Jacob Mendez
Jacob Mendez

Klaudia Szafrańska: “I feel like a newbie, I have to fight for my position”

Wiktor Fejkiel: You are an example of an artist who started her career with a television show, more specifically “X Factor”. In hindsight and how your career has progressed, would you take part in it again?

Klaudia Szafrańska: – I think I would take a similar step anyway. At that time, for me, as a teenager, it was one of the biggest opportunities to show myself to a wider audience. IN “X Factor” I met many wonderful people, but the most important breakthrough came after the program, when I met Michał Wasilewski, with whom I later co-created Xxanaxx.

Do you think the influence of TV shows on the music industry has changed in the last ten years?

– Definitely. There are more and more artists themselves. Of course, the Internet is largely responsible for this, but all these TV shows also contribute to it to a large extent. However, competition is also increasing, which paradoxically makes it more difficult for artists to venture out into wider waters.

Your next step in your musical career was to found the band Xxanaxx with Michał Wasilewski. Which made me go for it you decided?

– When I moved to Warsaw to study, Michał invited me to join this duo. This was the moment when I wanted to start seriously thinking about music, so it was the perfect time. From the first meeting, we felt the common musical language, the same energy. We felt that we would have fun working together and we started creating without any major plans. Michał had a home studio, where we started making the first songs and releasing them to the Internet. We noticed quite quickly that it was going really well. Then concerts, festivals and we had to start thinking about a specific publishing plan. We were surprised by people's reaction and how much they liked it. We managed to create this duo without expectations and maybe that was the key to success.

Until 2019, you were heavily involved in this project, releasing three studio albums together with Michał. What made you decide to abandon Xxanaxx in favor of solo work?

– It was a thought that had been maturing in me for many years. This was my original plan for myself and my career. Michał was somehow ahead of my thoughts about creating music. When I moved to Warsaw, I started looking for producers with whom I wanted to cooperate. Xxanaxx made my previous plans naturally take a backseat. After several years of working as a duo, the moment finally came when I wanted to return to the idea of ​​a solo album.

I think you will agree with me that the breakthrough moment in your solo career was the recording of the song with Quebonafide “Candy”. What is the background of this cooperation?

– It was undoubtedly a very important moment in my career. What's even funnier is that I didn't expect this song to be so successful. I didn't know much about Quebo's work before, of course I had heard a few songs, but I wasn't familiar with it in any depth. I didn't know Kuba himself before. We met once during a joint photo session for one of the festivals. But that's only when collaborating on a song “Candy” we got to know each other better. However, I am extremely happy that this collaboration took place. The vast majority of Quebo fans didn't know me before and got to know me thanks to this cooperation. It really was very nice for me.

Now let's focus on the present. You have just released your debut solo album “Ko-Breath”. Do you feel the same emotions as during the actual debut?

– Honestly, yes. The entire creative process of this album lasted 3-4 years, some years have passed since the release of the first song. Despite how many years I have been on this scene, I feel like a newcomer, as if I had entered the music market again and had to fight for my position a bit. I also have to remember that many people who liked Xxanaxx may not know that I am Klaudia Szafrańska, so I feel like I'm starting all over again.

What does a title mean to you “Ko-Breath”? What is behind co-breathing?

– This is the first name that stayed with me throughout the entire process of creating the album. When I think about this co-breathing, I have the image of a listener who is on the other side, with whom I share these sounds and these emotions. I would like this album to be a peace of mind for everyone, a break from everyday life and all its problems.

Apart from Ophelia, who we could hear in the single “I've been humming this for years”Jan-rapping also appears in “Paris of the North”. Where does this selection of guests come from?

– The guests on this album are naturally selected. With Ophelia, I just felt like I wanted to do something with her. She helped me a lot on previous songs with lyrics, and I feel very good in her company. How I worked on “I've been humming this for years”, I decided that I had to invite a guest there, a female vocalist. Ofelia was perfect for this place. As for Janek Rapowanie, I simply like him – both as an artist and as a person. It suited me “Paris of the North” like few others, so I was happy when he agreed.

You published the first single from your upcoming album at the beginning of 2021 – almost three years ago. Why is it taking so long to wait for the album?

– When I started working on the album, about four years ago, the pandemic broke out after three months. We were all locked at home for several months, so I stopped working for a while. Later I had the pleasure of taking part in a music project that I did with Pepsi, where I recorded two songs and I didn't want my solo material to conflict with it. I simply preferred that all my projects not overlap. Later, I returned to the pieces I started making before the pandemic. We released several singles in 2021, we already had a release plan ready, but I got pregnant and I knew that I wanted to withdraw from the media a bit and devote myself to this role one hundred percent. After another few years, when I felt I was ready, we started the premiere. This is life, many things stopped me along the way, but in the end I made it.

Even though it's been stretched out over time, are these songs from a few years ago still relevant to you?

– Yes. Unfortunately, music is getting old quickly these days, but I am a fan of timeless songs and I would like mine to sound like that. These songs still resonate with me, which was a big test for this album, which it passed. All these lyrics and compositions still make me happy and I think they are really good. However, I already have new ideas, so sometimes I think that I could do something differently, change this or that. These are the moments when my inner perfectionist manifests itself. I would like to constantly improve my skills, sometimes you just have to close a certain stage and not come back to it. However, this entire album is relevant to me. I wouldn't throw away any number.

Are there any albums or artists that particularly inspired you? I don't know if you will agree with me, but at times in your work I hear Ariana Grande from albums “thank you, next” Whether “Positions”.

– I don't think there is anyone like that. I really like Ariana's work and her voice, maybe she was once part of my inspiration, but I didn't do it consciously. The only artist that comes to mind is Snoh ​​Aalegra.

On “Ko-Breath” we deal with many productions by artists such as Tribbs, Chloe Martini and Moo Latte. Why didn't you choose one manufacturer? Weren't you afraid of lack of coherence?

– I realize that this is quite a specific procedure and to be honest, I don't know if I would repeat it. Don't get me wrong, I'm very happy with the selection of my producers, although when it comes to the organization itself, having one would make everything easier. However, I had a few producers in mind who were very keen to do something with me, so it wasn't a stylistic endeavor. Fortunately, everything was glued together perfectly.

A few days ago, your first solo album premiered, you are finally closing this several-year stage in your career. What are your plans now?

– I have many publishing plans. I have some that are obvious, but also some that are new to me. It's been a long time since I had a lightbulb with new ideas, but I lacked people with whom I could do it. Recently, these plans and dreams have become more concrete. I won't reveal what it's about, but I will start preparations in the spring. When it comes to Klaudia Szafrańska's project, i.e. the second album, I already have specific thoughts and musical desires. I know what direction I would like to go and I will ride this wave.