Jacob Mendez
Jacob Mendez

Julia Pietrucha before Earth Festival Uniejów 2024: Changes are inevitable

Earth Festival Uniejow is an annual opportunity to promote ecology through great music and performances by the most talented Polish artists. This year the festival will focus especially on the beauty of Poland, and the main slogan will be “I love this country”.

The biggest attraction will be the Sunday concert, which will be broadcast on Polsat TV and on the Interia Home Page on July 7 from 8:00 p.m.

The following will appear on stage: Maryla Rodowicz, Alicja Majewska, Kamil Bednarek, Zakopower, Staszek z Gór, Julia Pietrucha, Wiktor Dyduła, Majka Jeżowska, Kaliber 44 feat. Fokus & Rahim & Kleszcz, Wiktor Waligóra, Natalia Nykiel, Mała Army Janosika, Weronika Korthals, Konin Gospel Choir, and they will be accompanied by Stokłosa Collective Orchestra under the direction of Jan Stokłosa.

Michał Boroń, Interia: What’s been going on with you lately, since you’ve been gone for a long time?

Julia Pietrucha: – I don’t feel like that. I released my last album, “Folk it tour”, in 2020, and over the last few years I’ve focused primarily on working on new material, touring with guest projects, and above all, raising my little daughter, who just turned 6.

By an interesting twist of fate, at the beginning of this year, we wrote Marta Zalewska together a new musical project in the form of an album called “Neonova”. Instead of releasing my fourth authorial album, we decided to publish this material. It was created out of the need of the moment, born of good, authentic and positive energy. We have the first single, another one ahead of us, a concert tour, and in addition I am starting to shoot a film and I returned in front of the camera, so a bit of things have started happening again. I am not complaining.

You mentioned the time you spent raising your daughter, but after the release of your last album, the world – not just the musical world – stopped due to the pandemic. Did those emotions and memories translate into songs?

– Certainly. I was happy that I could spend this pandemic time, away from the trails, ridges, work, with my daughter, at home and devote myself to raising her. It was and is an extremely fulfilling role for me. And musically and inspirationally – I always write about what is happening in my life, and a lot of changes occurred then in these pandemic times. It certainly correlated somehow with the theme or the sensitivity of the songs I wrote.

Your second album was seaside postcards (“Postcards From The Seaside”) and it seems that you probably just like these open spaces. I have the impression that the song “Nothing wrong” with Marta Zalewska, this is the kind of playing where there is a lot of room to breathe.

– Definitely, I like open space, I like natural, acoustic sounds. American music – folk, country, Americana or bluegrass – draws from these inspirations. There is a lot of air there, a lot of such natural instrumental flow. I think that Marta and I managed to combine our sensibilities. I wanted the album to include ballads, and Marta took care of developing the arrangements of some of the songs. Thanks to this, “Neonova” is nostalgic and sometimes melancholic, but it also has drive and country.’this swinging.

It probably won’t come as a surprise that the music video reminded me of the movie “Thelma & Louise”. Is Marta your “partner in crime”?

– Yeah, yeah, yeah, that was definitely the inspiration. There are a few other paintings that inspired me.

Can you tell me which ones?

– You can try to see for yourself (laughter). I like to leave a lot of things unsaid. It’s also about leaving room for interpretation for the listener or viewer. When writing the script and directing this music video, I wanted us to fulfill our dreams and go on a journey together as fugitives, in the spirit of the American 60s. Marta and I both love old cars, old motorcycles. We love Tarantino’s films.

I wanted to tell the story of two women who, when put in a difficult situation, support each other, help each other, can count on each other. This is also a bit of a message from our women’s project. We are not alone, let’s support each other. Additionally, I tried to give it all a slightly comic ending and turn something upside down that seemed obvious to us. I invited Maciek Buchwaldso that with his voice, straight from “Dubbing Battles” crowned our work. It worked. The comments keep asking what it’s all about, and I keep hearing new interpretations. I like that.

The idea to play together probably appeared at the very beginning of your acquaintance with Marta?

– I met Marta at the beginning of my musical path, in 2016, when I released my first album. She came to rehearsals as a replacement for the violinist and that’s when I experienced what an extraordinary person she is on stage and what’s more, she sings great in English. And she’s a beautiful woman. Our paths have intertwined and uninterrupted over the years, we’re somewhere in each other’s orbits. Together we co-created the “Folk It! Tour” project and now, after four years, we’ve meshed with each other again.

It all started innocently, with a cup of coffee together in the prairie house where Marta lives. While talking about other things, the topic of writing an album together suddenly came up. And it didn’t take long. Within 2-3 weeks I had written all the songs for the album, and then Marta sat down to arrange them. We divided the duties very wisely and after 2 months we were in the studio recording the album “Neonova”. It’s probably the fastest album in the world (laughter). We also have wonderful co-creators of the cover, photos (Jacek Grąbczewski, Eryka Sokólska, Kasia Jablonska), operators (DIVINE FILMS) while shooting the music video. We are constantly surrounded by very cool, talented, creative and willing to work together people. This is really inspiring for me.

You say this is the fastest record you’ve made. So the whole thing is ready?

– Yeah!

And when can we expect the whole thing?

– It’s actually funny, but we don’t have a set release date, we want it as soon as possible. Why hide it? We still have more singles ahead of us, with guest appearances. This will also be a very uplifting and cool experience for us. We will allow ourselves to release at least two more singles and then an album, as soon as possible. We are about to start an autumn tour with this material. All concert dates are already available on our social media, so we refer you there.

In today’s world it’s probably hard to talk about stability, but you live by the sea. Are climate changes more visible there than in other places? Do you feel like the world has really sped up?

– I’ve been living near Warsaw for 2 years now. I’m back in my old dump. I live near the forest and I’m excited about this little world of mine that I’m creating.

Changes are inevitable. I would even venture to say that changes are the only certain thing in this world. I have traveled a lot to different corners of the world and when you return to a place after, for example, 10 years, then you can really see how our world is changing. I have the impression that we are a bit busy with other things on a daily basis.

During the Earth Festival in Uniejów, there is a lot of talk about ecology and various actions that can slow down these changes to some extent. What do you think is more important, the awareness and actions of individual people, who in their mass can give it greater significance, or some emphasis on more systemic actions?

– Both are important. We certainly start by raising awareness among individuals, because they also create the masses that have the ability to change or choose, for example, local governments or authorities. Awareness, sensitization and raising children, or simply each other, is important. Sensitivity to this changing climate and to the fact that we actually have an influence – although it seems small, but we do have it. It is good to live in harmony with nature, to be aware of it.

I feel like more and more people are starting to talk about being closer to nature. My daughter, for example, goes to a forest kindergarten where everyone is very sensitive to nature, to nature, to nutrition and so on. It’s much more present than when I was a child.

What are you preparing for this festival? Because you’re kind of in a bit of a rut, looking very far ahead with the release of the album and the upcoming tour, and these types of TV events often require songs that the viewers know in front of the TV.

– Our bard, the person who has total control over the musical material, is Janek Stokłosawith whom I have been working for years. We started working together on “Contemporary Songs” together with Miuoshem. Actually, I think I was somehow invited by him to this project. He undertook the selection of songs, and I have great confidence in his artistry and ability to select the repertoire for the artist. I will sing the song Anna Jantar and a song “Apple trees, blooming apple trees” in a duet with a charming young man.

You also returned to the film set. Can you tell us more about the production?

– After 10 years of absence from the screens, I actually returned to the film set. The film was directed by Łukasz Palkowski is titled “Duel”. In the main roles, among others: Aiden Gillen, Jakub Gierszał, Wojtek Mecwaldowski, Antoni Pawlicki, Bogusław Linda and me, and many, many other great actors.

These are the years of early World War II. The film tells the story of a group of officers who were caught and locked up in a so-called “sanatorium”. In this strange, ambiguous place, the Russian authorities try to indoctrinate them, but they are very unsuccessful. I play the role of a glider and airplane pilot – Janina Lewandowskathe only woman in the camp. It will be melancholic and serious, but also sometimes light and funny. The film will hit theaters in 2026, and now we are halfway through shooting.

I have more proposals ahead of me, so it looks like my film and screen adventure will continue. Things will happen! I invite you to follow the next projects.