Krystian Ochman is a Polish-American singer and composer who often combines the sound of classical singing with an entertainment repertoire in his songs. He was born and grew up near Washington D.C. and comes from a family with musical traditions – his father played in the Róże Europy band, and his grandfather is an opera singer. At first behest of his parents, he decided against a career in sports and began to learn to play the piano and trumpet. In high school he started singing lessons and landed the role of Prince Topher in the school musical Cinderella.
After high school, he continued to study music at the Academy of Music in Katowice in classical voice. In 2020, he took part in auditions for the 11th edition of The Voice of Poland and won the entire competition, with the help of his coach and mentor Michał Szpak (Poland 2016)! After the finale, he released his debut single Światłocienie. He recently was kind enough to answer some of our questions.
Cześć, Krystian! Thank you so much for finding time in your busy week to talk to us! Congratulations on being chosen for Tu bije serce Europy! Wybieramy hit na Eurowizję! You have taken part in many music festivals before, so what made you decide to participate in Eurovision this year?
Honestly, I was not too sure if I would be prepared enough for an occasion like this – vocalistically as well as mentally. The deadline for Eurovision was fast approaching and I was worried I would not have enough time to dedicate to creating a song. In the end, I decided that it was worth taking a risk to be on an international stage and share my music. My family, along with Universal, supported me in this decision, telling me it would be worth a shot if Poland gave me a chance.
Who are your biggest influences in music and who do you admire in the industry?
I usually listen to trap/hip hop but I try not to box myself into those genres. Michael Buble, Frank Sinatra, and Paul Anka are all important to me because they originally got me into jazz/doowop rock. I fell in love with classical/opera music by listening to Pavarotti and my own grandfather Wiesław Ochman. When it comes to rock or rap/hiphop, I love Green Day, My Chemical Romance, Joji, Juice WRLD, and Jaden just to name a few.
What do you think has been the best performance of your career so far?
I would say that my best performance would be either playing Charlito “Chip” Tolentino and Jesus in the musical “25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” or Prince Topher in the musical “Cinderella”.
Can you reveal anything yet about your song River? Are there any similarities to your previous powerful ballads like Prometeusz or Światłocienie?
When creating River, I went in a completely different direction than I did when creating Prometeusz and Światłocienie. I wanted to add a ‘Eurovision’ feel to it.
Since The Voice of Poland, you have released songs exclusively in Polish. Why have you decided to sing in English for the Polish Eurovision selection?
I was informed that contestants are given the opportunity to sing their song in their national language or in English. I love singing in Polish, but English is my first language and seemed like a more comfortable, and therefore better choice for me.
Have you rehearsed your song live yet?
You won The Voice of Poland in 2020 (congratulations!) and your coach was Eurovision veteran Michał Szpak. What have you learned from him that will help you on your Eurovision journey?
Michał Szpak was my mentor during the show and a few things he told me has stuck, one of which is to be more assertive on stage – to not be afraid of hitting those high notes and to trust those long phrases. Any seed of doubt can lead to a voice crack on stage. Feeling the music and performing with confidence is key.
Are you a Eurovision fan? If so, do you have a favourite song or a memory about the Contest?
I only started following Eurovision last year. For me, Barbara Pravi’s Voilà was magnificent.
What are your plans after the Polish Eurovision selection? Can fans expect any new music or shows?
I fully plan on continuing my tour throughout Poland as well as releasing as much music as I am able to.
Thank you so much for your time! We wish you the best of luck! Do you want to share anything else or you maybe you have a message for your fans and the followers of ESCBubble?
My fans spoil me, and that’s a fact. Words simply cannot describe how much I appreciate them. I really hope the followers in the ESCBubble enjoy what I have to offer, musically and performance-wise. Sending love!
You can listen to Krystian’s entry for Poland below, and on Spotify. Are you looking forward to his performance on Tu bije serce Europy! Wybieramy hit na Eurowizję? Let us know your thoughts below or on our socials @escbubble !