Chilly Gonzales: „My first job was playing piano in a record store.“ (Interview)

Chilly Gonzales ©by Alexandre Isard

3 questions on the subject “Music from here / Discovering the unheard”:

How did you become a musician, and how did you discover your own genre?

My grandfather showed me the piano. I don’t have my own genre of music, I worked on finding my own special way of playing the piano, so that one day it will sound like me no matter what the musical genre is.

Which artist do you see as an insider tip?

I’m not sure I understand the question, but if you mean someone under-rated and not known, I would say there are many amazing french composers like Berlioz and Franck that had a very modern „poppy“ sound many years before Debussy.

What was the last album where you thought to yourself “This is unbelievable, I’ve never heard anything like it”?

Cesar Franck – Quintet in F.

3 questions about “Record Stores”:

Which meaning do record stores have for music culture in general and your music in particular?

My first job was playing piano in a record store. I would play the hits. This was a very humble way to be introduced to the music industry.

How important are record stores for you as a musician and also as a customer and music fan?

Very important, but obviously there are problems in the overall business model.

What are your current CD recommendations, and what musicians and albums should be in every home CD collection?

Lots of Classical and Romantic-era chamber music. Chamber ensembles are where the great composers tried out their most radical ideas of color and effect. Forget opera, symphonies and piano pieces – chamber is where it’s at.