Michał Szpak – Between Chopin and Lady Gaga [an interview] – muzykarosyjska.pl – 31.08.2013


Michał Szpak is, without a doubt, one of the most colorful personalities on the Polish music stage. During the Russian Song Festival in Zielona Góra in 2013, he declassed the competition and left Zielona Góra with the Golden Samovar in his hand and quite a large sum of money in his pocket. He sang a well known to all generations song –‘’Oczy czarne’’  (‘’The black eyes’’). The song was, at some point, the main hit of Violetta Villas, who was – according to  Michał – the biggest Polish star.

Three days after the Festival in Zielona Góra, Michał Bober was lucky enough to talk with Michał Szpak on the phone and ask about his plans for the future, a concert in Moscow, the Festival in Zielona Góra and few other things.

-Do you already know what you are going to do with your award?

– The first thing I did was to buy a bicycle which I am going to ride in my city as a part of my new lifestyle  🙂

-As far as I know, your mum was one of the first persons who spoke with you after the announcements of the results of the festival. How did she like your performance?

– She liked it very much. My parents are always very critical when it comes to what I do. Of course, they support me very much, but if there is something they don’t like – they tell me straight away.

-And what did they like about your performance in Zielona Góra?

– They were delighted by my performance in Zielona Góra – especially my father, that’s why I am very happy.

-You have already sung the song ‘’Oczy czarne’’ in June this year in Moscow, where you performed. Why did you choose this particular song at all?

– I have known this song since my childhood, because in Jasło  we had a great fun of Violetta Villas – he used to visit her regularly and bring her the food for the dogs which she used to have at that time… It was him, who passed on to me the great optimism for this woman, and she has been – since that time – in my heart. I think she was one of the biggest polish stars.

-The Polish media have written a lot about your performance in Moscow, but there is nowhere any information of what was the real aim of your trip to Russia.

– Generally speaking, it was the third Football World Cup of Artists and all the countries that took part in this international competition were introducing their artists during the breaks between the games.  From Poland, there was also Rafał Brzozowski, Ferid, and Chemia band…

-Did you have time to do some sightseeing in Moscow?

– To be able to see anything in Moscow you would need a lot of time because it’s a huge city. In total, I was four days in Moscow – one day I was performing and I was sightseeing during the rest of the days. I managed to see only the most important places like: the Red Square, the orthodox church of Władysław Błogosławiony, the Kremlin. I am delighted with this city and surprised how big Moscow is. I wasn’t aware that it was such an impressive city.

-While walking in the Russian capital, what was the reaction of the people there to your unique image?

– When I was walking in the streets there were many people taking photos with me! 🙂 Even the Japanese tourists and from many Asian countries! They used to stop me and asked about my profession. I was telling them that I was a singer and that I was one of the finalists of the Polish X – Factor. They asked my for the links to websites where they could see my performance, recordings. In Moscow, there were two fans with me and they had  the business cards with all the details – so they were giving them away. There were only positive reactions to my person and – of course – the whole audience was singing with me the song ‘’Oczy czarne’’.

-Have you noticed any difference in tolerance between the Russian and Polish passer –byes?

– I am not able to judge it, I am afraid. The people in Warsaw do not take much notice of me because everyone is in a hurry there. Moscow is a larger city and it’s similar over there. I was there just a few days and mostly in the tourist spots, artistic streets – so it’s difficult to say. It seems to me that we are mentally alike.

-Going back to the Russian Song Festival, a lot of people keep criticizing it. Do you think that the festival makes sense? Do we need it at all?

– In my opinion, every way of presenting a culture and mixing different cultures together is great. We do need it, because we become aware of the customs and the culture of other countries. The elderly people know the Russian culture very well. Personally, I think that such festivals should take place on a regular basis. For me, it was an important event – starting with the song itself. Apart from that, I love performing, I love cameras, TV, audience. I wasn’t stressed at all and the atmosphere during the festival was great

-Did anybody help you to prepare to sing in the Russian language?

– I have a friend who was born in Moscow and studies in Warsaw. She helped me with the phonetics of the song. Later on, one more Russian speaking person helped me correct my pronunciation. Fortunately, there was not a lot of lyrics in the song. In spite of the fact that the Russian language is not as simple as it seems – I think I did well  🙂

-What are your memories when it comes to your X – Factor adventure?

– I have never been a big fan of such TV shows. However, when I used to watch the British version of X – Factor I really wanted to take part in it. That is why I was waiting for the Polish edition of this show. It was my first time in such a ‘’competition’’. I didn’t watch the following editions because there was nothing that attracted my attention. In my opinion, such programs should promote personalities rather than ‘’blank pages’’.

-Indeed, it’s hard to compare you to anyone

– Luckily  🙂

-Quite a few years have passed since the X – Factor edition when you were taking part. Are you, as an artist, growing up and what influences your artistic development?

– Definitely yes. Almost everything influences my artistic development. In Poland, unfortunately, it is difficult to be an artist because the more ordinary person you are the better ‘’clay for modelling ‘’ you are. I might be undefined, but I am able – according to what the critics say – to sing everything. If you have a unique personality in Poland, the people try to destroy you. I have experienced such a phenomenon and I try to fight against it – because expressive personalities have great influence on people. I am a person who tries to pass on only positive emotions, and during the concerts I try to make statements that make people do good, not bad things.

-Do you like working in the studio or do you prefer concerts?

– I like working in the studio only because I can work on the material and create the music. But there is nothing ‘’alive’’ in the studio. For me, there are only frozen emotions, dry, with a microphone… Although, I do like experimenting with music in the studio, it’s not my cup of tea. I definitely prefer singing on the stage.

-Who helps you when it comes to your image? Are you your own ‘’rudder, sailor and a ship’’ and do it all yourself or you have a person who helps you?

– When it comes to my image – they are only my ideas. Stefano Terrazzino helped me prepare for the Russian Song Festival. We worked out together the concept for my outfit. I don’t have a personal stylist because I think that in Poland there are no good stylists. What is more, the people often try to make me follow their style, which usually doesn’t reflect the way I feel. I think that I don’t wear terrible clothes, I stick to my personal ideas  🙂

-Does Michał Szpak have his idol?

– Generally, I don’t have an artist who I want to follow, who totally inspires me and who draws my full attention. I do have a few artists that inspire me a lot and evoke positive emotions in me. I like orchestral music. My musical range is very varied and wide. I love listening to Chopin, but I also like Lady Gaga.

-What are your plans for the next few months?

– I am presently working on my material and I am focusing on recording my CD.

-Have you ever considered giving up pop music? Have you ever thought of creating ‘’ Michał Szpak’s theatre songs’’? – in order to become totally independent from the media and the recording companies?

– I love musicals, opera, ghotic rock and this kind of music makes me feel good. I have always thought about that because this is real music for me. A synthesizer is not my thing, however I like experimenting with it. This is rather for fun. Unfortunately, Poland can not afford it. I don’t want to go this way because no one will be listening to it for fun. I am not able to finance it myself. We do have a very small market range. It is different in Russia – they have more money and if you are a star over there it means a full glamour.

-Have you ever thought about a career abroad?

– Michał – I would like to give it a try abroad, very much











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