- May 7, 2013
Katarzyna Niemyćko: I am going to stay how I was – Kaśka from Vilnius. Interview.
„I am not ashamed of where I come from and I think it makes me stronger. I’m glad that I can be a part of the so-called homeliness for everybody.” Katarzyna Niemyćko, songstress, said in an interview for zw.lt.
The majority of Polish population in Lithuania consider you to be ‘our Kaśka’, the so-called girl next door. What is your attitude towards it?
Very positive, that’s how I am. I am going to stay how I was – Kaśka from Vilnius, Kasia, Katarzyna, Kasiowa for some. I am glad that I can be a part of the so-called homeliness for everybody – I hear comments like that from people. I am very self-critical and I think I don’t really deserve the love I get. But I can be only happy about it.
So, can you say that in a way you are an ambassador of this positive Polish character in Lithuania?
I haven’t done anything purposefully, there was no hidden agenda. I am just not ashamed of where I come from and I think it makes me stronger. Some people told me that sometimes it’s better not to talk about one’s nationality, that one should not show it off. For me, however, my origins are important and I don’t talk about it because I want people to argue or agree with it. I am who I am, open, sensitive, emotional. Multiculturalism gave me a lot when it comes to music as well. I have never hidden that I like Russian music. Maybe some Polish people didn’t like it that I sang a lot of Russian music, but I do what I do. I believe that if I do it with love then I will connect with the listener. Not everybody will like me. Criticism gives me strength too.
You participated in the biggest Lithuanian TV projects: „Battles of Choirs”, „Invitation to dance” and recently „ Duets of Stars”. Which one, do you think, was the best?
I can’t give you an unambiguous answer because each project was diffrent. First „ Battles of Choirs” and the question of Lithuanians: „Where is she from? Who is Katarzyna who is in charge of the choir? Why her? Some Pole who manages the choir from Vilnius.” I was known to the Polish part of the audience, but the Lithuanians didn’t know me. At first, there were some problems, halftones as I call it. That’s why the choir was called Wileński Chór Kasztanowy (Chestnut Choir of Vilnius). I knew it’s a big challenge and I said to myself: If not now, then never. I gave it my all. Deividas (Deividas Zvonkus, the current parther of the songstress) warned me about the criticism. I knew there is going to be a lot of stress and tears. Project „Battles of Choirs” was a kind of beginning for me in the show business, a test. I knew what my worth is. Right after, there was a next project „Invitation to dance”. It was something diffrent, because it involved dancing, but it was still related to music. After the „Battles of Choirs” I became more appreciated, especially by the Lithuanian audience. After that, there was another project „Duets of Stars”. In comparison to the first and second project, I’m doing better. We work together in a group of four people, which is new for me. It’s a lot of fun to choose songs. I reach for the work of artists I would never choose for my own repertoire.
People on the other side of the screen have the impressions that you are in your element in front of the cameras. How is it really? Are you a tv animal?
It’s hard to say. I know however that stage fright and stress accompany me all my life. Before going on stage, I get very nervous, my heartbeat is twice as fast. Sometimes, it’s a bother, especially when my hands shake when I sing. When I go on stage, at first I’m stiff, but then I start to feel the support and the energy of the audience. Stress goes away and the adrenalin feels very nice.
Most of your projects involve pop music. Do you plan to try some other music genre in the future?
I am still looking for my own style. I have never been quite determined about that. I feel great singing rock, I feel good singing love ballads. Sometimes, I fault myself that I haven’t decided yet, I need to choose something. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunatley I am like that in everyday’s life. I don’t have a particular dress style, or hair style etc. It all depands how I feel on a given day. I am in the process of finding myself. I would like to take all from life! I sang all my life. I started with folk songs in a school band „Przepióreczka” in Miednica, later I sang in „Promyczki franciszkańskie” in church, then with the band called „Kaziuk Wileński” I got back to singing folk songs. And during weddings receptions I sang all kinds of pop songs. There is such a diversity in my life. That’s just how it is and I think that’s how it has to be. There are people criticizing me for being a wedding singer. I agree! But why not? I sing during wedding receptions, in restaurants, on bigger and smaller stages. There are the same people everywhere. I always wanted to sing for somebody, and the place where the listener is doesn’t matter.
Is it hard for a women in Lithuanian show business?
I think that if you are a charismatic person, with both feet on the ground, it’s not hard, but it’s not easy either. The most important is to walk with a head held high and fight for your dreams. First and foremost, you can’t focuse on the negative comments and what’s important – your failings. The most important critics for me are my close ones, that means my family, friends, becasue I know they will tell me the truth. I consider myself a strong woman despite being very emotional. Sometimes I like to cry in the pillow or on the shoulder of my partner. I think that weak women don’t go into show business. Quite often we see some new starlets that light quickly but burn out even quicker. I have never thought about myself as a star. Sometimes I get mad when one of my close relatives calls me that, even though I know they are doing it in good faith. I just never felt like a star and I still don’t feel like it now. I am the same Kaśka, like before.
Do you think that you are in a way an inspiration, a hope for the young Polish girls from Vilnius region who sing? For instance, Great Buzarewicz who just started her music career.
Greta is my student actually (K. Niemyćko is a singing teacher in John Paul II Middle School). I remember very well her beginnings – she was a modest girl who wanted to sing. She had a potential and she made a big progress that was visible with the naked eye. Greta was very stubborn, she knew what she wanted. There were moments that she reminded me of myself. She had a specified goal and I believe she can go as far as she wants. I had prepared her for contests and she had been winning prizes. She had grown in front of my eyes. When she was graduating, I asked her whether she wanted to still sing, what were her plans, because I thought she should continue it. She said she wants to sing, that’s why I gave her all my incidental music and told ther to work hard. I gave her some advice, I also said that what she wants to do is very hard. Doing vocal exercices 6-8 hours a day is not easy. From what I can see today, Great chose path similar to mine. It’s almost the same as mine. I’m glad about it. It’s an amazing feeling for me when somebody tries to imitate me. The most important is to stay good, kind and hanorable.
Tłumaczenie by Justyna Kaczmarek w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Justyna Kaczmarek within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.