Michał Szpak

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Michał Szpak
ESC2016 - Poland 07.jpg
Szpak at 2016 Eurovision Song Contest
Background information
Also known as Miszel, Miszanel, Majkel
Born (1990-11-26) 26 November 1990 (age 26)
Jasło, Poland
Genres Rock, pop
Occupation(s) Singer, Songwriter
Instruments Vocals
Years active 2009–present
Labels Universal Music Poland, Sony Music Entertainment Poland
Associated acts Whiplash
Website michalszpak.pl

Michał Szpak (born 26 November 1990) is a Polish singer who found fame on the first series of the Polish X Factor in 2011.[1] On 5 June 2011 Szpak and Alexandra Burke sang "Hallelujah" during the final.[2] On 12 May 2016, Szpak represented Poland at the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 in Stockholm, Sweden with the song "Color of Your Life".[3]

Early life[edit]

Szpak was born in Jasło, a small town in southern Poland. He has two sisters and a brother. 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 Whiplash band playing mostly hard rock style music.[4] 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.[5]

Career[edit]

Michał Szpak during X-Factor Poland, June 24, 2011

2011–14: Career beginnings and X Factor[edit]

Michał Szpak in Mińsk Mazowiecki Poland, 2015

On March 6th, 2011 Szpak took part in Poland's first edition of the X Factor (Polish TV series) when he sang Czesław Niemen's classic "Dziwny jest ten świat" (Strange is the world). He eventually reached the final of the X Factor competition. On June 17th, 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 (musician), The Streets and Jamiroquai.[6] Between September 4th and November 6th 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 2011. On December 7th 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]

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–present: Eurovision Song Contest[edit]

Michał 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. The winner in the Polish national final was chosen by televoting; Polish TV viewers could give only one vote for each favorite singer from a single telephone number. He beat world-famous Polish performer Margaret, who came second, and another long time accomplished singer, Edyta Górniak, who was third.[11] This was the first time Poland has 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. The Polish public chose Michał Szpak and his entry song titled "Color of Your Life", with Szpak winning overwhelmingly with 35.5% of the vote.[12] “I would like to take part in Eurovision, to face the European artists and present the entry which I believe will leave big emotional mark on everyone”, stated Michal.[13] 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.[14][15] 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.[16] All in all, Szpak won 3rd place from the public tele-voting 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.[17]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions Certifications Sales
POL
[18]
Byle być sobą 1

Extended plays[edit]

Title Details
XI

Singles[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Sales Album
POL
[21]
AUT
[22]
FRA
[23]
"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
"—" denotes a single that did not chart or were not released.

Tours[edit]

  • XI Tour (2012)
  • Color Of Your Life Tour (2016)[24]

Awards and nominations[edit]

  • 2011: Polish Edition of The X Factor - second place
  • 2011: Poland Style & Design Awards for Creative Performance & Achievement Emerging Talent[25]
  • 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[26]
  • 2016: Winner of the Polish national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest
  • 2016: Eighth place on the 61. Eurovision Song Contest in Stockholm[27]
  • 2016: Personality of The Year - grand gala "Plejady Gwiazd"[28]
  • 2016: Superartist and Grand Prix Opole 2016 Award at the 53. National Festival of Polish Song in Opole[29]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://xfactor.plejada.pl/
  2. ^ http://www.sam-pol.com/2011/06/alexandra-burke-michal-szpak-hallelujah.html
  3. ^ http://www.eurovision.tv/page/multimedia/videos?id=202683
  4. ^ http://www.agencjaluxart.com/michal-szpak-whiplash/
  5. ^ http://www.lifestyle.newseria.pl/newsy/michal_szpak_krytyka_pod,p798763218
  6. ^ http://orangewarsawfestival.pl/artysci.html
  7. ^ - TVN: ruszają castingi do programu top model
  8. ^ http://www.radiozet.pl/Rozrywka/O-tym-sie-mowi/Michal-Szpak-jedzie-na-Eurowizje.-Kim-jest-Michal-Szpak-00019714
  9. ^ http://muzyka.onet.pl/newsy/premiera-albumu-michala-szpaka-byle-byc-soba/7h02n2
  10. ^ http://www.empik.com/byle-byc-soba-szpak-michal,p1116483617,muzyka-p
  11. ^ Omelyanchuk, Olena (5 March 2016). "Michał Szpak with "Color Of Your Life" for Poland!". eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 5 March 2016. 
  12. ^ http://www.eurovisionary.com/poland-sends-michal-szpak-eurovision-2016/
  13. ^ http://oikotimes.com/2015/06/25/michal-szpak-is-interested-for-eurovision-2016/
  14. ^ http://eurovisioninconcert.nl/news/item/309-welcome-poland
  15. ^ http://eurovoix.com/2016/04/05/poland-michal-szpak-films-eurovision-postcard/
  16. ^ http://www.eurovision.tv/page/news?id=113running_order_for_grand_final_revealed
  17. ^ http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-36295298
  18. ^ Peak chart positions for extended plays in Poland:
  19. ^ a b "Albums and singles certified platinum in 2016" (in Polish). Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 14 September 2016. 
  20. ^ a b "Certification criteria" (in Polish). ZPAV. Retrieved 29 June 2016. 
  21. ^ Peak chart positions for singles in Poland:
  22. ^ Hung, Steffen. "Discographie Michał Szpak". Austrian Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung). Retrieved 25 May 2016. 
  23. ^ Hung, Steffen. "Discographie Michał Szpak". French Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung). 
  24. ^ "Michal Szpak's summer tour". Michał Szpak. Retrieved 2016-07-06. 
  25. ^ http://www.psda.pl/
  26. ^ http://www.tvp.info/20456220/michal-szpak-wygrywa-opolski-koncert-superpremier-2015
  27. ^ http://www.eurovision.tv/page/history/year/participant-profile/?song=33833
  28. ^ http://plejada.pl/newsy/michal-szpak-osobowoscia-roku/07s8df
  29. ^ http://festiwalopole.tvp.pl/24375923/opole-2016
Preceded by
Monika Kuszyńska
with In the Name of Love
Poland in the Eurovision Song Contest
2016
Succeeded by
Incumbent