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5 November 1967

Kaya was born as Katarzyna Szczot in Białystok in the eastern part of Poland. At a young age Katarzyna started to learn to play the piano. In 1985 she got her diploma in mrs. prof. Anna Narkiewicz’s piano class. She started her career together with reggae bands Rastar and Zgoda and somewhat later Tilt (the song 'Mówię ci, że'). In 1988 she made her scene debut on the Festival of Baltic Countries in Karlsham with a song 'Córeczko chciałabym, żebyś była chłopcem', for which she got a festival’s special award and, more important, the event resulted in a lot of publicity in Poland. This allowed her to publish her first solo record 'Kayah' by Polskie Nagrania. However the specific climate in Polish show-business in those days has slowed down her success.

She returned in 1995 with 'Kamień' ('Stone'). The record, oscillating in climates of soul, jazz and r&b, met high appreciation of critics and the whole branch and quickly became gold in Poland. The year 1996 brought Kaya a well deserved triumph. She was granted with the 'Fryderyk ‘95' for best Polish female singer and appreciated as “The personality of the year 1996'. She strengthened her position on the market with her next album named 'Zebra'. In 1997 she recorded a duet with Urszula called ‘Uwierz, to nie ja’ for the compilation "Playboy Play" enclosed in the magazine Playboy. In 1998 Kayah  started to run her own TV program 'To było grane' ('This used to be played') on TVN television.

Two years after 'Zebra', Kayah and Goran Bregović decided to collaborate, what resulted in a unique album, 'Kayah i Bregović'. The duo performed the album at 'Sopot Festival' and on 'Służewiec 10 november 2000’ in Warsaw for over 50.000 people. The follow up album ”JakaJaKayah' was a succesfull return to funk and dance. The record contained a duet with Cesaria Evora, 'Embarcacao', which was released as a single in February 2001. Kayah performed on 18th May in Wadowice on the occasion of Pope’s birthday, when she sang the song 'Anioł wiedział'. Later on she performed in Opole, where she was given 4 'Superjedynka awards' (the most important award of TVP) in following categories: best female singer, hit single, video and the record of the year.

In 2001 Kayah became the WWF ambassador in Poland. The same year she established a production joint-venture with K. Pszona. The first result of their work are the 7 songs on the last Ewa Bem’s record 'Mówię tak myślę nie' ('I say yes, I think no').

The latest Kayah album titled 'Stereo typ', preceded by the hit single 'Testosteron', was released at the end of August 2003. In 2009 she released a new studio album with the title 'Skała/Siła woli'. She redo's the whole project a year later with the Royal Quartet. In 2013 she is invited by the Transoriental Orchestra to perform with them at the Singer's Warsaw festival and perform Jewish songs from around Europe. The project is a sudden succes and later evolves into a full album with the orchestra.

On the web:

- Kaya's official website: http://www.kayah.pl

If you like this, you probably like... / european counterparts:

Zazie (France)

Luz Casal (Spain)

What do we think:

DB: Talented Polish raw funky pop diva. It sounds like your average modern pop music but Kayah has the voice and the cultural awareness to make every album something special. OK, in 1988 it was a bit too much eighties-synthi-sound. But she 'quickly' found her form in 1996. And the cultural awareness is proven by her great performance with Goran Bregovic. They do material that Bregovic has done before with singers like Sezen Aksu and Ofra Haza. But with Kayah it get's a rawness and purety you won't find with the other singers.

PR: Very talented Polish singer, who composes almost all her material. She uses influences from all kinds of music (jazz, blues, folk, funk) and turns them into a unique sound of her own. This kind of 'clean funky folk' can probably only emerge from a country like Poland and in my opinion Kayah is a great example of powerfull Europomusic. A gemm, ready to be discovered by music lovers all over Europe!


♪♪ - Kayah - 1988

♪♪♪- Kamień - 1996

♪♪♪- Zebra - 1997

♪♪♪♪ - Kayah & Bregović - 1999

♪♪♪♪ - Yakayakaya - 2000

♪♪♪ - StereoTyp - 2003

♪♪♪ - MTV unplugged - 2007

♪♪♪♪ - Skała - 2009

♪♪♪ - & the Royal Quartet - 2010

♪♪♪♪ - Panienki z temperamentem (with Renata Przemyk) - 2010

♪♪♪½ - & Transoriental Orchestra - 2013

♪♪♪♪♪ = outstanding album, an absolute must-have
♪♪♪♪ = great album, highly recomended
♪♪♪ = nice album
♪♪ = be careful, requires listening before buying
♪ = best to be avoided


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