Cord Warsaw’s Head of Music Michał Krajewski takes us on a tour of Europe’s most raw and exciting music scenes
Move over Berlin, when it comes to fresh and exciting sounds Warsaw is an absolute hotbed of talent. DJ Mag calls it ‘international rave heaven’ and ‘a radical clubber’s paradise' – but it’s not just Euro electro-hounds finding inspiration in the Polish capital. Local rap has evolved a satirical and articulate flavour – stalwarts PR08L3M favour dystopian sagas and up-and-comer Mata has been digging out the hypocrisy of the social elite. Go a little deeper and a little further back and you’ll find a rich foundation of jazz.
We caught up with Michał Krajewski, Head of Music at CORD Warsaw, to share some musical inspiration.
LBB> The most iconic sound in the city right now - is there a genre dominating things or a particular style / tone?
Michal> Warsaw's concert scene has been massively influenced by electronic/hip-hop / club music. This music is always flavoured with Polish heritage song writing and vocal talents often citing iconic tracks as well. There is an amazing scene of producers in their 20s and 30s, artists and songwriters who all melt together in Warsaw's clubs and studios.
LBB> The best spot in the city to immerse yourself in the city's music
You probably need to tap two spots - Miłość Kredytowa 9 and barStudio. For most edgy and freshest sounds from Polish talent, and hot UK electronic tunes as well, you can always go to Miłość ('Love' in English). barStudio is fresh music and disco nights club with music, events and a community that is built around freedom, tolerance and unity. Interesting to say it is located in the post-Soviet's Palace of Culture and Science - so a nice a mashup of Warsaw's diverse history.
LBB> What classic track best represents the city's musical heritage?
One of the iconic tracks track the conveys city's spirit is definitely Czesław Niemen's "Sen o Warszawie" ("Dream About Warsaw"). I could call it the city's anthems with its most heartfelt line "if you ever want to see a sunset of Vistula river [..]". Niemen was a musical visionary, bridging the classical mid-20th century music with futuristic approach of the 1980s.
Second, for me, would be Warsaw's jazz scene with the musical heritage of Jazz Jamboree festival and giants like Krzysztof Komeda Trzciński, Jan Ptaszyn Wróblewski, Zbigniew Namysłowski, Tomasz Stańko, Andrzej Kurylewicz, Andrzej Trzaskowski, Jerzy Milian and many many more.
LBB> Who’s the most exciting artist/musician in the city right now?
PRO8L3M is a hip-hop duo that electrifies Warsaw music scene for the past couple of years. There's Rosalie - an amazing R&B artist recording both in Polish and English. Daria Zawiałow is a very talented artist and songwriter. And one of the youngest rap artist who has just left high school - Mata.
LBB> Which local artists/ composers that your team works with are particularly exciting and why?
We have a roster of artists, depending on the music we need to create and produce. There is amazing talent potential in Poland. We work with people who can be violin and bass players but be creating as underground dark techno artists as well as with orchestral composers who create most beautiful cinematic soundscapes. If I were to mention one name, I would name Duit who is an electronic song producer, a man with a beautiful music taste and represents the first generation of full-flesh music producers in Poland who are artists themselves too.
LBB> What’s the market like for music and sound companies in Poland at the moment?
Although music is present in comms and advertising, it is still working its way to mark a great importance in the strategy and communications. Brand partnerships are a popular way of using original music, syncs as well. We, as a music agency, are working hard to build awareness amongst brand managers and creatives that brand’s own strategic assets create a deeper connection between consumers and the brand than synched or production music.
LBB> Which recent projects for the Polish or CEE market are the team particularly proud of it?
Our latest show-reel works would be an ING synch and a new arrangement recording for Kinder Bueno (Ferrero).
For the bank ad we have synched Queen's "We Will Rock You" which has fallen right down the comm's message - if we don't start taking care about the global environment, our kids will tell us what they think straight in our faces! This was a pro-environmental campaign with a really strong message backed with an iconic song!
For Kinder Bueno, on the other hand, we have used a classic hit song "Enigma" originally performed by Amanda Lear and gave it a new trip-hop/r'n'b deeply flavoured spin. Kinder Bueno in Poland is famous for having very cool music and we have continued that heritage. We always enjoy recreating gold hits and giving them fresh vibes and new shapes!
LBB> Tell me a bit about the CORD Warsaw team!
CORD has been present in Warsaw since 2015. We are currently a team of five music supervisors and strategists. We work mainly for Polish clients but our projects have CEE reach. We know the local market and brands but have global knowledge and resources thus we can deliver CORD's best in class music to our clients. We specialise in music supervision, music and sound production, audio branding and music strategies.