Kazik (full name Kazik Staszewski, born 12th March 1963) is a very active and prolific Polish artist.
He was, or is, a member of the following bands: Poland (founded in 1979), Novelty Poland (founded in 1981), Kult (founded in 1982), Kazik Na Żywo, El Doopa, Buldog. He also took part in the Yugoton project.
His genre is most accurately described by the term "eclectic" or "crossover", as various instruments, styles, citations, extracts and tributes appear. The music itself contains elements of rock, punk, hip-hop, dub, ska, reggae, traditional folk tunes, ballads, classical music and -more recently- yass, which is a Polish variation of jazz. Most of his solo records are self-produced, made using multiple, both live and synthetic, instruments and various sampling techniques. Kazik himself sings, plays saxophone and guitars, uses drum machines, synthesizers, samplers. He frequently asks various musicians to join his recordings, some of them are regular members of Kult, some are freelancers or session musicians.
Kazik, as a songwriter, uses explicit, often offensive, foul language, he does not avoid provocative, accusative lines and statements. He uses both simple, common vocabulary and complex, sometimes sophisticated and difficult syntax. His dense lyrics (sometimes sung, sometimes rapped) contain a lot of social, religious and political criticism and commentary, but also relate to each other. He is known for his broad sense of humour, his lines are often hilarious, ironic, intertextual, intellectually and culturally involved. Previous works (both his own and his bands') are sometimes sampled or quoted directly. Some of his works are re-arranged, played by KNŻ and Kult. Two of Kazik's albums, "Melodie Kurta Weila i coś ponadto" and "Piosenki Toma Waitsa" are made up of cover songs of Tom Waits and Kurt Weil. These were released under his full name Kazik Staszewski, probably to distinct them from his original material.
Kazik never gives live shows of his solo recordings (except for the two tributes, which were made with a bit more "regular" line-ups, so could be presented on stage). Despite his doubtless popularity in Poland, his recordings don't appear too frequently in media, except for a few single promo tracks. Apart from his musical career he acted in off-movies and used to write columns for a popular Polish newspaper, Gazeta Wyborcza.
Kazik has been releasing his records via S.P.Records label, which is owned by Sławek Pietrzak, his friend, a former member of Kult, a musician that appears occasionally on Kazik’s LPs.
Discography (solo albums only):
1991 Spalam się - probably the first rap album in Poland, although Kazik has been mostly recording rock music since then.
1993 Spalaj się! (double album)
1997 12 Groszy
2001 Melodie Kurta Weila i coś ponadto (as Kazik Staszewski)
2003 Piosenki Toma Waitsa (as Kazik Staszewski)
2004 Czterdziesty Pierwszy (double album)
2005 Los się musi odmienić