FVLCRVM is Slovakian musician-producer and audio-visual artist Stefan Kralovic’s one-man music project, which Kralovic started in the early 2010s. His name was already known to audiences from the indie pop band Nvmeri. FVLCRVM, however, is a whole different world: an entertaining audio-visual game that excels at finding a balance between the mainstream and the alternative, while simultaneously looking back at the nineties, and forward to a far-away futuristic world. Catchy melodies, unexpected musical twists and ironic lyrics all work together to add spice to this completely original audio-visual – but still primarily musical – universe.
We have recently seen in Budapest how entertaining your live shows can be. Before your show, I had never seen an audience laughing in surprise as they dance through an entire concert. Is humour so important to you in music, in your live shows?
Oh, it definitely is! The past few years were difficult for all of us, so it’s really important that we get the chance to forget about all of that for a little while. I tend to overthink things a bit too much anyway, that’s my approach to everything. Although, quite frankly, I seldom plan ahead. During my last live show, I got myself tangled up in the cables, and it took me almost a complete song to get loose. Of course, the audience believed that it was part of the show. Well, at least they enjoyed the situation!
Your concerts have amazing visual effects to go with the music. How long does it take you to figure out and plan these effects? Do you have anybody to assist you, or is FVLCRVM a fully one-man show in that regard as well?
Thank you! A friend of mine, NIVVA, who is also an audio-visual artist, helped me with three of the visuals. (He directed my last video, which we made for the song “X-tacy”.) All of the other visual elements were my own creations, which I put together in around a month. I found a lot of inspiration on the internet, from other artists and performances. That was kind of fortunate, as the deadline was really tight, and I didn’t have time to overthink the whole thing. Oh, and I played a lot of Call of Duty in the breaks, while the material was being exported. I’m glad I didn’t stare at my computer screen the entire time, like some kind of manager.
Your music strikes a very nice balance between pop and experimental music, which is what makes the music of FVLCRVM so strangely compelling. When you are composing a song, do you make a conscious effort to keep this balance, or is this not something that can be quantified so easily?
It’s great to hear you say that, because this has been my biggest problem for years. I enjoy both worlds. I enjoy combining them a lot as well, but it’s very challenging. I would be lying if I said that I never consider this aspect, but whenever a piece of music finally clicks after days and days of effort, that’s one of the most euphoric moments you could ever experience.
FVLCRVM can now look back on a history of nearly 10 years, but you still don’t have an album, only a few EPs and singles, the first of which was published in 2014. Are you planning to make a full album, or are you going for something completely different?
I’m confident that one day I’ll make an album, but since the songs I write these days are all very diverse, they would sort of clash with each other on the same LP. For the time being, I’m fine with making singles and videos for them, but long story short, if I come up with enough tracks to make an entire album, I will definitely get it published. Or maybe it’s going to be another EP? We’ll have to see.
Now that you are concentrating more on your solo career, what’s happening with your band, Nvmeri? Has it been shelved?
A little. We still do the occasional live performance, but since I’m putting all my creative energies into my audio-visual show, I have no creative juice left for writing new songs for the band.
Your music is so futuristic, it feels like it was brought back from the future by a time traveller. Have you ever tried to imagine what music will be like in 50 or 100 years?
Of course! I believe that with the development of neural implants, we will be feeling the songs, rather than just listening to them. An average song will be about 20 seconds long, short enough to fit in a TikTok video. But this is going to be around 100 years from now. Oh, and live shows will be 10 minutes long, 20 minutes for the most popular performers, so nobody will feel it was a waste of money.
Did you have any interesting experiences or impressions about Budapest, from when you were here? Did you have time for sightseeing?
Since we were on tour, I didn’t, but I had been to Budapest several times previously, and I love its vibe.
One time, we were on tour with the band and we were just cruising past Budapest, heading for the Austrian capital without any navigational devices. But none of us had a smartphone back then, so we were just following the road signs, and we ended up heading for Pécs. Because the name of Austrian capital, Vienna, is Bécs in Hungarian. We spent hours trying to figure out why the motorway was so empty – and then we found ourselves in Croatia.