Threestyle: Behind the Beats
Each week we'll take you 'Behind the Beats' to learn more about the artists that play on our airwaves. This week: Threestyle.
Threestyle is back on the charts with their latest single “Prime Time”. We grabbed a few moments with them for this week’s Behind The BEATS!
Tell us about the origin of the name of your band.
Well, when the three of us - Robert, Magdalena and Gabriela - started our band, we decided that Threestyle was just the right name for us! Since then, we‘ve toured the world together and performed at some great venues like Catalina jazz club in Hollywood, the Seabreeze Jazz Festival, Shiraz festival in South Africa and we’ve visited places we’d never dreamed of before like Australia, South America, China…
Magdalena and Gabriella, you must come from a musical family… or did you both decide to take up music on your own?
Gabriela: Yes, our mum’s a music teacher and conductor, and our dad also used to play music. We both started playing the piano when we were five years old, and we also played the recorder and sang in our mum‘s choir. I had to learn the guitar because we lived in an Apartment and drums were too loud but then i convinced our mum that I really wanted drums . So I started with the drums when I was 12 and continued my studies in Prague conservatorium and VOS where I studied drums ,vibraphone and timpani .
Magdalena: Yes, as Gabriela said, we started together with the piano, and I continued with saxophone, clarinet and flute. I also tried the drums and later on studied in Prague to become a professional musician. Already in that time we played in several bands and won few national music competitions.
We are both happy that we learned a number of different instruments because it helps us with arranging and writing our tunes.
How did you connect with Robert?
Magdalena: We met on tour on a jazz cruise on the Atlantic. Robert was looking for a sax and flute player. I didn’t know him at that time, and when I got the call, I packed my bags and saxes and hopped on the plane. I didn’t know much about the tour or the band, but it turned out to be great fun and we were great partners in music and later on also in life.
Robert, tell us about your musical life before Threestyle.
Robert: I was born in Bavaria-Germany and began playing the guitar at the age of 6. Later on, I learned to play the trumpet . While studying in Munich I made rapid progress, winning the National Guitar Competition with my own compositions, as well as First Place in the National Jazz Competition in Berlin. I recorded my first vinyl LP at the age of 18, together with my longtime teacher and mentor Richard Klimeck.
After my studies in Germany I moved to Los Angeles in 1989 to study the jazz guitar at the Musicians Institute Hollywood Los Angeles USA. During that period I played with quite a few Los Angeles bands and musicians. Back in Europe I became a recording and tour side man for artists like Chaka Khan, Jimmy Witherspoon and many more.
The band has had #1 hits on Billboard and has won some prestigious awards. Tell us how it feels to have these accomplishments.
We are very grateful for the number one on Billboard, SMOOTH JAZZ NETWORK, Groove Jazz and wave.fm charts and also the Hollywood Music, Global Music and Akademia Awards.
These achievements are really dreams come true. It means a lot and it gives us great motivation to write more music. We have a new single in the charts right now and an album out there and another award nomination . So this is all very exciting.
You all have included some amazing guest musicians on your recordings. Please tell us about some highlights.
Jimmy Haslip of Yellowjackets, double Grammy winner Paul Brown, Mack (Queen and Freddie Mercury), James L. Manning (Chaka Khan), Munungo Jackson (Stevie Wonder), hit maker Nils and the list goes on... ;-)
Anyone on your ‘wish-list’ for the future?
Yes. Our dreams came true with so many outstanding and well-known artists but also, just lately, we‘ve become aware that there’s so much incredible talent out there and not discovered yet. So we thought it would be awesome to bring some of that new talent and sound to our listeners. Some of these unique collaborations you can already hear on our newest albums.
How have you handled this past 18 months of the pandemic… both personally and professionally.
It was big a shock, and so much uncertainty. But I think music was the least of our worries. Our first priority was to stay healthy. We focused on our families during that time. Because family is most important of all. Then later on of course professionally it was tough because all our shows and recording productions were cancelled. But we carried on writing and recording music, and we also started producing our own radio show. In these difficult times we were more than grateful to radio stations like yours for bringing our music to the world so people could listen to our music despite all the lockdowns and closings.
It’s hard to predict how long this will go on for, but these are just small problems compared to people who got sick and those who had to risk their lives doing essential work during the pandemic .
What is next for Threestyle?
We are working on new music, and as soon the situation improves we’ll plan a worldwide tour :-)
Keep up with Threestyle on social media or via their website, www.threestylejazz.com.