Czeching 2019 won by Viah, an original young singer and performer

Viah, the winner of Czeching 2019

This year’s annual music export project, Czeching, culminated on 22 June at the Metronome Festival in Prague, where all the five nominees performed on Radio Wave’s New Stage. The one who emerged a winner from the international jury’s vote was Viah, a Czech-Vietnamese hopeful of alternative pop music.

Besides the opportunity to perform on Radio Wave’s New Stage at the Metronome Festival, thanks to Czeching I also met professional musicians, both Czechs and foreigners, who I could talk to about music and everything around it. What fascinates me about it is the collective character, which allows me to get out of the isolation that is sometimes part of music-making, and the fact that I can share the genuine joy with others. I’m talking about the other Czeching nominees, which were, by the way, really great this year, as well as about the jury members, who gave me useful feedback regarding especially the aspect of presenting my music,” comments Viah, sharing her excitement of winning.

Like last year’s Czeching winner, Hellwana, Viah will get the opportunity to record and release a single and make a video and her music will be shared with other radios which are members of the European Broadcasting Union. In September, thanks to Radio Wave’s project, Viah will be performing at the famous Austrian showcase festival, Waves Vienna, and in January 2020 at the largest European showcase, Eurosonic Noorderslag in the Netherlands,“ says Iva Jonášová, Radio Wave’s Editor in Chief. This year it is the first time that the prize includes a weekend workshop with a professional coach. “At showcase festivals, a fascinating live performance is crucial for the future of every band and performer. That’s why this year we decided to do as much as possible for Viah to attract the showcase audience’s attention,“ says Radio Wave’s music programme editor, Jakub Kaifosz.

This year’s Czeching featured a varied group of nominees. Besides the winner, Viah, they included a Prague guitar-based band, Market, a pop project called Margo, a lively garage-rock band, Branko’s Bridge, and Nylon Jail, a band from Olomouc combining electronic and country music. Viah and Market were the ones who already caught the interest of some of the international jury members and as a result their music will be heard on the German radio station PULS and on the Slovenian VAL 202.

The winner was selected by a jury consisting of twenty members, who were mostly professionals from the EBU (European Broadcasting Union) and also programme editors of other Festivals, such as Waves Vienna. Because this year the focus was on live performances, several jury members came to the Metronome Festival, so they could base their decisions not only on recordings but also on concerts. The Metronome Festival audience could see jury members Norbert Borzym from the Polish Radio Czwórka, Tsvetana Tsvetanova from Radio Nacional de Bulgaria and Mirca Lotz from the German organization MusicBYwomen and hear them in a public discussion subtitled “Music: soundtrack for a revolution or a powerful weapon?”, which was hosted by Radio Wave’s Mary C.

“Viah have a beautiful, contemporary sound and a unique set-up. I like the songwriting and the producing, they're equally good at creating tender moments and dancy beats,” told Christoph Lindemann from German radio PULS.

“I love the concept of two extremely fragile ladies standing in front of a fully packed club, dancing to this very professionally crafted stream of melancholy. The music and the production is absolutely top-notch! However, when playing live, more real-life musicians would make the whole thing even more powerful,” commented the performance Lőrinc Bubnó from Hungarian Radio Petöfi.

”It was a very good competition, very good bands, brilliant production and stage. I loved Viah - I’m glad girls won. She was great, choreography, minimalism of music,” told Norbert Borzym representing radio Czwórka from Poland.

This year’s Czeching project will again include an educational part, supported by the Czech pro-export agency, SoundCzech. The workshop for bands will be taking place in autumn. More information will be available soon on Radio Wave’s website and Facebook profile.

For more information on the project, please see http://wave.cz/czeching.