Kuba Więcek – interview by Marta Bielawska-Borowiak @Goniec.com 9/09/19
Have you always loved music?
It was my mum who sent me to a music school where she worked as a piano teacher. For the first eight years it was an unpleasant experience, it was only when I went to a summer sports camp and met other people who loved music that something clicked and I completely changed my approach. That was the time when my love of music really came through.
What do you find most fascinating in jazz and improvisation?
I always found jazz to be the beginning of freedom, not only musically but also in everyday life. When I was a child or a teenager various people used to tell me how to behave in life or on stage, how to play and what look to carry. When I became interested in jazz and talked to jazz musicians, I understood that there is not one single way, and that finding the right way for us might free us from anxiety and give us self-confidence. Another thing that fascinates me is the human to human aspect. I usually play with other musicians that I end up making friends with. I like how becoming closer improves the quality of music we play together.
What does music mean to you generally? Is it something mystical? Or just a profession that you put your talent in?
For me it’s fun. I want everything I do to be a pleasure most of all. When I write music it makes me feel like playing Lego when I was little. When I am on stage I feel as if I play football or computer games. It allows me to stay away from stress and helps with concentration. It brings me closer to my own identity.
How does it feel to be one of the most recognisable jazz musicians in Poland?
It’s nice that people follow what I am up to, but it doesn’t make me want to slow down. It motivates me to work even more, take risks and develop myself and my music further.
How is it to receive the title ‘debut of the year’? What are your memories of the Fryderyk prize?
I guess I will always remember my first album. It allowed me to play with musicians I always wanted to play with. Thanks to Warner Music Poland it was released as part of the Polish Jazz series, which was an honour and a privilege. Thanks to successful promotion we were able to perform at several festivals in Poland and abroad which opened a lot of doors for us.
The album brought us positive reviews and prizes. It made me think – so many dreams came true in such a short space of time, so what’s next?
You attended the Rhythmic Music Conservatory in Copenhagen. Why there?
When I went to my first jazz workshops there at 17 I met a group of musicians studying there who were older than me. They stood out and I liked what they were doing and the way they talked about music. They influenced me a lot and encouraged me to study there. This school is different than others, especially in a musical aspect as it's students get involved in all types of music and come from all over the world. The approach is completely different too. There are no curriculum constraints.
The school fits in with the students. Everyone writes their own music and has their own bands. We also talk about philosophy of music and marketing.
Soon we will see you at the Polish Jazz London Series. How do you feel about this project?
First of all I really appreciate the invite. It’s a great initiative and hopefully there will be more like this one! I came to London a few times before and I always enjoy coming here. My impression is that jazz is very popular in London. I like to play for the London audience a lot and I feel very much at home here.
What have you got planned in the near future musically?
I perform all the time with my trio and I have a few other projects ongoing. I have been making some electronic music, writing music for a new septet, playing in a duo with pianist - Piotr Orzechowski - and a few of these projects involve my very good friends. October will also see the release of an album I recorded with an American trumpeter Ralph Alessi.