t.A.T.u. are one of the few bands that have not only achieved success in their home country, but abroad as well. Having started solo careers, the girls are now ready to conquer all new vertices. This edition of City found out what Lena Katina will strike us with this time.
t.A.T.u. disbanded, but you performed together again at the opening ceremony at the Olympics in Sochi. How did you feel?
I felt happiness from performing at the Olympic games in Sochi, in Russia. You only get a chance like this once in your life! I am also proud that our song, “Not Gonna Get Us” became the anthem for the Russian team. They justified its meaning 100%! I am very proud of our athletes and their trainers. They did a lot of work, tried hard for all of us, and were number one, better than everyone else.
How do you see Lena Katina as a solo artist? What direction is your work going in? How much does it differ from t.A.T.u.?
Lena Katina is firstly naturalness. I am a sincere person and value sincerity, kindness, and involvement in others most of all. I do not want to portray myself as someone who I am not. I am certain that people always sense when you are fake and I would not want to invoke these emotions. I participate in writing my song, I put in my soul, I tell my story with the help of music! Of course, my own style differs from that of t.A.T.u.’s, we were not authors. I will always love our songs and I am certain that people will never forget them. They are magnificent! That is a large part of my life and I am happy that it happened. Now, a time has come for me to move and progress further.
The song Never Forget has a particular sound, somewhat reminiscent of the gothic-rock of Evanescence. Would you like to work with this style?
My music depends on my mood. There are similar rock compositions, there are light pop songs, there are experimental things. I do not stick to the belief that everything must be in the same style. I can be different, and my songs, respectively, reflect the way I feel during the moment when they are written.
By the way, in the video for Never Forget you had to be portrayed as dead and you even put a date of death on the tombstone. How did you decide on this? Was is scary since artists are superstitious?
It’s a metaphor, of course. I just wanted to show a new chapter in my life in the video. I started from scratch! In terms of superstitions- I am not superstitious. I think that everyone is allotted their time in this life, but the video is creativity. You cannot take creativity so literally. I just started to live once again after it!
You have said that you were a fairly modest girl. Did you still experience embarrassment if you have to shoot in the nude, for instance, like you did for Maxim magazine?
Of course I get shy. It took me a long time to decide. But, honestly speaking, I am very happy with the Maxim photo-shoot, they worked professionally and made it comfortable. I think it turned out beautiful.
In your opinion, is it necessary to have a sexual side to create a bright image?
Internal sexuality. You either have it or you don’t! It is absolutely not necessary to wear revealing outfits or to get naked to be sexual. I agree with the great Chanel in this sense.
You live and work in L.A. Please tell us, which features of work have you encountered in America?
Professionals of a high standard. Mainly, everything is clear and follows the plan. And there are no delays, which matters to me a lot! Of course, this depends on the people which you work with. Moscow has plenty of talented and professional people. It just turned out that I am mainly there because my team is there. Now I have a team in Moscow and they are wonderful.
Is your work now focused on the foreign public?
I don’t split myself by territories. I want to sing for everyone and everywhere where my songs are loved.
What new things is Lena Katina preparing?
Recently, we released a live album from a concert in Cologne. The remix for my single Lift Me Up by Dave Aude rose from the 48th to the 36th spot in one week on the American Billboard charts! We are going to release this single on iTunes soon. We are preparing the next single and album, which is nearing completion. There is a tour planned at the end of May for Russia in the far East. And a a lot of other interesting things!
The official FIFA 2014 website is holding voting for a slogan which will represent the soccer teams at the world championship in Brazil! Let’s vote for “Not Gonna Get Us”! > http://vk.cc/2werQw
Lena Katina: “It was hard to start from scratch…”
Despite her youth, the ex-member of the famous duet, t.A.T.u., Lena Katina, could write a memoir by now. In her “arsenal”, the singer has worldwide popularity, creativity, mixed relationships with those around her, marriage, and love…
Lena, you recently planned to unite with the second member of t.A.T.u., Julia Volkova, having even performed together at the Olympics in Sochi. But then your paths split once again…
Yes, we performed “Not Gonna Ge Us” and even planned to go on tour together, once again as t.A.T.u.. But, Julia, as I see it, did not behave nicely, unexpectedly telling me when we were already at the airport that only she will decide everything in our duet and I will just be…next to her. And if I did not agree to everything with her that she would simply get another red-headed girl to take my place…Obviously, I did not agree to such absurd terms. I have my own creative work, my own songs, I am a grown person who does not need to be pushed around. I have experience and my own opinion, so from now on I will continue to work on my solo project. t.A.T.u. will forever remain in the past…
t.A.T.u. was practically the only Russian project that was known throughout the whole world. How is life after such popularity?
Life is wonderful! I am busy with solo work, recording new songs, touring! In autumn my single and video for “Lift Me Up” came out. I am getting ready to release my album in English and Spanish languages, I have been performed some solo concerts in Mexico, Brazil and am often in Russia on tour. Yes, the popularity of t.A.T.u. was stunning, no other Russian artists has yet to reach such success. Now, everything is different! It was hard to reconstruct and start everything from scratch, but I am very happy with my life! It is, undoubtedly, a creative development and a great experience. When you are 14 and suddenly you are hit with such popularity, it is very hard to really appreciate it. Right now I do not have such insane popularity in my life, but I value everything that happens to me much more!
When fame collapses during such a young age, it is a huge test, and “fame-sickness” can occur very fast…
Yes, there have been moments when fame had intoxicated me and I overestimated my popularity. But I always had people around me, who, so to say, put my mind back into place, and I am very thankful for that! I am always surrounded by my family, I am used to listening to their opinions. If people recognize you and ask for an autograph it does not mean you should see yourself as above everyone else! I hold the opinion that every person should be treated with respect, whether it is a waiter, janitor, or a prime-minster…
Was it hard to play the role of a girl with a non-traditional orientation?
Oh, we were so young and did not realize that we were participating in some sort of propaganda. I remember we stood in front of the microphone screaming, “Not gonna get us!” and our producer, Ivan Shapovalov, suddenly said that we are missing something. “You are going to kiss!”, it dawned on him. Julia walked up to me and our kiss on stage somehow happened on its own. It was just fun for us then and nothing more. And then every time we needed to kiss we began to laugh. Of course, we learn to “portray” love- we needed to start monitoring our image. But, we fell in love with only guys, of course.
Lena, your parents and grandmother are creative people. How did they view your shocking fame?
My parents have always been and are happy with me. I am very attached to my family because it is the most wonderful one! And they viewed my image in t.A.T.u. normally, they knew it was just a role. I have been on stage since childhood since being in Neposedi, so I have always received support from those close to me! My parents have a wonderful summer home and I love to go there. We thought up the project ourselves, we spent three whole years building our house…We hung up my grandmother’s, artwork, my father’s mother- Asia Nikitichna Katina, a professional artist. And it is so quite there, so great to sleep! During the summer we make shish-kabobs, call our friends over, and during the winter we sit around the fire. We can sing or dance there- we are a musical family, after all. We have a piano there and a guitar, so we play music together. My mom is great at playing the piano…my parents home is for me- this is a place where I can take a breath from all the hustle. I fly in from L.A., where I live, and rush to our summer home. There, I sit in a rocking chair, which my best friend gave to me as a gift, light the fireplace and look at my wonderful collection of angel figurines, which I have been collecting for a while now. When I have children, I will definitely bring them there. I am certain that they will love our home as much as I do…
You recently got married to a Slovenian musician, Sasha Kuzmanovich. You met a long time ago during t.A.T.u. and then there was a wedding after all these years!
Yes, we have known each other many years, we met back in 2003 on MTV in L.A. Then we communicated, but rarely. And then we met again during the period of my solo career, and actually, randomly, at a bar. He is friends with my musicians and one Friday we all went out together. Everything happened so fast that I moved in with him after a month and after three years we were married! Sasha is a wonderful singer, a talented composer, and a loving, thoughtful husband! We are whole together and are very happy together! He is learning Russian because of me and now we can communicate not only in English.
Your husband is older than you, does the age difference have an influence?
Sasha is 9 years older than I and, of course, this is only a plus for me! Before him I dated people the same age as me and I can honestly say that it is like heaven and earth! It is a completely different relationship! So, for me he is everything, he is the best! I think that Sasha is very handsome man.
You received a degree in psychology. Does this knowledge help in communicating with your husband, at work?
I cannot say that I attended all the lectures- it was a high level of work. But I tried to keep up as best I could. I really wanted to receive a second profession. Yes, the knowledge remains in my head, but without experience there is less and less of it left…I can say that I intuitively feel the way I should behave and what I should say…I think that wisdom comes with reading books and life experience.
Today, in her countryside recording studio, Yulia Volkova and the producer of t.A.T.u., Elena Kiper, presented the video for “Love In Every Instance”. As stated by the representatives of the duo, this work was one of the steps towards the reuniting of the team. Lena Katina, who has stated multiple times about ceasing any type of relationships with Yulia, did not show up for the premier. The 29-year-old singer has been living in L.A. for a while now where she is getting ready to release her solo album. The shootings of the video were done separately as according to the wishes of the red-head. During the days of shooting the girls did not cross paths once, which made implementing the idea of the video a little harder. In the video the girls were supposed to connect and portray a symbolic, friendly hug.
Lena Katina refused to film the final scene and as a result a double had to be used. Elena Kiper announced that the sensational duet from the 2000’s has no existed for a long time:
"The old illusion of two lesbians had to be destroyed a long time ago the well-forgotten, old conceptual calling for genuine love had to be talked about. These are two completely different lives, two separate solo projects and everyone has their own path and their own management".
Yulia Volkova finally admitted that in fact the legendary duet no longer exists.
"I want to say that this is my last work with Lena Katina. There have been many attempts from my side to get her back into the project, to do a track with her, to somehow agree to something with her. This, unfortunately, did not happen, so I do not see a point and potential in future collaborations of t.A.T.u. I personally tried to write to her, call her, but she does not want to communicate. She does not answer her phone, does not answer texts, I do not know what is going on with her. Lena has a side to her, she constantly poked fun at my voice. I always tried to not pay much attention to it. I am an adequate person, life goes on, I try to have things be alright.
Lena’s and Yulia’s new single featuring Ligalize and Mike Tompkins, Love In Every Instance, is available on iTunes now! Click here: https://itunes.apple.com/ru/album/lubov-v-kazdom-mgnovenii-single/id853883942
and click here for the full lyrics and translation of the song: http://tatumedia.com/post/79234918910/tatu-love-in-every-instance-translation