Czeching – Check out the latest Czech music talent!

Wild Tides - Foto: Mizuki Nakeshu

Wild TidesFoto: Mizuki Nakeshu

What do you know about Czech music? You’ve probably heard of the titans of Czech classical music, Antonín Dvořák and Bohuslav Martinů. If you’re from Germany, you’re probably familiar with that schlager icon of an older generation, Karel Gott. If interested in Czech politics, you may have stumbled across the band Plastic People of the Universe, banned by the totalitarian regime in the 1970s. But what about Czech contemporary alternative music? Rest assured that in a country at the heart of Europe with a population of ten million the indie scene is pretty lively – the Czeching project will help you test the local waters.

What’s the story behind the project?  

Czech Radio programmers and presenters, Iva Jonášová (Ajva) and Stanislav Zima (Stano) had long been listening to the laments of people working in the Czech music business complaining about the absence of institutional support for the promotion of Czech bands on the international scene. As a result, they decided to help Czech bands and producers to set their ships sailing. Czeching is in no way intended as a substitute for the role of a music export office. It is instead set up to provide a platform for critical talks, a radio show, a competition between the top candidates, essential support for the winners of each edition and, last but not least, also a calling card abroad for Czech non-mainstream artists. Czeching gives promising artists the opportunity to release a professional recording, introduce themselves to the European on-air media and catapult them onto the international stage. 

Project’s history 

Wild Tides - Foto: Jan Nožička

Wild TidesFoto: Jan Nožička

In 2013, we organised a successful pilot edition of the project under the title Shootout – Special Edition. The winner was female duo Never Sol whose music resonated with audiences on radio stations in Austria, Denmark, Germany, Slovakia, France and Sweden. In 2014, the project, aimed at promoting Czech non-mainstream music abroad, continued with a second edition, this time under a new and the now current title, Czeching. This time, surfpunk trio Wild Tides and shoegaze talents Manon Meurt were selected to be showcased on the European scene. 

How does it work? 

Each edition of Czeching features five sessions broadcast from September until February on Czech Radio’s Radio Wave and Vltava stations. At the beginning of each edition, we select the members of the jury composed of Czech and international music experts. The opening debate, during which we review the current Czech indie scene and try to identify the opportunities as well as the obstacles that come the way of Czech bands on the road to international success, is followed by the competition itself. The winning project is then selected from the six nominated promising alternative bands based on points awarded by our jury. The Czeching winners are then given the opportunity to make a professional recording of their songs with expenses covered by Czech Radio.  

The recorded tracks are played on air, included in Radio Wave’s playlist and sent to radio stations associated with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). And what’s more – we showcase our winners at the most prestigious European music talent festival – Eurosonic Noorderslag, which takes place annually in mid-January in Groning in the Netherlands. In addition to the expert jury’s verdict, we are of course really interested in the opinion of our listeners, who can use our special app to vote for their favourite artist in the Vote For Your Favourite Czech Song survey posted on Czeching’s website. Stay tuned for a thrilling competition! 

What’s next? 

Czeching is a multi-faceted project – a competition, a radio show, a recording session, a discussion forum, etc. All of these elements share a common purpose – to promote and support Czech alternative music on its journey abroad. Czeching is a malleable organism and we are planning to introduce elements that incorporate the use of new media. We want to make Czeching more visual, to use interactive tools and to get the format out into the public arena. And we have many more surprises in store! Stay tuned! 

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