Zamilska's was the most rapid rise in Polish independent music in 2014. In January, Zamilska released one song on the internet. By mid-December, websites were reporting on a video from a Dior fashion show in Japan, which was accompanied by the music of the Silesian artist.
The artist deals with electronic music, which can be classified as avant-garde or underground.
The case is all the more interesting, given that Zamilska’s electronic music can be classified as avant-garde or underground. It is not easily associated with fashion shows and camera flashes – on the contrary, it suits dark clubs, basements, anonymity. It is rough, dirty, and draws from noise, industrial and ethnic music, and at the same time includes perfectly cut and matched samples. The music is dominated by a tough, monotonous techno rhythm and vibrating basslines. This is at least what could be said about her debut album, containing both her breakthrough single Quarrel, and Duel 35, which closed the year. In the album Untune released in May 2014 there are more songs with militant titles such as Enemy, Army, Effort. The artist explained this in an interview with Popupmusic.pl:
I have gone through a huge revolution and numerous tough changes. This made me even more rebellious and encouraged me to stand up for myself. I strongly disagreed with the surrounding stereotypes, oppression, intolerance, and violence. In this album, war and duels have a very ambiguous meaning. Personal war, war in the world. http://www.popupmusic.pl/no/44/artykuly/568/zamilska-wywiad
Zamilska has often mentioned her desire to take a stand for herself. She has talked about her dealings with club technicians – as a woman she is sometimes treated disrespectfully, even when rehearsing before her own concerts. She demands respect from concert and festival organisers, and has complained that clubs do not invest in good equipment – in the case of problems with sound, artists face all the consequences.
ZAMILSKA - Quarrel from Culture.pl on Vimeo.
One can write long about Zamilska’s interviews, as her first single, the above-mentioned Quarrel, caused a stir of admiration among listeners and media circles not only in Poland, but also abroad. These reactions encouraged mainstream Polish media to listen to Zamilska. In addition, thanks to her interesting reflections on music, the artist appeared in the role of reviewer in April 2015: she was indeed the most intriguing among the musicians commenting on Kendrick Lamar’s celebrated album To Pimp a Butterfly in the international journal Electronic Beats.
Natalia Zamilska was born in 1989 in Zawiercie. She chose to dedicate herself to electronic music at the age of 15. She did not take any classes, and she learnt to play bass guitar and drums without anyone’s help. She is a cultural animator, organising, for example, music production workshops at the Centre for Audiovisual Culture Grey Zone in Cieszyn.
Zamilska moved to Katowice to record her album, Untune, which appeared in the Silesian Mik Musik. The Quietus ranked it 12th among the best albums of 2014. Shortly after its release the artist left Silesia and settled in Warsaw. Her affairs are now managed by an international agency. She creates her video clips on her own, using open-license materials published on Vimeo.
The artist stresses that she is not a DJ, but a composer and a producer. Her various plans include collaboration with singers – in addition to her own songs, she has also promised to issue a joint album with Iwona Skwarek from the duo Rebeka. She has done remixes for Rita Pax (with the singer Paulina Przybysz), The Dumplings and Natalia Fiedorczuk, among others.
Zamilska has participated in the large Polish Open’er festival, as well as in New Music in Katowice and Unsound in Kraków, which are most suitable for her music. She has performed at the CTM in Berlin, and in May 2015 she made her debut at the Primavera Sound in Barcelona, the most important non-British festival in Europe.
Author: Jacek Świąder, transl. Bozhana Nikolova, May 2015