First up, tell us a bit about yourself – what first got you into music?
Ever since I was a little kid I’ve dreamt of being on stage. I still remember my performances on the balcony in my parent’s house, it was on the 7th floor and I’d sing for people on the streets! 😉 I’d also frequent local community centre and when I was 12 I heard some band rehearsing in one of the rooms. I put my ear to the wall and this was the first time when I thought to myself that this is exactly what I want to be doing in the future. And so I did!
Were there any particular bands or artists you took inspiration from?
Of course! The list is quite long, actually. Thanks to my older siblings our house was always full of music. I remember huge boxes of vinyl records. Some Beatles and Pink Floyd… Despite the fact that I grew up in Poland I was always surrounded by western artists. My biggest inspirations were Chaka Khan, Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Stevie Wonder, Prince, Michael Jackson, Queen and many, many more.
How would you describe your style?
I think my voice defines my style, not the other way round. Just like Freddie Mercury and other artists I mentioned, I don’t want to put a label on my music. Regardless of production style, arrangement or genre I choose, you will always hear Magdalena Tul. I am my own, unique mixture.
If you could collaborate with any living artist, who would you choose?
I would love to sing with Stevie Wonder and Justin Timberlake and Chaka Khan.
Tell us about your new song Empty Town. What’s it about? What is its theme?
Empty Town is an emotional reflection of what has happened to me in recent weeks during worldwide lockdown. I wanted to immortalize this part of our history and have it serve as a reminded that we’re all collectively responsible for it. We could be living on this beautiful planet without wars and famine if it wasn’t for greed and power hungry folk up the ladder. It makes me sad but we need to believe we can change our world by changing ourselves. We need to take responsibility for our choices.
When did you write it, and where did you record it?
I wrote the chorus during my last bicycle trip before the lockdown was introduced. Seeing these empty streets of the capital had a huge impact on me.
I thought of these lyrics:
“Empty Streets, empty town
Fear dressed up in the crown”
In Polish and Latin alike ‘corona’ means ‘crown’, so I wanted to incorporate that into the song without making it sound forced.
When I came back home I heard my 12 year old son (Christopher Hand) working on his new project. It fit my lyrics so well. It just clicked. We decided to finish the song together. And so he ended up a co-writer, arranger and the producer. I’m so proud of him. The music video is equally as important as the song. I did it with Peter Raksimowicz. He edited it. We used some of his clips, stock videos and footage provided by Peter Węglarczyk and Wojciech Szczygielski.
How does Empty Town represent your style?
This song was created specifically for this frightening time. I’d say it exists outside of my usual musical endeavors. Although I’d say that real emotions take the centre stage here and that’s something that connects all of my projects. I recorded three albums already and each one had its own, distinct blend of styles and genres tied to it, ranging from old-school funk through electronica. I tried almost everything with the exception of a very stripped down and organic sound. And that’s my next step. I’m going back to the roots and the new material I’m working on will serve as a throwback to the years of powerful message and even more powerful melodies.
What are your hopes for Empty Town?
My only hope is that it’ll reach people and give them hope. Music is a one of a kind medicine. It forces you to have a moment of introspection. It lets you look deeper and initiate change. Music is a powerful tool and I think that more artist’s should make using it’s influence for the right purposes their mission.
What other plans do you have for the rest of the year?
It’s really hard to say what will happen in a couple of weeks or even months, what our world will look like. But I think we need to do whatever we can to move forward. Currently I’m working remotely on my new songs with a producer in New Jersey. It will have to stay this way until we can travel again. I hope you’ll be able to hear it very soon, maybe in Autumn? As of now I’m spending most my time playing piano and writing new stuff. I’m trying to develop new skills as well. I believe everything has its own time, we just need to be patient.
Finally, if you could wish for one thing to happen for you this year, what would it be?
I wish for a mass awakening so we can start developing spiritually and in turn create a better world.