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Tina Karol — young, beautiful and popular
Mariya VLAD talked to Tina Karol, a Ukrainian pop star, who was among the finalists of the Eurovision Song Contest 2006; also, she was chosen in Ukraine, to be the face of the Club Med Chain of Luxury Hotels Company.
Tina Karol is a young, beautiful person, with a gentle smile on her lips. At a press-conference, held shortly before her performance at the Eurovision Song Contest 2006, she was asked what kind of mood she was in, whether she had any jitters, whether she was prepared to join the tough competition; she was also asked what she thought about other competitors. Answering these questions, the singer said that the Eurovision Song Contest was an important event in her career and that she would do her best to win — “with God’s help everything will be OK.” Tina Karol is convinced that those who perform on stage for the public must have a message which they would want to bring across to those who listen to them. “I feel I have a spiritual force in me, and I want my message to the people to be filled with this spirituality,” said Tina, and added, “I must have my own field to till, so that my crops would be no worse than the yields of others. Everyone is to their own field.” As far as competitiveness is concerned, Tina is of the opinion that the tougher competitiveness is the better. But she does not regard other singers as her rivals. Competitiveness is a force that makes one move forward. “If you have a chance, you must use it; if you come to perform at the Eurovision Song Contest, you must do it to the best of your ability. No stage fright for me!”
Tina Karol is a person of cheerful disposition and at the same time, if she sets herself a goal, she is determined to achieve it. She works on a regular basis as a soloist of the Ensemble of Song and Dance of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, quite a surprising occupation for a successful pop star. When she is asked whether it was high time she quit that job, she says, with a laugh, “It would be very difficult for a girl like me to leave a job that involves working with so many fine young men around me! Besides, they are all experienced professionals of song and dance, and it’s a pleasure to work with them.”
Once, Tina went to Iraq to perform for the Ukrainian peace keepers stationed in that country. Her performances were attended not only by the Ukrainian soldiers but by the military personnel of other countries — Americans, Poles, Georgians, and others. One of the Ukrainian soldiers exclaimed during a concert, “If they bring such singers to perform here, I am ready to stay for another term!”
A Polish general awarded the Ukrainian singer a medal — she was the first singer who came to perform to cheer up the peace keepers. It did take a lot of courage to do that, particularly for a young woman. “We moved around in a helicopter with two more military helicopters escorting us to our destinations. Everyone had to wear bullet-proof jackets, me included. In my helicopter, two snipers were on the alert all the time.” To perform a gig knowing that someone might take a shot at you does take the nerve, does it not?
Anatoly Hrytsenko, Ukraine’s Minister of Defence, personally asked Tina Karol to go to Kosovo to sing for the peace keeping forces there.
Tina is highly self-critical; she is the first to say openly that “my performance last night was not up to the mark.” It does happen that some performances can be a little below the mark that the singer has set for herself. There can be different reasons for that, wrong mood or even depression among them. But such things do not last long. Tina does work hard — she says that she considers herself to be a workaholic. She may be physically exhausted after a hard day of rehearsals but she is never tired psychologically. Tina is a great optimist and that helps a lot too.
When she has to perform for a foreign audience, she wants to present to them a positive image of Ukraine. She wants to create an image on stage of a Ukrainian singer who is full of cheerful energy and she performs with great elan. When she performed at the Eurovision Song Contest, she wanted to put into her song as much of the Ukrainian vigorous spirit as possible, and she managed to do that in spite of the fact she sang her song in English. Tina was recognized to be among the five best performers of the Eurovision Song Contest of 2006. The singer and her “team” were indeed among the favourites with the audience. Speaking about her performance and the people who performed with her on stage or provided technical support, she said, “Our aim was to show the spiritual background of the song. I did not think in terms of prizes. The main thing for us was to achieve the goals we have set for ourselves. One of such goals was to come into contact with European show biz managers, agents and producers.”
Talking about her school years, Tina said, “Sciences and math were the subjects I had problems with, but I definitely did better with ‘the math of life’ when I came to Kyiv to study at a music school. Before that I had lived with my parents in Magadan in Russia and it was an uneasy decision to go all the way to Kyiv at the age of fifteen, all by myself. At the age of seventeen, I began earning money. I wanted to become a singer very much but after the music school I went to study at the National Aviation University in Kyiv — another of my ambitions was to become a stewardess.”
She is not sure whether she will really work in aviation, but in spite of her success in pop music, she did not abandon her studies. At present, she studies by correspondence at the Department of Management and Logistics. “I’ve not given up completely my aviation aspirations but at the moment I devote most of my time to performing on stage,” said Tina.
In addition to her being a soloist of the Ensemble of Song and Dance of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and to her regular performances as a pop singer, she takes part in television shows, musicals, and plays of a repertory theatre. Also, she wants to set up a school for talented children, particularly those with a talent for singing. “There are so many people in Ukraine who can sing well. I hope I can provide enough of material support for the school that I want to found. I want the best teachers to work at my school, so that the students would be able to master not only singing, or dancing, or whatever else it may be in the line of art, but all the other subjects taught at a secondary school. At the same time, I want them to feel they are having a good time, I want their young years to be full of joy and happiness.”
Her artistic talents make Tina want to explore other fields in art — she wants, for example, to try herself in sculpture: “I don’t think painting is for me but I feel I could do well in mastering sculpture.”
Tina’s life seems to be packed full with all kinds of activities and once in a while she does want to “unwind and chill out” somewhere at the seaside. Such an opportunity presented itself soon after her performance at the Eurovision Song Contest. Natalya Kolupayeva, director general of the Club Med in Ukraine, provided Tina with a voucher to go as a tourist to Tunis. At first, Tina was not quite sure whether to accept this generous offer: “I thought it was some kind of a publicity stunt, but when I did decide to go, I was very much impressed with what I saw.”
Club Med cooperates with tour operators in over 40 countries of the world; it is one of the world leaders in providing “all-inclusive services”, which include not only food but other things as well. “I could have pretty much everything you might think of as a tourist any time of the day or night. It’s a pity no such services are provided in Ukraine. Ukrainian tour operators could learn a lot from Club Med. When I arrived at my destination in Tunis, I thought, at first, that I was treated like a very special guest but it turned out that every other tourist is treated in the same, very special way!”
Tina did have a very good time in Tunis, and later she was chosen to be “the face” of Club Med. She even performed at the hotel where she stayed in the Island of Jerba (Jazirat Jarbah). “The children who come to stay there with their parents have a chance of joining groups that rehearse little plays or singing or dancing or whatever else it might be, and then perform on stage for the great enjoyment of their parents and all the other guests. It’s a great way to discover and promote young talent.”
Tina Karol is fluent both in Ukrainian and Russian, “I love the Ukrainian language for its melodic qualities. I do not think you can swear in Ukrainian — no matter what you say sounds gentle. Some songs that I perform can be sung only in Ukrainian. Ukraine for me is associated with flowers, homeland, with the beauty of the sky and of the land. The wide expanse of the sky, the cheerful emotions, the smiles of women — that’s what Ukraine is for me.”
What is the most essential thing in love for Tina Karol? “Loyalty and faithfulness.”
And what is victory for her? “It is when my message is heard and appreciated.”
Photos are from Tina KAROL’s archive
Tina Karol, one of the finalists
Tina Karol was the first pop singer
Tina Karol in Tunis as a tourist;
Tina Karol at a resort in the Island
Tina Karol loves children; it is her ambition
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