In the spotlight: Alicja
In the spotlight: Alicja Photo: Dawid Ziemba

In the spotlight: Alicja

With her song, 'Empires', Alicja was chosen to represent Poland in 2020. In light of the unfortunate cancellation of the 65th Eurovision Song Contest, we wish to highlight the impressive acts that were set to appear. This is 'In the spotlight', our feature honouring the artists that would have made up this year's edition of the world's largest live music event.

During the climax of Poland's national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest 2020, the remaining 3 finalists, Albert Černý, Kasia Dereń and Alicja Szemplińska, performed both a cover of a previous winning Eurovision song and their potential participating song for Rotterdam. Alicja performed Euphoria by Loreen (Sweden 2012) and her own song Empires, receiving full points from both the jury and the Polish public televote. As such, Alicja became Poland's choice for 2020.

Who is Alicja?

17-year-old Alicja Szemplińska was born and raised in Ciechanów, near Warsaw. She won The Voice of Poland 2019 and was loved by the audience for her voice and unique performances of songs we all know and love. "R&B and Soul have always been by my side. I grew up with this music and always enjoyed it the most."

Alicja, like every teenager, has big dreams. She also dares to fulfil them. At the age of 14, after winning a TV music program, Alicja met with Michael Jackson's vocal trainer, Seth Riggs, who helped her develop her voice. In her spare time, Alicja fills her notebook with verses and rhymes with the hopes that they will see the light of the world very soon. She collaborated with Neve from the UK on her first single Almost We, which resulted in millions of views online.

Poland's Eurovision 2020 representative AlicjaDawid Ziemba

READ MORE: Alicja's participant profile

Alicja sees Empires as an important song in terms of how we treat planet Earth and life itself. "We are a threat to the planet. The song tells about the mechanism of destruction and difficult issues in our present world. People tend to build empires, and they become blind to what is important. They become obsessed, and it provides them to distraction. But there is hope because we rise and fall; it is the circle of life, but the question remains, why? Do we have to repeat the same scenario all the time? We build and destroy...maybe we should learn."

Empires was written and composed by Patryk Kumor, Dominic Buczkowski-Wojtaszek, Laurell Barker and Frazer Mac.

In the wake of Eurovision 2020, Alicja took to her personal Instagram account to speak to the positive reception she has received from Eurovision fans around the world and her hope that the world will come out of this crisis, and come together in music, stronger, wiser and with new experiences.

You can follow Alicja on the following social media platforms:

LISTEN: Stream Empires and other Eurovision 2020 songs on Spotify

Poland in the Eurovision Song Contest

Poland joined the Eurovision Song Contest in 1994. Poland finished second in its debut year, which to date, remains the best placing for the country with Edyta Górniak finishing second.

The Eurovision Song Contest remains a popular event in Poland and, in 2016, the country won Eurovision Young Musicians. In 2017 Poland won Eurovision Young Dancers for the second time in a row. In 2018 and 2019, the country also won the Junior Eurovision Song Contest.

READ MORE: Poland's country page

Last year, Poland was represented by Tulia, who sang Fire of Love (Pali się). The band, made up of the voices of Joanna Sinkiewicz, Dominika Siepka, Patrycja Nowicka and Tulia Biczak and known for their unique style of Polish folk called 'śpiewokrzyk', which means 'white voice' or 'screaming sing', finished 11th in the Grand Final.

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