Ukraine: 12 points – talking to 2005 ESC winner Ruslana


I know you’ve been waiting for an interview with a Eurovision winner. It’s not this-years winner, of course :) In 2005, a lovely girl from Ukraine touched the hearts of the Eurovision audiences and won the European contest with her amazing wild-dance performance. Today, three years after her victory, Ruslana looks back (definitely not in anger!) at her career and very much into the future. She was very kind to steal some of her time, so precious during the preparation of her new album.

What is the greatest success in your career so far? And if you think you haven’t reached the top yet, what do you aspire for in the near future?

I hope that my greatest success will be in the nearest future. Now I work a lot for it. It has been more than 3 years since I won Eurovision and was named World Best-Selling Ukrainian Artist at the World Music Awards ceremony in Las Vegas in 2004. Just about time for my fans to demand something new and special from me. I’m very happy that my new album is finished. I really worked hard for it. In February, we had a great premiere of the Wild Energy show in Baku. Then came the Bulgarian National Selection for ESC in Sofia, the first Eastern European country that saw this new show. I am happily planning to come to Sofia again in the near future with the full version of Wild Energy.

Slavyanskii Bazaar was a considerable springboard for you as a serious artist. What, then, does Eurovision mean to you as an artists and as a person?

Eurovision for me was a “window on Europe” and a “window on the world” and to the world. Thanks to the Contest, Europe got to know me.

The “Eastern bloc” has been very active at Eurovision recently. For the last seven years, six winners came from Eastern Europe. How would you comment such a tendency?

I think, it’s because Eastern Europe reveals to the world the graceful and beautiful style it has. That style had not been typical for other countries. Eurovision every year sees a lot of pretty girls and handsome boys, but it’s not enough. If you want to win – you have to be special, stand out from the crowd, but also be special in a very sincere way.

Let’s have a look at your latest album. Listening to the tracks in “Wild Energy” makes me think of elemental energy and feelings. With your new album you seem to be moving away from Wild Dances in terms of style, despite all common motifs. What is the main idea of your fresh album?

My new album presents a completely new Ruslana. The main idea is to show the character of the Amazon. She can be a girl–wind, girl–fire, girl–water, girl–rock, but she falls in love and becomes vulnerable. She doesn’t know what to do, how to live with those feelings. This is a story of the all-conquering love, in a pop-fantasy style. This is especially prominent in my new song Moon of Dreams, a duet with the Grammy-winning American r’n’b singer T- Pain, who’s also worked with Kanye West, Bow Wow, Akon, Chris Brawn and others.

Wild energy – do you wish to harness and master it? Or perhaps you prefer to be submitted to its force, totally controlled by the wild energy?

My Wild Energy is always with me, no mater what I do. So it’s, I guess, both.

What type of character is Lana? What does she dream of and yearn for?

She is a real Amazon – beautiful, smart and independent woman. She knows what she wants for sure and she fights to get it. Lana dreams of love. That magic feeling that gives us inspiration and wings.

In fact, how did it all start? When did you realise that you were born for music?

I’ve been in since I was four. When I was a little kid, I studied at an experimental music school and sang in a band. My parents joke that microphone was my first toy and that I learned the notes before letters. I graduated from the conservatory with two educational qualifications in the field of music – as a piano player and a symphony orchestra conductor. Music has been in my heart throughout my life. I have realized that I was born for music since early childhood.

There are millions of wannabes who wish to become stars overnight, but their time in stardom is usually short. What, do you reckon, makes a star? What do you have to sacrifice or risk to stay on top?

The first thing that comes to my mind – be honest with yourself and with people. It’s very important. I’m always honest with my fans. If you work only for money and you sing a song that you must sing but you don’t feel it by your entire heart and soul – you will be a singer for one day.

And finally, wishing you good luck with your future career, I’d like to ask you, Ruslana, what do you pray for?

I pray for health of my parents, of my husband, friends. I sometimes pray for peace. I pray for a good future of Ukraine. I would like to live with music in my heart and wild energy in my eyes for the rest of my life.


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