Jean Gavrilă, who goes under the stage name Jean Gavril is from Constanța, Romania, he is bringing some of his crazy, energetic and rock’n’roll spirit to the Romanian music industry. His songs are a mix between pop-rock and post-grunge. As many artists around the world, Jean Gavril’s musical projects were cut short by the current pandemic. In this interview he gladly accepted to have with CultureXchange, he tells us about his experience during lockdown.
Before lockdown did you have any shows and projects scheduled that had to be cancelled or postponed?
Jean Gavril: Before the pandemic and the state of emergency I had about 20 live shows scheduled from March to June, unfortunately they were all postponed and ultimately cancelled. Big events, sponsors and investors organized many of these concerts, but people were forced stop every organization due to the state of emergency, the risk was that all these events would have been cancelled a few days before the opening and a lot of money would have been lost.
One thing I liked about live shows through Instagram for people like me who are not in Romania it was a great opportunity to have live sessions. What is the difference between a live show on stage and one through the screens, in terms of connecting with the fans?
J.G: The difference is huge. It goes without saying, it’s awful to be in front of a screen without your band, without a stage, screams, applauses, lights and without the energy. There is just no way to compare this. I sang in live a few times during the pandemic, and people were forced to seat, they weren’t allowed to stand up, to come on stage, they had to keep a distance between themselves. Seeing this, I can say that I’d rather not do any more concerts, not in these conditions.
The lockdown had a massive impact on the whole music industry and thankfully music labels such as Global Records, HaHaHa Production and artists rallied to request help from the Romanian Ministry of Culture, Radio stations and TV, did you reach an agreement?
J.G: I think that no matter how hard this period was, good things came out of it, concerning the creation of organizations and unions that represent the whole bunch of artists, actors, sound and light technicians. Greater efforts are still required to get to an agreement. Stages and theatres are unable to organize any artistic performances as they are closed, thus, currently, there is a possible compensation for people in the artistical field so as to help them to get through this lockdown.
Did Romanian radio stations broadcast a broader percentage of Romanian artists?
J.G: I think yes, in the first couple of months, but not for a long time. actually, the percentage is almost 50/50. I still have to learn about this thing.
5 Global Records ensured an early payment of two show per months, in order to support artists and musicians. How did HaHaHa Production bring its support to its artists?
J.G: I don’t know anything about this information about Global Records supporting shows, I don’t think it’s pretty accurate but, in my opinion, we just have to stick together and help each other no matter how. Labels can’t give infinite help and artists should help each other no matter the labels they are signed with.
HaHaHa Production created Ha! Live Sessions during this pandemic, how was it organized and filmed?
J.G: Actually HA!Live sessions were filmed before the pandemic and don’t have anything related with it. It was very well organized, and the filming and recording sessions took 4 days in one of the best live studios in Bucharest, Cristi Dobrica’s INES studios.
What can the music industry implement to be ready in case of further pandemics (as preventive measures)?
J.G: I don’t know, and I can’t see how the activity can restart in another way than the traditional one, on stage, I mean, with a public. I am quite mad with this situation, but I try to remain optimist and I know that everything will go back to normal eventually.
During this period were you more creative, have you written new material?
J.G: Yes, I wrote quite a lot. Recently I have announced that I started to work on my first album, I am almost halfway finishing it. It was a period without concerts, I spent more hours working at the studio. Creatively speaking, the first 4-5 months were quite hard, but little by little I went back to normal.
“All I needed now was for you to wear a mask” ©Jean Gavril
You wrote the song “Nu Fac Nimic” during lockdown, did you write more about your experience with Covid-19?
J.G: No, I haven’t written anything else about my experience with COVID-19, to me, it isn’t a subject that should be tackled in my music or in anyone’s music “laughs”.
Did you miss to produce a song all on your own like you did with “Nu Fac Nimic”?
J.G: I didn’t produce it, I just recorded it along with the boys in the band, each of us on our own side. Then we mixed the tracks together.
Did your perspective of the world change after the lockdown?
J.G: I’ll say that I started to enjoy a little bit more, the fact that some people did not stay in their apartments, and that a courtyard or a garden in which you can go for a walk are always more than welcome. The city isn’t that cool if you can’t leave home. My perspective hasn’t changed much, although I can say that it is better if you can spend your lockdown somewhere, in a house, far away from everyone, somewhere on the mountains or somewhere where there are very few people.
“It is better if you can spend your lockdown in a house, somewhere on the mountains or somewhere where there are very few people.”
— Jean Gavril
How do you think that the Romanian music industry will make its comeback?
J.G: Once we feel safer about the pandemic, people will get excited and rush outside. Certainly things will grow much more than before, by that I mean, more concerts, many more events, and more people will be outside than before. I can’t tell how thing will go back as it was before.
And finally, do you have any concerts planned?
J.G: Obviously, no, no concerts planed “smiles”. Right now, my attention is fully on the process of finalization of my album, and also launching some songs that will be on it. Only after can I start planning concerts.
Some concert Jean Gavril gave in 2019. Venues: True Club, Str. Mătăsari, Club Phoenix ©Jean Gavril
CultureXchange wants to give a huge thank you to Jean Gavril for giving us an interview and we wish him much bafta și succes with his upcoming album and future projects, we also hope that soon enough he’ll be able to go back on stage and throw crazy concerts!