Danya Milokhin, Monetochka and Alla Pugacheva sang for the t.A.T.u tribute album. The album drew mixed reactions on social media. “They perverted the whole concept and trampled on the classics”, “this is a collection of very bad t.A.T.u. covers” some write. “I don’t usually like t.A.T.u. covers, but this is wow,” others write. In general, commentators positively assess the performances of Monetochka (“Malchik Gay”), Vintage (“Prostiye Dvizheniya”), Nervi (“Ne Ver, Ne Boysia”), and also singled out Alla Pugacheva and Sofia Rotaru who sang “Not Gonna Get Us”. Julia Volkova’s director, Katerina Dorosh, has already stated that the group has nothing to do with the tribute. We discussed Dorosh’s statement and the album itself with the creator of t.A.T.u, Ivan Shapovalov.
Did the tribute producers discuss its release with you?
It’s not that we discussed it, this is 4 months of close communication, I would say. If not more.
How do you rate the album? Does it seem successful to you? As I have already quoted, some on social media are outraged, others are delighted. Your opinion?
I can’t help but like it, you know, it’s a tribute. A tribute is a dedication to the group’s creativity, my creativity, and I can’t help but like it. I like. I like everything.
What did you like the most from the tracks?
Well, in my opinion, I would point out something in each track. I listened from a production point of view. Just today by the way! Before that it was not possible to somehow listen to it and in the context of the negotiations there was no time for that. And now that I have listened, there is something in each track and of course I am grateful to those artists who chose and expressed themselves, their interpretations of these songs. I only treat this with gratitude.
Well, who exactly? What do you mean you liked everyone? Is there someone in particular?
Any track. Tell me which track, I’ll tell you what I liked.
“Malchi Gay” by Monetochka.
Monetochka. Well, Monetochka is substance. Of course, Monetochka is a poet and in her reading of “Malchik Gay” there is something new, and of course I liked it. In terms of text, yes.
The band My Michelle.
My Michelle sang beautifully – the voice, and they inserted own type of element. This is one of the best tracks.
Alla Pugacheva, Sofia Rotaru.
Alla Pugacheva is a different story altogether. At one point I was a student in the 1st grade, standing on a chair in front of the class, singing the song “Wizard-Dropout” and back then I could not imagine that one day Alla Pugacheva would sing a song that I would write. Imagine, what a turn of events.
I myself really liked the album and the participation of various artists, both Alla Pugacheva and Dania Milokhin. Tell me, do you think that 20 years later the message in t.A.T.u.’s lyrics today is the same as it was in the past? Once upon a time, songs were perceived as an LGBT anthem, but today, does, for example, “Not Gonna Get Us,” sound differently?
It sounds. Of course it sounds different. Another time – other heroes, a different sound. But what unites all this sound, in my opinion, is this dedication to both the authors and the heroes who created this album. And of course it sounds different.
I do not mean the sound today, and that is probably what you mean. I am talking about the meaning.
No. And I don’t mean sound. The meaning also, of course, sounds differently. And some phrases are louder. For example, in the performance of some artists, I discovered a new meaning for some phrases. Some songs sound very different.
Well, for example?
For example, Nervi, did they carry it? They did. The same with My Michelle, the same with “Obezyanka Nol'”. In each track, I say again, there is something new and this cannot not bring happiness.
What do you think this general nostalgia is connected with? Now we remember the 90s, then we remember the 2000s. What is happening to us, why are we talking about those times when there was freedom, but now everything seems to be so stuffy that we can only remember?
It is human. But I think this is not only nostalgia, but also a tribute to the tracks, which have both harmony and content.
Are you now criticizing new music, new pop music?
No, no, I am not criticizing new music, I am paying attention to the work of t.A.T.u.