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Imagine this: at a young age, you and your friend start up a pop group together. Your group releases an album, and your band becomes one of the biggest acts in your country.

Your group’s album is a huge success, and you travel all around the world.

And then the group gets dismantled and you decide to start from scratch in another continent.

Sounds implausible, doesn’t it?

Well tell that to Tola.

At the age of 13, Tola was the lead singer of Blog 27, a rebellious Poland-based pop group she formed with childhood friend, Ala.

In 2005, the group released their debut album, <LOL>, which was a smash hit, going double-platinum in Poland.

Although successful both commercially and critically — Tola is the youngest MTV Europe Music Awards winner ever, winning the

Best Polish Act award at the age of 13 — the group was controversial at the time due to their rebellious content. 
Ala left the group after the success of their debut album. Tola dropped one more Blog 27 album, which included the smash hit “Cute, I’m not cute” (3.5 million views on YouTube), before leaving it all behind by moving to L.A. in 2008 to attend The Academy of Music at Hamilton High School, spending most of the money she made from Blog 27.

Now, close to four years later, she is ready to jump right back in the music business. She has spent her time in America sculpting her craft.

Last year, she debuted her new style in “Muse” and recently her and some of her friends shot a video for the catchy “Let it Go.” 

Both songs come from her self-written and home-recorded demo, Mental Detox

She has some story to tell. And she’s ready to tell it. Check it out down below!

GlobalGrind: How did you find your way to L.A.?

Tola: After all the success that happened with Blog 27, I decided that I wanted to learn new things, to be in a different environment and to just try it here. This has been my dream ever since I was little. After Blog 27, I felt like I was ready. Also, I felt like it was time to go because I wanted to go to school here; I wanted to go to high school here to feel the energy. So I basically spent all of my money that I made from touring and from royalties to move here. My parents also support me a lot. They sold our apartment and they moved in with my grandparents just so I could go to school here. It was hard in the beginning. At first my dad moved in with me for a couple of months. And then he moved back to Poland, then my mom came. Then when I got the green card, I was able to be here by myself. I got my driver’s license; I was independent. I was 17 when I started living by myself and my parents moved back to Poland because they had to work. I finished Hamilton, a performing arts school in L.A. I studied technology, which is just like music programming and production, Pro Tools, Logic and all that kind of stuff, which really helped me to focus on my own music and produce my own songs.

You were pretty big in your country, why did you give that up to come here?

I get that question a lot. My friends who are musicians here in L.A, they never really understand why I don’t go back and play huge shows and sell thousands of albums, and I tell them that to me it’s not about the fame and just being successful. Success is not the most important thing to me. I just want to grow as an artist, and I wanna have a challenge in my life. It’s 10 times harder to make it here then it is in Poland. That’s why I want to do it here, if you make it here, you make it anywhere.

Also, I have done so much in Poland and in Europe that I felt like I kind of stopped growing. And honestly I wanted to do bigger things and harder things.  

How do you feel about your Blog 27 music?

Well, it was good at that time. I wouldn’t say I’m ashamed of this or I regret any of it, because it brought me to where I am right now. But, it’s definitely not the style I’d want to do at the moment.

What’s the style you’re trying to do now?

I’m really inspired by artists like John Lennon, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Amy Winehouse and Malcolm McLaren. My stuff is very singer-songwriter style and since I’m not that great at producing yet, it’s hard for me to express 100 percent what’s going on in my head, which is why I’m trying to meet different producers right now and collab with different people.

So in a perfect world, you would be producing, writing and it would be great, but you don’t feel you’re at that level yet?

Yeah, I don’t feel like I’m at that level yet. I mean, as far as songwriting, yes, but not producing. 

Was it hard coming from Poland to the United States?

One thing is that a lot of my friends in Poland who were musicians would kill to come here. So I’ve been really grateful that I can do that. On the other hand, it was kind of difficult. I mean, it’s a completely different mentality. Everything is bigger here. The school was huge and there’s just so much going on. I wasn’t used to that, I guess. Poland is a really small, conservative country with different values, a different culture. 

Were there are any difficult patches?

When Blog 27 got really famous, I couldn’t really understand why some people acted like they didn’t want to be friends with me all of a sudden. I had difficulties with that. But when I came here, everyone was so open and so friendly, so that was a huge surprise for me. I can’t really remember any difficulties for school or friends. One of the things that was hard for me was being away from my mom because we were really close and she was in Poland.

Here, I have to start from the bottom and no one knows me, and I have to do all the work once again, and it’s going to be 10 times harder, because I don’t really know anyone here. I feel like the market here is completely different than it is in Poland or anywhere else in Europe.

How is it different?

It’s bigger. In Poland everyone knows everyone and sooner or later you’re going to meet everyone that you need to meet in order to make it. Also in Poland, we don’t really have any artists like Blog 27. When my debut album came out it was so different and so new and so fresh. Blog 27 was the only teenage band at that time. It was different from everything else that was on the radio. I didn’t even have to try to be different, to surprise people with something, because I was just doing my thing and already it was controversial and interesting. Here, I feel like there’s a lot of people from all over the world who are trying to make it, and you just need to work much harder.

Why was Blog 27 controversial?

It was the lyrics. A lot of people thought that as a 13 year girl, I shouldn’t be singing about relationships or shouldn’t be using words like sh*t. For them it was such a shock. Also, people were surprised that I was singing in English. They thought I should sing in Polish, and they didn’t understand my ambitious goals, trying to make it outside of Poland. When we first started touring in Germany, Tokyo, nobody believed us and we didn’t really want to announce it to the media, because we didn’t care about that kind of attention. But of course, somehow, it got to the media, and everyone thought it was a joke. Then when they actually believed it was true, they all started playing our songs on the radio. And they were like ‘Oh yeah, we liked you from the beginning.’ It was a lot of hypocrites. It was just funny how those things work. For an example, in Japan, our single was number one on the national play charts and in Poland they wouldn’t even play that single. Even though they didn’t play us much on the radio, the album went double platinum and there was a lot of success. Even though you sell a lot, they don’t play it on the radio. That’s how it is in Poland. They only play artists from like 10 years ago that sing in Polish.  

How would you like the next year to play out?

I’m hoping to make some great songs with some really cool producers out here in L.A. or New York. And then hopefully get signed, start touring and do what I did with Blog 27, but by myself this time and with different music.

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