Rafał Brzozowski will represent Poland at Eurovision 2021 with the song “The Ride”.
Alicja Szemplińska was originally due to sing “Empires” at Eurovision 2020. However, the contest was of course cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. But unlike several other countries, Poland decided not to stick with Alicja for 2021. Enter Rafał Brzozowski. He was internally selected by Poland’s national broadcaster TVP.
And now we’ve compiled 10 facts about the Polish entrant. Let’s ride!
Poland at Eurovision 2021: Facts about Rafał
1. He’s played music since childhood
Rafał Brzozowski is 39-years-old. He was born on 8 June 1981 in Warsaw. He grew up in Nowy Dwór Mazowiecki near the beautiful Modlin Fortress, just outside of the capital. The eldest of the family, he has two younger brothers: Paweł and Adam. The latter is 17 years younger. Rafał started taking piano lessons as a child. He performed at a garrison club and at weddings in his teens. While studying at music school, he learned to play the guitar on his own.
2. He started out as a P.E. teacher
Rafał is not just an award-winning singer and TV presenter. He is a physical education teacher by trade and graduated from Józef Piłsudski University of Physical Education in Warsaw (Akademia Wychowania Fizycznego Józefa Piłsudskiego w Warszawie). The university is named after early 20th century Polish statesman Józef Piłsudski.
3. He’s a wrestling champ
WWE eat your heart out! Rafał won a bronze medal at the Polish Academic Championships in wrestling in 2006. He took part in the matches of the Polish Artists Representation. Unfortunately, his sports career ended due to a spine injury.
4. His music career started on Szansa na Sukces
Rafał’s music career first began to take off in 2002 when he participated in the television program Szansa na Sukces (Chance for Success), in which he won a distinction. Previously, he performed with Marcin Kiljan in the K.Martin band. He became a member of the rock band Emigranci in 2003. He was also a member of the pop-rock group De Mono. However, he didn’t become a household name until after he appeared on season one of Poland’s The Voice in 2011.
5. His debut album went platinum
Rafał is signed with Universal Music Poland and his debut album Tak Blisko was released in 2012. It reached number 12 in the Polish charts and went platinum. His initial success doesn’t end there. His first single, also called “Tak Blisko”, has a whopping 21 million views on YouTube. He’s gone on to release four albums, his second Moj Czas hit number 30 in the charts and received a gold certificate. Rafał’s latest LP Moje serce to jest muzyk, czyli polskie standardy was released in 2016.
6. He tried out for Eurovision before
This year is not the first time Rafał has attempted to perform at Eurovision. In 2017, Rafał entered the Polish National Final, Krajowe Eliminacje with the song “Sky Over Europe”. He took second place after scoring 16 points (including 8 from the jurors and 8 from the viewers), losing to Kasia Moś. In 2019, he was part of the Polish jury at Eurovision.
7. He’s danced with the stars
Rafał also has moves on the dancefloor! In 2014, he took part in the 14th season of the TV entertainment program Taniec z Gwiazdami, Poland’s Dancing with the Stars. The singer danced with professional dancer and presenter Izabela Janachowska finishing in seventh place. He got knocked out after his cha-cha-cha, achieved the lowest score of the week.
8. He’s a TV star
Rafał Brzozowski has hosted a host of TV shows! From 2017 to 2019, he presented the game show Koło Fortuny (Wheel of Fortune). He’s also helmed many musical TV shows including TVP2’s New Year’s Eve concert in Zakopane in 2017 and the opening of the 55th National Festival of Polish Song in Opole in 2018. He became the host of Jaka to melodia? (What is this Melody) in 2019.
9. He hosted Junior Eurovision
Rafał has Junior Eurovision hosting pedigree too. Most recently, of course, Rafał co-hosted the 2020 Junior Eurovision Song Contest. However, he also hosted Poland’s national final for the 2017 contest.
10. His music video was shot in a neon museum
Rafał’s “The Ride” music video was shot in the Neon Museum, located in Warsaw. The institution documents and protects Polish light advertisements created after World War II. It is the first in Poland and one of the only museums dedicated to neon signs in the world.
What do you think of Rafał? Do you think he is going to do well at Eurovision this year? Let us know in the comments below.