Press Releases

Aleksandra Kwasniewska is a Polish singer based in London. She has recorded and released three studio albums with the band from Ghent “The Belgian Sweets”: debut album Island Girl in 2008, the second album The Sky is on Fire in 2012 and the third album Clover in 2017.

Island Girl (2008)

The ten track album was notable for including poetry by renowned writer Halina Poświatowska set to music. The album was funded independently and released through the 33 Jazz label in the United Kingdom, Poland, and Japan. Island Girl was warmly received by critics and music journalists, and was ranked alongside the earlier achievements of Polish singers Anna Maria Jopek and Aga Zaryan.

The Sky is on Fire (2012)

After the successful tour, Kwasniewska went back into the studio to begin work on her next album, The Sky is on Fire.  In addition to The Belgian Sweets trio, the album includes support from Mexican violinist Renato Marquez. The album also includes more poetry from Poświatowska and an update of the classic tango from 1930s ‘Ostatnia Niedziela.’

Clover (2017)

Third album of Aleksandra & The Belgian Sweet’s – acoustic and cinematographic in atmosphere – is topped with the strings quartet and Polish poetry. It contains nine pieces of music. The album presents the works of the most influential poets, like Julian Tuwim, Bolesław Leśmian, Jan Twardowski or Maria Pawlikowska-Jasnorzewska who was named the Queen of lyrical poetry. Those pearls are true highlights of the album – dynamic and lightly orchestral in arrangements, with emotional lyrics that touch listener’s heart.

Concerts

Aleksandra and The Belgian Sweets played successful gigs in Europe. They performed in London’s prestigious venues such as Ronnie Scott’s Bar, Bull’s Head, Royal National Theatre, Barbican Centre, Queen’s Club, Spice of Life and during London Jazz Festival. They played in Brussels’ The Music Village and the European Parliament.

Aleksandra possesses distinctive and smooth voice, which lays bare her exceptional sensitivity and great skills of creating a variety of emotions and atmospheres.

“Excellent music” Ronnie Scott’s

„Dear Aleksandra, I love your singing! You have a sweet, clear and distinctive sound. I really enjoyed listening” Stacey Kent 

“Spaciously beautiful and sultry folk-infused ballads and breathlessly lyrical originals” Time Out

 

Island Girl – debut album 

Aleksandra & The Belgian Sweets is something more than simply a vocalist and a handful of musicians doing a few songs. Recording Aleksandra’s first album, they underwent a genuine transformation, metamorphosing into a band which has found its own distinctive sound. As the producer, my role was to create the perfect conditions for them to flex their talent and for Ola to set the power of her voice free. The studio became a kind of playroom, a hothouse for those enormous talents.

Aleksandra suggested bringing in Peter Ryckeboer (Skeems, Soapstarter), Koen Kimpe (Lady Lynn, ao) and John Snauwaert (Jazz-legend). Because of the emphasis on percussion and rhythms, I also invited Niels Delvaux to join (Congee, HT Roberts). People who know something about the Belgian music scene, may be rather puzzled by the different musical backgrounds of these musicians. We have rap, pop, reggae, country, big band & jazz. Later in the project we were lucky enough to be able to bring in the talents of Bart Maris & Frederik Caelen on trumpet and accordion…

During the first rehearsals, it became clear that one result of this richness of experience was that the basic trio was fast developing their own style, creating a lot of space for Aleksandra’s vocals. 

You can hear the relaxed atmosphere in every recording. Sound engineer Herman Temmerman knows how to capture the acoustic vibes on analogue tape. The sounds are rich, sensual & sometimes downright cool. I remember when we first heard the snaps & the bass on Blisko, all of us just found ourselves reaching for our shades. The music contains references to bands & artists like Air, Portishead, D’Angelo and Bebel Gilberto, but I also wanted to add a soundtrack feel to it, giving the listener the chance to dream. And you just might be able to hear that one of the bands favourite discs at the time we were recording was made by The Muppets…

Making a first album is an emotional experience. These emotions heightened Aleksandra’s vocals, brought them to the edge. There was a lot of discussion during the process and, both perfectionists in our own, way, we weren’t satisfied if the vocals didn’t reach the highest standard. I wanted to believe every single syllable Ola was singing, even if I didn’t understand a word of the Polish lyrics themselves. During recording, I could hear her finding her own voice and her identity. Listen to Home, listen to Manha de Carnaval, and you’ll know and sense what I mean.”

Pedro De Bruckere, Producer, on recordings of “Island Girl” debut album.

Island Girl – debut album 

“It’s a dream which has been with me all my life, despite the hard times and long journey to make it come true”, says Aleksandra Kwasniewska about her albums. Without meeting the producer Pedro De Bruyckere and the Band who influenced the artist with their talents for music and arrangement, maybe this intimate project would never have come into existence. Blessed with a rare, clear and true voice and an intimacy to her compositions, the Polish singer had searched long and hard for her musical identity and her own sound before releasing this collection of ballads that travel through folk and pop, with a fragility and multi-layered delicacy. The journey to create this record was lengthy and painful, but it is for that reason that the album is so personal, so emotional and so intimate.

Island Girl is the debut album of Aleksandra Kwaśniewska and The Belgian Sweets. Warmly received by critics and music journalists, the CD is being ranked along with the earlier achievements of Anna Maria Jopek and Aga Zaryan. Reviewers are unanimous in describing the group’s music as warm, refined and delicate pop or melodic and tasteful jazz.

Delicate bossa novas, slow sambas, folk ballads, club-style chill out and Portuguese fado radiate from the album, all arranged with great sensitivity by the group and enveloped in the warm sounds of analogue instruments. Aleksandra’s crystal-clear, delicate and almost childlike voice lays bare her exceptional sensitivity and talent for manipulating the emotions.

Aleksandra Kwaśniewska is recognised as being one of the most interesting vocalists of her generation. Born and bred in Dolny Śląsk, this young artist studied English at the University of Wrocław and, thanks to a grant, travelled to Belgium, where she received her musical education. She currently lives in London. She writes, composes and works.

She recorded the album with the help of the Belgian trio, The Belgian Sweets; pianist Peter Ryckeboer, double bass player Koen Kempe and percussionist Niels Delvaux. 

Island Girl is recognised as being one of the most interesting albums to be released by a Polish artist this year.

The Sky is on Fire – Album 2

The Sky is on Fire is the second album by Aleksandra Kwaśniewska and The Belgian Sweets. It is due for release in Spring 2012. The project is a collaboration between vocalist Aleksandra Kwaśniewska and the Belgian trio, The Belgian Sweets. The band includes pianist Peter Ryckeboer, double bass player Koen Kempe and percussionist Niels Delvaux. The album also includes the talents of young Renato Marquez on violin and singer-songwriter HT Roberts, who adds parts on bouzouki, mandolin, 12-string and 6-string acoustic guitar.

Aleksandra released her debut album, Island Girl, with The Belgian Sweets in 2008. The group embarked on a tour across Europe in support of the album. Warmly received by critics and music journalists, the CD has been ranked alongside the earlier achievements of Anna Maria Jopek and Aga Zaryan. Island Girl was named one of the most interesting albums to be released by a Polish artist that year.

Reviewers are unanimous in describing the group’s music as warm, refined and delicate pop or melodic and tasteful jazz. Delicate bossa novas, slow sambas, folk ballads, club-style chill out and Portuguese fado radiate from the group’s work, all arranged with great sensitivity by the group and enveloped in the warm sounds of analogue instruments. Aleksandra’s crystal-clear, delicate and almost childlike voice lays bare her exceptional sensitivity and talent for manipulating the emotions.

Aleksandra returns to her roots on The Sky is on Fire, singing a majority of the album’s tracks in Polish. Aleksandra has been credited with bringing the culture of her native country to a wider audience, and continues to do so on this album with many artistic allusions and influences. The Sky is on Fire, like its predecessor, includes the works of renowned Polish poet Halina Poświatowska set to music. The album also features a modern update of the famous Polish tango, “Ostatnia Niedziela.”

Aleksandra Kwaśniewska is recognised as being one of the most interesting vocalists of her generation. Born and bred in Dolny Śląsk, this young artist studied English at the University of Wrocław and, thanks to a grant, travelled to Belgium, where she received her musical education. She currently lives in London. She writes, composes and works.

Clover – Album 3

Aleksandra & The Belgian Sweets with the Strings

Where two rivers meet

Third album of Aleksandra & The Belgian Sweet’s – acoustic and cinematographic in atmosphere – is topped with the strings quartet and Polish poetry. The Polish-Belgian band delivers nine pieces of beautiful music. The album presents the works of the most influential poets, like Julian Tuwim, Bolesław Leśmian, Jan Twardowski or Maria Pawlikowska-Jasnorzewska who was named the Queen of lyrical poetry. Those pearls are true highlights of the album – dynamic and lightly orchestral in arrangements, with emotional lyrics that touch listener’s heart.

Discography: 

Aleksandra & The Belgian Sweets with the Strings „Clover”

Aleksandra & The Belgian Sweets „The Sky is on Fire”

Aleksandra & The Belgian Sweets „Island Girl”

Produced by Pedro De Bruyckere.