Kasia Kowalska (b. June 13, 1973 in Sulejówek, Poland) is a Polish pop rock singer/songwriter. In 1996 she represented Poland in the Eurovision Song Contest.From a young rebel who was fascinated by heavy metal, Sinead O'Connor and Kate Bush she transformed into a mature women full of wisdom and a loving mother who now prefers to spend time while listening to calm and beautiful sounds of Tori Amos but still finds herself enjoying rock music.
Kasia has always been a rebel, she never followed anyones advise about how to make music- though she is not musically educated. Her own emotions and feelings have always been the basis for making the kind of music that she does.
And it's a music that's hard to explain in words, it has so many colors that it's hard to classify it under one category, although it's obvious that most of Kasia's work revolves around rock genre. Kasia is extremely sensitive to sounds and very expressive , because of her unique and very strong voice, she can have a wide range of interpretation of her songs.
Today, she is one of the most important artists on the polish music scene. She was born on June 13th , 1973 in Warsaw but she grew up in a little town called Sulejowek where everyone knew each other. As a young girl, Kasia was very troubled.
She had a low self esteem and she always felt alone because her two brothers were much older and didn't want to spend time with her. One of her brothers was a fan of The Beatles so Kasia had to know everything about them which influanced her own music preferences in the future.
When Kasia was 16 years old, she went through a phase of adoring Sinead O'Connor and feeling rebellious. As a sign of that she shaved her head which made a big controversy in the town. Kasia is an animal lover so when she found an animal wondering around on the street, she always brought it home which made her get in trouble.
When she was about 18 yrs old, her fascination with heavy metal began. That's also the time when her first song "Heart to Heart" was recorded with a heavy metal band Genocide. Other bands that Kasia sang with were rock bands like talking Pictures and Human and heavy metal bands Hetman and Fatum.
In 1993, Kasia created a group with Robert Amirian ( composer of "A to co mam" and "Chce znac swoj grzech") , the group named Evergreen opened up the doors to a career for the young artist. She was noticed by the head of Izabelin Studio record company during a concert with Evergreen in Stodola.
After signing a contract, Kasia began working on her solo album which came out in 1994. The album titled "Gemini" was a big success and Kasia was considered the biggest hope in polish rock music. A year later, Kasia went on a tour called "Koncert Inaczej" which consisted of live performances of songs from the "Gemini" album in slightly different versions and jazz recitals during which she performed her favorite jazz standards of Billy Joel, Barbara Streisand etc.
The concerts were recorded and realised on an album which had the same title as the tour - "Koncert Inaczej" (wchich means a concert differently). Kasia's record company was a bit hesitant about realising this kind of material in a country where jazz music wasn't very popular, but the sales of the album spoke for themselves.
Kasia showed everyone that she can do it both ways and that she is great at it. The same year, Kasia was invited to the Sopot festival where she won a large cash prize for the song "A to co mam" ( she donated a large sum of the money to an animal shelter) and the public's choice prize.
At the beginning of 1996, Kasia was chosen to represent Poland at the Eurovision Song Contest in Oslo. She sang a very emotional song called "Chce znac swoj grzech" ( I want to know my sin). Unfortunately, the song was not an Eurovision material and Kasia went hope with 14th place.
Soon after that, she started working on some songs for a third album ( second studio album). With the many changes in her life, a touch of optimism appeared in the new material. The first song which promoted "Czekajac na…" ( Waiting for.
.) was called "Cos optymistycznego" ( Something optimistic) and it showed a side of Kasia that nobody ever knew existed. The song was very much on the pop-funk side although the album itself was a combination of rock, funk and jazz and a touh of pop only in a few songs.
This new style and an image that came with it made Kasia the most popular female polish singer in that year. The large tour for "Czekajac na…" gathered fans from around the country. It was so big , that some people compared it to the Beatles concerts because fans often fainted from exitment.
By the end of the tour Kasia announced that she is pregnant ( the father is a composer of a lot of songs on "Czekajac na.." and a known musician- Kostek Yoriadis)and that she will take a 2 year brake from recording to take care of her child.
Aleksandra Julia was born on May 7, 1997. Shortly after that, Kasia's partner left her with the baby which made Kasia really depressed. That same year, a film debut of Kasia which was shot during the time between 95-97 called "Nocne graffiti" ( Night graffiti) premiered .
Kasia played an 18 year old drug addict. After seeing the movie,Kasia decided that she wont make any more films. Summer of 1998 was a time for Kasia's big comeback. She was ready to come back on stage again with the new material.
The album "Pelna obaw" ( Full of doubts) was a great surprise for Kasia's devoted fans. Finally after some experimenting with funk and jazz, she came back to her rock roots. The album is actually the most hard core in Kasia's discography.
The lyrics are as usual, really personal. They themes : violence in the world and anger towards man. Kasia often said that "Jagged little pill " of Alanis Morissette really inspired her to record an album filled with feminist views.
Kasia also produced this album by herself. Although commercially the album wasn't a success, Kasia was very proud of it and all the fans loved it too. The next year and a half was spent on touring and coming up with material for a new album.
In 2000 the album "5" came out. Once again Kasia showed a new side of her. This was one of the most important albums to be realised that year in Poland. And probably the most break through material. On "5" the sound is still based on rock music, except that it's enriched with loops and other electronic sounds.
And for the first time in her career, Kasia simply sings without going to the extremes of showing all her vocal abilities in one song.Basically, she showed that Kasia Kowalska is not a polish Celine Dion.
Not a diva, just an artistic rock chick. Despite a growing problems with piracy in Poland, the album sold pretty well. Kasia went on a tour and made a lot of interesting tv and radio appearances. In 2001 she was honored by winning the European Music Award for best polish artist and she was invited to sing on a Tribute album to a rase car driver -Ayrton Senna who died tragically in 1994.
She wrote the song "Bezpowrotnie" ( Irrevocably) and touched the hearts of many. Kasia spent the summer on recording a new album which came out in November of 2002. The title - "Antidotum" (Antidote). This time Kasia worked on it with some of her good friends , respected musicians like Michal Grymuza who was also the producer of the album and Wojtek Pilichowski amongst others.
The album was a motley in the rock style with a touch of electronic music here and there. It was more dynamic then the previous album. The year 2004 marks 10 years on stage for Kasia Kowalska.Instead of putting out a "best of" package, she recorded an entirely new album called "Samotna w wielkim miescie" ( Lonely in a big city).
The album consists of 11 songs and a hidden acoustic track in which Kasia plays the guitar herself. To know what kind of album it is, everyone would have to listen for themselves because its hard to describe it in few words.
But its safe to say that most fans of Kasia will enjoy the album. With seven official records , today Kasia Kowalska is one of the most known artists in Poland and one of the most successful. She has a lot of devoted fans and a rich discography.
And an uncommon passion for music. ( Biography from:http://www.sphosting.com/icokk/index2.html)Eurovision Song Contest 1996 - OsloEntry for PolandPerformer: Kasia KowalskaSong title: Chce Znac Swój GrzechSong writer(s): Kasia KowalskaSong composer(s): Robert Amirian Sang in Position: 20Final Position: 15Total Points: 31For the 1996 contest, the European Broadcasting Union replaced the relegation system with an audio preselection.
This new system was tried out in order to find a more acceptable method of whittling down the large number of potentially participating countries. Apart from the host country of Norway, all other potential participants - 29 countries in total - competed in this audio preselection, in which the national juries solely listened to audio tapes with the recordings of the 29 songs.
22 out of the 29 countries plus the host nation Norway were allowed access into the final on 18th May in Oslo. Germany, Israel, Denmark, Hungary, Russia, FYR Macedonia and Romania all failed to qualify.
This type of pre-qualifier round was conceived by many broadcasters and the European audience as rather peculiar, because the pre-selection was not broadcast in any way and the full results of the voting were not made public either.
With Germany not qualifying - the first time ever Germany couldn't participate - the organisers were also confronted with much less financial means than expected.However, the Norwegian broadcaster, NRK, tried to modernize the contest this year.
For example, virtual reality was used to visualize the voting. In the introduction video postcards, every participant received the best wishes from a government representative. The contest was threatened by a conductor's strike after Norwegian TV-station NRK, wanting to save money, said it would cut out the orchestra conductor's appearance.
Luckily, the dispute was settled amicably. The show was hosted by Norwegian popband A-HA front man Morten Harket and Norwegian journalist, Ingvild Bryn. They greeted each country in their national language.
Ireland got its seventh victory with the song The Voice performed by Eimear Quinn. This was the fourth victory for Ireland in just five years. However, the winner was not the biggest commercial success in record sales this year.
The United Kingdom's song Just A Little Bit by Australian Gina G, did not go down too well with more conservative juries, who felt her designer coin-clad dress and fast-paced performance was too racy for the Eurovision Song Contest.
The song went on to be a big hit in the UK and in the USA, Gina G was nominated for a Grammy as Best Dance Act.
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