At 22, newly crowned MTV Iggy Artist of the Week Iza Lach has a prodigy’s resume. The Polish pop songstress wrote her first album at sixteen and followed it up with sophomore effort, Krzyk (or The Scream), earning her two Polish Grammy noms. Hailed as Poland’s answer to Lily Allen, the singer/songwriter/producer combines sweet soprano melodies and low-key synth, all tailor-made for a rainy day.
We talked to Iza about her experiences winning a Polish singing show at the tender age of 5, how a dream about Timbaland inspired one of her songs, and whether or not we can expect an English album in the near future:
How old were you went you performed on the Polish singing show
From Kindergarten to the Stage? What do you remember most about it?
I was 5 and was missing a tooth. Each kid performer received a huge box filled with toys (for example a Barbie doll with extremely long hair that I had been dreaming about, a Walkman and a teddy bear ). Afterwards I was literally sleeping with all things from the box. But what I remember the most is a huge clap-o-meter. For my performance I scored 110 claps. It was high enough to win.
You have a really beautiful voice — did you have classical training?
Thank you! I’ve never trained my voice. When I was seven I started playing violin and piano in music school. I dropped it at 17…I’d had enough! From that moment on I’ve focused on writing my own songs
You write, sing, and produce your own music. When did you write your first song and what was it about?
I was thirteen. The song title was “It’s About Time” as it appeared later it was also the title of my first record. The song was about confusion and misunderstanding in modern world.
What was your dream about Kanye West and Timbaland?
First Timbo! Once I had a dream…I was listening to his new track on the radio. It was hot! I remembered it, and once I realized that this song didn’t exist, I made it my own. You can find it here. Details about my Kanye dream are confidential and X-rated.
Who is your real life dream collaboration?
Right now I’m really into Hip-Hop artists. I would love to collaborate with Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa, Lil Wayne and Kanye West of course…these are the boys I love the most!
What was the process of writing and releasing your first album? How did you find a label?
I recorded a demo by myself (13 songs about lost love), made three copies and sent them to three major labels in Poland. One of them decided to put me out. It was a dream come true but soon enough it became nightmare. The album releasing process was very long. When it was finally out I couldn’t relate to those songs anymore.
You write in your SoundCloud profile that you’re a meteoropathic. Is that a real thing?
Yes, It’s a real thing. Each change of weather manifests with headaches and sleepiness. It’s bad luck that weather in Poland changes so often lately…It’s funny but I write even more during that time. But maybe it’s because of this pills I take.
You’re an NBA fan – who do you root for, and are there a lot of NBA fans in Poland?
I am a huge NBA fan. So huge that I gave up sleeping (because of the time difference most of games start here at 3 a.m.). I root for the LA Clippers! Ricky Rubio ( I wish him health ) and Marcin Gortat, who used to live 2 blocks from my place here in Lodz, Poland. NBA is quite popular here but not as much, as football (as you call it, soccer).
You grew up in Lodz — what is a typical night out in your town?
It’s quite a big city, so it’s like anywhere else. There are pubs and clubs, cinemas, concert halls. I don’t really enjoy night life. I prefer to stay at home, make some music or watch sports and tv series.
You’ve been described as the Polish Lilly Allen, and you post videos of MIA, Wiz Khalifa, Usher, and Chiddy Bang on your Facebook. But who are some of your Polish musical role models?
There are so many great musicians in Poland who inspired me. These are my top three: Ewa Bem, she’s a great jazz, blues and pop singer. Papa Dance, ’80s pop group. Kabaret Starszych Panów ( “Old Gentelmen’s Cabaret” ), ’58-’66 tv show with great songs written by two old gentlemen.
In the music video for “Chociaz Raz,” you kidnap a guy and hold him hostage in the trunk of your car. I wonder…how does this relate to the meaning of the song?
The song title means “Just One Time” and in the chorus of the song I sing the phrase “…and I’ll not let you go away”, so kidnapping a guy and keep him in the trunk seemed to me like the best way to do this.
You’ve been putting out English language songs on the Internet. When can we expect an English language album from you?
I don’t really know yet. For now Soundcloud is enough. I don’t like to plan my future in advance.
See Iza’s single, “Chociaz Raz” or “just one time.”