Patricia Fage’s Harmonious Mix of Jazz and Customer Service

When you hear Patricia talk about music, jazz in particular, it makes you realize how important it is to have that kind of passion in your life. She has been in love with music ever since she was 2 years old and her parents gave her a piano. Later on, she discovered jazz with the help of an American group of musicians and this sophisticated genre nestled close to her heart. Patricia has brought the passion she puts in her singing to Yardi Romania, where she has been working as a customer service representative since November 2015. We had a little chat with Patricia about jazz, her dream gig and how she overcame her stage fright.

What is music to you?
Music is a gift that I was blessed with. It’s something that helps me escape the reality I live in. It calms me down, makes me feel better when I’m sad and personally I use music to express my feelings that I can’t put into words. Everyone has a different perception about music. For me, music always helped me go through everything negative that happened in my life. It’s more like a therapist who you don’t have to share anything with, but at the same time it still helps you.

When did you take up singing? How did it all start for you?
Everything started when I was around 2-3 years old. My grandmother introduced me to music and my parents bought me a little piano that had around 12-15 keyboards and I started playing it. I loved it. I only knew a few songs that I used to play every single day. When I grew up I went to music school where I studied piano until I was in 12th grade. In my last year of high school we had to learn how to play another instrument as well and my piano teacher signed me up for clarinet lessons. It was something very new to me, a bit hard, but I liked it very much. That only lasted one year. After I finished high school I realized that the only thing I’m very good at is music, so I came to Cluj-Napoca to study musicology and piano. Musicology was primary, piano was secondary. I gave up piano because it didn’t give me enough time to focus on musicology. Piano requires many, many hours of studying. That’s how music ended up being a very important and huge part of my life.

You also took part in several competitions. Did that help you(r musical career) in any way?
Of course. Every experience helps in many ways. I was always very shy when I had to perform on stage at a very young age, but taking part in these competitions made me overcome all my insecurities. It takes time, of course, but in the end you get used to it. I will always be nervous before going on stage because it’s something that you can’t control and it means that you are really into what you are doing. It also helped me get in touch with and meet people from the music industry. It motivated me to be better and better with every performance and it made me become a better singer.

Why jazz?
It all started in high school when I took part in a workshop with a jazz band form New York and a jazz singer nominated at the Grammys. They introduced us to jazz and blues and that was the first time I took the microphone and performed jazz. We learned about improvisation, the difference between jazz and blues, the rhythm and how this kind of music started. After I went to college, I signed up for jazz classes (which were optional) and I went for four years. I’ve learned so many things about this music genre and then I practiced everything I knew. I love singing jazz. It’s something very different than other types of music, it’s more complex, you can play with it and improvise and it still sounds amazing. When you sing jazz you can never make mistakes if you are a good singer. Jazz is a very natural genre, it was invented by slaves and they never even knew how complex it was until musicians started to analyze this type of music.

The general perception is that jazz is not for everyone. It is not an ‘easy-to-digest’ music genre. Do you agree?
Yes. I agree. It’s not for everyone. But if you know at least a little about music you can understand it. It has a complex melody and lyrics as well; the level improvisation is mind blowing and you need to understand it to like it. Not everyone does, that’s true. The thing is that nowadays not everyone listens to old music. Everyone likes what’s popular right now and they forget or don’t even know about other genres. If you listen to the music now and the music from 50+ years ago you will notice a huge difference.

Are you in a band? Tell us a little bit about that.
I was in a jazz band. It was me and four guys from my college who decided at a karaoke night that we need to become a band. We rehearsed at college when we had some free time and after a while we got hired to perform in a bar where they always played jazz music. It was a great experience. People loved it, we loved it but the time came when we had to go on our separate ways. After I left the band I focused more on work and didn’t have enough time to perform anymore because of my schedule. I’m still collaborating with a label here in Cluj-Napoca and sometimes I take part in different events. I was always open to this even if the schedule doesn’t allow me to sing that much right now. I know that soon I will do it again. It’s what I like to do most and no matter what happens I will never stop singing.

Where can people see and listen to you? Do you have a web page where you announce your concerts and events?
Since I was not a professional singer I didn’t post too many of my recordings. I have a few of them on my Facebook page, but I didn’t create a web page yet just for this specifically. At least not now. Everything that I do or every concert that I have, I post it on my Facebook page.

When and how did your story at Yardi Romania begin?
The first time I heard about Yardi Romania was from a friend, Paul, who worked here many years ago. Meanwhile, I got a job somewhere else, but there was not much to do there. One day I was looking online for some job opportunities and I found Yardi Romania in the search. I remembered that my friend told me about this company, so I decided to apply. I applied and after one hour someone called me that they got my application. I was surprised how fast it was. I went through a series of interviews and here I am now, working for this company that I absolutely love, the people are great, the job is not too hard, I made new friends, I met new people and things are going very well right now.

What do you like most about your job?
What I like the most about my job is that you are appreciated and recognized for the effort and everything you do for this company, the team leads help you and guide you to be better and better and that you are given the chance to move forward with your career.

Pop Quiz. Or should it be… Jazz Quiz?
Favorite song: Your heart is as black as night
Favorite singer: Melody Gardot
Dream gig: I would like to perform at any jazz festival that will give me the chance to sing in front of so many people and for them to really enjoy my voice. I believe that singing is one of the universal ways of communicating with people through emotions and sound, so for me to touch as many people as possible in a single night, would be a dream of mine.
Dream collaboration (any artist, dead or alive): Postmodern Jukebox, Melody Gardot, Frank Sinatra, Nina Simone, etc.
Favorite music event in Cluj: Napocensis International Jazz Festival

Photos © Patricia Fage and Charlie Pub Cluj.