Kayah (singer)

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46. KFPP - Kayah.jpg
Katarzyna Magdalena Szczot

(1967-11-05) 5 November 1967 (age 51)
Occupationmusician, songwriter, producer, television personality
Spouse(s)Rinke Rooyens (divorced)
Partner(s)Sebastian Karpiel-Bułecka (formerly)
Children1 (son)
Musical career
GenresPop, soul, jazz, world
Years active1984–present
LabelsKayax, Agora SA, Polskie Nagrania Muza, Rogot, Sony BMG Music Entertainment Poland, QM Music

Katarzyna Magdalena Szczot (born on 5 November 1967 in Warsaw[1]), professionally known as Kayah, is a Polish singer-songwriter. In 1995, she released her first self-composed album Kamień and established herself as one of the most successful Polish singers with the subsequent releases of Zebra (1997) and Kayah i Bregović (1999). In the early 2000s, Kayah founded her own label, Kayax, which has signed many successful artists and released numerous critically acclaimed albums. She has sold more than one million copies of her records so far and remains one of the most awarded artists by the Polish music industry.[2]


Kayah was born in Warsaw, but grew up in Białystok. Her father is Jewish.[3]

At the start of her career, Kayah sang in choirs and recorded backing vocals for a number of bands, such as Tilt. She made her solo debut with the song "Córeczko" (Little Daughter) in 1988 at the National Festival of Polish Song in Opole. The same year, her first full-length eponymous album was released. It was a commercial and artistic disappointment and today is not included in Kayah official discography.

She released her first self-produced solo album, Kamień (Stone), in 1995. It was a great success, consisting of melancholy pop songs, deriving from soul and jazz traditions. In the same year, she was voted the Vocalist of the Year by the Polish music industry and received a Fryderyk award in recognition of her achievements. In 1997, she received another three Fryderyks, this time for the album Zebra as well as in the categories of Singer and Composer of the Year.[4] With Zebra she changed her style, moving in the direction of American soul/funk music. The album spawned two hits, "Na językach" (Tongues wagging) and "Supermenka" (Superwoman).

In 1999, Kayah paired with the Yugoslav composer Goran Bregović to record what would become one of the most popular Polish albums ever, entitled Kayah i Bregović. Most of the music was composed by Bregović for the band Bijelo Dugme (White Button), which he had been a part of, and for movie soundtracks that he had worked on. The lyrics were both translations of and inspired by the original texts. The first two singles released from the album, "Śpij kochanie, śpij" (Sleep, my love, sleep) and "Prawy do lewego" (From right to left), became massive hits in Poland for many months and the record went on to sell in excess of 700,000 copies.[5][6] In the same year Kayah was awarded another Fryderyk, in the category Vocalist of the Year.[7]

In 2000, she released the album Jaka ja Kayah (Kayah, like me) which featured pop, jazz and techno-influenced songs. She paired with Cesária Évora for a track "Embarcacao", sung in Crioulo, from the re-release of the album, newly entitled YakaYaKayah. Her next album, Stereo typ, was issued in August 2003 and featured a major hit single, "Testosteron". The record was nominated for 7 Fryderyk awards and in the autumn Kayah embarked on her Stereo Tour to promote the new album.

2005 saw the release of her first compilation, The Best & the Rest, a 2-disc set featuring all her greatest single hits as well as less popular tracks. It was promoted with two singles: "Prócz ciebie, nic" (Without you, nothing), recorded with Krzysztof Kiljański, and "Jutro rano" (Tomorrow morning). Kayah then shifted focus to production and released a number of successful, critically acclaimed albums on her own label Kayax. In 2006 she released her first live album, MTV Unplugged. The following years saw her working on various soundtrack melodies.

Kayah returned with her first studio album in six years in 2009. Skała (Rock), musically similar to her 1995 debut album,[8] became a bestseller in Poland. 2010 saw the release of two collaboration albums: Kayah & Royal Quartet with the Royal String Quartet, consisting of some of her previous songs in string arrangements, and Panienki z temperamentem (Ladies with attitude), on which Kayah and Polish singer Renata Przemyk presented their own interpretations of works by Kabaret Starszych Panów.

In 2011, Kayah had a major commercial hit with her single "Za późno" (Too late) and took part in the TV show The Voice of Poland as a member of the judging panel. In 2013, she released an album Transoriental Orchestra which was an exploration of Jewish music.


References and sources[edit]

  1. ^ "Kayah - Filmweb". Filmweb. Retrieved 2010-11-11.
  2. ^ "Nominees and Winners :: Fryderyk music award :: Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry". www.zpav.pl. Retrieved 2010-11-11.
  3. ^ Davis, Barry (2015-04-05). "The many nuances of 'mama loshen'". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2018-04-22.
  4. ^ "Nominees and Winners :: Fryderyk music award :: Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry". www.zpav.pl. Retrieved 2010-11-11.
  5. ^ "Kayah and Toxique - O2 Shepherds Bush Empire, London". www.britevents.com. 2010-11-11. Retrieved 2010-11-11.
  6. ^ Grzegorz Brzozowicz (2004). "Wprost 24 - Trzeszcząca płyta". www.wprost.pl (in Polish). Retrieved 2009-11-17.
  7. ^ "Nominees and Winners :: Fryderyk music award :: Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry". www.zpav.pl. Retrieved 2010-11-11.
  8. ^ "YouTube - Kayah twarda jak skała". YouTube. Retrieved 2010-11-11.

External links[edit]