Michał Szpak

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Michał Szpak
Szpak in 2023
Szpak in 2023
Background information
Also known asMiszel, Miszanel, Majkel
Born (1990-11-26) 26 November 1990 (age 33)
Jasło, Poland
GenresRock, pop
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter
Instrument(s)Vocals
Years active2009–present
LabelsUniversal Music Polska, Sony Music Entertainment Poland, Warner Music Poland
Websitemichalszpak.pl

Michał Szpak (born 26 November 1990) is a Polish singer who found fame on the inaugural season of the Polish X Factor in 2011.[1] On 12 May 2016, Szpak represented Poland at the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 in Stockholm, Sweden with the song "Color of Your Life".[2]

Early life[edit]

Michał was born in Jasło, a small town in southern Poland. His older sister Marlena is an Opera singer born from his father Andrzej Szpak's first marriage. His father then remarried, and Michał was born along with siblings Damian and Ewa. His parents split when Michał was 10. Because of this and a job offer, his mother moved to Italy. The Szpak children kept living in Poland with their father and visited their mother during holidays. His brother Damian became an early source of support for Michał due to his eccentricity. His early music influences included Queen, Muse, Zbigniew Preisner, David Bowie and Michael Jackson. As a high school student, together with his friend Kamil Czapla, Szpak was part of the hard rock band Whiplash.[3] Over the years, he has admitted that unlike his older sister, he has never taken any formal music lessons. Szpak currently resides in Warsaw, where he is pursuing a psychology degree at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities.[4]

Career[edit]

2011–2014: Career beginnings and X Factor[edit]

Szpak during X-Factor Poland concert tour in Port Łódź, June 24, 2011

On March 6, 2011, Szpak took part in Poland's first edition of The X Factor when he sang Czesław Niemen's classic "Dziwny jest ten świat" (Strange is the world). He eventually reached the final of the competition. On 5 June 2011, Szpak and 2008 British winner Alexandra Burke sang "Hallelujah" during the final.[5] On June 17, 2011 he was part of the lineup for the Orange Warsaw Festival at Stadion Legii, which also included international artists such as Moby, Skunk Anansie, My Chemical Romance, Sistars, Plan B, The Streets and Jamiroquai.[6]

Between September 4 and November 6 of 2011, Szpak participated in the 13th edition of Taniec z gwiazdami, the Polish version of Dancing with the Stars, where he was partnered with the Polish professional dancer Paulina Biernat. Together they reached 5th place in the competition. Szpak's debut EP, XI, was released by Universal Music Poland in December 2011.

On December 7, 2011, Szpak performed as a guest celebrity on the finale of the Top Model. Zostań modelką (Polish for Top Model. Become a Model) show, an ongoing Polish reality documentary based on Tyra Banks' America's Next Top Model.[7]

In 2013, he was awarded first prize at the Russian song Festival in Zielona Gora for his performance of the famous Russian song titled "Dark Eyes" (Russian "Очи чёрные", Ochi chyornye).[8]

2015: Byle być sobą[edit]

Szpak performing in Mińsk Mazowiecki, Poland (February 2016)

Byle być sobą (English: Only to be yourself) is the debut studio album by Szpak. It was released in Poland on 13 November 2015 through Sony Music Entertainment Poland. Titled as a reflection of his life and frame of mind at 24 years following the unexpected death of his mother, the album includes 12 songs performed in Polish as well as in English. The album, which was dedicated to the singer's mother has met with critical success in Poland.[9] His flawless rendition of the song "Jesteś bohaterem" (English: "Real Hero") brought him first prize at the 2015 National Festival of Polish Song in Opole.[10]

2016: Eurovision Song Contest[edit]

Szpak at a Meet & Greet during the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 in Stockholm

Michał Szpak represented Poland in the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 in Stockholm, Sweden with the song "Color of Your Life". He was selected by televote, beating world-famous Polish performer Margaret, who came second, and another accomplished singer, Edyta Górniak, who placed third; he collected 35.5% of the vote.[11].[12] This was the first time Poland had held a competition to choose its entry since its return in 2014. The Eurovision pre-selection show took place on 5 March 2016 at the TVP Headquarters in Warsaw and was hosted by Artur Orzech.

To promote his Eurovision Song Contest entry, Szpak took part in the Eurovision Concert Tour in London (17 April 2016), Tel Aviv (12 April 2016), Amsterdam (9 April 2016) and later Portugal.[13][14]

On 12 May, Szpak performed in the first half of the second Eurovision semi-final. Following his live semi-final performance of "Color of Your Life", he made it through to the grand final. On 14 May, he performed 12th in the running order, between the Eurovision contestants from France and Australia.

[15] All in all, Szpak won 3rd place from the public televoting and ended up benefiting from the new voting system. Despite being in second to last place with the juries, he leapt from seven points to 229 when public votes were added, and finished eighth overall.[16]

2017–2022: Judge at The Voice of Poland and Dreamer[edit]

Szpak performing in Sopot Festival 2022

After finishing in 8th place in the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 in Stockholm, Michał Szpak has gone on to become a coach on The Voice of Poland replacing Natalia Kukulska. In 2017 he was the winning coach in his debut season with The Voice, promoting the winner, Marta Gałuszewska.

In 2018 he released his second studio album titled Dreamer. The songs from the album have achieved huge success on YouTube, each receiving well over a million views. In November 2018 he released his latest single, titled "Dreamer (Thanks to You My Friend)". The song is about being strong, moving on and chasing your dreams with the help of your friends and loved ones. His previous singles from the album, "King of the Season" and "Rainbow", have received 3.1m and 2.4m views on YouTube respectively.[17]

2023–present: Nadwiślański mrok - the third studio album[edit]

Szpak performing in Polsat Superhit Festival 2023 in Poland

Nadwiślański mrok is the third studio album by Michał Szpak. It was released on November 24, 2023, by the Warner Music Poland music label. The album is in the style of pop-rock music and consists of the standard version (1 CD). The recordings were promoted with the singles: "Hiob (Preludium)", "Bondage", "Warszawianka (mrok)", "Gaja"and "Smutek".[18]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions Certifications Sales
POL
[19]
Byle być sobą 1
Dreamer
  • Released: 7 September 2018
  • Label: Sony Music Entertainment Poland
  • Format: CD, digital download, streaming
1
Nadwiślański mrok 35

Extended plays[edit]

Title Details
XI
Dreamer EP
  • Released: 21 September 2018
  • Label: Sony Music Entertainment Poland
  • Format: Digital download, streaming

Singles[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Sales Album
POL
[23]
AUT
[24]
FRA
[25]
"Po niebo" 2011 XI
"Rewolucja"
"Jesteś bohaterem/Real Hero" 2015 Byle być sobą
"Byle być sobą"
"Such Is Life"
"Color of Your Life" 2016 34 66 156
"Rosanna"
"Tic Tac Clock" 2017
"Don't Poison Your Heart" 35 Dreamer
"King of the Season" 2018
"Rainbow"
"Dreamer (Thanks To You My Friends)"
"Polska to kobieta"
(with Swiernalis)
2020 Non-album single
"Hiob" 2021 Nadwiślański mrok
"Halo wodospad" 2022 Non-album single
"24na7"
"Warszawianka (mrok)" Nadwiślański mrok
"We Need a Coco" 2023
"Smutek (a może mniej)"
"—" denotes a single that did not chart or were not released.

As featured artist[edit]

Title Year Album
"Zanim"
(Barbara Wrońska featuring Michał Szpak)
2020 Music 4 Queers & Queens
"Żegnam cię mój świecie wesoły"
(Polskie Znaki featuring Michał Szpak)
2021 Rzeczy ostatnie

Promotional singles[edit]

Title Year Album
"Gaja" 2023 Nadwiślański mrok

Tours[edit]

  • XI Tour (2012)
  • Color of Your Life Tour (2016–2017)[28]
  • Classica Tour (2018)[29]
  • Love is Love Tour (2023)

Awards and nominations[edit]

  • 2011: Polish Edition of The X Factor – second place
  • 2011: Poland Style & Design Awards for Creative Performance & Achievement Emerging Talent[30]
  • 2013: Golden Samovar – Russian Song Festival 2013 in Zielona Góra
  • 2015: Super Premieres – 1st Prize at the 52. National Festival of Polish Song in Opole[31]
  • 2016: Winner of the Polish national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest
  • 2016: Eighth place on the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 in Stockholm[32]
  • 2016: Personality of The Year – grand gala "Plejady Gwiazd"[33]
  • 2016: Superartist and Grand Prix Opole 2016 Award at the 53. National Festival of Polish Song in Opole[34]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "X Factor – Plejada.pl". xfactor.plejada.pl. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  2. ^ "Michał Szpak - Color of Your Life (Poland) 2016 Eurovision Song Contest | Video | Eurovision Song Contest". Archived from the original on 2016-03-15. Retrieved 2016-03-14.
  3. ^ "Michał Szpak – Agencja Koncertowa LUXART". agencjaluxart.com. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  4. ^ "Michał Szpak: Krytyka pod moim adresem jest niekonstruktywna. Nikt nie jest w stanie zaprzeczyć temu, że potrafię śpiewać". www.lifestyle.newseria.pl. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  5. ^ "Sam-Pol: Alexandra Burke & Michal Szpak - Hallelujah - Live - X-Factor Poland Final". www.sam-pol.com. Archived from the original on 13 June 2011. Retrieved 22 May 2022.
  6. ^ "Artyści – Orange Warsaw Festival". orangewarsawfestival.pl. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  7. ^ – TVN: ruszają castingi do programu top model Archived 2010-06-30 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ ZET, Redakcja Radia. "Michał Szpak jedzie na Eurowizję. Kim jest Michał Szpak?". Michał Szpak jedzie na Eurowizję. Kim jest Michał Szpak?. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  9. ^ "Premiera albumu Michała Szpaka "Byle być sobą"". onet.pl. 13 November 2015. Archived from the original on 2 March 2016. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  10. ^ "Byle być sobą". www.empik.com. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  11. ^ "Poland sends Michał Szpak to Eurovision 2016". eurovisionary.com. 5 March 2016. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  12. ^ Omelyanchuk, Olena (5 March 2016). "Michał Szpak with "Color Of Your Life" for Poland!". eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 5 March 2016.
  13. ^ "Welcome Poland!". Archived from the original on 2016-04-10. Retrieved 2016-04-06.
  14. ^ ago, Anthony Granger • 1 year (5 April 2016). "Poland: Michał Szpak Films Eurovision Postcard". eurovoix.com. Retrieved 29 June 2017.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  15. ^ "Running order for the 2016 Grand Final revealed". eurovision.tv. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  16. ^ "In pictures: Eurovision Song Contest 2016". BBC News. 15 May 2016. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  17. ^ "Michał Szpak releases new single: 'Dreamer (Thanks to You My Friends)'". 18 November 2018.
  18. ^ https://www.albumoftheyear.org/album/804098-micha-szpak-nadwislanski-mrok.php
  19. ^ Peak chart positions for extended plays in Poland:
  20. ^ "Albums and singles certified platinum in 2018" (in Polish). Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 23 October 2018.
  21. ^ a b c d "Certification criteria" (in Polish). ZPAV. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  22. ^ "Albums and singles certified gold in 2019" (in Polish). Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 9 February 2019.
  23. ^ Peak chart positions for singles in Poland:
  24. ^ Hung, Steffen. "Discographie Michał Szpak". Austrian Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung). Retrieved 25 May 2016.
  25. ^ Hung, Steffen. "Discographie Michał Szpak". French Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung).
  26. ^ "Albums and singles certified gold in 2017" (in Polish). Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 14 June 2017.
  27. ^ "Albums and singles certified diamond in 2017" (in Polish). Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  28. ^ "Michal Szpak's summer tour". Michał Szpak. Retrieved 2016-07-06.[permanent dead link]
  29. ^ "Michał Szpak i "Classica Tour" w największych polskich miastach!" (in Polish). wyspa.fm. Retrieved 2018-05-15.
  30. ^ "Poland style+design awards". Archived from the original on 2011-11-18. Retrieved 2011-11-04.
  31. ^ "Michał Szpak wygrywa opolski koncert SuperPremier 2015!". tvp.info. 14 June 2015. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  32. ^ "Michał Szpak - Color of Your Life (Poland 2016) | Eurovision Song Contest". Archived from the original on 2016-06-28. Retrieved 2016-07-04.
  33. ^ "Michał Szpak "Osobowością roku"". plejada.pl. 19 May 2016. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  34. ^ "Opole 2016". festiwalopole.tvp.pl. Retrieved 29 June 2017.

External links[edit]

Preceded by Poland in the Eurovision Song Contest
2016
Succeeded by