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His stylish swishes on the piano sometimes form a high-speed symphony while at other times are capable of getting you into a melancholic mood. Categorised under crossover classical music, his work seesaws between classical and contemporary techno-pop elements. Touted as a young genius pianist, Maksimís concerts with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra have been huge successes. Not able control his experiments within the parameters of classical music, Maksim successfully spinned his classical routes around modern up-tempo music. Three albums down, Maksim Mrvica bounces back with his fourth studio album Electrik.

He flings surprises with an eclectic mix of original compositions and old symphonies firing up club vibes in Electrik. Thereís March Of The Icons, which kicks off with a heady lounge feel. Each track is open to interpretation; while Requiem, which is fast-paced, gives you a dark climax feel, Nathrach reveals some edgy vocals, and Tango In Ebony is a feel-good soothing track.

We chatted with the musician for a few minutes while he was in Japan as a part of his tour and got the exclusive on this latest realease.

The Record: Tell us about Electrik.
Maksim Mrvica:
I wanted to do something different from my previous albums. I was trying out a lot of things and in about four months had enough new ideas that I wanted to record. On this album I have also collaborated with producer Jonathan Allen who has worked with artistes like Bjork and Prodigy, and most of the pieces here have a really upbeat production. So it definitely gives that edgy flavour.

TR: Where did the electronica influences come from? Which are your favourite tracks from the album?
I love electronica. I used to attend rave parties in college, which hooked me on to electronica. It was refreshing to fuse it with classical piano. My favourite tracks from the album include Prelude C, because it was a tough piece to fuse. I also love Requiem, which involved 100-piece choir and 60 members of the royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Itís a dynamic track.

TR: Whatís your equation with your fans?
I have a great rapport with my fans. There was this boy who came all the way from London to Japan for one night just to attend my concert. There was this other guy who visited me in my hometown, stayed there for two months and learnt the language. The idea of people dancing to one of my pieces in the club is really challenging

TR: Tell us about your extravagant performances. How important is the visual aspect?
For live concerts, you need an eclectic atmosphere. I think the audience enjoys a concert most when itís a combined effort of music and the ambience. Itís very important for the kind of concerts [where] thousands of people come. Once the venue is decided, my manager Mel Bush and I check the place. We have a special crew who work for musicians like Robbie Williams and Coldplay; they come up with ideas about the performance. My manager and I then sit with them and approve the ideas and make changes.

TR: How difficult was it for your music to survive in war torn Croatia?
It was very difficult. I was 15 when the war began. There were more than 1000 grenades a day. At one point there were seven whole days when we stayed in the basement and didnít see the sun. But it was a lesson that I learnt. I had fallen in love with piano the first time I saw it at my friendís house and performing live asserted my decision of becoming a musician because I enjoyed doing it. That was also the time I travelled all the way to Zagreb for a competition and got a huge applause just for turning up for the competition in such risky war situations. I went on to win the competition and people said I ought to win just for coming from Sibenik. There were hundreds of people shouting for me and not because they felt sorry for me.

TR: How do you strike a balance between your personal and professional life?
My family travels with me to most of the places I go; I donít have to deal with catching up with my family. My mother is also with me most of the time. Now my daughter has started showing an interest in music and I think she likes my music (laughs).

TR: Are you planning to come to India any time soon?
I have Indian fans and I hope my record label arranges a concert in India. I hope my fans there appreciate my new album.

TR: You are always praised for your model looks? Is that a career option?
Iím quite glued to music. I have to concentrate on classical as well as on my crossover music. Juggling all this hardly gives me time for anything else. Itís not my cup of tea.

You can read the rest of our exclusive with Maksim in the November-December 2006 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.


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