Peter Kaszas

Share your life story with us.
At three years old Kaszas saw an appearance by drummer and jazz legend Buddy Rich on, of all places, the Muppet Show. It made a major impact on him. By age six he was studying classical percussion, including marimba and vibes, at a music school, and at age 11 he received his first drum set. Still, it is his singing and songwriting (which he took up at age ten) that is really catching the attention of both audiences and industry pros. Debuting his rhythmic chops at an international drum show at age 15, the young Kaszas soon after received a Golden DrumStick Award. In 2005, he was also awarded first prize in a Yamaha Songwriting Contest in Tokyo and in 2009, he received the ARTISJUS Prize for his outstanding performance in the field of contemporary Hungarian composition.

In 2007, Kaszas was awarded with a scholarship at the world famous Berklee College of Music where he studied under Terry Lyne Carrington and Dave Samuels.

In 2016, his first solo album called Infinity Project was released by Magneoton Records. The album of 13 songs is very personal and diverse; including pop and jazz, mostly falling into the category of adult pop; songs about love, and spiritual self-exploration, but above all, these songs reflect on the performer, who contributes as a composer, songwriter, singer and drummer to the album.

In 2017, the album has received the prestigious Hungarian Fonogram award in the category of ‘Best Jazz Album or Record of the Year‘.

Kaszas has performed on many recordings in the past fifteen years. Significant examples of his work include Al Di Meola’s Latin Grammy Award-nominee album called “The Pursuit of Radical Rhapsodywhere he played alongside Peter Erskine, Charlie Haden, Mino Cinelu, Gumbi Ortiz, Fausto Beccalossi, Barry Miles and Victor Miranda.

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Narrate your experience while recording in the studio or while touring.
I’ve always loved working in the studio, I enjoy every minute of it. I enjoyed even more working on my own album with my favorite musicians. As I composed and arranged the whole album (with enormous help from my great friend and keyboard player Zoltan Bubenyak) all the parts have been worked out, but all the musicians put their personality into that tracks which was inevitable.

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Go into detail about your songwriting process. 

I don’t have a particular process; I basically just sit to the keyboard and fooling around with a melody that came up. The other thing which is happening to me quite a lot is that a melody with chords just hit me out of the blue. Usually I have a lot of parts, cues, fractions so I try to put them together. Sometimes it’s great to try something unpredictable and you end up with a rush of inspiration.

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Brief us on what you have on the way for your fans out there.
Two of my brand new music videos are coming out very soon.

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Tell us what you are doing to increase your fan base.
I am about to post content regularly, regarding touring, new songs and appearances.

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Go into detail on how you make your instrumentation or melody.
The instrumentation must be hip and current, even if my music is not mainstream pop. As I am also a drummer I love to play with grooves and vibes.
In terms of melody I just open myself up completely and let things flow through me. There must be an urge to “write it out”. I got to feel something I play the song only with just a piano-vocal. If I don’t feel it, I throw it out. I know that the majority of today’s music is about production, but I am just not like that. I still believe in SONGS, and then the next step is production. Even if you wrote the greatest song of all time, you’ll not make it with a poor production.

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Tell us the best way to get in touch with you on social media.
https://www.facebook.com/PeterKaszasMusic/
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Tell us your favourite genre of music.
I am listening from free jazz to mainstream pop, from afro cuban to classical.

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Tell us the subject matter of most of your songs.
You can divide my album into parts. The ignition of my whole project was based on songs about spirituality, self-inquiry, etc. I also wrote some words, and it is really inspiring.
The other half is about relationship and love. I have both sides in me and I really enjoy these adventures while I am composing.

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Tell us all we need to know about this song.
This is a really gentle song, I wrote it about 10 years ago. I sat to the keyboard and just started to play that guitar part (with a really bad acoustic guitar sample). It just turned something on in me right away. I think I finished it in one hour, but I never had the intention to sing this song myself. A great friend of mine wrote the beautiful lyrics and I started to pitch it since then. Nobody was interested so when I was working on songs for my album this song just came up to my mind. We recorded it but I still was not sure. I mean the whole album has a different vibe; this is the only song with just guitar/vocals.

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Tell us what you think about digital distribution and streaming.
As I see the most noxious thing is streaming in terms of making a living out of it. You can get to as many people as never before but you hardly can make money. Also, even if people are on Spotify for example, if they don’t know you, they’ll never search for your music obviously. I don’t know where would all this lead.

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Tell us your thought on self-training and going to educational institution to study music.
It is an interesting subject, obviously to learn music in an institution is a good thing (obviously it depends on the quality of the institution). On the other hand the teachers can teach you skills and certainly can open doors, but they cannot teach vision. They cannot teach what to say. They can only teach how to say it.

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Go on at length on what it takes to write a hit song.
Wish I would know! You got to have something that the audience can relate or connect to. You certainly have to have a current sound, current melody and words. Or you have to be brave and go to a completely different direction, or try new ideas. Most of the people are unhappy with the general quality of today’s music but as David Foster said: In all era there are good songs and bad songs. And this era is not different.

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Tell us what you will buy if you want to build your own studio.
First you need a good room, where the vocals and all the instruments can sound fine. The next you need a very good sound card and great microphones. But the most important is skills, talent, intuition, musicianship which you cannot buy.

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Go on at length on what it takes to gain the attention of the audience while playing live.
You got to be authentic, and you should never give up.

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List your five favourite songwriters.
David Foster, John Mayer, Mike Manieri, Brian McKnight, Sting…just to name a few.

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List your five favourite music producers.
David Foster, George Whitty, Robert Glasper…

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Describe in details how you feel when you hear your song on the radio.
That is quiet a weird feeling, you feel skinless for a second but what’s the harm? You feel like the whole world will know a piece of you.

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Describe your best mood to write a song.
This I really don’t know, sometimes I feel like it’s going to be great but the whole session is a failure. The greatest is when you are ready to accept whatever is coming through you. When I sit down with an idea what kind of song (mood, vibe, melody, whatever) I want to write, failure is guaranteed.

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