Have you heard (about) the Starling? – allvoices.com – 26.06.2012


There are many musicians who we know nowadays. From pop stars like Madonna, whose songs are played in nightclubs and alternative rock artists like Jack White.

This abundance of musicians and celebrities makes it difficult for participants of talent shows make their way to success. Usually, talent  is not enough for producers to help them record a decent album. A promising start in a talent show program turns out to be the end of their careers in the music industry. After a huge attention created by the media they are quickly forgotten when the show is over.

What should they do to be successful? What qualities should they have in order to stand out? Is it possible to become an independent and respected artist after participating in a talent show?

My example is Michał Szpak, a participant of the first Polish edition of ‘’X- Factor’’.

As in many other countries, talent shows are very popular in Poland. However, being a conservative society they have a big difficulty in accepting something different and eccentric. Michał, a 20-year-old participant from a small town, would have a lot to say on that matter.

Dressed in a red jacket, wearing makeup and jewelry, with long curly hair, he faced hostility from the audience since the first minute on the stage. Nevertheless, he took the microphone and began to sing – and people were speechless. After the last notes he received a standing ovation. What made his performance so special? His appearance? His voice? Or, perhaps, both?

The song he chose, ” Dziwny jest ten świat”, seemed to be created especially for him. Lack of understanding, hatred, sadness, rejection … all these factors were written there on his face.

This, almost historical, performance has won many human hearts. Since that time, some people began to perceive Michał as a misunderstood, sensitive artist, others claimed that he was another freak with no talent who tried to stand out from the crowd and gain fame.

After all, as a laureate of the 2nd place, Szpak was given a chance to take part in one of the greatest musical events in Poland –  Orange Warsaw Festival. He appeared on the same stage as Moby, The Skunk Anansie and My Chemical Romance. Although his performance was just a suport, he proved that he knew how to warm up the audience. Thanks to his expression, charisma and unpredictable body movements he seemes to be transformed into a stage animal every time he enters a stage. Despite a slim and quite low posture, Michał has a strong, sometimes even rough voice, but can also vary his was of singing by adding high opera sounds which express regret or despair.

In numerous interviews, the artist always emphasizes that he perceives a stage as a theatre. He tries to entertain people with unconventional costumes, such as masks, long coats, platform shoes, which help him create a specific atmosphere. He wants to be a musician, an actor and a dancer at the same time.

Some people say that these unusual elements distract their attention from Szpak’s voice – however  they still keep coming to his concerts. Why? Often out of pure curiosity. Although people blame him for an excess of bizarre details in his appearance, this exaggeration (as they call it) makes them want to come and see his concerts. However, there are others who not only appreciate Michał’s ability to play a particular role while singing, but also the fact that his voice allows them to experience emotions that they would never have been able to experience. What is more, while being confident and dominant on a stage, privately Michał is a modest, nice guy who tries to devote a hundred percent of his free time to fans. He treats them with respect, gives autographs, laughs and smiles with an incredible patience

Although he became well – known as a performer, Michał tried his luck as a creator. His first album consists of 5 songs, which are only a foretaste of what he plans to present on his long-running album. Many people were astonished when they heard fresh electronic beats instead of glamrock sounds. Michał claims that he wanted to try something new, meet the challenge and show something different to what people had expected – old, more niche repertoire. Even those who already know Szpak seemed a bit surprised – and this was his intention. Along with the EP, a music video appeared. The scenery and its plot created something unique. Most musicians in Poland do not pay attention to music videos. However, Michał does not belong to the majority. In his music video for a song “Revolution” he plays a role of a vampire who owns a machine to reverse time and he tries to restore his previous incarnations. The clip was recorded in a very old palace and there is a memorable, mysterious atmosphere there.

Currently, the artist is working on his second album, which, he said, would be completely different from the debut EP. Despite of the fact that some people do not believe in him, I know that his creativity, originality and, above all, his voice will help him achieve success. People who get confused and surprised by Michał’s look, often forget that the scale of his voice reaches almost 4 octaves. The media create a false image of Szpak as a narcissistic, self-confident celebrity. In fact, he is an underestimated, humble boy who works hard to be able to fulfill his dreams. He attends singing lessons in order to improve his vocal abilities. Michał sounds best when he sings live. When he is on a stage he can charm even the greatest skeptics of his talent. Extremely optimistic and full of ideas, he tries, every day, to fight the stereotypical way of thinking of many Polish people. Together with his band, he turns his performances into a real rock show. He is going to rock the world.

author: ClaudiaSh (based in Bydgoszcz, Kujawsko-Pomorskie, Poland, a Stringer for Allvoices)


Related Images:

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