SPOTLIGHT ON LUKASZ POLOWCZYK
Rhyming “words with sound and sound with things visual” isn’t just another catch phrase, Aint About Me exceeds expectations, inviting you through new doors to the spoken word action.
A serendipitous move from Warsaw to New York City exposes a young man (Lukasz Polowczyk) to a new world of hip-hop and counterculture lifestyles, and opens the flood gates to a whole world of musical influences. Years of absorbing sonic genres has resulted in a unique approach to spoken word that flows in and around an ambient atmospheric soundscape weaved together by elements from jazz to electronica and everything in-between. Sounds are not just a backdrop to the words but a symbiotic flow between them. It is a journey that started in youth and continues in their 2020 release – Aint About Me.
Interview: Lukasz Polowczyk
Artist Name : AINT ABOUT ME
Genre hardcore spoken word, experimental electronica, modern jazz
Members and Instruments
Lukasz Polowczyk (vocals), Jan Wagner (music)
Based in Berlin
Playing together since 2020
Listen on Bandcamp
Describe your band / music / style in three words.
Blood, peaches, metal.
What did you listen to when growing up?
I discovered hip hop at an early age, I was probably eight or nine, we had just moved from Warsaw to New York with my family. Looking back on it, hip hop was my gateway to counter culture. I wasn’t just blown away by the music, but everything that surrounded it: the fashion, the graffiti, breakdancing, beat boxing, the whole style element, etc. I was straight drunk off of that energy. I can vividly remember the first time I heard Whodini’s “Five Minutes of Funk!” I heard it on the radio, and it felt like a thunderbolt just hit my spine. I mean this literally! I felt a strong energy coursing through my body, something that I’ve never felt before, and, unfortunately, never felt with this intensity ever again. Ever since, I’ve been chasing this feeling and energy.
Music icon(s) and the reason why.
I definitely look up to John Coltrane! I admire how committed he was to the evolution of his sound. I return to ‘A Love Supreme’ at least a few times a year. What baffles me about this record is that it doesn’t seem to age, at all! Most records from that era sound dated now, but this one doesn’t seem to have a time stamp on it. It’s as if it somehow transcended the weight of time. Another person that I look up to is Rick Rubin, he’s not a musician per-se, but a producer. I love how he’s able to help artists find their personal and artistic truth, and how he manages to capture that “on tape”, time and again.
Who are you listening to right now?
My friend Marc Jacobs just released his new album under the moniker Prairie, it’s called “The Bird Said: Cut Me Open And Sing…” It’s been on heavy rotation for a minute! It’s very personal and singular. The records that hit me the hardest do two things to me: sonically they take me to places that I haven’t been to yet, and they feel thoroughly honest emotionally. This record ticks off both of those boxes. I love how textured the sound is, and how the synth sounds bleed into the field recordings. It’s like, with every song, you’re being handed a page torn from a diary, but in the form of a distillation of a particular moment. I highly, highly recommend it!
On my first cycle with music, which ended something like 12 years ago, I got to open up for Missy Elliott. It was with a collective of producers and vocalists that I was moving with at the time. I got on stage pretty much right after a twenty-hour-plus journey from Barcelona to Kuala Lumpur. The funny thing is that I had only spent 15 hours in Barcelona, the day before, as I just flew in from Brazil, which was also a 20-hour or so journey. So, when I hit the stage that night, I was flying! Like I was having some out of body experience. The energy from the crowd was what was holding me up, physically, and keeping me awake. After the show, because of some strange movie-like domino sequence of events, I never got paid for this show. I ended up running with the promoter’s wife from thugs, or so I was told that that’s what we were doing. At one of our stop-overs on our escape route, we met a gangster-turn-magician who broke down the situation to us. And, eventually, I ended up at a 7-11 with another poet/emcee, hanging out with Mohammad, our taxi driver, after pretty much kidnapping him for trying to rip us off. Epic!
Favourite performance venues or music festivals?
It’s strange to answer this question at a time when live music is not really an option, at least not in the way that we know it. A lot of the venues and festivals will probably have to close for good, in the coming months. This is kinda heartbreaking! I secretly hope that the scene will eventually reboot with a greater emphasis on community. The fact that we will bounce back is inevitable!
Three words to describe your fans.
Hardcore nerds and freaks.
Favourite eyewear brand?
I had a pair of these gold vintage Cazals. I rocked the shit out of them! Unfortunately, they broke. Maybe one day I’ll get another pair. I am by default drawn to objects that have an ‘80s DNA.
What is the best thing about the next project you’re doing?
An illustrated book that will accompany and complete the AINT ABOUT ME record will drop in the coming days as of November 30th. I’m really excited about sharing it with the world. My brother Art Jefferson penned this deep intro for it that straight brought me to tears, when I read it for the first time! Because he really saw me! As an artist and a human being! And he managed to connect the dots in a way that no one has, to date. Art is also an alien, cut from a patchwork type of cloth. The illustrations for the book were drawn by a young lady who goes under the alias Rrrumburak, she’s only 15 and is already killing it! She draws with such detail and her lines are so clear and present! Her father, who is a dear, dear friend of mine, he designed the book. He works under the alias Animisiewasz. He’s one of those designers that possess this gift of actually breathing soul into design, the same way a musician breathes soul into music.
Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time, where would you like to see your music and at what scale?
I want to preserve the freedom to explore music, to experiment and grow with it, craft-wise, but also in terms of my spirituality or humanity. It would also be great to be at a place to have the means to realise the wildest ideas that come to my mind. I want to continue to be surrounded by like-minded artists, who are on a similar trip to mine, who see music as Art and use it as their spiritual practice. Basically, I just want to have what I have now, just slightly scaled up.