Some performers sometimes become folk performers. They are not appreciated by the judges, but ordinary people admire their creativity. An example of such a performer is the Polish musician Jann, who lost the selection for Eurovision 2023.
“Gladiator” was one example of the viral spread of music on the Internet. A scandal with a discrepancy between the viewers and the jury allowed him to become known outside of Poland. Numerous petitions and appeals from viewers stimulated interest in the performer and the song itself. As a result, the song went far beyond the borders of Poland and gained its admirers.
For the first time the song “Gladiator” was presented to the public in October 2022. Electronic rhythms and blues are the basis of the musical composition, which allows the performer to more fully reveal the content of the song.
It’s hard to say what led to the words of this song. The performer, who is also the author, does not tell the public about the reasons that prompted him to write this composition. However, since we know little about his life, it is safe to say the following. The reason for the song is his involvement in the music industry from a young age and his dense familiarity with all aspects of musical reality. Music was in his life from a young age, so he was also familiar with the underside of musical fame. He had to see the benign picture presented to the public and the often disreputable flip side of that picture.
Most likely, due to his youth, he had a desire to show the existing contradiction, to expose the unfairness of reality. In one interview, he declared this song to be a kind of satire on the music business. As will be described below, the song is a kind of social satire on the situation in the music business.
Let us turn to the lyrics of this song. The song clearly shows the criticism of the modern music (media) society in the issue of obsession with external tinsel, superficial take-away and fame.
The performer points out through the verses of the song that people are willing to wear masks, to create false identities in order to gain success and attention. One can sell one’s body for a moment of fame.
The chorus shows a parallel between a gladiator and a winning musician. For in both cases, the reward for winning is the approval of the audience. It is for generalization and adoration that contemporary performers compete. It is worth noting that “Gladiator” draws attention to the fact that the entertainment industry itself is a battlefield where stiff competition between performers reigns. Just like the ancient gladiators, there can only be one winner. Let the losers not die, but the very term “gladiator” here shows the intensity and rigidity of the competition that reigns in the industry.
The cult of excess that pervades the entire music industry is shown from the first verses. Indulgence is evident in the fact that the party is sponsored by one thing and the attendees drink another. The body as a commodity, sexuality as a means to fame slips into some lines of the song.
The singer’s second verse of the song draws attention to the modern media, which constantly needs to show some drama. As a result, celebrities must be a source of constant reasons to be entertained. The media pressures celebrities to get some spectacle out of them.
A person seeking to become famous must be prepared to put on some sort of facade. Success comes from some perception of the performer, not reality. If you are ready to play by these rules, success will be with you.
And this facade, this mask, put on, becomes natural. Celebrities have to sacrifice their naturalness to wear this mask.
The thirst for attention requires the star of the show. For fame requires a show that no one has seen before. It is the show that “will be all and more.”
The performer draws attention to the fact that by remaining yourself, you cannot achieve fame. You have to play along with those around you to become famous.
At the end of the song, in a few lines, he points out that the entertainment industry works by exploiting performers and nothing else.
As you can see, this song gives the listener a sense of the edge of that fame, but it also touches on the darker part of fame a bit in the form of the hard work of exploiting people who, under the oppression of fans and managers, portray what is expected of them. However, there is also a bit of romance in it that keeps the song from becoming sad.