Interview with Baluja

Interview with Baluja
Lamitschka:  Music has many new fans throughout
Europe who may be hearing about you for the first time. How would you
describe yourself and the music you play to someone who has never
seen or heard you?
Baluja  I am songwriter who focuses primarily on
the social, economic, emotional, and spiritual issues that affect the
world around me as well as certain trends or current events that
happen to move me. I also write personalized songs about the people
and places that are near and dear to me. I record and produce all my
work in the humble surroundings of my home studio in Tampa,
Florida.The music behind my songs varies from very simplistic and
sparse acoustic renderings to colorful, multi-layered blends of
computer generated loops, samples, sound effects, and beats.
Lamitschka:  How was the last year for you? What
were your highlights?
Baluja  The last year was my most successful in
terms of exposure. Because of my inactivity as a performer, I’ve
always had a difficult time establishing a fan base. Outside of my
circle of friends, the only fans I’ve managed to acquire are those
who have listened to me on various independent websites where I’ve
posted my music. But this year, I was able to capitalize on the
popularity of a composition called I Remember Tampa, which is
currently the theme song for a local weekly broadcast called the
Tampa Natives Show. I put together a pictorial video for the song,
which I posted on YouTube, and it did very well. I’ve also enjoyed
support from several DJ’s on our community radio station, WMNF 88.5
FM. I did a live interview in February, and they featured a few cuts
from last year’s CD, Baluja IX: The System. In all, the added
exposure has introduced my music to over 20,000 new listeners this
Lamitschka:  What is your latest CD and how’s it
Baluja  My latest CD, Baluja X: Cone of
Uncertainty, will be released in December. It will consist of 10
songs that were recorded throughout 2012.
Lamitschka:  How did you choose the title for
the CD?  Is there a story behind the name?
Baluja  A friend of mine suggested I write a
song about the cone of uncertainty as Hurricane Isaac was approaching
the coastline of Florida. I looked into the definition of the phrase
and found it to be right in line with certain aspects of life, in
general. After recording the song, I felt that it would be an ideal
title for the CD. I normally use the title of one of my songs to
label my projects, and Cone of Uncertainty seemed to be the logical
choice for where I’m at right now.
Lamitschka:  Please tell us about the songs on
your album (influences, etc).
Baluja The influences are many, but if I had to
pick a few off the top of my head, I’d say Lou Reed, Tom Petty,
Leonard Cohen, Bruce Sringsteen, Bob Dylan, and Van Morrison. All my
songs deal with real life experiences that most listeners are able to
relate to. My messages are direct and to the point, and easy to
digest. I speak in very simple terms.
Lamitschka:  Your current single is being played
by radio. What do you feel is special about this song that makes
people want to hear it?
Baluja  The System, which was the title track of
last year’s CD, got some local airplay. It was a timely song that fit
right in with the Republican National Convention coming to Tampa, and
the things that our community had to deal with as a result: red
tape, white lies, secret service, spying eyes. It was a song filled
with images that our community was very familiar with.
Lamitschka:  What kind of songs do you like to
record the most?
Baluja  That’s a tough one. I guess the most
impotant thing for me is solid lyrics. The more I feel the message,
the more I like the song. It could be intellectual, spiritual, or
purely emotional…as long as the lyrics are tight, I’m into it, no
matter how rough the music or the vocals might be.
Lamitschka:  What is your favorite song among
all the songs you have recorded and what’s the story behind it?
Baluja  My favorite song is The Good Life. It’s
about the misconceptions we have towards the American Dream, and the
problems that evolve from those misconceptions.
Lamitschka:  Do you have any interesting stories
about how fans have been affected by your music?
Baluja I have a childhood friend who has ovarian
cancer. Last year I wrote a song that I dedicated to her called
“Lisa’s Song (Friends Forever)”. It circulated within our
circle of friends and family members and seemed to have a unifying
effect on all of us. We were able to resetablish bonds that had been
dormant for years. It was reassuring to know that despite the
different paths our lives had taken, we could still manage to come
together in the spirit of love.
Lamitschka:  Who inspires you musically and how
deep do your musical roots run?
Baluja  My father and my brother were not
professional musicians, but they often wrote and sang “punto
guaridos”, which is a form of Cuban folk music. Their love for
life and for people shone through in their lyrics. That love
continues to inspire me.
Lamitschka:  What do you think about today’s
music scene versus its post and where do you see it going in the
Baluja  The music scene will always find a way
to stay fresh and invigorating, not because of any major innovations,
tricks, or techniques, but because music possesses a direct
connection to the soul, and that connection is as vital to our
existence and as it is timeless.
Lamitschka:  If you had the chance to change
something about the music industry, what would it be?
Baluja The limited vision, the shallowness, and
the envy and animosity that are a byproducts of our quest for
financial gain. We place more emphasis on generating sales of
mindless, spiritless, and unrefined garbage than we do on material
that has intelligent, thought provoking, and soulful content.
Lamitschka:  As an artist, you so many tasks
such as recording, touring, interviews. What do you like best, what’s
your favorite activity?
Baluja  I love recording and producing. I become
complete enthralled in it. I don’t always hit a home run, but there’s
nothing like the sense of accomplishment I feel when I come up with
something that feels and sounds right.
Lamitschka:  Are you doing anything to take
music beyond its current borders or are you happy where it is?
Baluja The only area that I might be making
waves in is with the use of computer generated music as a songwriting
tool. Over the past decade, I have gone from being a solo artist who
was limited to acoustic guitar and harmonica renderings to an artist
with a perpetually changing virtual back up band. I just wish that I
could afford some of the higher end products available on the market
so that I could expand my choices in sounds and develop more
intricate melodies. All in all, technology has made it easier and
more affordable for independent artists to simulate state of the art
studio recordings that were once only attainable by big name artists.

Lamitschka:  Many music fans today get their
information about artists online. Do you have your own website and
what will fans find there?


Christian Lamitschka

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