Monika Lidke, singer



She was born and grew up in Poland in Lower Silesia. As a child, she sang in a choir and later, as a teenager, she studied classical guitar under the guidance of Cezary Strokosz at the Lubin Youth Culture Center. In 1992, she went to Paris to study languages, but after two years in France, she began studying singing at the Ecole Superieure du Spectacle. Paris was a place where Monika experimented with various musical formations, it was a time of intense artistic research. In 2005, Monika moved to London to become a jazz singer.

Ultimately, she found her home on the Thames. She says she is often anxious, and, compared to Paris, London is a much less stressful city for her to live in.

With her face free of makeup and a woolen cap, she walks her son to school. There is no trace of a spoiled star in it, and the layers of gratitude and warmth tightly fill her aura. She is a woman whom Marek Niedźwiecki fell in love with and who attracts the great names of the artistic world to herself like a magnet.

A multi-talented singer, composer and songwriter. Teacher, guitarist and linguist. A wife and mother, a cosmopolitan and a woman of many interests.

Monika Lidke, jazz musician from Malczyce in an interview for Fourth Son.








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FS: Entering your world of sounds and unusual atmosphere, this one, intrusive one thought  invariably comes to mind - where is the beginning of this talented woman's work? Where did this willingness and determination come from, and turned passion into a career and way of life?

ML: Hello and thank you for this honest introduction to the reader and myself to the subject... I would like to thank you for your professionalism and preparation.


Coming back to the question about the beginning of creativity and further determination - from the perspective of 25 years of work, I must admit that the most important things in my life remain a mystery to me. Inside, I am still a girl with big dreams and great faith in people.

Why a child from a working-class family, growing up during the communist era, in a family without musical traditions, suddenly finds in music a break from difficult everyday life - that you can understand : at home, we listen to the radio all the time. Music stimulates the imagination, gives energy or calms me down... But how life at the beginning of my journey pushed me in this or that direction - and made me feel as if I had no other choice - that I cannot explain...




"Creativity is intelligence having fun." - I really like this quote from Albert Einstein, who, incidentally, played the violin and, as his son described it: "Whenever he felt that he was at the end of the road or in a difficult situation in his work, he sought refuge in music"

In this case, if there is a God, or let's call him a Higher Power or a Mystery - I have the impression that he has a lot of fun guiding us in various ways, giving us such and no other preferences.

In my case it it probably went like this: “We will give the girl an almost obsessive desire to sing, but a very quiet, quickly tired voice. Let's add a stiff neck and a tight throat - I wonder how she can handle it ";-)


I think I owe a lot to my friends and teachers who at the beginning of my journey inspired me to make certain choices. You mentioned, for example, Cezary Strokosz, a classical guitar enthusiast. For example, thanks to him I got to like Bach ...

And because once I love something, I become addicted and have no choice: in the words of writer Sue Monk Kidd, "I practise until I become a song that sings me."


It is different with a stiff neck - thanks to that I got to like yoga. When it comes to singing - I admire singers with the powerful vocals like Janis Joplin or Aretha Franklin - but at one point I learned to appreciate softness as well - and enjoy learning and drawing strength from imperfections.

Photo: Andrew Aleksiejczuk

FS: I 'm listening to Tum Tum Song - gentle bossa nova jazz - the creative fruit of collaboration with Basia Trzetrzelewska. The song that, by Marek Niedźwiecki's choice, appeared on the Smooth Jazz Café vol. 13 compilation published by Universal, and you were nominated for the Artiste Of The Week award in Heart FM Spain. You have also collaborated with many other top names from the European jazz scene. We can mention Soweto Kinch, Andy Sheppard, Gilad Atzmon, Dorota Miśkiewicz, Arun Ghosh, Marek Napiórkowski, Elżbieta Adamiak, Jay Phelps, Anna Jurksztowicz, Denys Baptiste and Shabaka Hutchings. Please tell me what impact numerous collaborations have had on you over the past few years and how do you perceive your musical journey from this perspective?

ML: For those who like to learn, life is one great lesson, and in music, especially in jazz, if you are curious, learning never ends. Each person we meet gives us the opportunity to experience something new. That is why I like to work with various musicians - as I do not have a strict jazz education - I take every opportunity to watch or listen. And I hope it will be like that until the end of my journey.

As a songwriter - I always try to choose a band in such a way as to bring out the essence of a given idea. Sometimes you need a larger line-up, other times a guitar or a double bass is enough.

When you listen to Basia's voice on your song for the first time, you cry tears of joy...

When you stand on the stage next to Soweto Kinch, you become one of the instruments.

Dennis Rollins shows you how to talk to your audience without words, using sounds and body language.

These are priceless experiences, they provide a base to help you work in difficult moments, and there is no shortage of such in a life of a musician. But, as Winston Churchill put it: "Success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm." - and we also learn this enthusiasm and love for music from our colleagues, we get infected with their energy!




Speaking of hiking - two years ago I had a foot injury, and a year later - a serious problem with my spine.

For months I couldn't go for walks - it was then that I appreciated my own health. Now I do everything to keep my balance - a lot of my musical ideas are born during walks.  It is also during those first hours of the day that I have the most courage to ask someone famous about the possibility of working together - you can probably call it inspiration ;-)

Moving is healthy, and a musician's life is a constant dance in search of a balance between the euphoria of creation and a more steady energy, allowing, for example, to complete a larger project.

We can learn a lot by observing musicians we know, such exchanges are very important.


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Photo: Aleksandra Budka

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Posk, London