Passion for music plays an important role in their lives, so they constantly follow their dreams. This is perfectly understood by Sii Poland, which supports its employees as part of Passion Sponsorship Program. The application of Grey Fruit to the 4th edition of the program resulted in recording a new music video for the song, which was chosen by the employees and fans of the band. Tomek Kubala, team leader and Release Manager from Sii Wroclaw, told about the work on the video that had just been released, the story of the band and plans for the future.
How did the Grey Fruit band come about?
Tomek Kubala, Release Manager at Sii Wrocław: It lighted up for the first time in the mind of my and my college friend, saxophonist Michał Szydło – initially under a different name. The goal was to play our beloved funk music. For the first rehearsal I invited my friend, a guitarist and vocalist – Michał Kościukiewicz, with whom we had already played together in school bands and a local mandolin orchestra. Michał brought a passion for lively rhythms of ska music to the band.
We started as a cover band “Just in time”, but after a year of rehearsals and several concerts, a couple – a bass player and a drummer – left us. We can say that we lost the vital core, but we did not stop searching and finally we found Kuba (bass guitar) and his friend from school punk bands – Olek (drums). The Grey Fruit band was formed from such an explosive mixture.
Where did your passion for music come from?
T.K.: My passion for music would not have erupted, had it not been for the 6 years of accordion class at the 1st degree Music School in Lubań, to which my grandfather, also an accordionist, would take me back in a day. I guess the passion was there in me all along, because at school I also started my adventure with the piano, which I continue by playing keyboard instruments in Grey Fruit. There were also percussion instruments in the mandolinist orchestra mentioned above. To this day, I try to express myself as a multi-instrumentalist, especially in the studio.
What is your role in the band?
T.K.: I play keys, accordion, tambourine, I sing as the second vocal (occassionaly the leading). I am also a band manager (together with bass player Kuba), a master of ceremonies, and if necessary, also a driver.
What does having musical passion look like in practice?
T.K.: In fact, true passion means hard work and huge sacrifices, especially since I personally perform as part of another Wroclaw folk-rock band. Usually it is 2-3 rehearsals a week for 3 hours. In addition, there are weekly vocal lessons, concerts over weekends and their organization as well as managing social media. Musical passion, and especially your own creativity, is also self-expression and release of emotions – sometimes also purifying yourself of the negative ones.
Grey Fruit is made by men alone. How do you get along? Do you happen to argue?
T.K.: Of course! Especially over creating new material or mixes of recordings from the studio, where everyone wants to have their say. However, it’s usually good fun with your best friends, and the performances themselves provide with incredible energy, resonating between the band and the audience.
Your songs are played on the radio, you organize concerts, make music videos … do you feel famous?
T.K.: For now, we do not see fame, it is rather the already mentioned hard work. Sometimes someone will mention that they knows us or heard us somewhere (on the radio at 5 am). We even heard that one of the weddings of people completely unknown to us hosted our ballad for the opening dance. True fame is only the melody of the future, I hope (laughs).
You’ve been working on a musical project for several months. We can already reveal that you have just released the latest music video for the song “To ten czas”. Tell me about the song and the creative process of working on a music video.
T.K.: That is correct! The release of the music video took place on November 23 and we are currently starting the promotion of our new “child”. The song “It’s This Time” is a story about the first meetings of a boy with a girl. Shy beginnings turn into a great love that can survive anything. This is also the story of the music video, which, I hope, we managed to realize.
We worked on the song for several weeks. We recorded its pilot version in a small studio together with three other songs. We presented all four to our fans, including colleagues from Sii Polska, in the form of an online survey. For the clip, we wanted to choose a song that people really like, not just us. “It’s this time” won with a safe advantage.
We met the director and operator of the music video, Michał Popowicz, through a mutual friend who often comes to our concerts. Michał just came back from a few years stay in Dubai, where he made commercials for Versace and others, but also music clips. It got our interest a lot. One glance at his portfolio and we knew that he would make our music video!
The shooting sessions themselves took us 2-3 days, but the preparation of plans, actors, equipment and dates took several months.
How did you come up with the idea for shooting bits for the clip in Sii Polska office in Wrocław?
T.K.: We are the beneficiaries of the 4th edition of the Passion Sponsorship Program and the funding we received from the company was intended primarily for our most important project of 2019, i.e. recording the music video for the song “It’s this time”. We thought that it would be great to mark the presence of Sii Polska in our clip, which is why we recorded a few shots in Wrocław office.
Until now, we have made this type of productions on our own or with the help of friends, applying cost-cutting. This is our first, absolutely fully professional clip, realized with the right budget, which allowed us to simply reach a higher level. Thanks to the support we can develop and it is very cool!
As part of the Passion Sponsorship Program, you also played several concerts at company events. How do you perform in front of an audience comprising of colleagues? Bigger stage fright?
T.K.: After so many years of playing, performances in front of the audience of people we know from work are essentially the same concert as any other. Maybe sometimes I notice someone near the stage – a friend or boss and blush slightly. In general, people at work react very positively to my stage performances. It it a novelty for them that someone who was preparing the next release plan in the morning (version of changes in the application), filling out tedious forms in the application system, in the evening lets his hair go and jumps off the stage with an accordion.
What are your plans for the near future? Where can you be seen live?
T.K.: Our concert activity has temporarily faded, because we have already finished the summer season – now we focus on intensive promotion of the music video. We are slowly preparing a schedule for winter: on January 25, we will perform with our befriended band from Silesia – „Wiewiórka na drzewie” at the Alive club in Wrocław, where we cordially invite you! All current information about our concerts (and not only that) can be found on our FB channel https://www.facebook.com/greyfruitband/ and on the website https: // www. greyfruit.pl/. See you at the concerts.
As part of Passion Sponsorship Program Sii Poland also supports TuTejSii band from Poznań, Marionetki band from Gdańsk, and Sii Band from Łódź. You can read more about musical passions in the article on the occasion of World Music Day.