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1) Which passion came first – singing or playing the french horn? What was your first contact with french horn and how did you start playing it?
A: I started to sing as a little girl. I remember singing with my sister, who accompanied me on the piano, my father played double bass and we played nearly every night at home all together. At the age of 11 I was accepted for the study of classical music at the Jan Nerudy grammar school in Prague. There I started with the french horn and I fell in love with this instrument.
2) How did you find out your talent to be a jazz singer? Which artists inspired you to follow this music style?
A: I came to jazz music very early, because we listened to Jazz in my family very often. I was inspired a lot of jazz musicians such as Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzie Gilespie, Stan Getz, Joe Pass, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Sarah Vaughn etc.
3) Czech Republic qualified to Eurovision final for the first time last year, with Gabriela Guncikova. Did you see her performance? What do you think Gabriela did that the other czech competitors didn’t?
A: Of course I saw her performance and I was really excited. At first I would mention, that she has a high quality as a singer… and she also looks great and her song (composed by swedish musicians) was a good choice for the Czech Republic.
4) You’ve been working with big bands and jazz bands, but now you’ll be on your own, as a soloist. How challenging is it for you to perform alone at the biggest contest in the world?
A: You are right, that it wlll be for me a big challenge! I’ve got a lot of stage experiences – singing as a soloist with different music projects (big bands, accompanied only by piano, performing with trio and bigger groups depending on the repertoire). I’ve started with the preparations for the ESC. I want to be physically and mentaly in a good condition in order to be able to give my very best into my performance.
5) You are a jazz singer, but you’re singing a ballad in Kiev. Which jazz influences are you bringing to your song and to your performance?
A: You know… Jazz music is my passion, Jazz is the music that I grew with, but I also listen to and sing & play another music styles. I’d like to bring to my performance the honesty, the consciousness of the meaning of the lyrics, I’d like to transfer true emotions (from the bottom of my soul) to the audience. I’d like to make them feel, what I really want to tell them with this song… That’s what the music is about in my opinion.
6) There’s a lot of female ballads this year, from Georgia’s powerballad to Denmark’s R&B mid-tempo ballad. Why do you think “My Turn” can stand out in the competition? Do you think you can bring Czech Republic back to the final?
A: Of course I’d like to bring my country to the final. I will do my very best for it. I believe in the song “My turn”, because it’s not an ordinary ballad. It’s got it’s own deepness and message for the people.
7) What’s the first thing that come to your mind when we say Brazil? What do you know about us?
A: Unfortunately I have never been in Brazil, but I’ve heard a lot of about this country and I’d like to go there one day. The landscape must be wonderful, I’ve also heard a lot about the festival in Rio de Janeiro 🙂 I love brazilian music. During my study at jazz institute Berlin, I had to oppotunity to get to know brazilian music, because I attended a music course led by a brazilian musicians prof. Guilherme Castro and prof. Javier Reyes, which was very inspiring. You’ve got a lot of great musicians in your country such as Hermeto Pascoal, Antonio Carlos Jobim (who influenced sooo many Jazz musicians all around the world), Joyce Moreno – I remember singing her song “Mistérios” at the concert at the univeristy of performing arts in Berlin, what a lovely song!!!), Ivan Lins – great musician and composer…etc.
8) Send a message to brazilian fans.
A: Dear brazilian fans of mine! Support me at the Eurovision song contest. I will sing for you and i hope you will like it. Be good to each other, enjoy every single day, only we together can make this world better… I send you best greetings from Prague and I’m looking forward to seeing some of you in May in Kiew. Yours Martina Bárta – the girl who was born in Prague, studied in Germany and now is going to sing for the world. Music is my passion, music is my love, music is my life.
ESCPedia team thanks Martina Bárta for this amazing interview and we wish her the best of luck in Kiev!