Justyna Steczkowska is an extraordinary and multi-talented artist, who has come to be known, not only as a singer, violinist, composer and songwriter, but also as an actress and photographer.
She is one of the few Polish singers who has a four octave vocal range.
Thanks to her amazing talent, Justyna has gained a great recognition in the music industry, and millions of Poles have grown to love her artistry, charisma and unique style.
She has won a huge number of music awards in Poland, including, among others: Fryderyki (the Fryderyk Awards), Wiktory (the Wiktor Awards), Bursztynowy Słowik (the Amber Nightingale), the Róża Gali Award and SuperJedynki (the SuperOne Awards).
This singer has already released 16 studio albums, over 300 songs, about 40 video clips and has presented several thousand live concerts. She also has appeared on over 100 magazine covers.
Justyna Steczkowska was born in Rzeszów on August 2, 1972. She is the fourth of nine children of Danuta and Stanisław Steczkowski. In 1990, she graduated from high school with highest honors and had the honor of playing a violin solo in Henryk Wieniawski’s “Violin Concerto No.2 in D minor, Op.22” with the Symphony Orchestra of Artur Malawski Philharmonic in Rzeszów.
In June, 1994, the participation in the first series of a television show “Szansa na sukces” (A Chance for Success) was a milestone in Justyna’s musical career. During the finals, she left both the jury and the audience speechless with her interpretation of the song “Buenos Aires” by Manaam.
Her victory in “A Chance for Success” gave her the opportunity to take part in “Debiuty” (Debuts) show at the National Festival of Polish Song in Opole. She performed a song “Moja intymność” which brought her another victory – the Grand Prix Award at the Festival. At the time, Irena Santor said “Let’s not lose this Pearl”. These heart-felt words are extremely meaningful today.
In April 1995, both successes, the victory in “A Chance for Success” and the Grand Prix Award in Opole, led Justyna Steczkowska to represent Poland in the 40th Eurovision Song Contest in Dublin. She sang the song “Sama” there.
Her performance, during which she sang “Moja intymność” song at the Baltic Song Contest in Karlshamm, Sweden, resulted in a new Grand Prix Award. In the same year, she sang two songs – “Dziewczyna Szamana” and “Wrogu mój” at the 32nd Sopot Festival. Journalists appreciated her performance and she received another award.
In 1995, Justyna began her cooperation with Grzegorz Ciechowski. She worked on her debut studio album under the supervision of Grzegorz.
On March 18, 1996, her debut studio album entitled “Dziewczyna Szamana” (Shaman’s Girl) was released.
The album gained platinum status.
The year 1996 belonged to Justyna and Gala Fryderyków, held at the beginning of 1997, which confirmed her position as an up-and-coming artist.
At this event, she won five the Fryderyk Awards which led her to set a new record. She was rewarded in the following categories: Best Female Vocalist, Newcomer, Best Song – “Oko za oko”, Best Pop Album – “Dziewczyna Szamana” and Best Clip – “Oko za oko”.
This year was also productive in another category – the Wiktor Award. She won in two categories: Best Vocalist and Artist of the Year.
The premiere of the second studio album entitled “Naga” (Naked) took place. The producer of the album was Grzegorz Ciechowski once again. This album also gained platinum status.
Justyna won an international contest “Le Prix Découvertes RFI Est 1997 competition” which was organized by Radio France International (RFI). She defeated 142 artists from 15 countries and she received the RFI Discoveries Award.
Justyna was the leading lady and she co-starred with Alexander Domagarov in a film “Na koniec świata” directed by Magdalena Łazarkiewicz. She also co-wrote the film soundtrack with Antek Łazarkiewicz. There were 20 songs on the album.
The premiere of the album “Na koniec świata” (To the Ends of the Earth).
A concert tour entitled “Pożegnanie jesieni” (Farewell To Autumn) tour with Tomasz Stańko .
The premiere of studio album “Dzień i noc” (Day and Night). This two-disc set gained platinum status.
Justyna had a leading role in the trans-opera “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by William Shakespeare. The performance took place in the Musical Theatre in Gdynia. Piano accompaniment was provided by Leszek Możdżer.
The premiere of the album entitled “Mów do mnie jeszcze” (Keep Speaking To Me) which was recorded in a duet with Paweł Deląg.
It included poems of unique poets like Cyprian Kamil Norwid, William Shakespeare and Kazimierz Przerwa-Tetmajer.
The premiere of the studio album “Alkimja” (Alkimya).
Justyna gained another Fryderyk Award in the category of Best Folk/World Music Album – for the album „Alkimja”.
There was a musical theatre show recorded by TVP2 channel in the Kielce Cultural Centre. During this performance, Justyna sang songs from her studio album entitled “Femme Fatale”. It was in the top 10 of television concerts in Europe and it was awarded by the Golden Rose.
The artist participated in the 11th Woodstock Festival in Poland.
Her performance was shrouded in mystery until the very end and her personal identity was hidden under a pseudonym “Gravitations” which sounded familiar to the audience. The show attracted enthusiastic comments and it reverberated throughout the music industry.
The premiere of the studio album “Daj mi chwilę” (Just a Moment) took place and the album gained platinum status.
The ninth studio album “Puchowe Kołysanki” (Fluffy Lullabies) was released.
The album presented ten children’s lullabies which were composed by Justyna. The album gained golden status very quickly and a part of profits from the album was donated to the TVN Foundation “You are not Alone”.
Justyna was awarded the Wiktor Award again. This award is given to remarkable personalities of the small screen by the Polish Academy of Television. These are people whose skills, talent and professionalism were appreciated not only by journalists but also by the audience.
The studio album “To mój czas” (It’s My Time) marked the first ten compilation albums. Victor Rakonczai, a Hungarian composer and producer, was responsible for the production. He is also a winner of some prestigious awards such as: the European Golden Artist Award, the Artisjus Composer of the Year and the VIVA Comet Awards.
Justyna was the first Polish singer whose concert promoting her new album was broadcast online (via Internet). The show was performed in Toruń.
Justyna was awarded the Diamond Microphone Award which is given by the Polish Radio for lifetime achievements.
Justyna supports with great involvement various charity initiatives. One of them was Olivier Janiak’s project – “Music from the Heart”. Justyna performed a song “Hungry Love” a duet with Paweł Małaszyński.
A video clip of the song “Kim tu jestem”, produced by Maciej Michalski, produced more positive reaction than one could have expected at that time. After several months, it was put in for the OGAE Video Contest and it waltzed off with a prize and outperformed other great performers like David Guetta.
A unique event took place on the stage which was located on the Rzeszów Market. It was Justyna’s and Mimofon’s anniversary concert celebrating fifteen years of a stage career. During this show, audience members were able to hear the “15” project and see the performance which was prepared for Woodstock 2010!
Justyna was invited to Woodstock again and one more time the stage was favorable for her. The successful performance produced good reviews. There was one special review, among others, which came from Papa Roach’s lips. The artist commended her unique stage creation. Then, Nigel Kennedy claimed that Justyna’s concert was… simply “dope”! :)
Not long after she left the Woodstock stage, she appeared on Toruń’s stage where she was singing with a world-famous tenor – Jose Carreras.
After a short visit in Egypt, where some shoots for video clips from “XV” were taken, Justyna was invited to participate in two music projects: “Ale Szopka” by Agnieszka Szczepaniak and “Mezalianse” by QM Music. While recording “Mezalianse”, she was collaborating with Maciej Maleńczuk.
The studio album “Mezalianse” (Misalliances) was hailed as a tribute to Kabaret Starszych Panów (Elderly Gentlemen’s Cabaret).
At the very beginning, an avant-garde and multidimensional vision of Agnieszka Szczepaniak was performed in a concert form. Then, the project was released on CD.
Justyna became an ambassador of Foundation Podkarpackie Hospice for Children, a children’s charity in Poland. It cares for not only sick children but also their parents and it supports them mentally and financially.
A new studio album March 2012 A new title of the jubilee album was revealed. Although its name seemed to be simple, it was full of symbols, and it looked like… “XV”.
A double studio album, which wasn’t an example of a classic or “best of” album, was released.
The “XV” album gained a lot of fantastic reviews from critics and fans. The promotion of the album was exceptional. The first live concert took place in… Riga! People, who crowded The Latvian National Opera had a chance to see Justyna in three different creations during one concert. Other concerts were held throughout Poland and the first one was in Warsaw.
Justyna was a guest musician at the International Music Festival “Energa Sopot Classic” with Polish Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Sopot. It was a memorial concert of compositions by Wojciech Kilar. Additionally, Justyna was invited to participate in an orchestral concert with music of this remarkable Polish composer. It took place in Toronto, Canada.
The “XV” studio album gained the Róża Gali Award in the category of Album of the Year.
Justyna supported the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity which is as annual initiative presented by Jurek Owsiak.
During the official press conference of the second edition of The Voice of Poland, Justyna’s participation as a coach and member of the jury was announced. Fans were excited that their artist would sit in a famous red chair with Marek Piekarczyk, Patrycja Markowska, and Tomson and Baron from Afromental band.
Paradoxically, Justyna still had free time which she dedicated to prepare a performance “Śpiewnik Pana W.”. This musical show put her in a repertoire of Kabaret Starszych Panów. The audience was able to witness this performance in the Syrena Theatre, Warsaw.
The studio album “Puchowe Kołysanki 2” (Fluffy Lullabies vol. 2) premiered. This album, full of soothing sounds, was enriched by a charming fairy tale, read by Justyna. It tells a story of Rudolf, the one and the unique.
Justyna received the Bursztynowa Róża (the Amber Rose) – an honorable for charity support.
Justyna spent the rest of 2013 giving concerts and performing on the stage in “Śpiewnik Pana W.”.
A great relief effort was made by APART, GALA and Justyna Steczkowska. They supported an institution for sick and abandoned children “UFNOŚĆ” in Częstochowa.
Justyna was a coach and a member of the jury in the fourth edition of The Voice of Poland.
Precisely two years after the premiere of the studio album “XV”, Justyna came back with a new song entitled “Terra”. It became a teaser for her new album.
Justyna was a guest artist in Placido Domingo’s concert in Poznań. It was organized because of the canonization of Pope John Paul II. They sang a song together: “Abba Ojcze” which was written by Father Jan Góra.
On the stage of The Forest Opera in Sopot, during the Polsat Sopot Festival 2014, Justyna presented a unique recital devoted to her 20 year artistic career.
One more time Justyna was a coach and a member of the jury in the fifth edition of The Voice of Poland.
The first concert, out of ten, from the “Magia trwa” (Magic Lasts) tour took place. It was a kind of summary of her 20 years on the stage.
The premiere of the studio album “Anima”
In the Dramatic Theatre of the capital city of Warsaw, there was a concert in a tribute to Grzegorz Ciechowski. Adam Sztaba composed new arrangements of Grzegorz’s greatest pieces. Justyna sang a song entitled “Moja krew”. The whole project was recorded in double issue (CD + DVD with a recording from concert) – “GRZEGORZ CIECHOWSKI – Spotkanie z Legendą”.
2015 was a year of intensive work for Justyna and two amazingly important concert tours took place. At the beginning of the year, there were the last concerts of the “Anima” tour which promoted the album of the same title. In April, the artist came back with a new tour – “Nie jestem tym kim byłam…” (I’m not the same as I used to be…) tour. The aim of these concerts was to celebrate the past 20 years of her stage career.
An amazing project “Maria Magdalena – All Is One”, created by Justyna Steczkowska and other artists, was presented to the audience. For a long time, this project, and every event connected with it, was a mystery. A new album and a movie was available for free. It was a kind of implicit and motiveless form which expressed Justyna’s and her co-workers’ love of art and her fans.
Justyna was the only representative from Poland at the Meet in Beijing Arts Festival 2015. Her performance captured the hearts of the Chinese audience! Adam Mickiewicz Institute supported the organization of the whole event.
Justyna Steczkowska gained the SuperOne Award in the category of Singer. It is a special award which is given during the SuperOne Competition in the National Festival of Polish Song in Opole. It is a kind of unique credit given by fans and a wide audience.
The last concert from the tour which celebrated the 20 years of Justyna’s stage career took place in the Union Chapel Cathedral in London. In this mystical and ethereal place, both the songs from the “Anima” album and pieces from earlier albums sounded acoustically unique. The whole concert was recorded.
In the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland there was a medal ceremony – The Medal for Merit to Culture – Gloria Artis. Twenty six artists who contribute to the Polish culture were awarded. This time medals were presented by the Minister of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, prof Małgorzata Omilanowska. Justyna Steczkowska was one of the awarded artists. Her Bronze Medal for Merit to Culture – Gloria Artis confirms not only Justyna’s unique contribution in the Polish culture but also her constant presence and participation in the creation of national heritage.
During her speech, professor Omilanowska mentioned the most important role of the artist in national heritage: “Every artist is a guide who leads through the culture. And this guidance must reach the hearts and minds of people who have different views, tastes and preferences”. These words describe the twenty years old art work of Justyna in the most accurate and complete way.
After a year of deep reflection connected with the sounds of “Anima”, there was time dedicated to real, Roman madness! The album “I na co mi to było?” (What was is for?) included 12 songs composed by Boban and Marko Marković. It is a new style of her artistic self. Filip Łobodziński was the author of the lyrics.
At the beginning of the year, Justyna supported another edition of the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity. She gave to the founder of this project, Jerzy Owsiak, her outstanding work – released in a limited edition studio album “Maria Magdalena – All Is One”.
Justyna has started her jubilee concert tour entitled “Justyna Steczkowska Acoustic” with her band and it is a celebration of the oldest studio album “Dziewczyna Szamana” which is twenty years old. However, during her concerts, the audience can hear not only the new arrangements of songs from the first album, but also some from her late albums such as “Daj mi chwilę”.
At the beginning of March, Justyna was invited to participate in the concert which took place in Ignacy Jan Paderewski Pomeranian Philharmonic in Bydgoszcz. During the “Pawbeats – Orchestra” concert, which promoted the second studio album of Marcin Pawłowski, the audience had a chance to hear Justyna in two songs. The first one was “Dziewczyna Szamana” and Krzysztof Herdzin made a new version of it. The second was composed by Pawbeats and it was “Afekt”. This song is available on the CD album entitled “Pawbeats – Orchestra”. The concert was recorded and released on DVD.
The premiere concert from “Maria Magdalena” tour took place in March in Eter Club in Wrocław. The audience had a chance to hear for the first time all songs from “Maria Magdalena – All Is One”project live. Such songs as “Kochankowie syreny”, “Szachmistrz”, “Wybaczcie mnie złej” and “Leć” from “Anima” studio album and “Kryminalna miłość” from “XV” studio album were also arranged in a stunning club version. During the concert, which was cheered up by multimedia screens, Jakub Rene Kosik was standing by the console.
It was the last performance of “Śpiewnik Pana Wasowskiego” directed by Krzysztof Jaślar in Syrena Theatre in Warsaw. This show, which was in a tribute to Jerzy Wasowski, reminded of still current values presented by “Kabaret Starszych Panów” in a very humorous way. Justyna Steczkowska and Wojciech Malajkat gave a lot of fun and emotion to the audience during the last three years – this performance was present on the billing since 2013.
During the 53th National Festival of Polish Song in Opole there was a final concert of Plebiscyt Złote Opole. The audience chose their favorites among 53 songs. Then, on the list of twenty the best songs, “Dziewczyna Szamana” was also present. Thanks to this, at the final concert “Złote Opole 2016” on the stage of amphitheater in Opole, Justyna was able to perform her most popular hit.
“Śpiewnik Pana Wasowskiego” was performed for the last time in Międzyzdroje were the 21st International Festival of Stars took place. On the stage, besides Justyna Steczkowska and Wojciech Malajkat, the University of Warsaw Collegium Musicum Chamber Choir sang.
The last, fourth day of the 21st International Festival of Stars in Międzyzdroje was very special. There was a ceremony where six new handprints were added to the Walk of Fame and one of them belonged to Justyna. Her autograph and handprint there is a great honor which emphasizes Justyna Steczkowska’s timeless artwork.
The last day of July was a very special day for Justyna Steczkowska because she had the honor to sing at the stage of the Forest Opera in Sopot. She sang together with a well-known Spanish tenor – Maestro Jose Carreras. They charmed the Sopot audience. Her duets of popular songs accompanied by orchestra and prepared especially for this occasion, went down in history of Polish music. They sang such songs as “En Aranjuez con tu Amor” or “Amigos para siempre”. The audience was moved and even Jose Carreras was enchanted by Justyna.
The best way to have an unforgettable evening with a gypsy queen was to hear the Balkan sounds of Gypsies Orchestra, an amazing voice of Justyna and to see phenomenal dancers in the choreography of Tomasz Barański. Justyna performed a role of sultry femme fatale who made the audience dance. The amazing and energetic show was embellished by lyrics from the studio album “I na co mi to było?”, colorful visualizations and the real, Romany music (the stage, besides Justyna and dancers, was filled by musicians from Tsngunz Fanfare Aventura band). “Justyna Steczkowska & Orchestra Cygańska” concert took place on the stage of the Forest Opera in Sopot. The artist is going to release it on a DVD album.