Colourful bird – OnetMuzyka – 17.05.2011,1,4620479,wiadomosc.html

Paweł Piotrowicz talks to Michał Szpak.
He impressed the X Factor viewers and judges with his first performance, becoming the favourite to win the show. He has a colourful personality, an eccentric image and, as he claims, knows exactly what he wants. Not everyone accepts him and for this reason he even had to change schools. One think is certain: no one today evokes as many strong emotions as this controversial twenty-year-old from Jasło.

By the time we sat down, someone has already recognized and greeted you. Did you expect to become popular so quickly?
MICHAŁ SZPAK: Not this quickly [laughter].

How does that feel?
Like a fish in a pond. I always wanted it. To be on stage, sing, to become famous. Recognition does not bother me at all, on the contrary, I love it. Otherwise, I would not be on this show.

You evoke strong emotions. On the one hand, you’re praised for your X Factor performance and on the other, you are often criticized for your image. You even have your own anti-blogs.
I don’t read them but I’m glad I’ve made an impression. It is better to be talked about, even badly, than not at all. First and foremost, I think about being on stage. It is what gives me the freedom to express myself, my feelings, my interior. I can’t imagine giving that up. The stage is my element.

Does the fact that millions of Poles are watching you on the show have a depressing effect on you?
Absolutely not. I’m not afraid of any boos or screams. I would probably not even get disparaged if things were being thrown at me.

You would accept a tomato with dignity?
I would duck so at least my choreography would be more interesting [laughter].

Are you going to ask the mayor of Jaslo for an apartment for what you did for the city, as suggested by Kuba Wojewódzki?
Who knows? It’s not such a silly idea because I did something for the promotion of the city. So maybe I will put in a request but probably not for an apartment because I do have a place to live.

What does the relationship between the contestants on X Factor look like behind the scenes?
If you’re asking if there are any conflicts, unhealthy rivalries or backstabbing, then I must disappoint you. At least not aware of anything like that.

Who do you like the most?
Unfortunately, these people are no longer on the show – Adrianna Styrcz, Carolina Theophila, or Polish Beyoncé, and girls from Sweet Rebels.

The popularity of most participants on such shows “Idol” or “Got Talent” turned out to be very seasonal. Quite quickly and brutally they collided with reality. Are you ready for that?
I am perfectly aware of this. That is why I believe that in my case it will be different.

For that to happen, it would be good to win. Do you think about it?
I must admit that I am more and more curious as to how it will turn out. But I do not think victory is necessary here. And that’s how I’m going to spend my life on the stage. If I drop out, nothing bad will happen.

Maybe that’s just talk? Assurance?
No. I’ve already won it anyway. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be talking right now.

Aren’t you a bit too sure of yourself?
I do not want to sound like a self-righteous or arrogant person, but since I’ve always wanted to come into existence and have achieved that, I think I can talk about success? I just know my self-worth.

How so?
The fact that I’m not going to let anyone manipulate me, impose any image, style or anything.

Maja Sablewska suggested to you at the beginning that you should give up wearing jewelry. Will you listen?
Not for a moment [laughter]. I would not be myself then. I dress the same way both on stage and everyday life.

This is how you go out?
Of course.

How do people react?
I don’t think about that too much.

I don’t believe it… You must be aware they’re looking at you.
That’s true but it I don’t lose sleep over it. I only noticed that since I became recognizable, people seemed to understand me more. There are no more fingers pointing, looking with distaste. Instead there is more of: “Oh, Michał Szpak is coming” or “Look, this is that Szpak from X Factor”.

Do you get approached often? Like a little while ago?
Sure, for example the train. It does happen that someone gets on the carriage and wants to talk. I often get free tea or biscuits from passenger attendants. People can really see that I’m just the way I am, that I’m not dressing or posing for anyone. It’s nice.

So your image is not a provocation, only one hundred percent reflection of who you really are?

Do you spend a lot of time in front of the mirror or deciding what you’re going to wear?
Oh come on. It’s lighting quick. Tra la la la and the outfit is ready.

When did you become like this?
I liked dressing up since childhood. Then, sometime at the end of high school, I began to experiment heavily with my wardrobe. The more fancy it was, the better it felt.

How did your parents react?
Great. I am lucky because I have really tolerant parents. So they were not bothered by the rings or bracelets. Only at the beginning did dad have some doubts whether it was a good idea to draw a line at painting nail. He got used to it with time [lughter].

And your school friends? Apparently, you had to change schools because of your appearance.
I didn’t have to, however I did so in first grade. Many young people from neighboring villages also attended that high school. Jasło is a small town, and people from the surrounding villages are slightly different from those living near Warsaw. Here there is at least some cultural change, and there … any originality or extravagance is perceived as something out of this world. However, that did not discourage me.

Why did you change schools then?
I didn’t feel like fighting with those people.

Something must have happened to convince you.
No, there was a lot of pecking. I didn’t want to be pecked at [laughter].

In many comments on your topic, one issue is repeated: “A starling is definitely gay. Or a transvestite
One topic keeps coming up in comments about you. Szpak is definitely gay. Or a transvestite “.
As I said, I know self-worth, I also know my orientation, so I know what kind of person I am. Recently, one older lady stated on TVN’s ‘Uwaga’ that we can play with our image as while we’re young. And that’s what I do. Certainly not to be called gay, transvestite or transsexual. If someone does that, it is their problem. Certainly not mine.

Your outfits show that in fashion you get inspired by almost everything. In the last episode of “X Factor”, when you sang Little Willie John’s “Fever”, you wore a red outfit in the style of the early Britney Spears.
Of course. After all, I will not come up with anything new here. It can’t be done, because everything has already done. Creativity comes down to skillful mixing. In addition, trends are constantly coming back. Once fashionable retro is coming back but in a newer version. Similarly in music which is most important to me. It’s my whole life.

When did you notice you had talent?
From the beginning, really. I sang from an early age. When I was nine-year-old, I joined a vocal group.

Did someone teach you how to sing?
No, I never took lessons. I am a natural in this respect. The only person who gave me advice was my sister. She is 24 years old and is learning classical singing in Italy. She is very good.

Wouldn’t you like some professional training?
Of course I would like to, provided that it would not be someone who would force their unfulfilled fantasies and try to inhibit me.

What do you listen to the most?

Could you be more specific?
I’m not crazy about thrash metal or death metal. Growling is not for me [laughter].

And yet until recently you played in the Whiplash group! [“Whiplash” is the title of one of the songs on “Kill’em All”, the first album of Metallica, considered the beginning of thrash metal – ed.]]
Yes, but when I joined the band, the name was already in existance. It was a rock band, and I was listening to little rock then. I only knew of Scorpions, Nightwish, Aerosmith or Guns N’Roses, maybe a few more bands. And that’s all. Only later rock appeared in my life more, though it was not and is not in the majority.

Who are your music idols then?
There are many. For me it’s important they bring something new, an idea, quality. Like John Lennon, Michael Jackson or David Bowie, who brought real theatre to the stage.

Do you model yourself on them?
No. I draw from their best qualities [laughter].

What could you draw from Lady Gaga?
Finishing Jazz school. Gaga is an amazing writer and composer .

Everything is still ahead of you.
Unfortunately I don’t play any instrument and so far I have not been composing.

So you don’t end up in some cover band.
Absolutely not. I love covers, of course, especially because I make them in my own style, so I’m having a great time on the “X Factor”. But I will sing original songs.

What are they going to be?
I don’t want to reveal anything because I’m preparing a big surprise, though not right away. First, I want to go with something that will be an alternative to what is being promoted today, and at the same time commercial enough to find its recipients. And then, once I have sufficient resources, I will surprise everyone. It will be music that has never been made in Poland. Only it requires gathering large financial resources.

And what if the contract you get after a possible victory will impose restrictions on your artistic freedom? You’ll make compromises?
I am always open to some compromises, provided I do not have to stop being myself. I do not think the record company wants to impose anything on me. Since I’m liked, it means that people will be waiting for my album, not for a record invented by someone else. I’m not an invention.

You have come up with two nick names – Miszel and Miszanel. Where did they come from?
Miszel is from the times I used to visit my mum and sister in Italy. That is how they called me. Miszanel came about at school where I wore a Coco Channel necklace. I intent to perform as Michał Szpak. If someone, however, wants to call my something else, I won’t be offended..

Do you like Polish music?
Only underground. Although our underground is not underground at all because everyone knows it. An example of such band is Myslovitz, whom I like very much. Although I don’t listen to all the heavy metal bands I appreciate all those who are successful overseas such as Vader or Behemoth. On the other hand, I love Zbigniew Preisner.

What about pop music?
I think that currently, Ewa Farna is the best. Her music is high quality and she has a great voice. Maybe she is not a pop star yet, because it is difficult for anyone to be called a pop start here, but she is definitely doing great.

What is the most negative thing about Polish show-business?
Its transparency. Too much vagueness and predictability in it, the music sounds like it was created with the thought of playing at a wedding.

Have you sung at a wedding?
No, but once I sang “Ave Maria” at a church during a wedding. It was heavenly [laugher].

Are you thinking about an overseas career?
Of course, that’s the dream of every artist. However, I would like to focus on Poland for now. I really believe that I will be needed here. I know that by such words I can be perceived as a self-important person, but I really know what I want and what I can achieve. There are very few people in Poland with daring image and repertoire. I intent to change that

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Oficjalny Fan Club Michała Szpaka | 2011 - 2018 - Wszystkie Prawa Zastrzeżone