Nineties Bookmark and Share

The nineties gave a push to the creativity in Poland’s pop scene. Some artists started working with the jazz history, others explored the folk and traditional roots. Also studio technique and production capabilities improved.

Kayah, Renata Przemyk and Kora (without Maanam) started to release more sophisticated pop records. New on the scene were singers like Kasia Kowalska (former singer of Human and Fatum), Edyta Bartosiewicz, and Justyna Steczkowska who has a vocal range of 4 octaves. Groups like Varius Manx and Skankan mixed folklore with for instance rock, reggae and ska. More grunge like was the group Hey with singer Kasia Nosowska. This band would later on fill stadiums. Nosowska's would have a very experimental output later in the nineties. In 1994 Poland entered the Eurovision song contest for the first time. Performer was Edyta Górniak with the song To nie ja (That's Not Me) which ended second. The song turned out to be Edyta’s biggest hit and she still releases albums in Polish as well as in English, although not so succesful.

The Polish hip hop scene began in 1990. The first album by a Polish performer was East on the Mic by PM Cool Lee, which featured two songs in Polish. Lee was from Kielce, but Warsaw soon emerged as a center for hip hop, after KOLOR, a radio station, began broadcasting Kolor Shock, hosted by Bogna Świątkowska, Paul Jackson, an African American expatriate, Sylvia Opoku from London, and DJ Volt, whose crew, IKHZ, became performing stars in their own right in 1995. Volt also founded the first Polish independent hip hop label, Beat Records. Though the label didn't last long, it did introduce groups like Trzyha and Molesta. In Poznań, PH Kopalnia's Polski Rap - Zakazane Piosenki (Polish rap - Forbidden Songs). Now known as Liroy, the former PM Cool Lee released Albóóm in 1995, which included the hit Scyzoryk.

Electronic dance music also got it’s foot between the polish door which resulted in the genre Disco Polo. It was derived from contemporary folk tunes and italo disco. The name itself was conceived by Sławomir Skręta from Blue Star as a replacement for an older term, piosenka chodnikowa ("sidewalk music") - which originated from the main means of distribution of its recordings - sidewalk stands on streets and bazaars. Queen of this genre was Magdalena Pańkowska aka Shazza. The songs Bierz co chcesz, Noc Róży , and Czego chcesz? (Why Do You Call Now?) were big hits in Poland. Other popular acts are Bayer Full and Topless. The genre got somewhat watered down at the end of the nineties due to the influence of international dancemusic.



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