Mr. Jazzek is a pioneer of Electro Swing music in Poland. He is also a true example that you can never give up and if you are fully dedicated to your passion, you can achieve success. He has been popularising Electro Swing in Poland for many years now, and above all he is also a really great DJ who loves to mix different music genres together.
I am delighted to bring you this incredibly inspiring and interesting conversation with Mr. Jazzek. I hope you get to know more about his musical work through this interview.
01. LadyDot: Hi Jacek! It’s fantastic, because a month ago I interviewed Em Delacrem (HERE), a Pole, and now I have the pleasure to talk to the first Polish producer of Electro Swing music. Please tell us a little bit about the beginnings of your music career. I know that as a DJ, you started performing back in the early 1990s.
Mr. Jazzek: Hi! Yes, it’s true, I started my music adventure already in the early 90s as a DJ. Back then it was electronic music, especially the house and techno trend. I worked as a DJ in various clubs and events, and it was a fantastic learning experience for me and an opportunity to experiment with sound. At some point I started looking for new sounds and inspiration. I discovered Electro Swing music and fell in love with this style from the first sounds. This combination of swing style and modern electronic sounds was fascinating to me. Electro Swing music combines the retro vibe of the 1920s and 30s with the energy and innovation of electronics, making it extremely energetic and danceable.
02. LadyDot: At what point in your life did you decide that producing Electro Swing music was what you wanted to do? Maybe an artist inspired you to do it with their work?
Mr. Jazzek: It was probably what you might call a ‘watershed moment’. When I discovered Electro Swing music, I felt it was exactly what I wanted to do. This combination of the energy of electronic music with the charm and joy of the swing era was fascinating to me. In terms of inspiration, certainly artists like Parov Stelar and Caravan Palace were a big influence on me. Their work was full of creativity and freshness, which inspired me to experiment and search for my own sound in Electro Swing music. Being a DJ, I started to combine house and swing and reworked Polish songs from the interwar period at first, then came the time for my own compositions.
03. LadyDot: Okay, you already knew that Electro Swing is the music genre you like to produce the most. How did you manage to find a publisher for your first Electro Swing singles?
Mr. Jazzek: A key step was to create high quality demo tracks and promote them in the right musical circles .Eventually I was able to get a partnership with the label Electro Swing Elite, later changed to Electro Swing Thing, which was interested in my work. This was very exciting and opened up new possibilities for me. It is worth adding that music production is a competitive industry, but if you are dedicated to your passion and keep going, you can succeed.
04. LadyDot: Your Electro Swing remix of Mozart’s composition, ‘Alla Turca’, already has well over 8 million views on YouTube. I also found information that this was also the first release on Electro Swing Thing Records. Please tell us about the behind-the-scenes creation of this remix. Did you expect this track to become such a viral hit?
Mr. Jazzek: It now has almost 9 million. ;) Initially I wanted Scott Bradlee of Postmodern Jukebox to play the piano and there were attempts to agree on this, but unfortunately nothing came of it. Eventually Wolfgang Lohr helped me with the release, and the single Alla Turca came out as 001 on the Electro Swing Thing label. I didn’t expect this remix to reach such popularity and become viral on YouTube and Tik Tok. It was a pleasant surprise for me and confirmation that people love the combination of classical and modern sound.
05. LadyDot: In your songs (for example ‘Chicago’, ‘Dream Of You’, ‘Gangsters Melody’) you very often add saxophone parts. Do you work with one particular trusted musician, or do you prefer to use a number of different instrumentalists? Or do you use ready-made samples?
Mr. Jazzek: I do indeed often use saxophone parts in my work, as the saxophone is an instrument that fits perfectly into the atmosphere of Electro Swing music. Depending on the specific project and piece, I use different solutions. Sometimes I collaborate with a particular saxophone musician, such as Pesos, who records the saxophone parts for my tracks. This produces a unique and authentic saxophone sound that blends perfectly with my music. However, for some productions, I also use ready-made saxophone samples. I choose my sound samples carefully to maintain a high level of quality and authenticity. Sampling gives me more flexibility and allows me to experiment with different sounds. In my work, I try to achieve the right balance between live music and electronic production, depending on the needs of the specific piece. It is important that the end result sounds energetic and encourages dancing.
06. LadyDot: Several of your songs have already surpassed one million streams on Spotify. Do you already have a feeling at the single production stage that it’s going to be a hit? Or do you do some research first and someone advises you, telling you that this particular song has the potential for success?
Mr. Jazzek: At the production stage of a single, I’m often not sure if it will become a hit. Music is very subjective, and what may seem like a hit to me may not necessarily be so to others. Of course, I have my favourite songs and those that seem special to me, but ultimate success depends on the reception of the listeners. I often do tests before publishing, sending a track to a few trusted friends or music producers to get their feedback. This can help me assess the potential of a piece. However, even then it is difficult to predict how a single will be received by a wide audience. Once a track is published, the interactions with listeners and the number of plays on streaming platforms give me a better picture of whether a track is gaining popularity. And while the success of a track is always a pleasant surprise, the most important thing for me is to create music that inspires me and conveys emotion. If other people enjoy the music, that’s a big bonus for me.
07. LadyDot: I know that in addition to music, you are also interested in art. Please tell us more about this.
Mr. Jazzek: Yes, art is an important part of life for me and inspires me in many different ways. Apart from making music, I am also interested in visual creativity in a broad sense. Art, especially contemporary art in a general sense, is a source of inspiration for me to create music. I often draw inspiration from the works of other artists, both visual and musical. This combination of different art forms helps me to develop my creativity and express myself in different areas. Through my interest in art, I try to open myself up to different sources of inspiration and grow as an artist.
08. LadyDot: I am very curious to know what songs and music genres Mr. Jazzek listens to on a daily basis. What songs are most often playing in your headphones right now?
Mr. Jazzek: My musical tastes are quite diverse, which influences the variety of my work. Of course, Electro Swing is an important part of my playlist, but I also listen to many other genres of music. The value for me as an artist is to explore different genres and styles of music, which allows me to make more diverse and creative music.
09. LadyDot: I hear more and more about Electro Swing becoming more and more popular in Poland, also thanks to you. Quite recently I managed to reach out to a newly formed Polish Electro Swing duo. As an experienced producer, what would you say to all those who would like to start creating their Electro Swing tracks, but lose motivation and don’t know if this is definitely the right path for their career?
Mr. Jazzek: It’s important not to lose motivation and to remember that everyone starts from the beginning. Even the greatest artists have had moments of doubt. The key is to believe in yourself, persevere and keep growing. Music is a wonderful path that can bring much satisfaction and joy. The Electro Swing scene in Poland is definitely growing and that is fantastic. I see more and more events and festivals dedicated to this music genre. People are starting to appreciate its unique charm and energy. I hope this interest will only grow, because it really is great music to dance to and enjoy.
10. LadyDot: I always ask this question at the end – what are your plans for the near future? What would you like to do next? Maybe perform at some festival, release a full album?
Mr. Jazzek: My plans for the near future are to continue making music and to grow as a stage and visual artist. Of course, I always have many ideas and goals that I would like to achieve and I hope to start realising them soon. I’m currently working on a number of art projects, which absorb me completely. As for performing at festivals, this is always a fascinating prospect. Participating in festivals is a great opportunity to meet fans and other artists and share music on a large scale. I will keep my hand in and consider such opportunities as they arise. In any case, my main goal remains to create good music, art and deliver it to the audience. It’s my passion and main source of inspiration, so I will always strive to grow as an artist and create something unique.
Interview by LadyDot (Ja, Wizeruk) Date: 2023-09-25