When we talk to Swedish jazz vocalist Viktoria Tolstoy, we are impressed by her sincere personality, by her smile. “I laugh a lot and I smile a lot.“ – she says, and goes on to describe her music as a mixture of smile and sorrow. “If I can bring out some kind of feeling – either sorrow or happiness, then I have succeeded. To feel something, is the prupose of music,” she said on this Jazz FM interview.
Music to Viktoria Tolstoy is like a channel of love: “I use that to really cope with all of the horrific things that happen today. For me, it is vital in order to survive,” she said, adding: “Music can heal people – depression and all kind of mental illnesses, if they only let it. It is a very strong medicine for the whole world.”
Viktoria Tolstoy’s first concert in Bulgaria will be at the Plovdiv Jazz Fest. She will be accompanied by pianist Jacob Carlson with whom she has been working for the past two decades. The vocalist debuted with Smile, Love and Spices in 1994, then developed her career with pianist Esbjörn Svensson: „To sing with him was complete freedom. It was a challenge and, at the same time – very freedomwise. He was very unique,” Tolstoy describes the experience of working with him.
With 10 albums recorded by now, Viktoria Tolstoy will build her Plovdiv Jazz Fest concert around the latest one – A Moment of Now, made with her long-time friend and partner in music Jacob Carlson. The singer says that they never argue and that musically “we have this telepathic thing going on”. “We are always shocking each other and we never cease to amaze each other, after more than 20 years,“ she adds.
Great-great-granddaughter of Leo Tolstoy, Viktoria points out his humanism is much needed today: “I wish he would have been here today to teach people how to treat each other. His humanity and his will to help the poor, to give his love and to give away all his belongings to the needing – it is a very nice thing, and it is needed today.”
You can listen to the interview by Jazz FM’s Tanya Ivanova and Svetoslav Nikolov with Viktoria Tolstoy by using the Audio button.