VIP QUARANTINE - singer Tereza Kerndlová: It seems useless to bring new music into this mess now

About the journey to the top of pop music, 110 days of being locked up in Spain and her sick mother.
03.Feb 2021
 
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The 34-year-old singer began performing at the age of eight with her father and his orchestra called Jazz Friends. In 2000, she received an offer to join the girl group Black Milk, which started her rise to the top. For more than 20 years, the Brno native has been working in the music industry and during that time she has managed to release 15 solo albums. The song from 2019 "Waiting In Line for Dreams", which she sang with the Slovak rapper Kalim, has 14 million views on YouTube. In an interview for LP-Life.com, Tereza talked about her best memories from the music scene, hard times during the pandemic when she was locked up in Spain or her mother's serious illness.

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Which of your albums do you have the most beautiful memories of?

Since each record is created at a different time in my life, it's very difficult to compare. There is a different feeling coming from music you are working on or recording in different moods, in different conditions, and often with new people. Each album is therefore associated with different experiences and situations. For me, the recording of the albums "Orchid" and "Have some fun" is definitely unforgettable, as they were recorded in Belgium, and studio work abroad certainly carries a lot of interesting and completely different processes and perceptions. I really enjoyed traveling and recording in Brussels, meeting interesting people, and seeing new places. In Bruges at Christmas time, I saw perhaps the most beautiful Christmas decoration and for the first time had clams from a large pot by the fireplace in a restaurant on the square. We lived in a small private hotel that looked like from a fairy tale and we had a really good time. I consider "Stairway from Heaven" to be the most successful album and I have beautiful memories of it, in the sense that probably my most famous song so far was created for this album - "Stairway from Heaven". At that time, the singing that was used in the final version was made for a demo recording, because in short, everything worked best in the original version, and therefore all the re-recording of the song led nowhere.

How does the writing process work? Where do you get your inspiration?

I'm not the author of any of my Czech lyrics, my husband is. By that I mean that I am not able to answer your question, perhaps I'm just able to say that it's always pleasant when someone writes lyrics tailored for you and is close to you. We can rehearse them directly and the process is certainly different from when someone writes them for you remotely and on top of it's a stranger. I think that working with a close person who knows you best is simply much better and very pleasant. Some of the lyrics are about life experiences, most of them are the favorite love stories, but some of the lyrics reflect the two of us, our relationship, and there are also lyrics that are dedicated directly to me.

You've been in the spotlight of the pop scene for a long time. Do you remember the moment that kickstarted your career?

I started performing in public as a little girl and then came the big boom with the group Black Milk. I was a teenager and perceived everything very intensely, it was a beautiful feeling. We had our own tours, albums, awards, and performances at prestigious events. After the break-up of the group, I had to arrange my life in a completely different way, with new people and the beginning wasn't easy. But if one wants to achieve something, one must not give up too soon, one must not slow down and one must work hard. In my solo career, there was a huge turning point after the first two albums, after two years, with the album "Retro". At the time, it was one of the most played songs on the Czech radio stations by a female solo Czech artist, and it's still played until this day. I followed up afterward with other songs and then especially the next album "Stairway from Heaven" became an even bigger hit. Staying on stage for many years is probably the hardest thing and I succeed in it, I still release albums, I play for people and above all, I do what makes me happy. I realize that the words "I play for people" are a little far away from reality now, but I believe that we will soon return to normal and we artists will be able to be closer to our fans again, not only virtually, but also physically. I really miss playing concerts with the band.

Tereza Kerndlová
Tereza Kerndlová • Source: terezakerndlova.com

How much have you transformed when it comes to music style since the beginning of your career?

I went through different styles - retro, dance, R'n'B, and reggaeton. But I think it's always stayed within the pop style. I would say that pop music transforms itself over the years, evolves, and merges with other styles. As a result, I also adapted many times to where the pop was going, but at the same time, I always kept to my own. The way my fans liked me the most was romance and tenderness. With only a small variation, which is a lot of fun, by the way.

How do you deal with the popularity? Do you enjoy it or would you sometimes prefer to be anonymous?

I enjoy my anonymity abroad, nobody knows me there and that's nice, after all, one has to watch out at home. But I've never had a problem taking pictures with people on the street and exchanging a few words, and the fact that people notice you and look at you, even when you're shopping, is such an old thing that I don't really feel it anymore. It never happened to me that someone would explicitly harass or stalk me. That must be really unpleasant.

Do you have a dream that you would like to fulfill musically? Like events where you sing or such.

Of course, I do. One should always have a new dream, a new goal and never actually have it done or fulfilled. I would also like my own tour around the country or one huge concert, for a large number of people and everything that goes with it. Just a big event, to put it simply. Maybe even that will come true.

Prostorný byt - Praha 1 - Petrská čtvrť - 120m
Prostorný byt - Praha 1 - Petrská čtvrť - 120m, Praha 1

What music do you like listening to the most lately? Any favorite artists?

Recently, I've been thinking about how my taste is changing. Or rather, the desire for mainstream music, which actually began to decline for me a few years ago. I just stopped listening to the new, foreign music we hear from the radio. Yes, there are a few popular songs that will interest me, such as the song from The Weeknd "Blinding Lights", but I would much rather listen to the rest of the songs from his album, which maybe aren't so popular in general. I adore the French band M83, which almost no one knows, it's sort of electro pop, a kind of independent music that is great to listen to in the car. I like to play playlists with chill music too, you know, just for a good mood, but I also go back a lot, I play Jackson or the band Queen. I have a lot of variety and it's also about my current mood and the state of mind I'm in. It's absolutely for certain that I love music a lot and I even need it while I'm cooking. I'm practically always listening to something.

Who influenced you the most from the world/or even the Czech scene?

The aforementioned Michael Jackson has always fascinated me and I will not stop admiring how his music sounds even until this day, how everything is elaborate down to the last detail and it might never lose its timelessness. I have always been most influenced by black music. As a kid, I used to listen to Supremes. R’n’B is the style I love the most.

You have perfectly styled outfits in the video clips. Do you come up with them yourself or do you have a stylist?

It used to be that I had a stylist who created outfits for a given event, a video clip, a television appearance, or for a performance. Over time, I began to deal with these matters on my own. I was always interested in fashion, enjoyed it and whenever I found the time, I liked to look for clothes myself, knowing the concept of the video, in what environment to the given music it would be and according to that what would look good on camera. So I am "to blame" for a number of the latest video clips.

You are a very beautiful woman, have you ever considered trying modeling?

Certainly not as an adult, but as a child, in addition to tap dancing or voice acting, I also did modeling. But my height is definitely not in the dimensions of a model, so it wouldn't even work, but above all, it wouldn't be a job for me. I'm a singer and I will definitely stick to it. On the plus side, part of my profession is also doing photoshoots, which I enjoy, but it's really just a bonus.

Tereza Kerndlová
Tereza Kerndlová • Source: terezakerndlova.com

Last year, you and your husband celebrated your seven-year wedding anniversary. What is your secret to a happy marriage?

A happy relationship and a happy marriage is something that not everyone has, and I appreciate it immensely because I know how complicated it is for some other couples. Above all, we live for each other. We care about how the other person feels and all the time we spend together is what fulfills us. It suits us that way, even though a lot of people tell us they don't know how we can stand it. It's probably not completely normal to be together twenty-four hours every day, or almost that much. It's simply that we are happy together this way, we like to spend time together, we understand and get each other. It's about both parties, you simply have to always find a solution, and sometimes someone just has to give in if there is a conflict. Any relationship needs work, a friendship or a marriage, it's the same. Our relationship has no scars, it's strong and proven in the 17 years we have been together. We know everything about the other and we know each other perfectly. The most important thing for me is definitely trust, sincerity, openness, and communication. Loyalty and friendship are a given. Marriage is an alliance, nothing else, but unfortunately, it seems to me that a lot of people don't see it that way after the wedding, and thus they become more estranged.

The year 2020 was very special for everyone. How has it changed for you? How would you rate it?

I don't know if I want to evaluate a year that didn't bring almost anything good. I've got a lot of punches from life and I'll remember it as one of the worst years ever. My husband and I got stuck in Spain from February to June, which wasn't as unbearable for us, but we experienced a lot of worries about how to get home and what will happen in the world. There were no planes, no trains, no one could come for us, and the feeling of insecurity was unpleasant. Such a long separation from the family wasn't easy either. When we finally got home after 110 days and the restrictions loosened, everything seemed to be turning for the better. I managed to perform twice but they closed everything again and it lasts until now. Basically, I haven't performed for a year and part of me doesn't really exist now. But the worst thing this year was clearly the news that my mother's cancer returned after 16 years. It was very difficult for all of us for those three months, we practically lived on the farm with our parents and took care of our mother, helped her and supported her. Actually, we supported each other. Cancer still accompanies us and I don't know how much more we can endure. But I believe that the circle has closed, my mother is after her radiation therapy and so she ended that part of the treatment. We believe that when the time comes for new results, they will be only good.

On the contrary, what do you expect from this year?

It's better if I don't. I will only hope for beautiful things, but at the same time, I'm ready to accept reality and adapt. We all learned a lot in 2020, maybe it was also of some use. I only want one thing, and that is my mother's health, I want to hear that she has recovered and I'm basically not interested in anything else.

I can't help but ask... what can fans look forward to in the near future?

I'm preparing new songs, but I just think that bringing them into this mess is useless now, and I'd rather wait until the right time comes. When the world calms down and returns closer to the state before the pandemic. Maybe it won't take long and we will live normally again. I wish everyone to handle it with as much ease and peace of mind as possible. It feels long for everyone, but I don't think we have a choice.

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