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“Freedom is when you use your own tools for whatever and however you want” – says Iván Vitáris, from Trending Band Ivan and The Parazol

Márton Jász 2021.05.07.

Ivan & The Parazol, the five-piece rock and roll band, started their career in 2010 when they met at a private music school in Budapest. Their groovy rock tunes quickly got them a very engaged and rife audience, both nationally and internationally. Iván Vitáris, the lead singer of the band, reveals in a short film presented by the Friends of Hungary Foundation, publisher of Hungary Today, how his career started and how hard work can really pay off. The short film is part of a series that introduces ten exceptional Hungarians, who through their skills and hard work, also became well-known abroad.

Very few young musicians and songwriters are known for carrying the past of Hungarian rock music so much on their shoulders and representing it so devotedly and with great knowledge to their contemporaries, while also being sensitive to today’s trends. The Anglo-Saxon influence can also be found very strongly in his art, and the band writes most of their lyrics in English.

Iván Vitáris is a role model not only because of this, but also because of his conscious and determined attitude, which is one of the basic conditions for success.

“What I have achieved in my life and I’m proud of, I could never say that that happened suddenly and by accident, so whenever we had “luck” coming our way, it always happened after we worked very, very hard for it.”

Iván’s determination is also seen by the fact that neither of his parents were musicians; from an early age he just enjoyed listening to music.

“We listened to a lot of music, very good stuff, with my parents. Music has always been around me but it wasn’t the case that someone in the family was an opera singer and someone else a conductor.”

Ivan & The Parazol, a Hungarian indie-garage rock band based in Budapest, Hungary, was founded in 2010 by a group of young boys who met in a private music school. The band incorporates influences from the 1960s and 1970s, and was formed by Iván Vitáris (vocals), Máté Balla (guitars), János Tarnai (bass), István Beke (keyboards), and Bálint Simon (drums).

Two years after the band’s first album, Mama Don’t You Recognize, Ivan & The Parazol? was released, a full-house concert was already held at one of the most popular venues in Budapest, the Iskola Club. From 2013, the band successfully stood their ground not only in Hungary but also abroad. At the SXSW festival in America, the CBGB festival in New York, and at several concerts in London, they proved their ability and received the award for the best Hungarian performer of the MTV EMA in 2013. They gained further recognition when they got invited to support the mighty classic rockers, Deep Purple, at the Budapest stop of their 2014 arena tour in February.

Photo by Péter Nyikos/MTI

Iván also led us to the university where he studied product and form design at the engineering facility. He reveals that being a student as a product designer was a great experience as he learned precision and endurance.

“To me, freedom is something that is about when something develops in our head and we’d like to share that, let’s say with the world or just with ourselves or we just want to think about it more, then we can make something out of it that doesn’t really make compromises,”

says the lead singer, and then quickly adds that this is not only relevant for musicians but is the case for every field of work: acting, engineering, doctors, everyone.

Freedom and liberty are some of the most important ideologies behind rock music. In the sixties, this music was a response to everyday and world issues. Rock musicians expressed their belief systems based on their own social, political, and personal experiences and values. In Hungary it played an inevitable role in the development of the sentiment during the overthrow of the socialist regime and subsequent regime change. It is therefore not a coincidence that one of the best-known songs by Ivan & The Parazol, titled “When you open your heart” (“Ha megnyitod a szíved”), was written for the band by the emblematic figure of that time, János Bródy.

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Featured photo by Zsolt Szigetváry/MTI

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