Paul Kunigis & Jeszcze Raz
Crossing Boundaries of Language, Culture, and Style
 More of this Feature
• Paul Kunigis & Jeszcze Raz: Part One
• Paul Kunigis & Jeszcze Raz: Part Two
• Paul Kunigis & Jeszcze Raz: Part Three
• Paul Kunigis & Jeszcze Raz: Part Four
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• Jewish/Israeli
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• Jeszcze Raz (official site from Les Disques Audiogram)

Paul Kunigis Inside World Music: You were mentioning that you had your Bar Mitzvah, you had your First Communion, and that you're talking to G-d in some of your songs - does spiritually or religion have any importance in your life and songwriting?

Paul Kunigis: Yes. In other words, not religion. I have learned a long time ago that religion is a by-product in my opinion, of power, shall we say. But anyway, we won't get into philosophical discussions. However, spiritually it - I believe that everybody needs a certain amount of spirituality. Everybody has a choice of what they want to believe in - my father used to always say, "the only thing I believe in is my underwear, because I know where they are," and I think that's what I learned from my parents, not to pay too much importance to the structure of religion but pay importance to the spirituality because that's where we're from. As we grow older, we realize that traditions are important, that those gatherings that we used to do on a Sunday with all the family, as much as we hated it when we were younger, actually were a lot of fun. And that's what I try to convey in my songwriting, and that's what I hope to convey to my kid.

Inside World Music: What do you like most about performing?

Paul Kunigis: The contact with the people. I think every performer that would say differently is lying to himself or to other people. It's a drug. We can create, we can sit in a studio, we can write all sorts of songs, but the real reason for all that is to be on a stage somewhere and to share it with a few people and to touch those people, and that's what I enjoy the most - those moments where we share with other people and especially because they don't understand the words, it's more entertaining for me because I see more and more people singing the songs phonetically, which means we have managed to do what we wanted to do. We have people from all sorts of ages, from 7 to 77. I had three generations coming to the show at the same time - I met the daughter, the mother, and the grandmother all at the same time. We're all different - our kids grow old and they leave us somewhere along the line, but it's nice to know that every now and then we share the same passion, and if it can be that type of music, then why not?

Inside World Music: What are your future plans for your music and with Jeszcze Raz?

Paul Kunigis: Right now I'm writing a score for a movie. We're going to do another album. Hopefully, we'll be invited into your part of the world. The rest - I think I've achieved more than I ever dreamt of doing musically, in the sense that I started doing it when I was much older, and I did it because I needed to do it for myself. It was my way of purging all my demons and my closet was too full.

Inside World Music: What did you do before?

Paul Kunigis: I was in the airline industry. I worked for Wardair when Wardair existed. Then I worked for KLM, and I worked for different tour operators, and I had my own travel agency, and when I got 40 years old, instead of running around or running away with someone I decided to go into music. I think my own background kind of emerged; my roots got the better of me, so I felt it was important for me to do and I'm happy I did it while my father was still alive, and I'm happy that it's working.

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