#LifeAtBIMM

Klaudia Kulawik – ‘Woman Phenomenally’

8th August 2019

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Congratulations on your brilliant new single ‘Woman Phenomenally’!
Can you tell us about the inspiration behind it?

Lately, I have been listening to a lot of jazz collectives which is purely instrumental music. I have been inspired by many greats like Aaron Parks, Avishai Cohen, Jaco Pastorius, Esperanza Spalding, Jazzameia Horn and many more. So, every time I tried to write something new, I could not get away from these influences; naturally, my fingers searched for unusual harmonic solutions on the keyboard.

Also, when I start to write music, I always begin with harmony. Melody and the lyrical content come at the end. So that when I finished writing music, I realised it should be a support for a meaningful and powerful message. I remembered one of our songwriting classes where we used poetry for the lyrical content, and I quickly searched for inspiration from of one of my favourite writers – Maya Angelou.

As soon as I read ‘Phenomenal Woman’ I knew I should follow the track. I could identify with the message of nowadays’ global slogan of ‘girl power’ and Angelou talked about it years ago! I am no longer a girl, nor a teenager, but have started the stage in my life where I am a young woman. I realise how, still, young women need self-awareness and reminders of how valuable every single woman is.

The release is promoting your upcoming debut EP/Album. Can you tell us more about this release?

The EP is going to be released at the end of August. It was recorded in my home country as I had a chance to work with great musicians of the Polish jazz music scene. The material is the summary up of what I have been working during my last year at BIMM London.

You graduate from BIMM London this year. Can you tell us the most valuable thing/s you took from your course?

The most important thing I learned is to believe in yourself, work hard and do not give up. It may sound so cliché, but looking back, these three years ago I would never think I would be able to write music. I have been trained for years as a classical music instrumentalist. I had knowledge and skills, but I was even ‘scared’ to try and reach for my ‘perfect’ idea of the best possible result. The BA (Hons) Creative Musicianship Vocals course at BIMM helped me to find my way as we were encouraged to write music, no matter what background you are coming from, no matter what your influences are – just try, step by step. That’s what I did! It works !

Can you tell us what else you have the line-up for the rest of this year?

To the end of the year, I have planned some gigs back in Poland but I’m possibly coming back to the UK for the beginning of 2020 with few performances in Peterborough, Cambridge, and maybe London. Fingers crossed!

Can you describe studying in London as an international student?

The idea of studying abroad has been in my mind since I have been quite young. I remember the feeling of freedom and excitement when I came to London for the first time in 2016. Time spent in such a multi-cultural city was such a great experience! I met so many inspirational people who shared my passion for music as well as other international students. We are all the same, the world has no borders. It’s people who set boundaries and walls. Above all, musically, London is one of the best places to listen to all variety of your music idols, you can’t miss it!

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Photo c/o Maria Jarzna

 

Author

James Watts

Social Media Assistant, Professional Bassist and Music Journalist. Career highlights include performing at some of the UK's premier music festivals, recording in Abbey Road and interviewing Debbie Harry.