The princess of British raves joins a set that includes explosive rap, hypnotic trip-hop, melancholic electronica and multiple renditions of the alternative.
The line-up of the WROsound festival, organised under the banner of “urban jungle”, is completed by one of the best female vocalists on the club scene. Katy B graduated from the prestigious BRIT School in London (whose graduates include Adele and Amy Winehouse) and entered the UK charts for the first time in 2010 with the singles Katy on a Mission and Lights On. Her work is a high-octane parade of hits based on a mix of pop, UK garage, drum’n’bass and dubstep. In 2021, she returned to recording after an extended break and released the CD Peace and Offerings, a summary of a time of personal transformation during the lockdown. In contrast, the artist surprised us with the perfect banger at the beginning of 2023 – the track Paradise was recorded with Kings Of The Rollers, creators of the drum’n’bass hits. Her performance on WROsound’s main stage will be a powerful conclusion to the festival.
The headliner has joined a line-up sure to please fans of rap, trip-hop, electronica and alternative. Tricky – a trip-hop legend, British singer and music producer – will also be performing on the main stage, along with our compatriot – Marta Złakowska. Kidnap, a Sheffield-based producer, will be in charge of an electronica section full of nostalgia. Serca will be sparkling with energetic beats, Brodka will play material from her latest EP Sadza, and asthma and her band will throw in some rap verses and punk energy. BOKKA will be celebrating its 10th birthday and brodachè will show density in beats and space in being.
Local artists will present themselves on the stage of the “Tak Brzmi Wrocław” – a project that refers to the history and beginnings of the festival. The duo – We Draw A will put on sad disco, while Zima Stulecia will play melancholic electronica accompanied by improvised music for synthesisers and percussion. Rycerzyki will introduce the atmosphere of the 1980s with their nostalgic-extatic music, which is loosely in line with the alternative pop trend, while Guest Julka will present material between soul and rap. The duo – EKHTO will combine a danceable mood with lyrical sensitivity, and Baby Meelo will thrill the audience without any bling or fireworks – but there will be tons of smoke and brutal honesty in his lyrics.
WROsound, organised by Strefa Kultury Wrocław, will take place on 14-15 July on the square in front of Impart in Wrocław. Tickets and passes are available at: www.wrosound.com, www.strefakultury.pl and www.eventim.pl.
14 July: Tricky feat. Marta, Brodka, asthma, Serca, Zima Stulecia, Baby Meelo, Guest Julka
15 July: Katy B, Kidnap, BOKKA, brodachè, We Draw A, EKHTO, Rycerzyki
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Over a decade ago, a petite, auburn-haired singer from Peckham, South London by the name of Katy B came to the fore with debut project On A Mission; a high-octane hit parade building on the promise of her early pirate radio potential. Suffused with personal vignettes exploring the grey area between raves and relationships, augmented by a malleable voice soaring with impact over UK garage, funky and dubstep productions, On A Mission announced the arrival of a new club-conscious renegade with an eye on the revolving door of pop.
On A Mission was both a commercial and critical success: the title track and Ms Dynamite-assisted Lights On reached the top five of the UK charts and Katy B was nominated for both the Ivor Novello and Mercury Music Prize. Its success set the precedent for Katy to make her major label debut three years later with her first UK number one album Little Red. She secured the chart double and her place amongst the pop glitterati when her collaboration with KDA and Tinie Tempah, Turn The Music Louder (Rumble), reached the number one spot on the UK Singles Chart.
2016’s collaborative project Honey – featuring credits from the likes of Kaytranada and Floating Points – further showcased Katy’s ability to distil more cerebral electronica with four-to-the-floor club bangers. But after years on a conveyor belt releasing and touring, Katy experienced a period of disenchantment and emotional upheaval, compelling her to take some time away to recalibrate: “When you first release music you can’t wait for the world to hear it; there’s this anticipation and excitement around it all. By the time I’d released Honey, I knew I needed time away to reboot. I began to lose perspective and I felt quite isolated at times. I needed the break to rediscover myself.”
After a three-month sojourn in New York, time spent renovating a home in London and trying her hand at writing for other artists, the desire to release music again loomed large. A prelude to a new era came in the form of a vocal rework of Moses Boyd’s 2 Far Gone, reminding the world what a Katy B feature can do; supple, freeform vocals gliding melodiously over cutting-edge production, conveying both feeling and movement in equal measure.
Now, no longer at the behest of a major label, Katy B has returned with a project encapsulating this time in transition. An independent artist once again, Katy’s backed by the support of her Rinse family, mirroring her introduction to the scene over a decade ago. “I’ve come full circle. I love working with a smaller team, it’s more insular and there’s less opinions involved. When you’re signed to a major label there’s so many rules. Finally, there’s no red tape,” Katy says.
This creative autonomy comes through on Peace and Offerings, a collection of songs born from intimate, ad-hoc home recordings. The title is a reference to the hard-won equilibrium Katy feels at this point in her life, the romantic paramours who form the nuclei of these lovelorn songs and the synergy between the singer and her devoted fans: “The Peace is me taking myself away and having peace of mind and the Offerings are the songs, the parts of myself I’m giving away or I’ve given away in relationships. In a way I’m reintroducing myself again.”
She’s still a dewy-eyed romantic, stewing between states of melancholy and sensuality, paralleling the vacillating energy of her first two projects. But at 32, Katy B has left behind the precarity of her twenties, buoyed instead by sisterhood and sorority found on the Jaz Karis-assisted Open Wound, inspired by lockdown tête-à-têtes with her friends; the agonising boy troubles, the monotony of digicentric relationships but also the amity found in shared experiences.
“I got my heart broken at one point. These songs were written from times I was in relationships; it charts the happy, loved-up stages but also the indecision and the breakdown. Now, I’m in a position where I really prize my own company. Lockdown was good for me in terms of self-love, it gave me time to process my emotions.”
In 2023, Katy B returned with another track – Paradise recorded with Kings Of The Rollers, creators of drum’n’bass hits.
Melancholic electronica, dense beats, mysterious birthdays and music evoking memories – more artists have joined the WROsound line-up.
So far, we have learned about the main stage programme prepared for the first day of the festival and some of the local stage line-up. Now the organisers have filled in some of the unknowns. This year’s line-up of “Tak Brzmi Wrocław” will be closed by Zima Stulecia, i.e. Marek Pędziwiatr and Marcin Rak, who will perform on 14 July. Their music is difficult to classify into genres. It oscillates around melancholic electronic music. For some, it will be techno, others will hear elements of house more often, all accompanied by improvised music for synthesisers and percussion. To their credit, they have a debut album, Minus 30°C.
We have also met a sizeable line-up for the second day of the festival. The first artist to appear on the big stage is the band – brodachè, immersed in the mixed waters of electronica, alternative and pop. They like density in the beat and space in the being, in their eclectic live performances they use guitars, synths, flutes and vocals, among other elements. WROsound will also be the venue for a special celebration – all thanks to the 10th birthday of the band – BOKKA. For a decade, the musicians have been surprising us with unconventional approach to their image, lively concerts and stylistic turns – from the nostalgic debut noticed by Pitchfork, through the energetic album Don’t Kiss And Tell, the cosmic Life On Planet B, to the apocalyptic Blood Moon. The band is celebrating the year 2023 with BOKKA HITS 10!. This year’s line-up could not be complete without an electronic music producer. Matt Relton, a.k.a. Kidnap, first gained recognition by winning the iTunes Best Electronic Track award in 2012 for his track Vehl. Constantly experimenting with sound, the artist from Sheffield has quickly created a unique and thoughtful sound. Kidnap consistently creates music that evokes memories. Through the use of vocals, intricate drum lines and melodies, his productions conjure emotions from the depths.
This year’s edition of the WROsound festival, organised by Strefa Kultury Wrocław (Culture Zone Wrocław), will take place on 14-15 July on the square in front of the Impart Centre of Arts in Wrocław. In the first pool, we will pay PLN 119 for a single ticket, PLN 209 for a two-day pass. Tickets for the second day of the festival will be on sale from 16 May from 1pm at: www.wrosound.com, www.strefakultury.pl and www.eventim.pl.
14 July: Tricky, Brodka, asthma, Serca, Zima Stulecia, Baby Meelo, Guest Julka
15 July: Kidnap, BOKKA, brodachè, We Draw A, EKHTO, Rycerzyki and many others
Sad disco, brutally honest verses, lyrical sensibility and the 80s vibe. “Tak Brzmi Wrocław” stage showcases a number of new artists.
For the past two years, we have been developing a project that hearkens back to the roots of WROsound, which used to focus exclusively on local music and artists. The line-up showcased on “The Sounds of Wrocław” stage features the most interesting musicians associated with the city. The previously announced Guest Julka, who will perform during the first day of the festival, will be joined by Baby Meelo – a one-man band representing the Wrocław-based regime brigade collective and label. In his work, he showcases the pages from his personal stories, as well as the various aspects of the city, in the form of a hip-hop narrative. During this year’s WROsound, he will get all of your attention without any bling or fireworks – but there will be tons of smoke and brutal honesty in his lyrics.
The second day on the local stage will start out strong thanks to Rycerzyki – an ensemble of Wrocław and Kraków-based musicians, who create melodic, melancholic, somewhat ecstatic music that fits loosely into the alternative pop genre and refers to the atmosphere of the 1980s. August 2021 saw the release of Zniknij na zawsze – their third studio album, followed up just a year later with an album of remixed songs by independent artists – Legendarny Afrojax, Pejzaż, Jakub Lemiszewski, Kadabra Dyskety Kusaje, Bogdan Sękalski, Ala Zastary, Xamille, and Mucks. Next, we are going to see EKHTO – a duo featuring Anita Barton and Kuba Iwanejko, who play music inspired by synthpop, electronica and melodic techno that combines a dance vibe with a lyrical sensibility. The duo draws inspiration from bands such as Rüfüs Du Sol, GusGus and Röyksopp. Their latest singles – Cosy Mess and On Cloud 9 were created in collaboration with producer Bartosz Szczęsny.
We also have the headliner of the local stage – the veterans of WROsound, We Draw A, founded in 2012 by Piotrek Lewandowski (Indigo Tree) and Radek Krzyżanowski (Kamp!, La Giang). Starting with their first release, they have developed their unique style – sad disco – and made a name for themselves on the Polish electronic music scene. To date, they released two albums and four EPs, but it was not until 2022 that they decided to record their first songs in Polish – Ciemniej and Nowy Świat.
This year’s edition of the WROsound Festival, organized by Strefa Kultury Wrocław, will take place on 14-15 July in the square in front of Impart. Tickets are available at: www.wrosound.com, www.strefakultury.pl and www.eventim.pl. Early-bird tickets for one festival day cost 119 PLN, and a two-day pass will set you back 209 PLN.
14 July: Tricky, Brodka, asthma, Serca, Guest Julka, Baby Meelo and more
15 July: We Draw A, EKHTO, Rycerzyki and more
Trip-hop icon, Brodka’s fabulous dreams and young rap – we met the first artists of the WROsound festival.
The headliner of the first day of the festival is Tricky, a living legend of trip-hop, a British singer and music producer. Known to a wide audience for his cooperation with Massive Attack, but also for his colourful solo career, during which the cult album Maxinquaye was created (named after the artist’s late mother). On the WROsound stage, he will be accompanied by our own Marta Złakowska – a singer from Cracow. The duo is currently working on a solo album by the artist, which will be released by Tricky’s label, False Idols.
The perfect co-headliner of the evening will be Brodka – a singer, composer, songwriter, music video director, producer and conceptual artist who pays equal attention to the music, text and visual layer of everything she creates. The latest, Polish-language mini-album Sadza shows the very lyrical and intimate side of Brodka. The album’s producer is 1988, who also joined the band for the concerts presenting the new material.
Asthma, a young rapper from Biesko-Biała, will take us on an extraordinary „mental trip” with the tracks from his debut album “manifest” and the already announced “new life”. On stage you will hear him accompanied by the band characterised by strong, punk energy.
Serca will open the festival. Their lively concert on the stage of Tak Brzmi Wrocław during the WROsound 2022 festival resulted in their promotion to the main stage of the next edition – this is one of the elements of supporting the local artists by the organisers. Serca is a band founded by producers Radek Baranowski and Kamil Jagiełło, who invited the rapper and vocalist Kowalczyk to work with them.
The first artist of this year’s edition of the Tak Brzmi Wrocław stage – a project which for two years has been presenting only the local artists (thus referring to the beginnings of the festival) – is Guest Julka, a songwriter, singer and rapper , She describes herself as suspended somewhere between soul and rap.
This year’s edition of the WROsound festival, organised by Culture Zone Wrocław, will take place on July 14-15 at the square in front of Impart. Tickets from the first pool will be available at: www.wrosound.com, www.strefakultury.pl and www.eventim.pl from 21 March. Tickets in the first pool are PLN 119 for a single one, and PLN 209 for a two-day pass.
14 July: Tricky, Brodka, asthma, Serca, Guest Julka and others
15 July: TBA
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Matt Relton, aka Kidnap, first gained recognition by winning the iTunes Best Electronic Track in 2012 with his release Vehl. Forever experimenting with sounds, the Sheffield producer rapidly carved out a unique and intelligent sound. In pursuit of artistic independence, he launched his Birds That Fly imprint in 2015 with Moments featuring Leo Stannard.
2017 was a profound year for Relton, both personally and with his career. Having gone through a year of change and reflection, it was time to drop ‘Kid’ and release under Kidnap.
In 2018 Kidnap became an Ambassador for Corona Sunset Sessions which saw Relton travel around the world playing shows in extraordinary locations, from rocky beaches in southern Italy to Mountain summits in Canada. Kidnap also added further releases, Ashes EP, Ursa Minor & Turn2U to his Birds That Fly imprint.
However, it was 2019 that saw the most pivotal year of Kidnap’s career. This would be the year that the London based producer would release his finest body of work to date. His debut album, ‘Grow’. Kidnap has enjoyed a momentous year in the lead up to the release of his first album. Its title song saw the return of Leo Stannard, a tried-and-tested formula that gained the pair huge success with hit track ‘Moments’. Picking up from where they left off, ‘Grow’ soon became #1 on SiriusXM Chill and entered the Top 100 U.S. Dance chart. Following on was ‘Start Again’, securing radio play from Pete Tong on BBC Radio 1, and third single ‘Sea Breeze’, a club-ready anthem with support from heavy hitters such as Eelke Kleijn, Mambo Brothers, Don Diablo and Moguai. The album was celebrated in a truly unique fashion when Kidnap conducted an exclusive audio-visual presentation at the Greenwich Planetarium, an experience that will live long in the memories of those who were fortunate enough to attend.
Marching confidently into 2020, Kidnap linked up with long term collaborator and friend Lane 8 for their second release in the form of their track Matcha Mistake on Lane 8’s This Never Happened imprint. This highly anticipated reunion wet the appetite for yet another reunion in Kidnap’s career. Anjunadeep fans were overjoyed to see Kidnap was returning to the label with his latest club-ready cut Silence earning a plethora of spins at radio including Pete Tong at Radio 1.
Respected and supported by esteemed figures such as; Sasha, Pete Tong, Paul Oakenfold and Maceo Plex… Kidnap continues to confidently stride forward with his sights set on his next endeavor.
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Julia Ludwiczyńska aka Guest Julka is a songwriter, singer and rapper native of Wrocław.
Musically suspended somewhere between soul and rap.
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Their exuberant concert on the Tak Brzmi Wrocław stage during the WROsound 2022 festival resulted in a “promotion” to the main stage of the next edition – as part of supporting local artists by the organisers.
Serca is a band founded by the producers Radek Baranowski and Kamil Jagiełło. At the end of 2020, they invited a rapper and singer, Kowalczyk, who previously worked on solo songs with several recognised producers and debuted with the singles “Zły” and “Strach”. In their songs, the artists combine guitar, indie-rock sounds with electronic, energetic and sometimes melancholic beats which harmonise with Kowalczyk’s melodic rap vocals. After a year and a half of cooperation, a dozen or so songs were created, highlighting both good and the moments, which, paradoxically, are equally necessary to achieve happiness.
Ten of these made it onto the album “Ile można gadać o tym samym?”, which was released on March 23 this year by the HEADROOM collective from Wrocław. In terms of sounds, it is a journey between euphoria and melancholy accompanied by alternative melodic rap.
The album was warmly received and throughout 2022 the band toured constantly, promoting the new release. They performed, e.g: at Męskie Granie (with a guest appearance by Błażej Król), Lech Polish Hip Hop Festival, Amfiteatr Hip Hop Festival, Great September, wrOFFław and solo concerts.
Currently, Serca are working on new, even livelier and bolder material, which will see the light of day in 2023.
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asthma (Mateusz Wardyński) – rapper from Bielsko-Biała. On the stage he will be accompanied by his band characterised by strong punk energy.
Asthma’s debut album – “manifest”, with an intense sound, raises many important issues. In contrast, his second album – “nowe życie” (premiere in May 2023) – will take you on an extraordinary ‘mental trip’, which is a reflection of the past year.
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Singer, composer, songwriter, music video director, producer and conceptual artist who pays equal attention to the musical, lyrical and visual aspects of everything she creates. Brodka redefines herself with each subsequent album, drawing from alternative rock, pop, electronic music and the sounds of the mountains which shaped her – she developed her own unique, uncompromising style.
She performed at many festivals abroad, such as SXSW, The Great Escape, Sziget, and at the largest of Polish festivals.
Her most popular album to date was “Granda”, released in 2010. The uncompromising folk-electronic sounds clearly separated Brodka from her earlier pop repertoire; the album achieved double platinum status, and the artist herself was promoted to the big league.
In 2022, her latest Polish-language mini-album “Sadza” was released, showing the extremely lyrical and intimate side of Brodka. The producer of the album is 1988, who also joined the band concerting with the new material.