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Belarus - main contenders

At this page we will introduce to you main contenders in national preselection of Belarus. On opinion of the experts of our site there are three real candidates - folk duet Alexandra and Konstantin, shlager singer Irina Dorofeeva and pop-rock singer Corriana. But there is possibility that some foreign participants (from Russia and other countries) will change the situation on the top.
Now we present you some articles (which are not written by us), which can help you to get acquainted with main candidates, and also with opinions of well-known persons in music circles of Belarus. 

Who will be Euroseeker?
"Observer", January 9, 2004.

Vice director of FM broadcasting of Belarus radio, member of jury Yuri Tsarev:
- I will not speak about my personal point of view on chances of different singer. We had secret balloting and selected 15 finalists. 12 of them presented very strong material. There can appear some problems regarding other 3, because phonogram for their songs is very poorly recorded. We selected 15 songs not only of Russian but European level. This was major surprise for me. I thought that we are lacking resourses, technics at first. There are songs that can amaze from first sounds. But everything will be decided by viewers. So I don't want to affect their decision in any way. I'm sure we will have great show. .
You probably know that singer of "Ivanushki Int." Kirill Andreev also submitted entry in europop stile, hit one. But he is not Belarus citizen, and we decided that all participants should have Belarus citizenship. If he will produce in future some Belarus group - I'm sure he will have great chances.
I think that we will be participating in Eurovision for a long time. We have number of wide singing resourses. First we didn't think that we could get such a quality product, but when we made very tough criteria singers replied with excellent product.
Were also unexpected submissions. A lot of poor ones. Even not of home-yard quality. Were pank-rock songs which we immediately relegated. We also waited more enthusiasm from well-known Belarus singers.

Alexandra Kirsanova:
- We're absolutely sure that we will qualify to this 15 finalists. We've made a great job with "My Galiley". And we think it fits European standarts. I like this song a lot. If we will win preselection we have certain hopes for big euro final too. But we have no euphoria, we should keep on improving, Eurovision is just another step in our career.

Irina Dorofeeva:
- Hm, honestly speaking I've just today noticed the list of finalist. Only few of them are well-known singers. But I hope some of them will be strong contenders. Our song "Find a great love" as I think is very strong one, and only one in English. We submitted it last moment in demo version, and now we will improve it, add some national instruments. We will do everything for the song to become eurohit.

Inessa Kshesinskaya
Ivanushka misses Eurovision
Komsomolskaya pravda in Belarus

January 6th, 2004

To select final 15 jury even didn't meet. As Vasily Rainchik told us to him was given mp3 disc with 59 songs. He selected ones he liked and then put secret ballot into special box also brought to him from TV station. He even didn't noticed that one of singers was member of popular Russian band. When we informed Vasily who did qualified to the final he mentioned:

- Well, my vote was almost similar. I can not say there was superhit that amazed me, but some songs had good arrangements. For example Natalia Podolskaya's one. It can be heard that sound is foreign, song was produced abroad. I liked it. But there is a big question who will be Eurovision performer. We selected songs according our mentality but Europe usually has different views. When I watch contest I never can understand logics of European voting.

In the music circles everyone is predicting win for Irina Dorofeeva, not only the most popular among contestants, but also favourite of authorities. Will this rumours become true we will see on 31st of January.

Irina Dorofeeva:

- First I didn't scheduled to participate in Eurovision. But then we heard rumours that I'm already winner of selection. So we decided that we should participate! More I think that my win will be not the worst variant for Belarus.
We submitted demo of "Find a great love", which was recorded on the last submission date. Arangement should be done. Authors are Evgeni Oleinik (Radio BA) and Pavel Baranovski (Radio Unistar).

Sergey Malinovski
Pauls will compose songs for Alexandra Gaiduk
Komsomolskaya pravda in Belarus

But in Eurovision preselection she will participate with self composed song...

She is participating with song "I still have my hope" which was composed by herself. Song is not usual because for national colour in arrangement were used ... dulcimers.
Soloduha and Sapat'kov will fight for Eurovision ticket
Komsomolskaya pravda v Belarusi
December, 19
Sergey Malinovski, Nadezhda Belohvostik, Olga Ulevich

There are different strage things around Belarus preselection. As told us Valeriy Rainchik, listed as juror, he learned this only by chance from his students, noone spoke about contest with him and he never participated in jury's seetings.
There is information that about 1500 submissions were made, but really we can speak only about 100 of them, many were rejected because they didn't fit 3 minutes criteria. In difficult situation appeared singer Alexandr Zavgorodniy. Song "Twins" was written for him by Mariella Cassar from Malta, but disc with final arrangement came late because of problems with post-service.
Among contestants laureats of Slavyanski Bazar Irina Dorofeeva, Natalia Podolskaya. Duet "Aleksandra and Konstantin" recorded new song in English language "My Hallileo". Among contestants is young singer Korianna, laureat of Yalta 2003 contest.

Soloduha prepared white costume

Alexandr Soloduha prepared song "Ne perezhivay". This optimistic song should be liked by everyone from dvornik (man who takes care of streets cleaning) till president.

The refrain of the song goes like this (translation from Russian):

Don't worry! Don't worry!
Where is key from happiness?
Where is entrance to heaven?
You have a chance,,
Don't miss it!
Don't worry! Don't worry!

Author of music is Oleg Eliseenko, lyrics by Oleg Zhukov. English translation will be done by Svetlana Novitskaya. FM station already are rotating this song.
For his performance Alexandr prepared whit costume: "For 14 years I wasn't wearing white... But now black line in my life finished."

Sapatkov enters with song written 3 years ago

The only Belarus winner of Slavyanski Bazar contest just managed to enter his song in time. "I'm working so heavily so I didn't see advertisments" So he had to enter English language song written by him 3 years ago, but never recorded or publicly performed.

Space music of Vydronok

Marina Zagorskaya
Belorusskaya Delovaya Gazeta

Among 15 Belarus finalists is band "Yur'ja". Their leader Yurij Vydronok claims that world will listen to absolutely new music - cosmogonical, which will appear from crossing of music of space spheres, human soul and musical instruments of people separated by time and distance.
"This is music that brings space energy and shows us how human nature is depending on space and vice versa. This is music Belarus will be recognized with in Europe", he says.
First step for creation of space music is already made. This are Christmas carol songs "Kali chakra!" and "A u luze, luze", which band presented at Christmas to listeners of several radio stations. Which song will be performed at preselection event, Yurij has not decided yet. Or is keeping this information secret. But he claims that his aim is to unite ancient and modern, east and west. Vedic and Belarus culture united should be recognized in every corner of the world.
- Someone will think that it is craziness, but for real this is possibility to go in front of time - this is how Vydronok's music is characterized by Dmitry Podberezski - this was with "Palatsy" and "Krivi". At first his experiments are not appreciated and not understood, but then it become main ideology of the music.
"Yur'ja" is the only Belarus band which use archaic female vocal without arrangement. Songs are performed same way they we performed by people and are collected in archives of radio and scientific laboratory of state university as well as in home collections of Vydronok, which he made during his own folk expeditions.
Many records are made in 70th year of 20th century. Now very early someone is singing like this in the villages. And there is only one person who is collecting and restoring old recordings - making digital sound of them - same Vydronok. During last years he restored about 70 hours of records. Yurij counted that there is still work left for 15-20 years. Why does he need it? He is answering in vedic tradition: "Carma...". And repeat in Belarus "Abavyazyak". And this word is not stranger than sound of Belarus zhaleika and indian sitar in his Christmas carols.
- We've already started producing special show for the next Christmas, and "Kali chakra" and "A u luze" is only beginning of it.
- And how "Kali chakra" appeared?
- This is main carol "Go-go, goat" recorded by ethnomusicologs at Tonish village of Lelchiski region. They are singing carol songs on December 24-25, and the same time magnificient things are happening - day is conquering long night. Every year people were frightened that it will be the end of the world coming and they were helping Sun to win with their songs. So this is not the song, which we first performed without second part, but a symbol which included traditional, folk and vedic cultures.
"Kali chakra" appeared only after 3 years. This is translated to Belarus as "Kola chasu". This contains some additions to ancient song about goat. Sometimes song is recoreded in number of monthes but this one was in 10-15 minutes. There is classic squad of instruments - two zhaleikas (wind instruments), acoustic guitar, bass, drums and synthesizer. Vocals are performed by Natalia Matylitskaya and Ilona Konyukhova. This is push from old to the new.
- First step to cosmogonical program?
- I feeled that archaic culture is connected with space in 1985, when I first listened to this kind of folk song. Was very surprized. That time they were singing belarus texts, written by modern poets, and this has nothing to do with real archaic culture.
Now I'm not only studying ancient music but live in modern world. I cannot just restore songs. I'm adding my point of view, my life dinamics. I like and genetically feel music of our ancestors, but can not be the same with them. I have been in different countries, studied musical instruments there. Found a lot of same stuff with Belarus. But found difference too. We can promote Belarus at all continents with this kind of music.
- And in country itself?
- It was more possible in the beginning of 90th. There were more people with Belarus ideas. Now people are afraid to speak Belarus and support Belarus projects.
But this will not prevent Vydronok from new "crazy" ideas. He is already considering issuing cosmogonical disc, built on Belarus traditions.

Will member of "Ivanushki International" represent Belarus?
Komsomolskaya pravda in Belarus
December 23

Solist of Russian band "Ivanushki International" Kirill Andreev registered as participant of Eurovision 2004 Belarus preselection.

Also in the list of 60 are citizens of Cyprus, Ukraine and Russia. As commentes General Producer Vladimir Maksimkov "Some foreign singers will participate in contest because their songs fit all requirements".
Producer of Ivanushki Int. Igor Matvienko refuse to comment on Kirill's participation.
Now jury will select 15 finalists and contest will be broadcasted on 31th of January.

Yanina Kolas (Minsk Courier 19.09.2003)

Korriana: "I can represent my country at "Eurovision" in an appropriate manner"

Not so much time is left before Eurovision 2004 and a lot of people are wondering who will represent Belarus at this contest. Name of lucky person is not yet selected, but there already is the list of main contenders. It also includes our today's guest - female singer Korriana.
She is young, active, firm of purpose. She is studying Chinese and can speak fluent English.
And started everything in music school - there she was singing in rock-band "New Century" songs of foreign rock singers. After school band was dissolved and every member started his own career.
Entering philological department of Belarus State University Korriana learned about "BSU studio" where composer Leonid Shirin is looking for young talents. She risked and went for the audition.
I remember, I was making myself ready to sing. Leonid left the room to smoke. When he heard my voice he immediately returned and he was looking very amazed and he said "That's enough, I will myself coordinate this project". Then he picked up a guitar and we started improvisation. He was only asking for me not to stop.
Stage name was selected with a lot of difficultirs. We've looked through all Ancient Greek literature, but didn't select anything.
Once we (me, Leonid Shirin and Dmitry Slabkov - our sound designer) were sitting in the car. It was winter. While discussing we were writing different names on the windows of the car. First we decided that it should be Corra. Then after testing different combinations Korriana appeared.
In 2001 first composition "February" was recorded, after it we started a run: during the year more than 30 songs were recorded, first album in English language. All lyrics were written by Korriana herself.
Sometimes I'm even night dreaming in English. Don't know how to describe moments when I write my songs: it all comes somewhere from above. Unfortunately being very busy with my studies I have no time to improve my English. But previously I've studied it very hard, I had some passion for it. Now I'm studying Chinese, soon I'll start Italian and German.
Surely Korriana sings in Russian too. Lyrics are written by same Leonid Shirin. Soon they are planning to release new album, But Korriana still is undecided on her favoured music style.
I'd like to find something mine, individual sound, that if I sang only one line everyone will understand that it's Korriana singing. But now I'm still searching.
At the concerts with live sound Korriana is accompanied by musiciants, she isn't alone at the scene now. This will give her possibility to show her abilities in the best way. But she is not ready yet to create a band. She likes not only to sing but listen to other singing too. She likes Nils, Kiril Sluki, bands "Neo", "Mantana", "Fan-C" and "Chekhov". In person she likes first of all individuality.
After participation in Yalta festival Korriana got a wish to take part in it again and win it. She wants also to climb another mountain - to take part in Eurovision Song Contest.
I like that it's contest of songs, not singers. We have not so many chances to win though which is confirmed by our Russian and Ukranian colleagues, who usually present bright performances but still can't finish first. The main idea is to represent country in an appropriate way, to introduce it to the whole world. I have such a feeling that I can do it well.

Dmitry Podberezsky

Concert-presentation of album "Za lihimi za morozami" of duet "Aleksandra & Konstantin" held in central Dzerzhinski hall wasn't a soldout. But concert was really perfect. And it was accompanied by information that this very musiciants are the main contenders to be selected as first Belarus representatives at Eurovision song contest. Concert included one part. 

Duet was accompanied by trio "Arnica" with highly experienced musiciants: drummer Kirill Shevando, bass-guitarist Alexandr Kalinovski and guitarist Victor "Small boy" Molchanov. In the concert also participated guest musiciant Igor Voroshkevich with harmonica and violin player. First musiciants perfomed songs from debut album and new folk songs written by Konstantin Drapezo and Aleksandra Kirsanova.

This were really original interesting compositions performed by Aleksandra which sounded very convincingly and distinctively. Possibly for the first time her vocal manner adopted so many soul motives, that is not so natural for Belarus native music. But is just the question of habits.

Path is opened Minsk courier

Inna Afanasieva, singer,
It's great that Belarus singers are entering European scene, participate in such a prestigeous event. I have new songs but for now have no intentions to participate in preselection. It's difficult to judge who has chances. There are many good singers around.
Korrianna, singer:
My new song is ready, so I do accept this chance. Eurovision is first of all contest of songs, not singers. So we can judge who is the best only after listening to songs. There is possibility on my opinion that one singer can go to the contest with the song of other. I doubt thought we can win the contest, but participation is more important. 
"Aleksandra and Konstantin" duet:
Surely we will take part in preselection, though we are not satisfied with all conditions and regulations. Material for the new song is ready and we're making arrangement now. We think other singer, Yana, also has good chances. Belarus participant can win contest only by chance, but we think that top ten is possible. 
Kirill Sluka, performer:
I have no intentions to go to the Eurovision. I'm showman, not vocalist. I have enough work to do to improve myself. And I for principle will never sing in English. But... never say never... Everything is possible in life. And there are enough talents in our country. In my opinion, the best candidates for Eurovision is duet "Aleksandra and Konstantin". They are singers of European quality, very lively, different music. Also I should mention bands "N.R.M.", "Palats" and well-known "Pesnyary" who can represent Belarus very well. I think we have chances to win, but we should not forget that this is specific show-biz with own laws. 
Oleg Khomenko, leader of "Palats" band:
We didn't decide yet whether we will participate in preselection. We should find out if we need it ourselves. But we are preparing song. It's very good that BTRC is organizing Belarus preselection for ESC. Hope they will also fully support our national representative.

There surely are good enough singers to represent Belarus at the contest. I won't give any names. Singer should be proffesional, with experience of performing for big audiences. Chances of winning is minimal. Even if hugely talented singer will be selected. All of us know mechanic of Eurovision. Jury is fluent with situation if European culture, they follow current tendences, popular directions. And their opinion is well known in advance. So it will be very difficult for Belarus to fight for prize.
New stars: Vlada
"Music TuT" Yuri Pavlyuk

- Vlada! Is it true that you're going to represent Belarus in the Eurovision song contest 2004?

- Who, me? Well, you're not the first journalist to ask me this question. First I heard such a news about myself at festival "On the crossroads of Europe". The in TV show "5x5" letters of TV viewers with their candidates were written and I was happy to find my name in the list too. But really I haven't thought about this possibility yet. But if there will be such a suggestion, surely I will accept it.

Are you ready for the Eurovision? Dmitry Drigailo

Alexandr AKULICH, vice president of productional center "Class-Club DK": - We have no such strong band as Russian "Prime-minister". But from those singers popular in Belarus, I'd prefer Inna Afanasieva the best.
Vitaly TAMBOW, vice director of "Reactor" club: - Well, I don't really know. May be Afanasieva, KRIVI could do well there, but still we should grow a lot to reach level of Russian stars, their shows, costumes, ballet are much better.
Pavel BARANOVSKI, editor of Unistar radio: - Our show-biz is not developed at all, and those so called stars, I can't say any good words about them. Recently though I've listened to one girl from BSU. This is rather interesting. Her name is Korriana. I think we have a number of good young musiciants and we can do well if this question will be referred not to the persons who're promoting only their artists.
Alexandr ZIMOVSKI, vice chairman of STRC: - Not to disappoint someone I think that Belarus should be represented by lureate of "Slavyanski Bazar in Vitebsk" contest. This is the best musical and cultural event in the country. Some young performer. I think this is objective point of view, as selection of the singer is very subjective event.
Sergey KUZIN, general producer of "Alpha-Radio": - We have strong performer - Valery Daineko. He can represent Belarus very well. He has no European quality material right now, but in a year he can prepare a hit.  I've also heard duet "Aleksandra and Konstantin". He has great potential but he needs money for good record with excellent sound.
Anna GURIEVA, soloist of national opera theater: - I think that there is no candidates to represent Belarus at the Eurovision right now. Those singer we can here on radio are not sufficient to the level of the contest. But we can good young talents, so may be in future...
Dmitry Bezkorovainiy

Lyavon VOLSKI "This money should be spend on other purposes"
Lyavon Volski, 38, famous Belorussian musician, leader of N.R.M. (former Mroya) band winner of lot of contests.
- What do you think about the Belarus participation in the Eurovision?
- This is window-dressing. Noone needs it. It comes from same category as building of great library or creation of Presidential Orchestram when we have superb orchestra conducted by Mikhail Finberg. The same time our symphonic music is in crisis and in whole world this branch is supported by the government. As I know this year only 20 thousand dollars will be spend to buy compositions of more than 200 composers.
- How do you like Eurovision contest itself?
- I'm very sceptical about it. This is thing our planet can do without. Like each festival it has it's own rules, juries are selecting only those they wanted to win. Just waste ground. But if it already exists - no problem. If people want to spend money for such kind of stuff - OK, let them do so. But I think that our country has no money and we can spend it to different purposes.
- Who can you name as candidates from Belarus?
- No candidates yet. We have professional pop musiciants, but I don't think they are suitable for the contest. Let's take for example Daineko and Afanasiava. I think their time has passed, now with only vocal and experience is difficult to be promoted. You should follow conjuncture. But "Kraski" will not fit also - this is a different format. This is contest of sweet music for adults. But theoreticaly some variants exists. For example on "On European Crossroads" show there was some lady singing pop-blues.
Main problem that, despite geografically we're in Europe, we're far from it culturally. Even Russia as we see at Eurovision and of course Baltic countries are much closer to it. Prime-Minister or Mumiy Troll were not so impressive but they didn't failed. This is also a problem of our music's position. We're living in other informational field. We have tens of Russian TV and radio stations promoting their and European music, we also have 2-3 local channels, but stuff they provide is the same. We have on the concerts 30 of Russian singer and may be one local, who is not attracting anyone's attention. Our singers are not recognised by public.

Oleg ELISEENKOV "Eurovision is same as Olympics"
Oleg Eliseenkov, 45, famous composer, director of some music contests.
- What do you think about Belarus participation in Eurovision.
- I can't say it's good idea. But it is normal, as Belarus take part in Olympics and world championships in different sports. Contacts with Eurovision were started when I was working at Belarus TV. EBU is running number of cultural programs but this is most well-known one.
- What will participation in Eurpovision give to Belarus?
- First of all it's a chance to introduce that there is country like Belarus. Why do we need such a unions? To be integrated into European society. If we want to be part of Europe we have a possibility to get some connections at least in this sphere. But there are also a lot of minus points too.
- What is potential of our country at ESC and it's participant?
- This question is being discussed for a lot of time. Especially during last years when Russia and Baltic countries more activized. I think we can do well, but not during our first experiences for sure. First problem is that people usually think that Eurovision is contest of singers, but it' s contest of songs and composers. We just need singing actor for it. Second problem is the song itself. Every hit in exUSSR will become a failure in Europe. Russia understood it pretty quickly and after failures by Kirkorov and Pugachova started making European songs. In this case the brightiest example is Alsou, whose song was written by foreign authors. Prime-minister joined this two categories, refrain was European and verses in our local traditions, but it also brought no result. So optimal song for ESC is one disliked by our public.
- Can Belarus singer do good record and arrangement for his composition?
- Surely. You think too much about Eurovision. It is just good package, but inside quality is same as our local "Zornai rostani". U think that some of ESC finalists even won't be selected for "Zornai Rostani". And in main contenders to Eurovision will be laureats of this contest. This will be good contenders as according to the rules of the festival, they sang one Belarus song and one European hit. Some of them are working abroad, singing at the restaurants.
- Who can represent Belarus at ESC?
- Well, I'll be possibly first one to mention this name. This singer for sure will qualify to top ten. I think she can climbe even higher, because her promoters has all information and can make Belarus first appearance at the contest sensational. After a big pause I'm telling the name - Alena Sviridova. Question is only in her citizenship. As far as I know she still posseses Belarus passport. I think this is the best variant. And for her it will be also good promotion, as after Eurovision there usually appeares a lot of suggestions not only from abroad but also from local market too.
- A lot of people have doubts about participation in ESC because of situation with local music.
- This don't depends on participation in the contest. There are a lot of people who work in home made studios. There are a lot of brilliant singers in the regions. I remember first winner of Slavianski bazar Marina Zheludeva from Orsha. She performed in English one of Madonna songs and she did it much better than the original. This is sensation. And there are a lot of talants like this.