1Please provide us with a brief bio of yourself and your background.
I’m a proud first-generation American with my parents immigrating from Slovakia. I’ve been fortunate to be an award-winning singer, songwriter and performer. I’ve performed internationally and shared the stage with many acts including Jason Mraz, LeAnne Rimes, Gavin DeGraw, The Beach Boys and many more. I’ve enjoyed being part of the Sony writing team and my music and I have been featured in shows/films such as NBC’s The Voice, Melrose Place, 90210 and Life Unexpected.
2What led you to become a talent/artist/influencer/performer/current profession?
My family influenced me musically very early on. Believe it or not, I learned to play accordion at around the age of 3. My family immigrated from Slovakia, so music and culture were always an integral part of my life. However, not until college did I pick up the guitar and start writing my own music. And when I was 25 years old, I won overall singer at a global competition. That’s when I packed my bags and moved to California to pursue my music career.
3Tell us more about your studio/company/academy.
I’ve enjoyed expanding in the creative space. My passion lies in original music and performance on stage, but I have also placed music in tv/film. Creativity is endless and I have a degree in graphic design, so from music, songwriting and performance, to photography, design and video, I continue to push myself to learn, evolve and elevate my craft.
4What skills have you learned that will help you in your result and/or performance?
I have learned to let go of being a perfectionist. I am extremely hard on myself and one way I have learned to deal with it is to let go and trust the process. I have missed many opportunities because I tried to make things too perfect instead of simply creating and using that opportunity to learn. The reality is that nothing is perfect. We should learn to fail, but fail forward, to learn from the process, not get too attached to feedback or criticism and always make sure you create and evolve your craft because you enjoy it. Never forget why you started.
5What is your own definition of an impressive performance/show/masterpiece?
An impressive performance is one filled with authentic passion. The real work is the repetition, to hone your skill behind closed doors. Repetition is the mother of skill and a masterpiece is created from many hours of practice where passion is the key driver to success.
6What is your creative or ideation process like?
The creative process has many forms. Sometimes the inspiration comes through research, while other times it’s simply from strumming some chords. Melody is a strong song driver for me, personally. I think the key factor is never being afraid to mess up, not getting too attached to your art and being flexible to rewrite.
7What has been the best performance of your career so far?
There are many specific shows that stand out to me personally. I won a 25k grand prize for a performance, sang with the Beach Boys and toured internationally, including performances in Slovakia. One thing I love about performing is performing with my full band. I love our chemistry, personalities and passion in those moments. It’s infectious and authentic.
8Describe the worst performance you have seen. What would you change about it?
I don’t have one performance that jumps out. However, one thing that does feel cheap in a performance is when the artist/band plays and sounds just like their album. I believe that live shows should have improv. Beautiful unrehearsed solos, interactions and moments.
9Congratulations! As the winner of LIT Talent Awards, what does it mean to you, or your team, to receive this honor?
Thank you. I am honored to be a platinum winner. This one means a lot in particular because I am releasing a new version of an old song. I feel as though I have continuously evolved as an artist and this award helps validate the great work everyone has put into our song, “I’ll Be Fine.”
10How has winning an international awards help promote you and/or your masterpiece?
Winning international awards helps our music reach new audiences and recognize our work globally. We are grateful for the honor and the reach it has internationally.
11What are the challenges, for your winning entry, that you faced?
I’ll Be Fine was a personal song of optimism for me. I was fortunate to have the original version of the song placed in the series Life Unexpected. It became my most listened to song. We decided to take it back to the studio and that process always presents a set of new challenges. We revisited some of the lyrics, new instrument parts, shortened certain sections, and added new lyrics. It is always a challenge to try to make something better than a successful original and certainly comes with some risks. We are hopeful that people will enjoy this new version even more than the original.
12What advise you will give to those who are in the same industry and/or are interested with your craft?
Resilience and perseverance. Hone your craft. Repetition is the mother of skill. Make sure you are passionate about the craft (music, songwriting, performing) and not just the end result. (fame/fortune)
13Who inspired you in your life, and why?
My parents inspired me. They immigrated with $50 in their pocket and in general, we grew up very poor. We made the most of what we had and they taught me to never take anything for granted, but appreciate what we did have. Growing up without a lot of money built a survivalist mentality and a drive in me that always wants to succeed. We all are capable of being successful with some discipline and an open mind to learn. My journey continues and I continue to learn. Changing your perspective to embrace each opportunity is a key difference between being stressed and hopeless, to being grateful and hopeful.
14Who do you admire and what did he/she do that motivated you?
My wife Laura. We continue to learn and grow from each other. She has been supportive and has taught me to be more intentional with my words, to be more present in the moment and to laugh a lot more.
15Who would you most like to collaborate with?
I’d love to collaborate with a whole list of songwriters like Paul Simon, Dave Matthews, Passenger to high-end producers/engineers. I’d love to be pushed to see how my music can evolve.
16What is the key that made you succeed? Any parting words of wisdom?
Live your life to your fullest potential. Be present and embrace each moment and keep learning. Nothing comes easy, but if you’re passionate about something, it’s worth the time you put into it. Above all, love each other, be kind to each other. Thank you to all who support my work.
17What is your upcoming masterpiece, that you’re currently preparing, about?
I am looking forward to releasing a few singles before writing and recording new music that will showcase a different side of me.
18If you could change anything about the entire industry, what would it be?
The attention span. Music is no longer about the craft, narrative or album. It’s more about content creation. Personally, I gravitate toward creative evolution instead of instant gratification.
19Do you have anything else you would like to add for the interview?
Thank you for taking the time to read through this interview. You can always go to www.erickmacek.com to see more.