Jacob Mendez
Jacob Mendez

Sebastian Karpiel-Bułecka about Zakopower's debut: “Great stress, experience, hopes and expectations”

Polsat Hit Festival took over Sopot. On May 24 and 25, 2024, the biggest stars of the Polish music scene perform on the stage of the Forest Opera. One of the bands that will perform on the second day of the festival is Zakopower. Group leader, Sebastian Karpiel-Bułecka, mentioned the beginnings of his artistic activity and what Polsat viewers can expect from the performance. He couldn't help but mention folklore, which, in his opinion, is present in the hearts of all Poles. He also revealed what it was like working with other artists while creating the last album.

Weronika Figiel, Interia: We are a few hours before the performance of the Zakopower band at the Forest Opera in Sopot. We just had a rehearsal – how did it go and what can we expect?

Sebastian Karpiel-Bułecka, leader of the Zakopower team: – The rehearsal went quite well. We can expect great emotions today, because there are many good bands on stage. We will play a song that we once won a festival here with. It will be the song “Kiebez ty” and our biggest hit “Boso”, so there will be a lot going on. Besides, there is still Krzysiu Zalewski, there is a band called Enejso it's definitely worth following this concert today, watching it and listening to good music.

How do you remember your beginnings?

– It was a great stress, a great experience, great hopes and expectations, because that's when we started. We dreamed of being able to give concerts and play as much as possible. This festival opened the way for us to do that. We managed to win it and it was a truly radical change in terms of our later musical career.

In your music you combine folk with rock music. Do you think there is a need for this among people? Do they feel that they need folk music and want to listen to it?

– I think that Poles have folk music rooted in their souls. In general, Poland as a country has beautiful folklore. Not only Podhale, but also other regions of Poland – Kashubia, Mazovia, Łowicz – these are truly extraordinary places when it comes to music, costumes and clothes. It's in us, it's in our nation. I think there is still a demand for this type of sound. Moreover, these original, folkloric sounds smuggled into popular music – pop, rock or jazz – add flavor to it, make this music very original and different. I think it's worth reaching for this folklore when playing modern music.

When you started, did you know that you had to go into this folklore? Or maybe there was this idea to go into popular music?

– I don't know if it had to, because it just happened. It was in us, in our soul, in our heart. It happened very naturally. Besides, I think that no matter what we played – whether it was Chopin, or Bach, or anything else – it would still sound highlander, because it is in our blood, this is our performance style. Even when I give this interview now, you can hear my accent and it's similar in music. If I played Chopin's violin, I would hear that a highlander was playing. I just can't do otherwise, and that's what it sounds like, and it all makes sense. If we suddenly started pretending to be someone we are not, it wouldn't be real and I don't think we would get this message to people.

You recently created a triptych of songs recorded with other artists – including Bela Komoszyńska, Ralph Kaminski and Igor Herbut. Do you like collaborating with other artists, or is working in your own team enough for you?

– I like it because it opens new horizons. We created these duets for our latest album “Widzialne | Invisible” and it was an extraordinary adventure. Singing with Ralph Kaminsky was a great challenge for me. I believed that he would sing it well, because he is a very talented man, but he had to sing in the highlander dialect, with this mannerism. We didn't really know how it would turn out, but it turned out great. Same with Igor, same with Bela. These are really great artists for whom I have great sentiment. We share some emotions. It's hard for me to explain, it's some kind of kinship of souls. Hence the choices – these duets – and no others.

You made your debut in 2005, so your anniversary is coming soon. Are you planning something big?

– Yes of course. We want to prepare some kind of anniversary surprise. There's still a year left, so we have time to think about what it should be.

We are starting the summer festival season. Are there any summer concert plans?

– Yes, we will definitely travel around Poland. We will play, we will meet people, we will make music – that is, we will do what we love the most. We play for people, for the audience. If it is well received and received, it is some kind of reward for our hard work.