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“I find time for everything!”
Katya Buzhynska is A Ukrainian pop star who never fails to draw a lot of public attention. In addition to being a happy mother, she has become her own producer who hopes for the best, careerwise, in the year 2012.
Yevhen BUDKO interviewed the singer.
Photos by Dmytro Peretrutov, Oleksandr Morderer
I’ve been following Katya Buzhynska’s career for several years now, practically since the time she started to be noticed as a pop singer. A lot of things in her personal life have changed during these years — she gave birth to a daughter, she divorced her husband, she found her feet after a period of uncertainty. She is still facing a lot of problems to deal with. She remains as beautiful as ever, and her voice has not lost its magic touch either.
— I hope this interview does not disrupt your schedule too much?
— No, not too much. Right after we are finished, I’ll rush to see Ruslan Kvinta, a composer, with whom we are cutting a new song in a style which is quite unusual for me. I hope FM radio stations will play it. And I’ve got another good song from Vitaliy Volkomor, another composer.
— What about the lyrics for these songs?
— They are being written by Russian poets who know both composers.
— What about songs in Ukrainian?
— I love Ukrainian songs, I sing them a lot, and I am planning to release an album soon that will be made up exclusively of Ukrainians songs.
There are young composers and poets in the city of Poltava who are writing Ukrainian songs for me. It’ll be a sort of an experiment — I want to sing a modern Ukrainian song with new rhythms which will be very different from the traditions of the 1970s and 1980s. I feel the public wants it — and I want it too.
I never lack songs to sing. Recently, Petro Maha has written a very nice song for me called “Vyshyvanka” (“Embroidered Shirt”). I continue to keep in touch with other Ukrainian composers too. I know that my song “Yak u nas na Ukrayini” (“The Way Things Are in Our Ukraine”) is performed at all sorts of official festive occasions, at children music festivals and even at wedding parties.
— Could you define the stage of your music development which you are at now?
— I’m taking a good care of myself and of my singing career all by myself. I’ve become my own producer and director. I’ve got fifteen people on my team: musicians, dancers, back vocals, PR manager, book keeper and administrator. It seems to me that I’m a good director.
This year I’ve made three videos and released a new album, “Koroleva vdokhnoveniya” (“Queen of Inspiration”). It took me three years to record it. It includes nineteen songs, three out of which are duets, and four are designed to be karaoke songs or anyone to sing along. I don’t think any other pop singer in Ukraine has done anything like this before.
The disk was recorded in Kyiv and in Moscow. I took a direct part in arranging music, in finding studios, in choosing photos and images. I’m very grateful to the authors of the songs and to my team for the great work they did.
— Why did you decide to do all these things by yourself?
— It was my ex-husband who was my producer. After we broke up as a couple, we also broke up as partners, and I had but little choice — either I continue to be a singer and do all these things he used to do for me, or I quit. I love music, I love singing, my life is in singing. I do hope I’ll meet someone some day who will love both me and my music and would become my producer. People in love can move mountains!
I’ve had a couple of proposals from producers but I rejected them because the conditions they offered did not satisfy me.
— Do you find it hard to be dealing with all these problems?
— Yes, I admit I do. In the past, I knew that I had to look good and I had to sing well. And now I have to do many other things too.
— Are there any advantages in the present-day state of things for you?
— Yes, probably there are. I know exactly how much I earn and how much I can spend on further projects. My team and I are fully self-sustained — we do not have any sponsors. And we, I think, are doing fine. We keep being noticed. I sing at one-singer shows and at parties. And I always draw full houses. And in time of the economic crisis it does mean something when people buy tickets to see my shows when they could spend the money on food.
— Where did you go touring with gigs in recent times?
— All over Ukraine! (Ms Buzhynska consults her notebook) Makiyivka, Lviv, Stakhanov, Kharkiv, the Crimea, Ukrayinka, Sumy, Kremenchuk, Berdychiv, Truskavets and Khmilnyk — solo shows and in company with other singers.
— Which places in Ukraine do you like best?
— There are several such places.
Every time I go to Lviv I rejoice. There’s some special spirit, energy in that city. No other place I know has that kind of spirit! Those narrow streets, tourists, locals who are full of character!
Kharkiv, with its atmosphere of freedom, Donetsk that has changed a lot in recent years, Kryvy Rih with its unusual geography, Dnipropetrovsk where I often perform at parties organized by private customers, Odesa, a place where I would want to live — they all have something that attracts me. Odesa is special though. When I come there I feel like taking walks, relaxing rather than performing at a gig.
And my native town of Chernivtsi remains in my heart as a place where I grew up. It has honored me with a star on the Alley of Fame.
— Do you know who is your most ardent admirer?
— Yes, I do. He is Vasyl Ryzhyk, a sculptor, who lives in the city of Lutsk. He created two sculptures of me and painted my portrait. He kept traveling to the places where I performed to see me so he could better capture my likeness and character. He also planted in my honor a trillion of marigolds of a species popular in Ukraine and that feat got him into the Guinness Book of Records.
— Are you engaged in any charity programs?
— At the TV show Narodna zirka (People’s Star) our duet with an amateur singer Volodymyr Kuzin from Kryvy Rih was voted the best. We were ahead of other competitors by 43 percent. According to the conditions of the show, only amateur singers were to receive prizes, and my partner was awarded a prize of 500,000 hryvnias.
— I’m planning to stage a charity concert in Kyiv at the central concert hall Palats Ukrayina some time next year. The program has already been worked out and now talks are conducted with Kyiv’s mayor to get financial and logistical support.
— Where are you planning to celebrate the New Year’s?
— I have not thought about it yet, but probably I’ll go to Truskavets in western Ukraine — it’s a wonderful place with great sights of mountainscapes to enjoy. But there will probably be some concerts to perform to. And on January 7, when the Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas, we’ll celebrate my daughter’s birthday.
— What do you do to keep yourself physically fit?
— Sports, workouts at a fitness club, swimming.
— You must be a very busy person and are often away from home — who takes care of your child?
— I do — with the help of my mother and a nurse. My daughter and I do the needle work together, draw pictures and read. I take Olenka horse-riding. She wants to have her own pony and she begs me to buy it for her.
— Do you live in an apartment in Kyiv?
— No, we live in a private house in Koncha Zaspa, a picturesque Kyiv suburb. We have lots of pets — six cats, a dog, two parrots, and four hedgehogs into the bargain.In our garden we have apple and cherry trees, raspberry bushes, fifty rose bushes, all sorts of other trees too.
They say that to feel fulfilled you have to give life to a child, to plant a tree and to build a house. I’ve done that — but I want at least three more children. Unfortunately, men these days seem to be afraid of strong women. And I want my man to be strong and manly. I am prepared to submit to a strong man’s will — provided there’s love. But there seems to be a dearth of strong men.
— With four children you’ll have to devote yourself entirely to them — and what about your musical career?
— I know I’ll manage to do everything. I love my work, but I also care for all the things that people enjoy — a good, comfortable home, loving family, delicious food.
I realize that being successful and good looking does not make you happy — to achieve that you have to have harmony in your heart and a family to love. I’ll find time for everything.