If you’re into Romanian alternative music, you’ve probably heard about Jurjak or Mr. Jurjak, a Romanian singer who combines electro and blues. But who’s behind the name?
One of the most interesting things about Jurjak is that you don’t see him playing live so often, he isn’t a Youtube sensation (yet!!!), but those who do catch him – mostly live immediately fall under his spell. His sound is different, it’s passionate and it sounds new while having unmistakably deep roots. Soulful, melancholy, edgy and cool Jurjak’s sound captures a particular modern Romania with hope and despair in equal measure.
Jurjak’s real name is George Petrosel and he started out as a lawyer, but he soon realised that that wasn’t the job for him. Back then, in his neighbourhood, a new studio appeared, Urban Records, and he made firm friends with those behind this exciting new venture. “It was my second year of law school and I started this live hip hop project with K-Gula, me on drums, and this was the first project of its kind at that time in Romania. This was 2004,” explains the gravelly voiced musical maestro.
Why drums? His dad is Edi Petrosel, drummer with none other that one of the most famous Romanian rock bands, Holograf. Asked about his earliest musical memories, Jurjak says: “I remember when I was 3 years old and I was on the stage with Holograf at Costinesti and during the guitar solo I pulled the guitar station out of its socket. The guitarist couldn’t finish the solo…” Oooops!
The good, the bad, the next
His best gig to date was at the Electric Castle festival. “There were literally thousands of people singing along to my lyrics,” notes Jurjak.
Asked what’s the best thing that social media has brought Jurjak, he explains that “the world needs to see and not just to listen to our music. Our music videos have helped us to reach more public,” and OZB would wholeheartedly recommend readers go check out Jurjak videos on Youtube, they are uber cool.
Currently, fans are still listening to Lemon Blues, the first album released in November 2016, with 12 tracks. In April 2018, the artist presented a new single from his forthcoming Blues Berry album, The Wind (in Romanian, Vantul) with a new video. The official launch of Blues Berry is on October 23.
An artist of many sides
But Jurjak is more than music. He composes music, writes music, performs on stage as lead vocals, he writes poetry and recently had its own photography exhibition. We asked him what’s his own definition of being an artist. And the answer is simple: the artist is the man who does not sleep at night and tries to free his soul through creation.
He has recently discovered his passion for visual arts, and in the last three months he has created 120 paintings (digital art and photographic collages), explaining that he has found the key to new inner worlds that are just waiting to be opened and exposed. At the photo exhibition in the summer at F64, the public witnessed Jurjak’s previously unshared thoughts on canvas, where he employed various techniques and materials. Jurjak wanted his public to experience the difference between him, the musician, and him, the visual artist, and to understand how his creativity has lead him from music to art.
Follow Mr Jurjack on Facebook for more information, to see his videos (also on Youtube) and to find out about upcoming gigs.