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 kindergarten, our teacher used to play it sometimes. I can’t remember any songs though, I can’t remember having a favorite singer or band, but really now, how many 4-5 year old children have favorite 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 committing some kind 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 explore from the left to the right, from the mysterious low notes to the irritating high-pitched sounds. An infinite world of sounds between some black and white wooden tiles. I was admitted to study music at the George Enescu Music Highschool, class of classical piano, and within two years I discovered the beautiful way that Mozart, Beethoven and 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 hard 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 Tennessee 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 rhythm 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 organized 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 unbelievable 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.