THE stunning Olga Polikowska…
has been chatting with me about her new track, Ulatuje. I ask the Polish artist about the song’s videos and whether she had a big hand to play in its visuals/direction. She talks with me about her musical tastes and what she plans going forward – Polikowska recommends some upcoming musical talent to look out for.
I ask her whether we will see more material coming; which albums mean the most to her; what she hopes to achieve before the end of the year; whether she relaxes away from music – the songwriter ends the interview by selecting a cool track.
Hi, Olga. How are you? How has your week been?
Hi! I’m more than good. The previous week passed so quickly and many good things have happened that I couldn’t imagine before. It is still happening and the whole excitement from the premiere is emerging. My mailbox, Facebook messenger and IG inbox are full of messages. I am spending most of my time responding to friends and fans who've heard my debut single and watched the music video.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
For those who don’t know me and my music, I can say that the best way to get to know me closer is to listen to my single. I can assure you that future songs will be more surprising, fun and moving.
Ulatuje is your debut song. What is the meaning behind the song? Is there a story behind it?
The song was brought to life in about two years. The song evolved with people that were surrounding me and many many situations that had happened during the process. In the meantime, I met a producer, Łukasz Maron, who finally understood my vision of the song. He’s crazy about old-school synths - that’s why you can hear a bit of retro sound in those modern tunes. The whole magic in the song was added by co-producer, Szatt (known from Kroki,) who put together everyone’s vision. For me, the most important thing was to keep the balance between sounds.
The title, ‘Ulatuje’, was not chosen by accident. The next single will be strongly connected with Ulatuje, but you have to wait for that so keep an eye on my socials (smiles).
The video’s visuals captured me! It mixes Goldfrapp and Daft Punk. Was it fun shooting the video?! Did you have a lot of say regarding the concept?
I’m glad that you like it! Thank you for the comparison. I love Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories so it's an honour for me.
What can I say? It’s my first video so I was really stressed about it. To be honest, I’m not really interested in music videos; I don’t need to watch them to feel the music. Firstly, I had to do my homework so I watched YouTube for many hours. On the video set, I felt that this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity so I have to do my best. I wanted it to be perfect, so as you can imagine it was stressful and really hard work.
Regarding the concept; every decision was common. I spent many hours with my manager, Ania, disputing regarding inspirations - more importantly, my opinions with regards to the best choreographers and dancers, Adam and Anita. Thanks to them, the video is stunning.
How important is producer Szatt regarding your current direction and sound?
The presence of Szatt is invaluable. He was sent the tracks and he just spiced it up. I already knew his style and sounds he produces, so I knew that my ‘work’ was in good hands. Mainly, though, he added freshness and took out details which I didn’t find interesting. He took a third look at our compositions.
Is there going to be an E.P. following next year? Might we hear more material?
We’re planning to release my E.P. early next year. I hope that, next year, you’ll be able to buy my C.D. Time will tell (smiles).
I get a sense you are inspired by Pop of the 1980s and artists like Moon Boots. What sort of music influences your own sound?
I truly can’t specify what sort of music influences me. When I was younger, I loved to listen to Polish Hip-Hop f.ex., Fisz or Łona. My favorite artists are Andreya Triana, BANKS; Gregory Porter or Kwabs. But, I like to chill listening to Paul Kalkbrenner or Quantic. As you can tell, I am inspired by a variety of sounds.
What do you hope to achieve by the end of 2018?
I’m truly happy with what I achieved in 2017 that I don’t want to be overly-demanding towards fate and karma. A year ago, I’d set a goal to myself to make this year a breakthrough and it happened! I wanted to be sure that I’m in the right place at this stage. I hope that next year I’ll be standing at big and small stages playing gigs. Although, I’m kind of an artist who loves connecting with a small audience in intimate surroundings.
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?
The first one that I can think of is when I was six and I won a toy truck in a singing competition (winks). But, the biggest break of my life was when my boyfriend bought me a real microphone on my twenty-fourth birthday. He made me believe that I have a voice and he supports me. I’ve got a lot of memories but I’m looking forward to making some new ones.
Which three albums mean the most to you would you say (and why)?
Only three?! It’s impossible for me (smiles).
My first absolute favorite would be Bonobo. The albums Black Sands, Animal Magic; The North Borders, or Migration can’t be passed by indifferently. They’re my absolute love. I’m crazy about the combination of Electronic music with real instruments, unpredictability of sounds or looping, pulsing pitches. It’s so, so damn good.
Secondly, my heart belongs to Jose James. I adore his chill and deep voice. Jazz and Hip-Hop grooves are the perfect combination. The last album is Mirrorwriting by Jamie Woon. A mix of Soul singing, modern R&B and a bit of melancholy gives a nice piece of music art.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
For now, my dream is to meet Sohn. Recently, I was at his concert and it was awesome. Every single part of it was perfect. It’s the best way to learn from the best ones! So, I set the bar really high.
Can we see you on tour soon? What dates are coming up?
I hope so! For the musicians, the most important thing is to showcase their talent live. So, we’re looking forward to the moment to be on a real stage. Stay tuned (smiles).
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
I don’t think that I’m the right person to give any advice. But, the most important thing is to listen to yourself and keep your eyes open.
IN THIS PHOTO: Kasia Lins/PHOTO CREDIT: Sonia Szóstak
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
I don’t have to unwind because music relaxes me! At this moment, there is a lot going on around me but I’m planning some quick time off to boost up my batteries and to be close to nature.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music – Sure!
Rhye - Count to Five
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