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Katarzyna Rooijens (born as Katarzyna Szczot 5 November 1967 in Warsaw), professionally known as Kayah, is a Polish singer-songwriter. In 1995, she released her first self-written album Kamien and established herself as one of the most successful Polish singers with further releases Zebra (1997) and Kayah i Bregovic (1999). In the early 2000s, Kayah founded her own label, Kayax, which has signed up many successful artists and released numerous critically acclaimed albums. She has sold more than one million copies of her records so far and remains one of the most awarded artists by Polish music industry.


Kayah was born in Warsaw, but grew up in Bialystok.At the start of her career, Kayah sang in choirs and recorded backing vocals for a number of bands, such as Tilt. She made her solo debut with the song "Córeczko" in 1988 at the National Festival of Polish Song in Opole. The same year her first full-length self-titled album was issued. It was a commercial and artistical disappointment and today is not included in Kayah official discography.She released her first self-produced solo album, Kamien, in 1995. It was a great success, consisting of melancholy pop songs, deriving from soul and jazz tradition. In the same year, she was voted the Vocalist of the Year by the Polish music industry and received a Fryderyk award in recognition of her achievements. In 1997, she received another three Fryderyks, this time for the album Zebra as well as in the categories of Singer and Composer of the Year. With Zebra she changed her style, moving in the direction of American soul/funk music. The album spanned two big hits, "Na jezykach" and "Supermenka".In 1999, Kayah paired with the Yugoslav composer Goran Bregovic to record what would become one of the most popular Polish albums ever, entitled Kayah i Bregovic. Most of the music was composed by Bregovic for the band Bijelo Dugme (White Button), which he had been a part of and movie soundtracks that he had worked on. The lyrics were both translations of the original texts and inspired of. Two first singles released from the album, "Spij kochanie, spij" and "Prawy do lewego", became massive hits in Poland for many months and the record went on to sell in excess of 700 000 copies. In the same year Kayah was awarded another Fryderyk, in the category Vocalist of the Year.In 2000, she released the album Jaka ja Kayah which featured pop, jazz and techno-influenced songs. She duetted with Cesária Évora for a track "Embarcacao", sung in Crioulo, from the re-release of the album, newly entitled YakaYaKayah. Her next album, Stereo typ, was issued in August 2003 and featured a major hit single, "Testosteron". The record was nominated for 7 Fryderyk awards and in the autumn Kayah embarked the Stereo Tour to promote the new album.2005 saw the release of her first compilation, The Best & the Rest, a 2-disc set featuring all her greatest single hits as well as less-popular tracks. It was promoted by two singles: "Prócz ciebie, nic", recorded with Krzysztof Kiljanski, and "Jutro rano". Kayah focused then more on producing career and released a number of successful, critically acclaimed albums on her own label Kayax. In 2006 she released her first live album, MTV Unplugged. The following years saw her working on various soundtrack tunes.Kayah returned with her first studio album in six year in 2009. Skala, musically similar to her 1995 debut album, became a bestseller in Poland. 2010 saw the release of two collaboration albums: Kayah & Royal Quartet with Royal String Quartet, consisting of some of her previous songs in string arrangements, and Panienki z temperamentem, on which Kayah and another Polish singer Renata Przemyk presented their own interpretations of work by Kabaret Starszych Panów.In 2011, Kayah had a major commercial hit with her single "Za pózno" and took part in the TV show The Voice of Poland as a member of the judging panel. In 2013, she released an album Transoriental Orchestra which was an exploration of Jewish music.

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