Kayah – singer, composer, lyricist, the first artist from East Europe invited for collaboration with MTV, co-owner of the record company Kayax, one of the most recognizable and appreciated artist on Polish music scene, laureate of the title Leader in art and Leader in culture and art management – as she says, she makes music, not career. For her failures aren’t misfortunes, but lessons. Thanks to them she learns and goes further…
You are a charismatic woman with incredible strength that spills over other people and your surroundings. You have ability to convince other to work and focus on your projects. How you do it?
I don’t analyze things. I’m always truthful in my doings. Maybe that truth spread to others? Charisma is a factor you can’t measure or weigh. I think I’m trusthworthy for people. My sense of humor also helps. Not taking everything too seriously and having a distance to myself can work like a magnet.
Your star sign is scorpio, right? So you are a natural born leader. When did you discover that you have such abilities?
Scorpio is very strong sign, but also very autodestructive. I don’t know if I am a leader. When situation needs it, I can make decision and lead others. In music, leader is someone who is at the front, being the frontman of a band. Usuallythat type of role is assigned to vocalists. In this position you receive success first hand but suffer the most in time of any
failure. To use a metaphor, I can be offered the most delicious tomatoes at the market but also be the one to get hit by them (laugh).
Youth is the best period of time to verify our abilities and predispositions. You knew about your music talent early, therefore you were educated in this aspect and in conclusion received a diploma from the piano. But have you verified your
predispositions to be a leader?
I felt the God’s touch. I’ve always felt confident in music, tried to be focused on my work and not let be distracted by anything. Since long time I have been convinced that self-expressions is priority, not fulfiling expectations of others. I’ve became a leader by accident. Someone must be one. As a lyricist and composer, producer and arranger, I knew what and how I want to express. Music was at the first place. I keep emphasizing that I make music, not a career.
In your career you touched many different forms of creative work. Sometimes you are asked for collaborations, sometimes you invite others, however mostly you realize your own individual artistic projects. Which one of these various forms
is the best for you and which one releases the most creative energy in you?
There are times when I have crystal clear vision about individual doings – in these cases I focus on myself. But thanks to collaborations with others I learn a lot and it is simply
great pleasure to work with them. Thanks to that I’m improving. As I am older, I’m also more open. It’s hard to be both creator and product. Thanks to other perspective, I can notice things I never would notice myself. I appreaciate that. My last projects were mostly collaborations. We have two big hits: „Po co”, song made with Idan Raichel from Israel where musically Jan Smoczyński supported us, who also works with me for some time now, and „Podatek od miłości”, song sang by me and Grzegorz Hyży, written by Bownik – very young artist from Kayax. I’m also happy about my collaboration with Atanas Valkov on the beautiful song „Czarna Polana”, who previously work with me on the album „Transoriental Orchestra”. I am very proud of the final effect. We also spend great time with rapper Kekę during work on new version of my old song – „Supermenka 2018”, which was made for T-Mobile Electronic Beats POWROTY project. Piotrek show his own perspective on relation with women. I like to have everything under control and be captain of my own ship, but it’s also nice to invite others to work with. The final product is then innovative and have new quality.
In music world the term ‚band leader’ is very popular. How does this relate to the real personality traits of such people?
Personally I know of bands, where the ‚leader’ is someone from the ‚backstage’ and others only realize that person’s vision. Usually it’s someone with great idea, big ego…and also,
courage. That trait is important in someone who is „itching” to do something. It’s also an agreement for lesson that comes out of failure. Only the one who does nothing, doesn’t make mistakes. That comes with exposure, seemingly without fear, to public opinion, often non friendly. But also is the core of belief about oneself uniqueness and the faith that it will all work out fine.
Do you get the strength for new artistic project from successes or failures? No, that’s wrong question. You never fail or at least we are not aware of it.
Look at the question above (laugh). Failure happens. But for me they aren’t misfortunes, but lessons. I learn and go further. I’m still learning about myself and the world around
me. World and daily life are infinite source of fascination and inspiration for me.
You started record company Kayax and also create band Loco Star. In what you feel better, as a leader managing your own label or whilst creating artistic vision of music band? Which is bigger challenge?
Our artists are people, that you can’t ‚create’. They have their own ideas, often are really stubborn and attached to their vision. I didn’t started Loco Star, I and my co-workers just noticed their talent. It’s the same with other artists as well. For me, the biggest challenge are my individual albums. I’m worrying that maybe I already told everything, that another
album wouldn’t be better than my last one. In this field, you keep on taking ‚tests’, which is very stressful. I never forget, that I shouldn’t take my success for granted. Even though I
don’t fulfill expectations of others, I have my own – I want my work to touch people. I always say: I work for people. You could define my proffesion that way (laugh). I want to entertain, but also encourage to think and reflect.
How do you convince people to work in your projects? Is it easier now, when you are famous musician?
Yes, of course it’s easier now. I have my own brand and good reputation. But nothing is forever. I’m still working on myself. Still looking for new forms of expression. Lately, at the age of 50, I started working in radio station. It’s another challenge for me. Before my first program in Meloradio – ‘Tu i teraz’ I was weak in my knees. This stress feeling luckily passed by quickly, altough before every meeting with listeners and guests, who I invite to the program, I still feel thrilled. New ideas, new challenges make us learn and improve and also thanks to that our life isn’t routine.
You work and create amazing things, you can also bring other creators to work in your projects, such as Transoriental Orchestra. Have you ever made plans and said to yourself: Kayah, this is impossible, you are exaggerating?
I still doubt, even more as I am older… But is there anything worse than not trying to do something, only because of fear?
What can I and our readers wish you?
The same I wish for everyone. Health, meeting selflessly kind people and life in nice country. Particularly for me – also inspiration.