1.Tell us something about your musical background and experiences…
I was born in Klaipeda, Lithuania, I was involved in different musical activities from a very early age. When I was six years old, I started playing classical piano. I was part of a very strict classical music world until the age of 13. My teenage years were filled with rehearsals and songwriting for my rock & pop band. I was playing guitar, singing and writing songs.
At the age of 18, I started my first bachelor’s degree in Jazz Performance at the Lithuanian academy of music and theatre in Vilnius, Lithuania. After a couple of years, I did an Erasmus exchange and went to The Netherlands, the Prins Claus Conservatorium. I took a year off from studies in Lithuania and in 2012 finished both bachelor degrees, in Holland and at home.
Right after that I was accepted to a Master’s programme at Berklee College of Music, Valencia campus with a full scholarship and from there everything really started. After finishing my Masters, I was offered a job in Quito, Ecuador. I was living there until 2016 and since then I have been living in Valencia, performing and teaching at Berklee and Sedajazz.
2. What is jazz for you?
My favorite music, lifestyle, language, excitement, risk, beauty and inspiration.
3. Could you describe a typical month for you regarding music?
Some months are busier than others. These last two months I was lucky to perform every weekend, with different projects, in different countries. I went to Poland for the Sopot Jazz festival, directed by Greg Osby, and to Portugal to perform with OJA Big Band and many places in Spain. On average, I am busy 2 weekends of the month and the rest of the time I teach and practice.
4. Take us through the tracks of your latest album, ‘Stories’
Rising Sun was written right before going to Ecuador, dedicated to someone I was afraid to lose and the lyrics explain how to make the waiting easier.
New 2 – I wrote that in Ecuador, it is about unconditional and prohibited love.
On Your Knees – that was written in The Netherlands, dedicated to people who are confused about what they want…whilst praying or saying sorry. The recording features a wonderful guitarist from Madrid – Israel Sandoval.
Conviction – is about addictions to friendship, getting attention and is also about melancholy and strong feelings of homesickness. The recording features a very well-known Spanish saxophonist from Valencia, Perico Sambeat.
Stories of England – has nothing to do with England , I wrote the song based on a story my friend told me. The story has impacted me a lot and after coming back home I had to write about it to get it out.
Question Me – absolutely my favourite, also featuring Perico Sambeat on saxophone. Dedicated to people who inspire me to continue my job, which sometimes turns out to be hard. Apart from the creative part there are a lot of things musicians have to deal with such as: admin work for your band, the frustration of looking for concerts, being far from your family and friends, long-distance travelling, dealing with many different people, simply feeling tired and uninspired but having to continue. So, there are some musicians and people in my life that just make me forget all that and continue creating and performing.
Nice Odd – ahh nice odd, it is like a preview of the song that I want to evolve and be part of each future record. It has a poem. It will appear on my next records.
Every Home – written in Lithuania, about my room, my space and memories.
5. Could you tell us about the musicians and studio where you recorded the album?
The team that worked on the album is absolutely amazing. I am grateful to be able to mention and thank these people again. Featuring some of the best Spanish musicians: Alberto Palau – piano, Ales Cesarini – bass, Mariano Steimberg – drums, Perico Sambeat – saxophone, Israel Sandoval – guitar. The album was recorded in Millenia Studios, Valencia, by well-known Spanish engineer Vicente Sabater. Mixed in New York at Electracraft Music Works by Ian Kagey. Mastered at SchullerSound by Pablo Schuller. Produced by Viktorija Pilatovic.
6. How do you find Valencia as a place to live and work?
I feel wonderful in Valencia since the first day of my arrival, I love it. I work a lot, it is easy to travel to other cities and countries. It is always warm, fresh fruits and vegetables all year long, prices are great, the city is a perfect size, not too many tourists and people are just lovely! And of course – the beach!!!
7. What are your plans for your music in the coming year?
As I mentioned earlier, I had a concert marathon from August until the last days of October. So now it will be pretty chill. I will use this time to focus on management for my CD, writing new songs and planning performances for 2018 Spring/Summer. I have a couple of concerts with an amazing guitarist Joan Soler. Last week we recorded our first tracks together, we also shot some videos. On the 23rd of November we are playing at Mar D’Amura and on the 16th of December in Sedajazz.
Interview by Owl
O F F I C I A L W E B S I T E : https://www.viktorijapilatovic.com I N S T A G R A M: https://www.instagram.com/viktorijapilatovic/ F A C E B O O K: https://www.facebook.com/viktorija.pi… W A T C H official videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hg0Pp… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1Vcc…
L I S T E N to the newest album “Stories” https://www.cdbaby.com/cd/viktorijapi…