|Catself did not always know that she would be a musician, although it was meant to be. Growing up in a family of scientists and literature lovers rather than musicians, she felt a bit lonely with her love for songs and sounds. Her creativity went mainly into writing until at 13 she got a guitar as payment for her first job. She learnt to play by ear in about two weeks and the first songs started appearing.|
While Catself did not always know she would be a musician, she always knew she would travel. She made the first big escapade alone already as a teenager, to the UK and Ireland, and after that travelled, worked and studied in a few countries. The guitar travelled with her, and Catself played occasional shows in pubs and at parties and did a little busking, but music had to be on the side while Catself was preoccupied with studies (among others, M.A. in English and a course as a nature guide) and fight for survival, doing a variety of jobs.
It was while doing one of these jobs – training as a dog handler and guide assistant in Svalbard – that she realised she should follow music. After a few days of going from the job as a not so great dog handler to play a three-hour gig in a local pub, she heard from one of her workmates: "Why don't you do this for a living, this is really your thing. Why do you try to do things you don't love when you can do this?"
Before that, Catself never thought it could be possible for her to make music for a living. But this stuck in her head. In autumn 2008, she recorded a few of her newer songs, alone, at home – for the first time with more instruments than just the guitar, trying to paint what she heard in her head. She put them up on MySpace and on Sellaband, the site where artists can raise funds for their music projects with the help of their fans. The response to her home-recorded demos was very encouraging: already after a month, she had $ 3 000 and over 100 new fans. Her songs began to get airplay on several radio stations in a few countries, including BBC Introducing in spring 2009. In September 2009, a documentary on her, made by music journalist Calle Lindholm, was aired on Yle FST5, the Swedish-speaking Finnish national TV channel. In February 2011, she completed raising funds for her debut album – with € 40 000, the second biggest target ever reached on Sellaband, raised with the help of almost 850 new international fans.
Putting her music online also led to more live performances, in Europe and even Africa. In spring 2009, MarocK'Jeunes Association from Marrakech, the organisers of the Sun Festival, Morocco invited her to play there the following summer. That was one of the most exotic performing experiences for Catself, and the journey to it could have easily made a script for an adventure road movie.
Catself's music combines many influences, but they are not exactly music influences. There is no single artist that Catself could mention as an inspiration; that seems to come more from her adventures, experiences, rich literature and language studies and contact with many cultures. Childlike playfulness and educated eloquence, elements of fantasy and magic next to inspirations from nature with its beauty and brutality, a touch of melancholy balanced with a lot of black humour and a bit of nonsense – all this expressed in a variety of ways, from bare guitar- or piano-based interpretations to dense multi-instrumental arrangements – it is probably the diversity of Catself's songs that makes them appeal to listeners of all ages and from different cultural backgrounds.
Catself started to work on her album in summer 2011. To keep the colourful and a little unruly style of her songs, she invited Saint Nicholas Orchestra – Poland's leading folk band – to accompany her on the album. Catself and Saint Nicholas Orchestra worked on new arrangements during a series of rehearsals and in autumn 2011 recorded the material with one of Poland's best sound engineers, Tadeusz Mieczkowski, in Preisner Studio in Niepołomice. The album, which will also include a couple of solo songs, will be completed this year.
In a world of sound-alike music, Catself is producing unique songs that don't always go where you might expect, and that's a very good thing. The fact she can do so with the result being memorable and capable of repeated listening is the sign of a rare talent.
music journalist and radio host
Admirably fierce, uncompromising, intelligent, deep, radiant & with generosity of spirit. Listen to everything she does & watch her blossom & bloom.
Catself has music as interesting and unique as her name is. Her music reminds me of a nouveau-celtic sound. Her guitar style is clean and soothing. Her voice fit her unique style of music quite nicely. Have a listen.
Wow, a blast of fresh air, energy, intelligence, and musicality to spare. Agnieszka is clearly worthy of your attention. I'm impressed.
The honesty in her music is so compelling it makes you want to follow her. Beautiful, light and somehow sensual.
Great songs, beautiful voice, such a talented lady: Poland's gift to Finland's music world!!!
I like it when an artist makes original music. Sadly, the music of most artists who try to be original is not nice to listen to any more. Catself has the ability to make music that is both very original and nice to listen to. That was my first thought when I listened to her music for the first time and I still love listening to it. The lyrics are also original but what is the most important for me is Catself's original and catchy melodies, arrangements and voice. I am sure that also listeners who are normally more into the mainstream kind of sound will enjoy her songs.
founder of TalentCast
After ignoring sellaband for some months, I stumbled somehow onto Catself. Fantastic, fantastic, fantastic. It's different from everything, and it's good. Really good. I can barely wait for her to reach $50K.