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BLUES PLAYER

Multi cultural communication through the language of music. Crossing boundaries that cut to the deepest emotions.

Posted: September 19, 2023

The U.S. is not the popular hot spot for rock or blues Music. There are many other countries that are thriving at it. There has been a strong demand for streaming rock and blues channels in the UK and across the globe. The days of rock music being an American thing, is long gone.

Rightfully so. The songs written about great American past times, are the same experienced elsewhere. Family gatherings, love won, and love lost, are not new to humanity. No matter your nationality, culture or background, everyone is experiencing the same types of emotions. There is also a valid point, that music cures all. Especially when it comes to a broken heart. Yes, there are also many good times to sing about. This is not an American thing. Good times are felt everywhere you go in this world. Where there good and bad times, rock music will be leading the way.

There are some excellent International Rock, Blues, Jazz artists:

  • Erick Clapton
  • Ringo Starr
  • Neil Young
  • Bryan Adams.
  • Thin Lizzy
  • Jimmy Paige
  • Bob Marley
  • Carlos Santana
  • George Benson

The list of international artists is into the hundreds. Musicians that have had a key role in implementing authentic elements to their perspective genres’. It is important to recognize the wealth of talent that comes from outside of the country we reside. Because music of every genre, is an international language. Each one of us can connect effectively through the emotion tied to lyrics or sound. One of Jazz artist that has stood out to Guitar Thrills Magazine is Kinga Glyk. She is a London-based musician. Kinga may not be what your ears are used to when you think of jazz music in the traditional sense. She has her own unique way of expressing herself through Jazz and Blues. I would almost entertain the idea that she could be classified as Jazz only, but she has put her own vibe on it that includes Blues. Which is an interesting combination. However, I rather have her explain, how she would describe her brand of music. Let’s review just a couple of main thoughts about who Kinga Glyk is.

ABOUT KINGA GŁYK

Kinga Głyk is about to release her fifth album titled "Real Life." The album was co-produced by founder of Snarky Puppy Michael League and features an impressive lineup of musicians, including Robert "Sput" Searight, Casey Benjamin, Brett Williams, Nicholas Semrad, Julian Pollack, Celeb Sean McCambell, and Grégoire Maret. Notably, the album will be launched by the renowned music publishing company Warner Music Group.

Going back to 2021, Kinga received a nomination in the "String Instruments International" category from Deutscher JAZZ PRESS, alongside esteemed musicians like Christian McBride and Wolfgang Muthspiel. She also earned the prestigious "Koryfeusz of Polish Music" award. In 2020, she was honored with the GRAND PRIX in the "New Hope of Polish Jazz Melomani 2019" category.

Her album, "Feelings," gained popularity with the music video for the track "Joy Joy," which has been viewed by over 1 million people on YouTube. The album was produced by Paweł Tomaszewski, featuring amazing artists such as Calvin Rodgers, Brett Williams, Anomalie, Bobby Sparks II, Mateus Asato, Ruth Waldron, Joachim Mencel, and Sławomir Berny. Kinga has performed in various countries, including Poland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Indonesia, Portugal, Italy, France, Slovakia, Ukraine, and Norway. In 2017, she had the incredible opportunity to play a song with Marcus Miller at the Leverkusen Festival. Her album "Dream," released the same year, featured notable musicians such as Tim Garland, Greg Hutchinson, and Nitai Herskovits, and earned a spot on the "Jazz Hits in Germany" lists.

A year later, she received a nomination for the ECHO JAZZ AWARD. In 2016, a video of Kinga performing Eric Clapton's "Tears in Heaven" gained immense popularity after being shared by BASS PLAYER UNITED on Facebook, reaching an impressive 20 million views. Going to the very beginning of Kinga’s career she started at the age of 12 when she joined her family band, Głyk P.I.K trio, where she gained valuable experience in performing at a young age. In 2015, at the age of 18, she released her debut album, "Rejestracja," which received positive reviews from Polish radio station Trójka and magazines like "Jazz Forum" and "Your Blues." She was recognized as JAZZ TOP and BLUES TOP in an annual survey and has been nominated in various categories, including NEW HOPE, BASS GUITAR, and DISCOVERY OF THE YEAR.

“Following her debut album, she recorded a captivating live concert titled "HappyBirthday” which led to a beautiful musical adventure.” - Kinga Glyk

INTERVIEW WITH KINGA GŁYK AND GUITAR THRILLS MAGAZINE

GT: I must admit that I always thought Jazz and Blues music was an American genre. How mistaken I was, after I stepped into the music industry. I was proud to learn that both Jazz and Blues music is a global genre. Streaming efforts are increasing all around the world. Jazz and Blues continues to be the genre of choice. Especially in the U.K and Europe. The data shows an increasing amount of streaming traffic coming from outside of the U.S. That is amazing. When we heard Kinga Glyk for the first time, it all started to come together. There were just artists that we didn’t have the exposure to. At least within the U.S. Now, this is changing, in a big way. That is good for us, because “Kinga Głyk '' is a musical treasure”.

GT: Hello Kinga I want to thank you for taking the time to answer some questions today. Can you start by telling us more about Kinga? Who is she, and what makes her an artist that fans will come to enjoy?

Kinga: Thank you so much for having me. Answering this question can be a bit tricky because I have a personal perspective on myself. There are aspects of myself that I genuinely appreciate and areas where I invest a lot of effort. I strive to maintain honesty and authenticity, both with others and with myself. Ultimately, I believe that what others like about me is for them to decide. However, I can share my journey into music and why I chose to play bass. I began playing bass at the age of 12 within our family band. This early experience played a significant role in developing various skills that I hold in high regard. I'm grateful for the opportunity to have been on stage from a young age, as it exposed me to challenges early on.

While it doesn't mean everything is effortless now, it has helped me become more resilient when facing difficulties. I released my first album when I was 18 and have continued on this musical path to this day. Having a father who is a musician has been a tremendous asset. I am thrilled to have had someone who could provide guidance while still allowing me the freedom to explore my own artistic direction.

GT: How would you describe your style of music and sound?

Kinga: Describing the style of my music has always been a challenge for me. While people often like to categorize artists into genres, I've found it difficult to pinpoint exactly where I fit. It's true that my music often gets labeled as jazz, funk, and blues, but to be completely honest, I don't believe it can be neatly confined to any one genre. What's most important to me is the conviction and sincerity in the message I aim to convey through my music. My compositions are a blend of various styles, and what ties them together is the story behind each piece. My primary concern has always been maintaining the depth and meaning in my work. I never want to create music that doesn't feel genuine or truly reflective of who I am. I firmly believe in the value of exploration in music. Sometimes, it means getting lost along the way, but I always strive to stay true to my ultimate goal and trust my intuition as a guide.

GT: What do you believe is the reason for the high demand of Jazz/Blues internationally?

Kinga: I think what makes music special is its spirit. Genres like jazz and blues have always been about expressing the human experience. When you look back at songs in jazz and blues, you often find they are deeply connected to the history and culture of the people who performed them. There's more to it than just the notes; it's about using music to convey and amplify emotions. That's why this music resonates with people. We seek those deep, meaningful moments that we all recognize when they happen, moments when music transcends mere sound then we connect. I wouldn't confine the potential for such experiences solely to jazz and blues, I do believe it's achievable in nearly every genre when musicians pour their soul into their work, releasing their spirit and shedding unnecessary distractions.

GT: Who were / the jazz artists that inspired you? What about the Blues genre?

Kinga: I believe that as a musician, I'm influenced by a wide range of factors. Everyday situations, personal struggles, moments of happiness, and relationships all teach me valuable lessons. Often, these experiences inform my compositions and improve my understanding of how to play music with the effect I desire. I'm fascinated by the connections between life and music. I do have favorite drummers, bassists, violinists, and guitarists, but I prefer not to list them. As I mentioned earlier, I appreciate individuals who pay attention to details and prioritize the feeling of the music. It's not always about sounding perfect; it's about creating music that feels good, and that's what I truly enjoy.

GT: I mentioned that many artists work hard to sound unique. It is what makes you different from the others in an over inflated industry. You are unique, and you stand out from other artists. What do you contribute to your unique sound?

Kinga: You're absolutely right; we all have a desire to be unique. This topic is closely connected to my upcoming album, which is set to be released early next year. While I was contemplating what I wanted this album to convey, I found myself struggling with the idea of labeling myself as a "real" musician and what it actually means to be „real” musician. Is there a stage when we can give someone this title? I struggled with the emotions of comparing myself to others and attempting to meet certain expectations, both those imposed by others and those I set for myself. Over time, I've come to realize that the best thing I can do is remain true to myself, follow my own path at my own pace, and define my own goals. Sometimes, the desire to be perceived a certain way can hinder our progress or lead us down paths that may not be right for us. In this context, I'd rather use the word "authentic" than "unique." It feels more fitting and carries less pressure.

GT: Do you write your own music? If so, how important is that to you?

Kinga: Writing my own music is a significant part of who I am. I've always had a strong desire to be creative and discover intriguing melodies and rhythm structures that can effectively convey my emotions and ideas. My focus typically revolves around the theme of the song and how it personally resonates with me. Often, I intentionally try to break free from conventional rules and measures, allowing myself to improvise and employ a diverse vocabulary to compose.

GT: Talk to us about your latest accomplishments

Kinga: I'm about to release my fifth personal album at the beginning of next year, which feels like a great achievement. I'm incredibly thrilled to share this music with everyone. It was a genuine pleasure to collaborate on this project with the amazing producer Michael League, who played a crucial role in bringing my ideas to life. The entire process of creating this album was a joy, and it offered me invaluable learning experiences. I hold deep admiration for the musicians who participated in the recording sessions, and I feel truly honored to have them as part of this record. Robert "Sput" Searight played drums, Brett Williams keys, Casey Benjamin aerophone, Nicolas Semrad keys, Julian Pollack keys, Grégoire Maret harmonica , and Caleb McCampbell keys. The album was engineered and mixed by Nic Hard and mastered by Dave McNair.

When it comes to my musical achievements, this is something I'm incredibly delighted to share, especially because there was a nearly four-year gap between this and my previous album release so it feels very fresh.

We're going on a pre-release tour in November 2023. We'll begin in Poland, where I'm from, and then tour mostly in Germany. There might be more shows in different places next year too which I am very excited about.

GT: Are you planning to go back into the studio anytime soon, or are you out on the road promoting yourself as a musician or artist? Which one is a priority to you?

Kinga: Being in the studio and being on the road are two very distinct experiences. I enjoy both, but if I had to choose, I'd say touring is my preference. Performing live is incredibly important to me, and it's a huge source of motivation. Meeting people and playing live shows allows me to grow in various ways. I had a significant break from performing since 2020. So I missed it. Initially, it was due to the restrictions brought about by Covid, and later on, it was because of my album production. I wanted to fully concentrate on that and ensure that everything sounded as great as possible. The perspective of playing the tour promoting the new album is super exciting.

GT: Do you think it is a waste of effort or talent to just endorse brands or should a guitarist have loftier goals?

Kinga: Having the opportunity to perform and earn a substantial living from concerts is not always guaranteed. I think most musicians would agree that ideally they would want to earn their money performing and creating music, but sometimes this income can be inconsistent..Finding the right balance between performing and other ways of earning money isn't easy, and there's no one-size-fits-all solution.

GT: Where do you plan on performing? Do you make it outside the country for shows?

Kinga: I mostly perform in Europe, which I really like but I'm also very excited about the possibility of performing in different parts of the world. It's a dream I have, and while it's not solely dependent on my wishes, it's great to imagine performing in various places.

GT: You are very talented Kinga. It was with much pleasure that we had an opportunity to interview you. Please keep us updated on what your plans are for future releases and performances. We want to be a valuable resource to promote your music.

Kinga: Thank you so much for your time 🙂 I am happy we could have this conversation.

GT: We look forward to speaking to you soon

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