Self-described as “pop with an edge – sometimes dark but always pushing”, MIN t recently caught up with Public Pressure to tell us about her story and her craft. Born in Poland, Martyna Kubicz was introduced to music through jazz piano and voice classes at school. She soon began to play in a band covering funky material a la Jamiroquai but was deterred by internal disfunctions. “The band started to fall apart and I got pissed because I just wanted to keep going. I decided that I would just write songs on my own. And so I did… it turned out that I really like it, and that’s something for me!”
However, prior to doubling down on her music career, Kubicz was also pursuing a career as an actress, but MIN t and the Polish film industry were soon to run afoul of one another.
“When I was younger, I never wanted that. It was like, fuck, I’m not gonna play in a shitty soap opera. I want to be an alternative artist, blah, blah, blah, blah! And then I went to acting school, which was quite traumatic for me because they were a very strict and bullying, conservative acting school. They didn’t want me there because I was too honest and it wasn’t even because of my abilities, but because of my character. I was never settling for what they wanted me to do, you know. I never wanted to be an underdog. So yeah, then I just said, fuck it – I don’t want to be in this industry!” and moved to Berlin.
Kubicz describes the experience as paradoxical, as she went there to be inspired by techno but instead discovered a wealth of influences that she wasn’t expecting. “I saw lots of people experimenting with lots of sounds and that opened me to also experiment a lot with whatever I wanted to do. So that’s what you can hear on my first album, Assemblage.”
Full of lush synths and groovy acoustic drums, MIN t’s style was inspired by her immersion into hip-hop at the time, a period when Death Grips were on high rotation. “I really loved the energy and I also wanted to try out playing with a drummer on stage. That’s why I thought having live drums would be perfect so I can play this album live.”
“When I was starting out, this creativity was bursting and coming by itself, you know. As time went by it was more like work, you know. Back then, I was renting a studio, so I was coming back to the studio every day and working on my songs. That was like every day I was coming up with something, you know.”
MIN t also collaborates with her sister Patrycja Kubicz on the lyrics for her music. Martyna will sing the top melody with some made-up gibberish and then her sister will write the lyrics based on the subject of the song. “Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes she has a problem that is she’s a bit too like fairytail-ish. So I’m always like, hey, come on there!” While the literary has never been MIN t’s strong suit she has slowly been contributing more of a rough draft, with her sister polishing it up and making it flow. “I think it happens like twice that I wrote her like a sketch, or maybe three times now because I’m also now getting slowly better and I also know what I want more.”
MIN t’s latest single ‘Kaleidoscope’ is inspired by the light reflections in Valencia, which can often be seen glimmering on the surface of the famous Palau du Reina Sofia. “So when I came [to Valencia], I came from dark Berlin with Corona and here there was lots of happiness, lots of sun. It really inspired me like it sounds cheesy, but it really did! I got this push to keep going as an artist. The city looked different at every hour, which was so beautiful. That was the main inspiration and the lyrics also talk about it.”
For the music video, in which MIN t starred, produced and edited, this theme is taken to the extreme. “I put a fantasy aspect to it. I really wanted to make my cheesy dream come true and become a Sailor Moon, like a normal girl who changes into a princess that plays on my keytar. It’s a bit cheesy and funny, but it’s supposed to make people laugh and smile a little.”
No longer taking herself so seriously MIN t intends her current direction to be lighter, funnier and more energetic. Speaking of energy, Martyna’s live show is full of it; “You can expect seeing me on stage with just me with my keytar, playing live and singing live with a drummer who’s giving lots of energy on stage! I’m trying to give my best and usually people love it and I love that people love it. So yeah, that’s, in general, what I love the most. So if I play around, come by!”