Interview by Mike Ponin
“Music is my way to be connected to something bigger, to god. It’s a prayer”
Grégory Privat is a piano player from Martinique who has been living in Paris for 14 years now. His father José Privat, the actual piano player of the band Malavoi, gave him obviously the love for music.
“Creating my label after all was a real act of freedom”
I think the creation of my own label « Buddham Jazz » in 2019 is one of the thing I’m really proud of.
At that time, I was supposed to release « Soley » on ACT Music, a pretty good German label for jazz music. I had already released « Family Tree » with them in 2016. But « Soley » was really different from this album since there were more electronic sounds, singing parts, and it was not the sound of a traditional piano trio, so they didn’t like it. They wanted me to change my music. So I quit this label because it was like selling my soul.
Creating my label after all was a real act of freedom.
I’m releasing a solo album in January next year. I’m really excited about this one !
“Generally I wait for the inspiration to come. I don’t want to force the process, I let it come naturally. It’s more powerful this way”
LAURA PRICE, Peace of Mine
This project is the first one where I stand as musical director. I enjoyed to play this role as Laura is a really good musician and singer, and she as pretty good compositions too. So I gathered the team for this project, prepared the music for 5 musicians, booked the studio, wrote a string quartet arrangement for 3 songs, and I tried to fit in the vision of Laura.
It was a really good experience !
_We were gladly surprised to see you appears in the credits of “EDS”, a creole Hip Hop artist. We didn’t expect you here. We wonder if you got an opinion on the urban trends, particularly in Martinique.
Yes, EDS. is one of the first collaboration I did ! Actually I was still living in Martinique at that time. I’m not really aware of the urban trends now, but I think I want to make that kind of collaboration in the future, to try new experiences, meet new artists who are not in the fields of jazz music, and see what happen.
“This is our specificity in the Caribbean, to be able to play and to fit in different genres”
Do you have any advice or warning for local artist who would like to develop themselves overseas ?
The first thing I would say is to stay true to yourself, to work hard, and not to be afraid to be open to all kind of music. Because this is our specificity in the Caribbean, to be able to play and to fit in different kind of music.
FROM THE CARIBBEAN
“All the elements of Caribbean music are present in me”
Gregory Privat played in many jazz festival in Martinique and Guadeloupe. He also performed in St Lucia « Jazz in the South » but it was a long time ago.
10 years ago you gave up an office job to focused entirely on music. What are you still dreaming about and where are you seeing yourself 10 years later ?
I don’t know. What I know is that I do my best every day to go as far as I can, and I hope to reach out to more and more people with my music in the future.
“I would be really glad to come back with my new album « Soley » in St Lucia, Curacao, Tobago and more”
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Gregory Privat was originally published in Artist Reviews & Caribbean Lifestyle on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.