind of crime. I’ve never touched that piano, no, I was not aiming just for one or two notes, I didn’t want to run away. I wasn’t a criminal.
The next year, when I was very sure, I asked my parents for a piano. Finally I was going to have my own piano, my own personal toy to eplore from the left to the right, from the misterious low notes to the irritating high-pithced sounds. An infinite world of sounds between some black and white wooden tiles. I was admitted to study music at the George Enescu Music Highscool, calss of classical piano, and within two yers I discovered the beautiful way that Mozart, Beethoven or Bach used to play with those black and white tiles, but even though that heavenly music seemed to be written by God Himself, I felt something was missing. I felt that music cannot be imprisoned just between the keyboards of a piano, but I couldn’t figure out what was the thing that my soul was searching for. And then came Leonard Cohen.
My father bought two tapes “Songs of Leonard Cohen” and “Songs from a room”. I used to listen to them in my parents car on the way to my piano lessons. By the age of 9 I already knew by heart all the songs from those two albums, the lyrics fascinated me (they still do). I used to sing along with Cohen, and wondered in the same time “Who was Marianne?”, “Why was Suzanne half-crazy?”, “Who was that Stranger that Leonard was singing about and why did he surrender when he reached the sky ?”. I enjoyed my time listening to the songs of Leonard Cohen, but I can’t say that I realized what I wanted to do back then. I knew that my soul didn’t belong at the piano side by side with Mozart or Chopin, but I knew I didn’t want to be Leonard Cohen either. I believed that he knew too much, in fact, I think that this is the impression that a great artist leaves, that he knows something, the secrets of life and time and death, and he’s trying to share that secret with you, leaving the answers in his art.
I always knew that my life was going to be about music, but I didn’t quite pictured my place in this infinite place, ‘till 2005. In 2005 my “music” was going to change forever, when my life crossed paths with Johnny Cash. After hearing his voice, reading his life story, all things became clear. I was going to be a singer, I was going to write my own songs, and I was going to put together my own band like “Johnny Cash and the Tenesee two”. I was studying classical guitar at the time, but I started to learn by myself the chords and riffs of Johnny Cash’s songs. The first song I ever learned on my guitar was “Folsom Prison Blues”. The rythm was impressing, it felt like life itself flown through those chords, memories were passing by when “I heard that train coming... “.
In april 2010, in my first year of highschool, I took my guitar and went to play my first gig. It was a contest organised by Radio Romania, and it was in front of an audience of 300-400 people. I played T. J. "Red" Arnall’s “Cocaine Blues” in the style of Johnny Cash, and from the first strums of my guitar the audience was captured and they stayed with me until the end of the song. That day I felt the thrill, the unbelieveble connection that the artist has with his public, that day I was certain of my place, the train wasn’t coming, I was already on that train. And so the story began.
Tell me the story behind your song "I Love You". What’s it about?
The song is not just a common love song. It’s about the kind of love that you can’t explain but you know it’s there. It’s about the mistery that surrounds two souls that connect. It’s about feeling alone, alienated without love’s presence, because of the doubt that finds its way to your heart. The songs is made of opposites, it lingers between longing for peace and fresh air, the soft asylum that pure love offers and the cigarette smoke and tears that a vicious kind of love gives in return, the vicious kind of love that makes even stars lose their glow in the mudd. And finally, the song struggles between the incapacity of confessing your love, when words are not enough to express your commitment, and the kind of love that speaks for itself without words, the kind of love you just feel. In fact the original title of the song was It’s useless to say I love you, and not because love was a lost cause, but because love should be an intimate connection between souls, and when it comes to the soul every other word or explanation is useless.
Is there a back story about how it was written or recorded?
There is a back story about how the song was written and recorded. The song actually started out as a poem I wrote back in Germany a couple of years ago. I went to Germany with an oportunity to rehearse and play a gig with a Jazz Big Band. I played rhythm guitar. Even though my time in Germany was short and the people were great, I started to feel homesick, so I thought what better way to overcome this feeling than to write a song. And so I did, I wrote a few songs, and a few poems. One of them was about love, and about missing the people I love. When I got back home I was inspired and wrote a melody trying to express that feeling and so I put my love poem on music and added a chorus. I recorded a sketch with my mobile phone and redescovered it one year later. I was facing my first gig with my band, and I was searching for new material to play. I found that old recording of the song “It’s useless to say I love you” and with the help of the boys we turned the sketched-song that resembled a simple folk song into an electrifying funk song, and we played it at the end of the gig, and it was really a huge success.
The song was specially recorded to participate in the Eurovision Contest, so I changed the style from funk to pop-rock, with influences of jazz and western-country, and then we changed the guitar solos with a psihedelic keyboard solo. And of course I changed the title to “I Love You” because I find it more appropriate for a pop song.
Even thoug the song didn’t reach the Eurovision Final Show, “I love you” is well received by the audiences at every gig we play, and it remains one of my favourite original songs, that’s why I’m very happy that I have the opportunity to share it with you too.
Tell us what we can expect from your music or new album?
You will surley be attracted by my music, because it will open a new world to you, my world, but from the first notes you will find out that this world is somehow familiar, and slowly, it becames yours. I put a lot of thought into having my special sound, my vibe, and so I pay attention to the thing you can hear, and to the things you can’t hear in a song but you feel them somehow. Sometimes I think the things you can’t hear or aren’t that obvious are more important than those that you can pick up consciously. The subtleties of music and lyrics make the difference between a good song and a great song.
As for my album, "Goodbye till we meet again" , is a collection of 11 " love letters " addressed to " lover girl " whose promises are empty of content and so the purification through suffering from the power of love , becomes a mere illusion. The emotional flow that crosses the 11 songs, reveales itself through the power of opposites which unveil strength - weakness , love - hate, departure – return. By asserting a poem of doubt and insecurity the album opens new avenues in defining contemporary sensibility. The coolness, the happy-sad sound of the songs is the result of bringing out all the things that a heart can conceal: hopes, dreams and desires.
How do you feel about releasing singles vs an album? Why?
I think that from an artistic point of view, releasing an album is very important, and not any kind of album, I’m talking about a concept album, an album that tells a story, with songs flowing toward each other, and not an album like a compilation of songs, that don’t really match, that are unrelated to each other.
From the marketing point of view I think it’s much easier to draw the public’s attention to one single song opposed to 7,8 or 11 songs. I see single releasing like releasing a trailer to a movie, like a teaser to the story that you are about to tell in your full album.
When I release a single I think of a key song from the album that I’m going to release, so that people can understand that the album will be worth of their time and feelings. I will always encourage my fans to listen to my whole album, not just the single, because in this way they can experience all that my music has to offer, they have acces to my whole story, all my feelings and all the ideeas that I carefully put in the album.
How do you feel about the music business?
I once heard a man say the expression “Taking care of business”. I cannot say how important it is to know these four words. So I guess I see the music business like a big old black dog, that sometimes barks or bites, but you just have to take care of it, otherwise you are walking blind.
What pros and cons have you experienced in the music thus far?
I can say that I was very fortunate so far in my career. The most important is the fact that I enjoy every music related activity that I do, wether I play a gig, I rehearse or record a song. Another pro is that I had the pleasure to play concerts with very many professional musicians so far of different style and age. I never experienced a bad audience, and everybody has a good opinion about my music, and so I know that I’m on the right path, and those sort of things make you go on with what you are doing. Most of the people say that my voice resembles the voice of Elvis, and I take it as a huge compliment because I think Elvis has the greatest voice of all time.
There is only one con worth mentioning though. I didn’t have the chance to work with a big record lable so I can gain more exposure, so I can create bigger and more interesting concerts and to bring them in front of a large audience.
Where do you live and what is the music scene like in your town?
Places to go?
I live in Buhcarest, Romania. Bucharest is a big city, and so I can say that the music scene is generous with both the music lovers and the bands, regardless of genre and style. There are many jazz-blues bars, theaters where folk singers sing their poems, underground venues for funk, rock and heavy-metal bands, clubs for cover bands where people go to dance, and of course big concert halls where usually mainstream pop-artists connect their music with the fans.
As you can see, there are many places you can go to have a great musical experiance, and I can give you the name of an interesting venue where people come and showcase their experimental music projects. The place is called “Clubul Taranului Roman”(Romanian Peasant Club), and me and the band always have a great time playing there. In 2013 I created a concept concert with my band called “Before the music dies”, a show of music, poetry and performance, we wanted to bring together all the beautiful arts in one show. So we had interesting video projections during the show, we recited poems by Jim Morrison and Charles Bukowski, and sang my own songs. The premiere of the show was at Clubul Tranului Roman, and it blended perfectly with the venue, it was quite inspiring. So if you are searching for a different kind of show, original and new, that is the place to go.
Do you find that there is to much emphasis on being current and trendy or Is there a balance that you have found helpful in your artistic decisions?
I try not to get caught up in this trap called being current and trendy. I believe that being authentic is always current, people search for authenticity. Its dangerous to make a purpose of being trendy and current because this can kill your art, and then you lose your authenticity, and after all you end up being the exact opposite of trendy and current.
The balance that I found consists in the fact that I always take out the things that do not fit in my songs and shows, that don’t represent my soul or my way of thinking. If something was trendy but it doesn’t belong with me I would gladly refuse it. I wouldn’t sacrifice my art for the sake of trends.
My songs are authentic, they fully represent me, and even though I’m not aiming to be trendy I think my songs reach out to people, and in my opinion some of them have the potential to become international hits.
What do you like about social media & how do you benefit from the tools offered to you today to get your music out there?
The thing that I like about social media is that I can reach people both with my music and at a personal level, and of course I love that they can reach back to me and send me their comments and feedback about my music, artworks and lyrics. I always respond to each comment, and reply to every message no matter how many I receive.
How do you turn your STRUGGLES into TRIUMPHS?
There are some artists that skip the struggle part and triumph righ from the start, at least so it seems. The best example that comes into my mind is Elvis Presley. At the age of 20 he was already The King of Rock’n’Roll, and an American Icon and he remained an Icon until this day. For other artists, the word struggle does not exist in their vocabulary. The first one that comes in my mind is Dean Martin, The King of Coolness. He didn’t divide hes life between struggles and triumphs, insted he looked at it as a long beautiful and relaxed ride, enjoying every moment as it came. And the other type of artist like Frank Sinatra where life was divided between struggles and moments of triumph, a struggle to achieve perfection in sound, image and performance until reaching a moment of triumph, and then struggling again until the next one.
In my case I feel that the real struggle is when you create a song, a poem or even a live performance, because you give a part of you in the process, and when its all done, the reward is bigger than you ever imagined, it’s a real triumph. I can say that everyday I create, sing or performe is a triumph.
How do you live life on your own terms?
I would like to respond to the question “How do you live life on your own terms?”, with a poem I wrote a while ago, because writing songs and poems is a big part of living life on my own terms. The poem is called “Summer by summer”
“Summer by summer
July by July
I keep an eye
On the time that flyes by
Summer by summer
June by June
I melt in the joy
Of sunday's afternoon
Summer by summer
When August passes by
My soul gets sadder
And bursts in a sigh”
I would love to have 5 minutes alone with…. why? Talk about why you admire or get inspired by this person
I would love to have 5 minutes alone with Elvis, but believe it or not I’ve known him for a long time. I meet him every time I want, through his records. And not only him, I’ve met along the years with great artists like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and the RatPack, with Jim Morrison and The Doors, Johnny Cash, June Carter and so many others. I spend each day at least 5 minutes with everyone of them, but saddly the time is to short to meet all those great artists in one day. I pay attention to what they have to say thorugh their music and learn something new and interesting everytime we get in touch. They are a great inspiration to me.
Source : American Pride Magazine - Pop-Rock Icon David Lapadat Shares the Value of Music Business
GETTING TO KNOW DAVID LAPADAT
by Jacqueline Jax host of A.V.A Live Radio
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