soort van Goeie Zin
folk anti folk
Catself was born and brought up in Poland, where she studied English at Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin and graduated with a Master’s degree. During her studies she got a scholarship to go on exchange in Finland, where she lives now.
Catself started writing her first songs early and occasionally performed at parties or in pubs on her travels for example in Ireland or Norway, but the decision to focus on music seriously came when she was doing her internship as a nature guide in Svalbard in 2008. After returning from an intensive 12-month nature guide course with some injuries, light frostbite and a head full of songs, Catself hid in her home studio for several weeks, recording her new songs, experimenting with sounds and painting the arrangements the way she heard them in her head. Soon she put up her first demos online, among others, on a music crowdfunding site.
Sharing her music online brought Catself a growing international following. In a matter of weeks Catself’s songs started receiving the first airplay, first on local and internet radio stations in the Netherlands, then in other countries: in the UK – on BBC Introducing with Tom Robinson, and in a folk music programme in Australia. In early 2009, Catself received an invitation to perform at a youth festival in Morocco after the organisers, who were looking for a Finnish artist to represent Finland at their festival to celebrate the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries, found her music online. Catself performed at The Sun Festival for an audience of about 4000. During the same year, Catself was interviewed for the Swedish-speaking youth-oriented channel of Finnish National Radio, Radio X3M, and a 45-min documentary about her start in music was made for the Finnish Swedish-speaking TV channel YLE FST5.
In the meantime, Catself was raising funds for her debut album on the crowdfunding site. Some of her international fans invited her to play in their countries and this is how she started touring, playing first intimate concerts for her fans and then larger in music cafés and clubs.
In 2011, Catself reached her crowdfunding target, having raised 40 000 € for her debut album and becoming the first Finnish artist to succeed at crowdfunding. Catself invited an iconic Polish folk band, Saint Nicholas Orchestra, to accompany her on the album. Catself and Saint Nicholas Orchestra arranged the album together. The combination of the band’s sound and Catself’s melodies and lyrics turned out to be just what Catself had wanted: colourful and fresh, catchy and pleasant, but adventurous. The album was recorded in Preisner Studio in Poland by Tadeusz Mieczkowski, one of Poland’s leading sound engineers. Catself is the producer of the album.
The album’s release has been unfortunately delayed due to the financial problems of the crowdfunding site and its bankruptcy. The release of the album, which contains 11 tracks (1 instrumental and 10 songs: 8 recorded with Saint Nicholas Orchestra and 2 solo songs) is now planned for 2018. In November 2015 Catself released the first music video with a song from the upcoming album.
Catself keeps writing new material and continues touring. Her style of music and performance, while it is hard to put in one box, mixes well with very different genres and suits various kinds of events, from concerts at art galleries and at nature-themed festivals to folk festivals to punk and metal festivals and club nights. She often performs in the Netherlands, she has also performed in Poland, Germany, Morocco and Finland, where she lives. Catself usually performs solo; occasionally, she is joined by guest musicians. She has performed several times with the accompaniment of Saint Nicholas Orchestra, in Finland and in Poland, where she performed at Mikołajki Folkowe, Poland’s biggest folk festival held every year in December. In 2014, Catself did her first tour or Great Britain, performing in several cities: Norwich, York, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Swansea and playing a guest slot at Fishguard Folk Festival. Encouraged by the warm, enthusiastic response of British audiences to her songs, in 2015 Catself toured the UK again; this time she performed in London for the first time, at The Macbeth, and played three slots at The Great Escape Festival in Brighton and a couple of sets in cafés and pubs in other cities. She was back for another UK tour in 2016 and also performed at the Blank Generation Festival in London. In the summer of 2016 she performed at Playtime Festival, the largest music festival in Mongolia, as one of the international headliners.