Fast confession - singer Pavel Callta: I miss having a background

On singing, social network and loneliness
08.May 2019
 
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The moment this guy enters an establishment, every girl or young woman in the room will probably turn around to look at him. Pavel Callta is a typical pretty boy who looks younger than he really is. But in his career as a singer, he bets on his talent, not his appearance. He writes all the songs that get high numbers of views on Youtube by himself. And he excels at it thanks to his own experiences. In the interview with Luxury Prague Life, the native of Česká Lípa revealed his dreams and gave his opinion on social networks.

Video

Why are you so tired already on the first working day?

I admit the clip that I’m about to release soon was keeping me busy late into the night, so I went to sleep at about three. Then I spent a long time thinking, meaning I fell asleep way too late.

Which song will the video be for?

The song is called Nechat vítr vát (Let the wind blow). It's a duet with Marta Jandová, an anthem about leaving. We’ve recorded it together for the Avon march.

Yes, I know both your and Martha’s mother died of cancer. What was the cooperation with Marta like?

Great. She’s amazing.

Luxusní byt na prodej Malá Strana 123m
Luxusní byt na prodej Malá Strana 123m, Praha 1

Will the people who don’t know about your connection recognize that the song is a message about women suffering of cancer?

For sure. I think it's said in the song. Not explicitly, with words like cancer, but there are words like hope. Let the wind blow - it's very motivational, full of hope, and one can definitely hear in it, and see in the video, that the song has been made for this occasion.

Have you composed it yourself?

Yes. I pride myself in composing songs.

Did you draw from your deepest emotions?

Yeah, yeah. Basically, I always do, one has to live through it to be able to sing about it.

Artists often give their all on stage and are introverted in private. It's exhausting to draw from within…

It’s true that I am probably a little different at a concert than in reality. But these motivational songs, for instance, give me a lot of energy. I know they have a message and that they may help someone. That fulfills me.

Since cancer runs in your family, do you get preventive check-ups?

Once in a while, I get a general check-up and an immunology one. I think it's extremely important to be mentally fine. I'm trying to maintain mental balance, even though it doesn’t always work. But I don’t think I’m controlling myself too much.

You're thirty now, you lost your parents four years ago. That affects a person even in the practical matters, such as having to wash one’s own clothing, taking care of the household, finances…

It’s actually more difficult mentally, one lacks that safe haven, that background. Calling my dad just to say “dad, I’m feeling blue”, that’s what I miss. But I've been working abroad since I was eighteen and I'm quite independent, so I can take care of myself.

Do you still have grandparents?

From my mother’s side. They live in Ostrava, but we see each other very rarely.

And you have a brother, right?

Yes, in Dubai, he works there. He lives there with his wife and they’re expecting a baby.

So you’re completely alone here?

I have an aunt here who lives in Děčín, I visit her. I have a cousin there too, that's my closest family.

You worked as a delegate. Why did you drop it? Traveling must be great after all.

I decided to choose music, I’ve always wanted to be a singer. The main season for singing at festivals is in summer, and delegates also mainly work in the summer. It would have interfered with each other, these careers can’t be combined.

What kinds of places have you been to as a delegate? And do you have a funny story to share?

At the age of eighteen, I worked as delegate for the first time, in Egypt, and a year later in Turkey, where I was as a delegate and a tourist guide. And a funny story? Once I went to a local doctor with a lady that could have been about 80 years old, because she wasn’t feeling well. She was very old, but super nice and likeable - a former philosophy professor. I had to fill the insurance company forms with her, as they were in English. As I was translating them for her, she scanned the papers with her eyes, stopped on the word "sex" and then she said, "Jesus Christ, Mr. Paul! Sex? I haven't had that in ages.” That made us laugh so bad that we were pretty much rolling on the floor with the doctor. Then I explained to her that it was just a question regarding her gender.

I know a lot of theatre actors who don’t have it easy. That makes me wonder if it really is worth it for them - being broke all the time, living from paycheck to paycheck… Are things somewhat better for singers?

I’d say it depends on the singer. But since I am also the author of all the songs, I get various amounts of money from Youtube. And that is the regular income thanks to which I’ll never be starving.

Luxusní byt na prodej Rašínovo nábřeží - 238m
Luxusní byt na prodej Rašínovo nábřeží - 238m, Praha 1

What do you like to spend on?

Mostly on food, I guess, because I eat a lot, and also on traveling and cinema. I am a movie enthusiast and I’m often on the road. And, not to forget, I actually invest the largest amounts of money into my music videos. Part of the expenses is always covered by sponsors, but my videos are quite expensive, so I pay the rest myself.

Regarding your songs, you're composing them yourself. But would you also accept someone else's song?

I decided that I wanted to have a 100% authorship. I have nothing against asking someone for an opinion. Or what they think of a certain word, if it's not too pathetic or sweet. People send me lyrics, sometimes I receive a message that they have a song for me. I write back politely, but I refuse.

Those people are usually your fans?

No, regular songwriters.

And if you were asked, would you write a song for someone else?

I do that sometimes. For example, I wrote a song for Aquababes (Tvoje múza - Your Muse) and for a young singer, Naty Hrychová (Píseň z klišé - Song of Clichés). So yes, when I have something in the drawer. If you mean writing on order, I'm not doing that at the moment. Unfortunately, I don’t have time for it and I prefer writing songs for my next album. I still have a lot of songs in my drawer, and when somebody asks, I'll offer them something I have in store.

What’s your target group?

That depends on the song. I started with such cheerful songs, so I think those attracted mostly younger people or girls. Lately, since I’ve started making these motivational songs such as Píšem si svůj sen (We’re Writing Our Dreams) or Nechat vítr vát (Let the Wind Blow), these will attract an older audience. It's a mix, I don't really know. I go from composing one song to another, each song is thematically different from the others. The average age is under thirty, but there are also women around 40 coming to my shows, because they know my songs. Of course, most of the audience is younger, about twenty, but thirty percent of my fans are from different age groups. I'm glad it's such a mix.

Which of your songs had so many views that it surprised you?

There were four. Neštěstí (Misfortune), Zrzka (Redhead), Terapeut (Therapist) and Píšem si svůj sen (We’re Writing Our Dreams) . I really didn’t expect Therapist would be so popular. It’s a motivational song. The motivational songs get the most views, not those about love.

Do you have the tendency to motivate people to better themselves? Are you trying to educate them?

I don’t think so. Rather, if someone is looking for support, I’d like them to find understanding in the song and start feeling better. I think the songs I’ve mentioned kind of have that effect.

Did the duet with Leoš Mareš help you to greater fame?

My name certainly reached a wider audience, especially people over the age of 30. Together, the song can get even farther, almost everyone knows it.

Leoš can't sing. Weren’t you afraid that he would spoil it for you? (laughs)

I wasn't. I didn't even want him to sing there. Let’s say we’re both rapping in the strophes. I took the singing upon myself. (laughs)

Who else would you like to sing with?

I would like to collaborate on a guitar song with Tomáš Klus, because I grew up on his first works.

You will run the inSportline Prima Run soon. What is your relationship with sport and similar events? When they want to make use of your famous name or face?

I will never let myself be pushed into something I wouldn’t enjoy, I always need to have some kind of relationship with it. I like to run, I’ve just ran a half marathon. And the inSportline Prima Run is just five kilometers long, so it's going to be just fine. I see it as a social event where I’ll meet friends, have a run. It is in Stromovka on Saturday 11th May and we start at noon. So, be there if you want to see us or run along.

Concerts must be physically demanding, you have to keep in shape. How do you do it?

I have such periods of spastic activity, when I push myself and start working out, go to the gym or for a run every day. I used to be a competitive swimmer for nine years, so I have ingrained sport habits. But then I have periods when I work on my music and can’t be bothered to move.

I had a little crisis now in March, I went to Světozor for a dessert every day, a cream puff. I really didn't want to do anything, I couldn’t force myself. But in April, I decided that I would start again from Monday, cut down the sweets, go back to the active period. I realize I’m pretty unstable when it comes to this, but well, that’s what I’m like.

And what concerts await you this year?

I’m preparing what will likely be the biggest concert in my life on November 7 in Fórum Karlín. I'll be christening a new album and a book there.

A book?

I’m writing a book that I intend to publish under Albatros. It's an authentic diary, I've been writing a diary since I was fourteen. It is a cross-section of my life, things that I’ve experienced so far.

Do you mention your loves, too? First sex?

Yes. But I’m still thinking how to go about it, I won’t be giving out every detail. (laughs)

How many people do you expect to come to your concert? A lot of them can fit...

Honestly, if about two and a half thousand come, I'll be really happy.

So you don't have ambitions to play in the O2 arena?

I would definitely like to try it once, it's a dream of mine. But I think there is enough time for that. It should be a concert made up of actual hits, like, let’s say, Chinaski. First I have to try Fórum Karlín, see if it will go well, and then I can starting thinking about O2 arena.

Do you think ahead of time, perhaps about people abroad listening to your songs in a few years?

I've always had such ambitions - to try and succeed abroad. I still have the idea in my head, I write also in English. But now that I’ve been traveling for a bit, I really appreciated that I was able to relax. Nobody knows me, which is great. When I imagine being known abroad, I ask myself if I’d even like that. Of course it is a great goal, to be famous worldwide, but I think Czech Republic may be enough for me, or maybe Slovakia. But behind the borders, it’s no longer what I’ve longed for... Being a star abroad.

How about your personal life?

No problem.

Can it be combined? You probably don't have nine to five shifts like the majority of working people.

Yeah, that sucks sometimes. Sometimes a schedule is really required, because you have various mood changes due to fatigue and so on. It's a different kind of life.

You're thirty. Are you already thinking about family or marriage?

I'm thinking about it, but right now I don't feel like having children at all. I was thinking maybe in five years, but I’m letting the wind blow. I'll see what's gonna happen, I don’t dwell on anything. I think that when I want to have children and settle down, I will feel it. I'm not feeling it yet.

As a young, handsome, successful and famous singer, you must be having a hard time meeting girls...

I always watch out, like when a girl writes to me - even if I find her attractive. But I can figure her out in a moment. I ask a lot of questions, I'm very talkative. Most importantly I have a people radar since childhood and I can see through them. All I need to do is talk to the person for a while and I know if she's some kind of poser or a cool girl.

I don't like posers, people who pretend to be something they’re not.

Today’s society is full of pretension. Instagram and the like, all of it is so fake, everybody is sharing only their "happy moments", but reality is completely different. Then, in my opinion, people transfer it to the real life - everyone is a poser, playing some kind of theatre.

How many followers do you have on Instagramu?

146 thousand.

So you must be one of the people posting „happy“ pics.

I'm pretty real there. I posted a happy photo and wrote underneath that it’s interesting that people can’t tell if I’m currently depressed or not. You can put anything there and it can all be entirely fake. That’s how it usually works - couples are taking pictures that show how happy they are, even though it isn’t true. Those couples who really are happy usually don’t have the time to put "love" on Instagram and write about how happy they are. In my opinion, if you’re actually happy, you don’t feel the need to push it on others.

Can you imagine a week without social networks?

I’ve been practising that. I gave myself three weeks, completely erased everything, and I felt great. But then I had to start again because of my concerts. It sucks, I shouldn't be doing that because of my job - social networks are good promotion tools. But sometimes I go and erase the icon, for a day or so, and it makes me feel better that I don’t have to look at it.

Lately, I've been trying just to put up a post, look at those I’m following, check what's new, and switch it off. It's a time eater, and a useless one at that. I’m not fond of that world. If I spend a lot of time there, it doesn't do me any good.

Thank you very much for the interview.

Fast confession:

What would you never sacrifice for your career?

My honor and pride.

Where in the world have you seen the most beautiful sunset?

In Mauritius.

Where would you take a girl for your first date?

If it was at all possible, then to watch the sunset in Mauritius.

What would you like to tell Jaromír Jágr after his last success on ice?

That he’s a champ!

Which news have recently made you sad?

The terrorist attack in New Zealand.

What would you never forgive a best friend?

If I found out he was trying it on my girlfriend, I'd probably have a problem with that.

What have you ever spent most money on?

For food and traveling.

Your most embarrassing situation?

I was driving to a first date with an empty tank and my car died. So I had to take a canister and go to the gas station, while the girl was already waiting for me.

Who would you like to have a dinner with, if you could choose? Karolína Kurková, Petra Němcová, Simona Krainová or Shopaholic Nikol?

Shopaholic Nikol is a friend of mine, I can talk to her anytime, so probably Karolína Kurková.

Who is your role model?

Justin Timberlake.

What was the craziest offer you’ve got from a fan or has a fan ever made you feel uncomfortable?

I received a letter, a long poem where a fan wrote to me that she would be waiting under the horse every day at six o'clock and if I wanted to meet her, I should come there.

What was your worst nightmare?

Once I had a dream in which I was hit by a train, which cut off my legs and I didn’t have any. I woke up, it was quite overwhelming.

Hangover cure according to P. Callta?

At least two days of peace after the party, without trying to solve anything important, and being with people that make you feel good.

Name three shortcomings of our country.

I'm happy here, the only thing I miss is mutual tolerance and more love between people.
Question by the interviewee for the editor:

Did you enjoy our interview today?

It looks very interesting so far.
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