Disco polo is a musical genre native to Poland, which has existed in its present form since the early 1990s, with a peak in 1995-1997. It was derived from the Disco, Euro disco contemporary folk tunes influenced by Italo disco and Polish folk songs (mostly somewhat vulgarised ones played at weddings and feasts).
The name itself was conceived by Sławomir Skręta from the group Blue Star as a replacement for an older term, piosenka chodnikowa (sidewalk music) - which originated from the main means of distribution of its recordings in early 1990s - sidewalk stalls on streets and at bazaars. Disco polo could be heard mostly at country picnics, country depots, weddings or during political campaigning for Polish parliament and presidential elections. Former president Aleksander Kwasniewski was one of the most notable example of a politician who used disco polo during his presidential campaign.
Traditional instrumentation came to be replaced by keyboards later in the '90s, which contributed to a slight change in style, making the songs more similar to modern dance music. The style was extensively marketed by the Polsat TV station, which produced its own disco polo hit list, in a TV show called Disco Relax, although its popularity suddenly decreased in the late '90s, when foreign pop music gained popularity.
Disco polo is generally perceived as kitschy in its artistic value, but it is still enjoyed by some people, especially the middle age generation. It is often looked down upon as a provincial genre of music.
Notable disco polo artists
- Bayer Full
- Big Dance
- Maxx Dance
- Top One
- Shazza "The Queen of Disco polo"
- Mega Dance
- Long & Junior
- Tomasz Niecik
- New Collective
References and notes