It is midnight and the Uprateka (Cleaning Party) afterparty following last year’s Pohoda culminates. Some people ask our office assistant Janka to play the piano and sing something. The group around her gradually grows until they fill the entry hall and the staircase of our office at the airport. Janka attempts to leave the piano but can’t resist the constant requests to play some more covers and her own compositions. The group around the piano are temporary workers, volunteers, fans of metal and techno music, and all of them are thrilled. The offer to perform at Pohoda 2018 is delivered at about half past one in the morning and so the first requested name of the upcoming edition is one of the most successful gospel bands in Slovak, Heartbeat.
Janka, Táňa, Miriam, Martina, and Lucia have been making sure for a few years that the members of the Pohoda core-team can make it through the last days before and during the festival. The gospel scene in Slovakia lives its own, not so popular life, so at first we had no idea that our comfort is taken care of by music stars. It was only a few years later that we found out that they actually had an extremely successful musical band. Heartbeat. They debuted in 2015 with album “Na ničom nezáleží”. Songs “Verný Boh” and “Tu ma máš” total more than a million views on YouTube. Their strong fan base was noticeable also after they released the second album “Kam ma zavolá” last year. In the first week, the album topped the iTunes and Google Play sales charts in Slovakia, and for a few days it was number one also in the neighbouring Czech Republic.
Heartbeat was founded in Prievidza in 2012 by Jana Palajová, Táňa Teslíková, Gabriela Grešnerová, and Zuzana Kmotorková as part of the group of worship musicians Piar Music. Táňa is the bandʼs main songwriter. Jana, who studied violin at conservatory, writes lyrics too, but she mainly focuses on melodies. Some other great musicians soon joined the band, such as the keyboardist and accordionist Lukáš Zubaj, who, as a graduate of Music Science, takes care of the music production. The rhythmic part is taken care of by the drum teacher Matej Kojš, and the violoncello guest is Peter Špaček from Pragueʼs Cello Quartet, who studied at HAMU in Prague and at the New England Conservatory in Boston. Boris Štanga (bass guitar) and Martin Humaj (electric guitar) are guests from the fellow band Godknows. As they say, their work is a response to the limits of the material world: “We live in a material world where people are hungry for value. However, everyone comes to the point where material valuation is not enough. We seek for ourselves in a variety of activities, sports, meditation, which is natural to humans. We found everything in God, in Christianity; what is important for us is not the religion but the relationship with Him.” At the beginning of July, Heartbeat will show their talent not just in the corridors of our office: they will do so on one of the stages of Pohoda 2018.