Vladimír Mišík sweeps Anděl music awards with first solo LP in decades

Vladimír Mišík, photo: Tomáš Vodňanský, ČRo

Singer songwriter Vladimír Mišík all but swept the annual Anděl music awards on Saturday night. The Czech music legend took home prizes in six categories, including for best male singer, best album, best song and video of the year, as well as prizes in the rock and folk categories.

Vladimír Mišík, who turned 73 in May, founded his first band, Uragán, when still in his teens. He has been a prominent figure on the Czech rock and folk music scene virtually ever since, starting as a member of influential bands The Matadors and later Blue Effect, which was inducted into the Beat Hall of Fame.

Due to ongoing measures to contain the novel coronavirus, the Anděl Awards – akin to the Grammys – were delayed for several months, and the live concerts cancelled. Mišík received the six statuettes before the program aired, in a pub in  Prague’s Letná district. But the moment of suspense was preserved as if in a live broadcast.

“I was really surprised to get the Singer of the Year Award. I never even imagined that something like that could happen to me. I’m glad the ceremony is in a pub, because I’m not much of one for those receptions. But I sincerely thank you for this award.”

Mišík has since the eighties been associated mainly with the band Etc… The LP ‘Jednou tě potkám’ (I’ll meet you one day), voted album of the year on Saturday, was his first solo recording in over four decades.

“The stars will not burn and the ponds will not dry out. Brass bands will not play in the streets. Who will notice? After all, the world is so big …” go the opening lyrics. “I’ll meet you one day, I know that for sure. I just don’t know when, or where …” goes the refrain.

The title track lyrics come from a poem by Václav Hrabě – about one day meeting death. But, thanks to the accompanying award-winning, black-and-white video, ‘Jednou’ is decidedly also about Mišík’s life, shot on the streets of Letná, and in his favourite haunts.

Photo: 100PROmotion

In total, Mišík recorded a dozen songs for the LP in collaboration with a much younger generation of musicians, from the band Blue Shadows.

Czech Academy of Music chairman Honza Vedral said given that the Academy consists of people from many branches of the industry, spanning generations, tastes and approaches, the near Anděl awards sweep show Vladimír Mišík recorded a “truly exceptional album though which he was able to touch everyone” on some level.

True to form, Mišík appeared humbled, almost embarrassed by the attention. A couple of years ago, when awarded a Medal of Merit for his outstanding contribution in his chosen field and spreading the good name of the Czech Republic abroad, he had this to say:

“Music awards are nice, but there is not much competition in music. It is not a sport. But this medal is in part for some civic outlook, so I greatly appreciate it.”

Five years earlier, Mišík had declined to accept a state honour from President Miloš Zeman, saying he could not do so in good conscience given his opposition to a number of the Czech statesman’s pronouncements and actions.