Ukrainian pop singer, songwriter, actress, entrepreneur, former UN Goodwill Ambassador and People’s Artist of Ukraine, Ani Lorak has come a long way since taking second place at Eurovision 2008 with her song Shady Lady. And she is now ready to share that journey returning to the stage after her marriage and the 2011 birth of her daughter Sophia. What’s On catches up with developments on the eve of her big showbiz comeback.
What attracts you to show business? Why did you decide to get into the “biz”?
I knew I’d be a singer since I was a 4-year-old and I did everything to make my dream come true. I was born in Kutsman (Chernivtsi region) and people there didn’t quite understand why a little girl was singing on the street in the middle of the day, however they gave me sweets for my performances and I was glad to attract attention; it’s something I still enjoy every time I go on stage.
You’ve achieved your main goal but what about smaller achievements you made along the way?
I had to work hard! When I just started, my biggest dream was to take part in Utreneya Zvezda (Morning Star) and eventually in 1995 I was named Breakthrough of the Year at this show. It was a sort of kick-start for me and so I set new goals. We released the first album Khochu Letat (Want to Fly) the following year and shot the first video. Then I went to Big Apple Music – 96 in New York and won. As you know I took second place at Eurovision 2008 and won the Eurovision Song Contest Artistic Award also. When I returned home, the President of Ukraine awarded me with Merited Artist of Ukraine. However, it still feels like it’s all just starting for me and now I have new goals. I do it to become better tomorrow than I was yesterday.
You’ve taken part in many international contests. Do you think Ukraine is competitive on an international level?
I think the music produced here is competitive, however we are lacking professional managers and producers who can help artists take their music to foreign stages. We have the content. We need to improve the form a little and take our place in the world market.
By “content” you mean music itself? What do you like most about music?
I look for a good melody in music first of all. Then lyrics that work with the melody. If a song has a beautiful melody framed with meaningful words that, most importantly, carry a message for people then it will be successful.
How are preparations for your upcoming concerts? Tell us what to expect on 19 October.
We are planning two shows: one in Kyiv and the second in Moscow. It will be more a musical than just a concert. The director of the show Oleh Bondarchuk came up with a story told through song about a little girl from a tiny town who had nothing but the dream of becoming a singer. It talks to the younger generations, saying, “Look, I wasn’t living in a perfect world! Everything’s within your reach so never give up as you and only you are the director of your life”.
Tell us a little about your 11th album promised to be released soon.
The album Zazhygai Serdtse (Fire Up the Heart) is very symbolic to me. It took a little longer as my life changed course and I had my little Sophia. This factor makes the album a very important one. My voice sounds more tender. The song lyrics are filled with deeper meaning, warmth and love. I think it will perform strongly as there are already five hits. Dlya Tebya (For You) and Obnimi Menya Krepche (Hold Me Tighter) got Zolotoi Grammofone awards (Annual Russian Song Awards), and the video for Zazhigai Serdtse won an award from RU.TV. Love is the main topic of this record!
Ani Lorak (UA, pop)
19 October at 19.00
Tickets: 250 –2,000hrv
Palace Sport (Sportyvna Pl 1)
by Vadym Mishkoriz