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Karol Krupiak – I walk firmly on the ground

Karol Krupiak became known to a wider audience thanks to the song “Osiem gwiazd (wojna),” which was once recognized as the unofficial anthem of the Women’s Strike. After the well-received debut album “2:20,” it was time for the second official release, “Meta.” The author himself told me about this and many other topics. I invite you to read it.

How did you get into music in the first place?

For me, it started more with writing. I was already writing my first stories at the age of 8, and eventually, I became interested in music as well. Honestly, I never had any expectations about it; I just did it for myself. Over time, everything started to come together; the first tracks found their listeners, and I didn’t change my attitude. It’s pure chance that I’m involved in music because I’ve always been more interested in writing. At this point, however, I already put these two things side by side, and one stems from the other.

Have you ever thought about writing something in a longer form and publishing it as a book?

I’ve thought about it because I believe I’m good at it (maybe). But so far, I haven’t had the inspiration, and I also don’t like or even can’t force myself to do such things. Currently, writing lyrics for beats is enough for me, and I find fulfillment in that, although I never say never. I’m a very changeable person, and it’s possible that there will come a time when I’ll write a book. However, it’s still just speculation.

I understand, but then at what point in your life did the muse join the word?

I think around the age of 15. I remember feeling the need to record a cover of a song in a professional music studio. It was in my hometown of Tychy, and it was there in that studio that I met Wojtek Stekle, who now runs a studio in Warsaw and actually mixed my entire album “2:20”. I recorded a cover of Lukas Graham’s “7 Years” there and thought it was cool, but now I wanted to record something of my own. So, I searched for beats online and wrote lyrics to them. It took a few years before my stuff started to reach a cooler level. I’m still developing and progressing in this, and I think my new tracks are the best proof of that.

Do you have enough vocal skills to sing a more demanding song?

It really depends on the song. I think there are songs that I could sing well, even though I’m not a great singer. I definitely wouldn’t be able to sing something from Adele, for example, because they are too demanding. You know, I’m self-taught. I also once learned to play the guitar, but generally instruments are not my strong suit. I definitely feel better using my voice and words.

And you wanted to do hip-hop from the beginning?

I have never closed myself off to any genre and I still do. I make the music I like, and whether it comes out very rock, pop or hip-hop doesn’t matter. I like combining genres.

Do you listen to Polish hip-hop yourself?

Yes definitely. There are gems on the Polish scene that I really like listening to. Maybe I’m not a fan of the biggest mainstream and in fact who I listen to hasn’t changed much over the years. Kartky releases good songs, I listen to them, but I also really regret that Quebo doesn’t want to release stuff anymore. I really liked his albums, especially “Egzotyka” and “Romantic Psycho”. Among these newer rappers, Chivas and Opał will definitely release something good. Generally, there are many rappers who release something good from time to time, although I don’t check it on a regular basis either. In fact, I listen most to those whose songs I feel soulful in. When it comes to the foreign scene, I stopped at Eminem and I’m actually fine with it. Well, maybe I still listen to Lil Peep, XXXTentacion or Juice WRLD. This is my style, I admit it. However, I also listen to other genres on a daily basis. For a long time I lived in a block of flats next to the block where Rysiek Riedel from Dżem lived. I’m a big fan of this band and generally old Polish sounds like Budka Suflera or Lady Pank.

I wonder if you had listened to his music before you joined Kartky’s label?

Yes, I was even a fan of his. I remember that when I published the issue of “Osiem Gwiazdy” and had my first interviews, I mentioned that I listen to Kartky a lot. I don’t know if he heard it and that’s why he contacted me, but maybe that’s what happened.

“I am a man who goes to extremes.”

Underneath the songs, it’s hard not to notice that listeners compare you a lot to each other.

Yes it’s true. It used to irritate me a lot, but now I try to ignore it. I do my own thing and have never focused on imitating anyone. If someone does not notice the difference in voice timbre or intonation, I recommend buying new headphones.

However, I read that “2:20” released on Ou7side is actually your second album. So what was the first one?

It was totally illegal. Only a few of my friends and maybe two outsiders who have been listening to me completely from the very beginning actually have the physical edition. I’m not happy with it because I released it a little too quickly and it was a bit forced. There are only good fragments in each issue, so it’s fortunate that the album was released in a very small edition. I only have 2 copies in total. This album is also not something to brag about, because I know I would do it much better today. I feel the same way even with the album “2:20”, because I know that I could have made some things more interesting. Either in the thread or in the text. However, I still like it. In the same way, the sounds made by Wojtek Stekle still stick together for me.

On the other hand, these shortcomings show your progress.

Yes, that’s why I’m glad I released them, but currently I can’t listen to them and be completely satisfied. When I released them, I was very proud of myself and I know that I gave 100%. I also think about it this way: if I were doing these numbers now, maybe they wouldn’t be as strong as they were then. Contrary to appearances, sometimes better means worse. You can exaggerate and thus deprive a given number of its soul.

Currently, you are in the process of releasing singles from your new album “META”. Can you tell us more about her?

“META” will be a slightly different album than “2:20”. There is less singing and more rapping. It is certainly much harder to read. The new album requires a lot of understanding of the lyrics, but since it is quite a difficult topic, it may find much less target audience. It is more honest, although I don’t like to use this word because I think it is very overused in Polish rap. I’ve always been honest in my lyrics too, but on this album I just say everything bluntly.

And when you create a song, or even an entire album, do you feel a certain feeling of apathy and sadness? However, you leave a large part of yourself in your songs.

I’m generally considered a sad guy. Not only do I make songs like this, but I’m like this every day. Those who know me privately know that I also have my demons. Sometimes, when I write something, I feel like I’m freeing myself from it, so for me it works the opposite way than for many artists. Generally, these differences are not as noticeable for me as for a normal person. Or at least that’s what I think.

Could it be said that you are a more melancholic person? Doesn’t that go hand in hand?

I am a man who goes to extremes. Either I don’t give a damn or I’m quite short-tempered. Once I get started, I’m off. Generally, I’m a person who either doesn’t care about anything and is calm, or doesn’t care about anything and is pissed off. I can’t describe it better. I’m just a pretty difficult person.

However, after all your statements and lyrics in your songs, I can say that you are also a very conscious person. You discuss many difficult topics and you are not afraid to express your own opinion.

Definitely. I think a lot. I like to discuss any topic. I feel particularly good about social, philosophical and psychological topics. Generally, I don’t really like it when they say I’m a rapper. The perception of this word has changed dramatically and now it is not treated the same as it used to be. When someone asks me what kind of music I make, I say that they usually call it rap. Rap used to be defined as a genre of rebellion and was much more outsider. It suited me much better and suited me better than when rap became completely mainstream. Now rap is everywhere – on the radio, on TV. Rappers appear in commercials and are always on a pedestal. However, I am more of a supporter of the old trend and the whole atmosphere that accompanied hip-hop 20 years ago.

Did you bring this awareness from home?

To some extent, certainly, because I was brought up, so to speak, in a family of educated people. For as long as I can remember, I have always been interested in everything. I was that person who, when I was interested in something, had to check it out right away. Combined with my good memory, I easily acquire knowledge and then try to make the most of it.

I also found information that you were planning to study psychology or law. Were you able to implement these plans?

Ultimately, I went to study political science, but I think I haven’t said the last word on education yet. I like to absorb knowledge, so when something interests me, I am able to devote myself fully to it. When it comes to studies themselves, my biggest problem is always with topics that are uninteresting to me. Every time I fight with myself to learn about something that seems completely pointless and unnecessary to me.

Well, here’s my standard question at the end. What is your biggest dream currently?

Honestly, I don’t have any dreams. You can be disappointed in your dreams. I am a realist and I walk firmly on the ground.

IG: @karolkrupiak

FB: krupiak.official

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