'Everything is reflected in what you create'

Listen Local Interview

Vecera. Photo by Hagit Mia Krakovsky
Vecera. Photo by Hagit Mia Krakovsky

Where are you from?

I’m from Lithuania, Vilnius, Justiniškės district. I’ve also lived in the Netherlands, Denmark, and Israel. And in the military, if you consider that as a distinct space.

In Copenhagen, I was studying electronic music and focused on creating and expanding my skills. In the Netherlands, I was creating and working, I was mostly using the skills that I acquired in Denmark. And most recently, in Israel, I was studying and making music.

You’ve been to many places, seen many things. Where do you feel most at home?

It changes depending on the knowledge I’m receiving, and the period of life I’m in. Being in Israel was precisely what I needed because I wanted to get away and test myself, so I felt good. In the end, I was missing some comfort. I reexamined my skills, reassessed my values, and then returned to Lithuania to see if my experiences were adaptable to everyday life.

So, it depends on the stage of your life. Sometimes it’s really good not having a permanent place because that motivates you not to be stuck in your comfort zone and keep moving. At this moment, I’m happy to be in Lithuania, even though in the beginning, I was afraid I would get stuck here without noticing. But I think now everything is great again.

Clearly, all this travelling affected you as a person, and what about you as an artist?

Of course. What is your music about? About you! So naturally, if you educate yourself, expand and break your own standards, everything is reflected in what you create. First, you need to tune your instrument, then you can play whatever you want.

How would you describe your audience? Are they mostly from Lithuania?

My audience is mostly Lithuanian. When I share my work, I usually do it in Lithuanian, although I try posting in English as much as possible to make it more accessible. I want to expand and perform abroad. My goal was always to create music that doesn’t sound Lithuanian. When I play abroad, people enjoy it and it seems like they find something new. I always thought that my music might be new for Lithuanians but not for foreigners. Turns out—not really! Of course, I haven’t played in many places yet, but in Israel, people perceived it as a novelty. And even in Lithuania, it’s not that new anymore, I see others creating in a similar style now, which charms me. Perhaps I belong to a certain group without even realizing it.

Vecera. Photo by Greta Galiauskaitė
Vecera. Photo by Greta Galiauskaitė

In what ways do you communicate with your listeners?

The key is to communicate a lot. These days I use Instagram because people are following personalities. You just need to be yourself, it’s really simple. You post your everyday life without making it seem perfect. To me, this is not connected to attention-seeking but to motivation. It’s like having a membership at a gym: you get motivated because people around you are motivated. If you post that you’re creating something, you receive fast feedback, and people can see that you’re working and doing what you like. This way, even if people don’t actively look for you, you might stay in the back of their minds.

Check out Vecera: Spotify | Bandcamp | YouTube | Facebook | Instagram

What do you think is the role of automatised recommendation systems?

It probably has a powerful influence on what kind of public you reach based on genre, location, and even listening time. But then I once flew to New York to visit my sister, excited to hear the music she’s been listening to, only to find out that we get the same kind of music suggestions. Boring! I thought maybe it was because we were sharing the same physical space or WiFi. Or maybe the music is just being recommended in a predictable way, for example, you might get more reggaeton suggestions in Madrid, while there might be more experimental music suggestions in Vilnius. It was not what I expected.

Where would you look for new audiences?

I would love to perform in New York, Berlin, or even in the Netherlands, it would be insane! I’m curious just to play and see how people react. Maybe it would be different in Europe and in America? Maybe they would discover an aspect of my music that I haven’t realized myself?

What is your strategy when looking for places to perform?

It’s a new thing for me. In Israel, I mostly used Google and found the places myself. In general, if you see a cool-looking person, just from how they’re dressed, that can already be your first cue. You go talk to them and often find the person busy in a particular scene. Then you can check the person’s credibility and ask about places where you could perform. Usually, it’s pretty random. The first step is to ask about anybody, find credible people, and eventually, find people who know something. They can then help you find the straightest roads to the locations you’re interested in performing. Of course, in Lithuania, it’s different, maybe I’m too biased even to see them here.

And what about inspiration, do other Lithuanian artists inspire you?

Without a doubt. I used to run from that and tried to avoid sounding Lithuanian as much as possible, but I started liking the Lithuanian scene and its creators with time. There are a lot of good young musicians and producers, and naturally, I’m quite hyped. Now it’s a pleasure to meet all these musicians and share ideas. I think it’s beautiful to learn from one another, and I’m glad to be mature enough to understand that recently.

Which places would you recommend to people coming to Vilnius who want to listen to good Lithuanian music?

I would say Empty Brain Resort, even though they don’t have a place anymore, they still organise great events. Then Sodas 2123. In the summer there are more things happening, mostly festivals. For example, “Gaida” is a really cool festival, although they usually bring foreign artists and Lithuanians mostly do opening acts, but it’s still worth seeing. This year we had probably the biggest festival, 8 Days A Week, with a lot of stars performing, foreign and Lithuanian, so you could immediately compare the quality, the energy and other things. Tamsa Club also brings out great artists. Jazz Cellar as well, for jazz enthusiasts. And Lukiškių Kalėjimas organises great concerts. Actually, I’d even say the best are the unofficial concerts that you learn about by being in certain circles, usually they’re more private, often at somebody’s home. I think a similar feeling is promoted by Studium P, a small gallery that sometimes does concerts. That is a bit more selected audience.

You can listen and purchace HAUS by Vecera here:

We had conversations with other European artists on similar topics: OOPUS | Kurws | Bookie Baker | Jeremy Dunne | Katarzia | Twentees | Youniverse | Robin Kester | Marie de la Montagne | Damir Bašić aka Duka & with small companies and startups Tiny Rooms | LaPee | Flower of Sound | Hajde | From Rec to Play

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Gabija Liaugminaitė
Gabija Liaugminaitė
Digital service design

Cultural researcher with a passion for the world of music and ambitions to improve artists’ working and living conditions.