A singer, composer, lyricist and joint owner of the record label Kayax. One of the most recognizable and appreciated artists on the Polish music scene. An all-round musician, dedicated mainly to folk, pop, soul and jazz music. The singer and writer of such hit songs as “Za późno”, “Supermenka”, “Na językach”, “Testosteron”, “Prawy do lewego”, “Śpij Kochanie Śpij”, or the Christmas song, “Ding Dong.” Kayah has been contributing to the Polish music scene since 1995, when she released her debut album – “Kamień”. The album received great reviews and the singer immediately gained the appreciation of her loyal fans.
Since then, Kayah has released 10 albums on which she explores her fascination with folk (“Kayah i Bregović”, “Transoriental Orchestra”), club (“Zebra”, “JakaJaKayah”, “Stereo typ”), soul and jazz music (“Kamień”, “Skała”), easily crossing genres to classical music (“Kayah & Royal Quartet”). Kayah was also the first artist from East-Central Europe to perform on an “MTV Unplugged” album. The double album “The Best and the Rest” released in 2005 served to crown the first stage of her artistic development, and the artist decided to bring her cooperation with Sony BMG record label to an end. Then she began to self-release her albums, as she jointly founded (with her longtime manager and friend, Tomik Grewiński) the record label Kayax. As the owner of Kayax, Kayah nurtures and promotes gifted artists, who delighted her with their musicality, charisma, talent and personality. The company has released over 90 music and book publications.
Kayah’s first solo, authorial album released in 1995 by Zic – Zac Music Company label. The album presented a musical landscape that includes soul, jazz and R&B musical styles and, filling in a gap in the Polish music scene, quickly reached gold record status.
With her second album released by BMG Poland, Kayah proved her position on the Polish music market. The album was accompanied by the music videos for “Na językach” and “Supermenka” and immediately reached platinum record status. Kayah was then acclaimed by Polish broadcast journalists as the best singer of 1997.
1999 “Kayah i Bregović”
The album stemmed from her musical collaboration with Goran Bregović, a famous Balkan composer. Featuring the hit songs “Śpij kochanie, śpij” and “Prawy do lewego” . Selling 700,000 copies, it reached the status of sevenfold platinum record and was the greatest commercial success in the recent years.
Only a few months after the unquestionable success of her last album, Kayah released another authorial record “JakaJaKayah”. It took 4 days to sell 50,000 copies, 10 days to make it ‘album of the month’ on 68 Polish radio stations, and 30 days to play the single “JakaJaKayah” on the radio 4,000 times!
2003 “Stereo typ”
On 23 August 2013 Kayah released another authorial album (platinum record status) with the single “Testoseron” which topped the charts all over the country.
2005 “The Best and the Rest”
A double album featuring the most successful hit songs together with pieces which hadn’t been released before, with the single “Jutro rano” composed by Andrzej Smolik. The album was the last for Kayah to be released by Sony BMG label .
2007 “Kayah MTV Unplugged”
The concert was recorded on 28th November 2006 in Łódź as part of the MTV Unplugged series of concerts. Kayah was the first artist from East-Central Europe to take part in the project. This time, Kayah decided to invite on stage such guests as Anna Maria Jopek, the American beat boxer Chesney Snow, and the Cuban percussionist Ariel Silva Valdes. A live album and DVD of the performance were released in March 2007 by Kayax – the record label jointly owned by Kayah.
2009 “Skała” (“Rock”)
6 years after the release of her latest album, Kayah returned with “Skała” in September 2009. Rich in emotional and peaceful rhythms, as well as wise, mature and unique lyrics, the album also features some unusual guest appearances – a pianist from June band - Janek Smoczyński, a guitarist from Zakopower and Bisquit - Tomek “Serek” Krawczyk, a guitarist and singer from Sofa – Tomek Organek, the participants of the popular TV show Fabryka Gwiazd (Star Academy) – Marta Maćkowska and Nick Sinckler, the new face of the Kayax label – Sqbass, and Royal String Quartet.
2010 “Kayah & Royal Quartet”
The album features Kayah’s well-known songs in new arrangements and combines her unique voice with the sound of a classical string quartet. Originally, the project was meant to take place as a single performance during the music festival “Kwartesencja” organized by Royal String Quartet. Surprisingly, it bore fruit, as the following numerous concerts resulted in an album released jointly with the publishing company Agora.
2013 “Transoriental Orchestra”
The album unveils a synergy of Jewish, Slavic, Balkan and Persian sounds, combined with an unpredictable mixture of unique ethno jazz improvisation, electronic and film music. This time Kayah collaborated with a composer and producer - Atanas Valkov. The premiere took place in August 2012 during the Jewish Culture Festival: Singer’s Warsaw, and was warmly and enthusiastically received by the audience, which resulted in the decision to record the album (released on November 5, Kayah’s birthday). The material performed on the album includes Polish, Hebrew, Arabic, Yiddish and Ladino songs.
MOST IMPORTANT FESTIVALS AND TOURS
1988 – Kayah’s live-debut on The National Festival of Polish Song in Opole with the song “Córeczko, chciałabym żebyś była chłopcem” (“Daughter, if only you were a boy”)
1988 – Kayah’s performance on the Baltic Song Contest in Karlshamn with the song “Córeczko, chciałabym żebyś była chłopcem” – special prize
1993 – grand award in Sopot Festival with the song “Jak liść” - the song appeared on Republika’s album “Bez prądu” under the title “Ja chcę ciebie”
1994 – Kayah came second the Baltic Song Contest in Karlshamn with the song “Ja chcę ciebie” (“I want you”)
September 10, 1999 – a concert with Goran Bregowić at Służewiec in Warsaw – 50,000 tickets sold
2000 – participation in 10 concerts organized by Radio Zet station – with the audience of 500,000
Autumn 2003 – club tour named StereoTour – with the audience of 15,000
2003 – Kayah’s performance on Sopot Festival
Summer 2004 – Kayah’s performance on the 2nd edition of Toptrendy festival, as the album “Stereo Typ” came eight among best-selling records in Poland
September 2, 2007 – during the 44th edition of Sopot Festival Kayah was the host at “Gorączka Sobotniej Nocy” concert; the award “Złoty Słowik” handed to Kayah by Gloria Gaynnor; Kayah’s performance featuring disco arrangements of her songs
April 2008 – Kayah Prestige Tour – 5 exclusive concerts in Poznań, Kraków and Warsaw (Sheraton hotels), at which Kayah presented new, acoustic arrangements of her songs
June 2009 – audience award Superjedynka at The National Festival of Polish Song in Opole (for receiving the biggest number of awards in the festival’s history)
2009 – Kayah “Skała” Akustycznie tour – sold out concerts at theatres and philharmonic halls of the biggest cities in Poland
May 2010 – Kayah’s performance on TOPtrendy festival – Kayah was awarded the TOP 5 statuette for the overall sales of her album “Skała”
Spring 2010 –Kayah & Royal Quartet Tour – the artists performed at theatres, philharmonic halls and clubs
November 2010 – 4 concerts in the United Kingdom – Shepherds, Liverpool, Birmingham and Glasgow, as part of the project Your Country Live organized by O2 company
5 June 2011 – Kayah’s performance on Sopot TOPtrendy festival, where she presented her most popular hit songs. The concert proved to be a great success.
23 June 2011 – Kayah’s performance for Moroccan audience on the 8th edition of Timitar Festival in Agadir (with Royal String Quartet , Marcin Wyrostek, and others) at Théâtre de Verdure
31 May 2012 – Kayah’s performance in the final event of the competition “Polish of the year in Belgium” with Marcin Wyrostek and Coloriage
31 August 2013 – the performance of Kayah and Transoriental Orchestra on the 8th edition of the Jewish Culture Festival: Singer’s Warsaw, which gave rise to the album “Kayah & Transoriental Orchestra”
17 November 2012 – Kayah performed with Marcin Wyrostek and Coloriage on the 2nd edition of “Polish of the year” competition Bussum, the Netherlands
1 september 2013 – Kayah and Transoriental Orchestra gave a performance at the 10th edition of the Jewish Culture Festival: Singer’s Warsaw
Between the Fall of 2013 and Spring of 2014 – Kayah went on tour with Transoriental Orchestra
22 May 2014 – Kayah and Transoriental Orchestra performed at the 15th International Spring Festival in Israel
Kayah and Goran Bregović
In 1999 the artist started her collaboration with the world renowned Balkan composer Goran Bregović (which resulted in their album “Kayah i Bregović” – both artistic and commercial success)
Kayah and Cesaria Evora
At the end of 2000 Kayah made a duo with Cesaria Evora and they both released a single called “Embarcação”(February 2001)
Kayah and Krzysztof Kiljański
The outstanding duo of Kayah and Krzysztof Kiljański sang the song called “Prócz Ciebie nic” (by Witold Wcisło) which became a real hit and established Kiljański’s reputation as a gifted musician. He included the song on his debut album “In the room” released by Kayax, and since then it has been one of the evergreens in most radio stations in Poland
Kayah and Andrzej Smolik
Kayah often collaborates with Andrzej Smolik who supported her musically on the albums “Skała” and “Transoriental Orchestra”. Their song “Jutro rano” promoted Kayah’s release of “The Best and the Rest”
Kayah and Marcin Wyrostek
The two artists gave a series of concerts, sometimes accompanied by the band Coloriage. Kayax marketed Wyrostek’s album “Coloriage” and they also recorded a single around the popular Macedonian tune “Jovano, Jovanke”
Kayah and Teofilo Chantre
In 2010 Kayah and Teofilo Chantre made an Italian version of the song “Embarcação” which was called “Vale al vento”. The song was included on the Italian compilation “Capo Verde terra d’amore, vol.2”
Kayah and Renata Przemyk
In 2010 Kayah recorded an album with Renata Przemyk called “Panienki z temepramentem” and comprised songs from “Kabaret Starszych Panów” in their own arrangement
Kayah and Urszula
In November 1997 Kayah and Urszula recorded a song callas “Uwierz… to nie ja” which was appended to the Playboy magazine
Kayah and Michał Żebrowski
In September 2002 Kayah formed a successful duo with Michał Żebrowski and they recorded a song “Dobry potwór nie jest zły” which promoted the album “Poczytaj mi tato 2”
Kayah and June
Kayah made a guest appearance on June’s song “We have what we need”. It was included in the album “July Stars” released by Kayah in 2012
At the ascent of her career, Kayah was one of the most sought-after background vocalists in Poland and she made guest appearances on numerous albums of such stars as Republika, SeMono, Obywatel G.C., Staniław Soyka, Atrakcyjny Kazimierz and Martyna Jakubowicz.
In 2001 Kayah and her long-term manager and friend Tomik Grewiński set up the record label Kayax Production & Publishing. Originally intended to release Kayah’s albums only, it soon started to promote other gifted, often off-the-mainstream artists, who would, otherwise, find it extremely difficult to make a debut. As a result, in 2003 the band 15 Minut Projekt could release their first album. Other artist signed under Kayax include Krzysztof Kiljański, Zakopower, Smolik, Maria Peszek, Sofa, L.U.C. Kayax has released over 90 music and book publications, such as Hey, Brodka, Artur Rojek, Maria Peszek, Andrzej Smolik, Zakopower, Urszula Dudziak, Marcin Wyrostek, Novika, Maja Kleszcz, Sqbass, Patrick The Pan, Sara Brylewska, Krzysztof Zalewski, Grabek, Atom String Quartet, Bisquit, Sofa, June, Mosqitoo, Loco Star, Andrzej Bachleda, Envee, Kapela ze Wsi Warszawa, Benzyna, Fox, L.U.C., Jimmy Scott and many others. “Bezwstydnik” by Maria Peszek was the first book published by Kayax in 2008. Since then, Kayax also released “Dezerter. Poroniona generacja?” by Krzysztof Grabowski in two languages, and the best-selling memories “Wyśpiewam wam wszystko” by Urszula Dudziak.
MOVIE SOUNDTRACKS AND ROLES
In 2001 Kayah composed and performed the main theme for the film (“Wiosna przyjdzie i tak”)
“Bajlandia – inny wymiar bajki” - musical
In this musical Kayah playd the part of ‘the Snow Queen’ and performed her two self-penned songs “Jestem zła” and “Życie jest darem”
“Mój brat niedźwiedź”
In 2004 Kayah recorded a Polish version of Phil Collins song included in the Disney cartoon and originally performed by Tina Turner
In 2006 Kayah made a guest appearancein the movie “Dublerzy” in which she played the part of a feistySicilian girl. The film soundtrack includes her self-penned “Jaka miłość, taka śmierć”
“Kochankowie roku tygrysa”
In 2007 Kayah recorded the main theme for the film which is the first Polish – Chinese co-production ever. The artist performed in both Polish and Chinese
In February 2007 Kayah recorded the song “Wszystkie Ryśki to porządne chłopaki” for the film by Stanisłąw Tym.
At the end of 2008 Kayah made a guest appearance as herself in the film which had its premiere in the spring of 2010
In the early 2009 Kayah penned and sang the song “Noszę spodnie kiedy chcę”. The music was composed by Jan Borysewicz and it was later the main theme for the film by Olaf Lubaszenko
TV programs that starred Kayah
“Oldies but Goldies “
In 1997 launched her debut program called “Oldies but goldies” on the new TV channel TVN (24 episodes)
In 2008 Kayah sat on the jury for the talent show called “Star Academy” broadcast by Polsat
”The Voice of Poland”
In 2011, along with Anna Dąbrowska, Andrzej Piaseczny and Dariusz ‘Nergal’ Darski, Kayah became a voice coach in the 1st edition of “The Voice of Poland”, a brand new talent show broadcast by Channel 2
Apart from anonymous charity-related activities, Kayah fully supports a wide range of charity organizations such as
- WWF (of which she has been an ambassador ever since 2001)
- Child Welfare Authority (sits on the honorary committee)
- Four Kings – Warsaw-based wheelchair Rugby Association
- Charitable Foundation of Urszula Jaworska
- Anti – cancer campaign ‘It can be cured!’
MOST PROMINENT AWARDS
1996 – Fryderyk 1995 – nominated for the best Polish female vocalist
1996 – the most outstanding artist of 1996 – awarded by the Polish Television
1996 – PlayBox – awarded by the leading radio stations in Poland for her hit “Fleciki” from the album “Kamień”
1997 – two PlayBox statuettes for the singles “Na językach” and “Supermenka” from the album “Zebra”
1997 – eight Fryderyk nominations for the best female vocalist, best pop album, best composer, best lyricist as well as for the video clips “Na językach” and “Supermenka” which were also voted best singles of the year. Kayah collected four awards, which only confirmed her position on the market
1997 – awarded by the weekly Polityka for best music performance
1997 – ‘Machiner 97’ award for the album “Zebra”
1999 – two PlayBox statuettes for the songs “Prawy do lewego” and “Śpij kochanie śpij”
1999 - two Fryderyk awards for best female vocalist of the year and for her collaborative work with Goran Bregović on the best album of the year and video clip of the year - “Prawy do lewego”
2000 – four Superjedynka awards received during the festival in Opole for the best female vocalist, best song of the year (“Śpij kochanie śpij”), best album of the year (“Kayah i Goran Bregović”), and best video clip (“Prawy do lewego”)
2000 – awarded at the Yach Film Festival for best artistic performance in a video clip (“JakaJaKayah”)
2000 – Radio Eska award for most outstanding media performance of the year
2000 – Fryderyk 2000 – five nominations
2001 – awarded at the 10th Yach Film Festival for best video clip (“Embarcação”) directed by Bolesław Pawica
2003 – Fryderyk 2003 – seven nominations for the album “Stereo Typ”, best female vocalist, best composer, best lyricist, best music production, best song and video clip
2003 – awarded at the Yach Film festival for best video clip (“Testosteron”)
2004 – ranked 8th at TopTrendy Festival in Sopot for overall sales of the album “Stereo Typ”
2005 – Fryderyk 2005 – awarded for the best song of the year together with Krzysztof Kiljański (“Prócz Ciebie nic”)
2005 – Superjeedynka award for best song of the year at music festival in Opole (“Prócz Ciebie nic”)
2007 – Złoty Słowik award for overall performance at 44th Music Festival in Sopot
2010 – Fryderyk 2010 – four nominations for the album “Skała”, best songwriter of the year, best female vocalist and graphic design of the album cover
2010 – ranked 5th at TopTrendy Festival in Sopot for overall sales of the album “Skała”
4 June 2013 – decorated with the Order of Polonia Restituta for outstanding achievements in the field of culture and for overall artistic performance
2014 – Fryderyk 2014 – nominated for the album “Transoriental Orchestra” best artist of the year
Currently available in the following arrangements:
KAYAH THE BEST
Made up of greatest hits such as “Supermenka”, “Na językach”, Testosteron”, “Prawy do lewego”, “Śpij kochanie śpij”, “Za późno”, etc., and is by far the most danceable set
Comprises her greatest hits in a more subtle arrangement. The artist’s band is accompanied by a string quartet, which makes the set perfect for any music hall
KAYAH & TRANSORIENTAL ORCHESTRA
A ‘world music’ project that combines Jewish, Slavic, Balkan and Persian tunes all merged with ethno jazz and electronic improvisations as well as various movie soundtracks. It features a truly original set of instruments, such as cymbals, santur, oud, saz, flutes, fifas, various percussions and others. The songs are inspired by traditional Jewish music from different parts of Europe and Middle East. The artist performs in Polish, Hebrew, Dutch, Arabic, English, as well as in Yiddish and Ladino
KAYAH AND ROYAL QUARTET
Made up of most well known hits in original arrangements that sound best in smaller venues. On stage, the artist is accompanied by string quartet and a choir singer. Best for a seated audience.
KAYAH AND MARCIN WYROSTEK
A 20-minute-long set that comprises the compositions of both Kayah and other artists, ideal for smaller venues. Here, the artist is accompanied by Marcin Wyrostek, a talented accordionist and winner of “Poland got talent”
KAYAH, MARCIN WYROSTEK AND COLIORAGE
An essential project which takes the audience all around the world . It comprises Kayah’s own songs as well as tunes from France, Latin America, the Balkans and others (“Libertango”, J’ai deux amours”, Jovano Jovanke”, “Sto lat młodej parze”, “La vie en rose”, “Supermenka, and others).
The artist is accompanied by Marcin Wyrostek and Coloriage, a band that introduces such instruments as accordion, violin, bass and percussion.
ZAKOPOWER FEAT. KAYAH
A full-time set of the band featuring Kayah is made up of the most beautiful Balkan compositions