On the Couch with Zulya Kamalova

Zulya KamalovaWho is Zulya Kamalova?
She comes from a foreign place. She is a foreigner. She has lived Downunder for half of her life, so she is an Aussie. She is a singer, she is a thinker. She thinks too much. She travels. She makes things. Albums, projects, shows, theatre. She wonders why. She asks questions.

What would you do differently to what you do now?   
I would get a real job. Just kidding. I have a feeling that regardless of what I would have done differently I would probably end up where I am now.

Who inspires you and why?
Lhasa de Sela, late Canadian singer, for her beautiful voice and moving songs. A huge inspiration. De Kift, a Dutch band who plays fanfare punk with a literary content. They are a lot of fun. Julia Gillard for her courage and grace in dealing with so much negativity.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
If I could I would make everyone less greedy and self-centered. Alas, that’s not possible. So I make music and art, which hopefully helps.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
I prefer to be exploring new places. I love mountains. I love the beach. I love old European cities. Preferably somewhere where there are good friends. As for places I’ve been to – I would happily go back to Berlin, Helsinki, Kazan, Lisbon, Lake Baikal and the Himalayas.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take then to, and why?
I would show them the city, take them out to the Open Studio, if there is a good gig, and then go somewhere out of Melbourne, like the Great Ocean Road.

What are you currently reading?
Oh, so many at once. They are all to do with my upcoming show Evolution, Revolution and the Mail Order Bride. Sex, Time and Power: How Women’s Sexuality Shaped Human Evolution by Leonard Shlain. Love of Worker Bees by Alexandra Kollontai. Women That Never Evolved by Sarah Blaffer Hrdy. The Intent to Live: Achieving Your True Potential as an Actor by Larry Moss

What are you currently listening to?
Silence. Jacque Brel. De Kift.

Happiness is?
Right now for me. Internal serenity. External activity. This will change.

What does the future hold for you?
Near future – rehearsals, show, excitement and trepidation. Distant future – god knows. I am glad somebody does!

Multi award-winning Zulya Kamalova is the leading proponent of Tatar  and Russian music in Australia as well as one of the most versatile  and accomplished vocalists on the world music scene today. Since her  move to Australia in 1991, Zulya has developed a totally original approach as an affirmation of her unique identity.

Zulya has independently produced six albums to date, including ARIA-nominated elusive (2002) and, together with her band The Children of the Underground –  ARIA-winning 3 nights and 2004’s The Waltz of Emptiness (and Other Songs on Russian Themes) both of which upon their release in Europe spent several months in the top 10 of European world music charts – a feat no other Australian album has ever  achieved. Her latest release  “Tales  of Subliming” (2010) has received glowing 5 star reviews in Europe.

Zulya’s work  has been repeatedly featured on national radio and television to high  acclaim. She continues to dazzle audiences with her passion for music and  outstanding musicianship and during the last few years has performed  at many major venues and festivals in Europe, Russia, Tatarstan, and Australia.

Zulya will be performing in Evolution, Revolution and The Mail Order Bride at fortyfive downstairs for a limited season from 5 – 16 February 2014. For more information, visit: www.fortyfivedownstairs.com for details.

Image: Zulya Kamalova