In the May edition of VIVA! we told you about the start of the solo career of half of the t.A.T.u. band, Yulia Volkova. In September, the second half of the legendary duet, Lena Katina, revealed her individual plans on conquering the world charts. In confirmation- the 1st single is “Never Forget”. She did not just sing it, she suffered. It seems that after the parting of t.A.T.u. Katina was not sure if she could go on stage. The parting of the 2 t.A.T.u. girls only in appearance seemed clear.
Lena, Hi! I see that you have a very sunny look, if it the same in your soul?
Absolutely. I feel that everything is just starting. With this occurs a process of inner maturity. Understand that a whole period of time has passed. For me, starting new was at the same time very interesting and very hard and scary.
t.A.T.u. revealed its parting almost 3 years ago, and we did not her anything about you. Why?
It’s just that I left for America and began working on my solo project. We looked for a style for a long time. Then the guys, our t.A.T.u. musicians, began to insist that participated in the song writing process, from which the songs would be more personal. Actually, when I arrived in America and they asked me, “Well, what would you like to sing about?”, I was in shock. I sat there and did not now how to answer. Because, on one hand, I have very many themes which I could show, and on the other, I simply do not know from where to start. Yulia and I never wrote our own songs, they brought them to us and said, “Girls, here are 10 songs”. We listened to them, “Well, this one won’t work, this one is complete trash, this one is not bad, this one we could try, and this one is super, let’s record it.” But here it turns out I am a co-author. And I had a process of inhibition, that had to do, maybe, with the depression that came with t.A.T.u. ending.
Hold on, why was it even necessary to end t.A.T.u.?
Because it was jut imposible to work together any longer. I do not want to air our dirty laundry. But everyone had their own moments, their own reasons, and yes, we were tired of Yulia. A sort of mental numbness, a “stupor” occurred, and we did not fully understand how to move forward. And to remain on the same level, it was degrading. And at some moment us and our manager Boris Renski got together in the office and together said, that’s it, end of story, the end.
Was it scary when there was no more t.A.T.u.?
Yes, almost right away. The psychologist to whom I turned to told me I could not cope with this alone because I just did not know what to do after this. I stopped sleeping, eating, walked around in gray clothes, all gloomy. My poor mom observed all this and was worried, suggested different ideas and options. I could not get out of this state.
I have the same story, I am also a psychologist, but not for myself
Yes. I was so emotional from all this that I thought, “That’s it, it’s the end!” but decided to call a friend and find out about specialists. And eventually after a few meetings the psychologist began to remove my depressed state, the most important- my dependance on Yulia. I was very dependent on her and could not imagine myself as single and independent. My heart skips when I think of myself alone on stage.It is true that now when I come out on stage alone I cannot say I am 100% comfortable. I think it is a question of time. Yulia was always more active than I. On stage and in life. But I gained confidence in myself. And then Boris Renski called and offered my own solo project.
Wait, I heard about your bank accounts where there are still royalties coming in from song rotations in the West. Wasn’t it possible to just sit and spend the money you had made in previous years?
Well, first of all, there is a genius saying “Money begins to run out when it ceases to start. And this is why I cannot sit at home and do nothing. This is not my plan or style. I have to implement myself, to sing, this is what I know how to do in life and have loved since I was a child. And I sing always, at home, in the shower, in the car, I listen to music and sing along. If music is not playing, I walk around the apartment and sing to myself. I want to express myself and beging a solo career, this was the single correct decision.
Do you talk to Yulia often?
Now very little. I was trying to wish her a happy brithday. I was in American and she was in Moscow, but Yulia changes her phone like she changes her gloves. It seems that her number has changed and I did not have the new one. I could not get through, but sent her a text message, and then someone said to me that Yulia was surprised that I did not wish her a happy birthday. Honestly, we got tired from each other after all these years, that it is healthy if we do not contact each other. And her and I have absolutely different company. In the beginning we spent a lot of time with each other, but then our personal lives drifted us apart. Imagine when you live together all the time, tours occupy a big part of your life, you become like family. So when we would fly to Moscow, we wanted to take a break from each other. “Volkova who? No, I’ll see her in a week. And she shouldn’t call me”.
We watched your video for “Never Forget”, you burry yourself and Yulia.
It’s like a point, a goodbye to t.A.T.u.
In the hallway, there are two coffins and there is a photo of you and Yulia. And there is also you in the cemetery at your own grave. Wasn’t it scary to have this kind of a theme?
Why should it be scary? Logically, if something died that means it was meant to die. There is also an interesting version of the argument, that this is a beginning of my new life, in which, scenically, there is no more Yulia. Respectively, I said goodbye to my past, which I wil never forget. And this is the truth. That Lena Katina- the member of t.A.T.u., is no longer, although there is Lena Katina- the solo artist. In fact, after all this time I changed and became a different individual. I am no longer that girl that began to sing in t.A.T.u., I am not 14, I am 26 and starting a new life.
What are the chances of Lena Katina coming to the West? Do you think anyone remembers you there?
We, essentially, did not conquer North America. In the USA it is hard to become a fan of a non-American artist. In Europe they remember us. But Latin America has a good reaction to me, it is currently the hottest and most active. There are many t.A.Tu. fans over there who now support me.But, I do have a dream to cover the whole world. This means for the second time. But, I do not want to repeat the success of t.A.T.u., I do not think it is possible or even necessary. But, I mean to enter the music scene as a solo artist, Lena Katina.
Listen, creativity is creativity, but Yulia already has 2 kids, and what about you?
you know, if I was meant to have kids, I would already have them. Before, I was not postponing a family, but I am now. But since my parents are divorced, I have a wonderful stepdad who raised me and loves me, but I do not want my kids to have a stepdad. Only a dad. That is why I am thorough in my selection of men. If I am having doubts about one, then I would rather not make plans about our lives with him. I understand that the years are passing by, but these days people are having kids after 30. So I am not worried and I think that possible I have already found a man with whom I would like to live long and happily till the end of my time. But, since I just began my solo career, I cannot take a break for a family. Although I do not know what will happen tomorrow, in a month, in a year. Maybe all my plans will get messed up and and I will peacefully go to have children and make “borsch”. In fact, I make it it now.
Not just for him, for my mom, for my sister.
Does he like “borsch”? I mean, is he Russian?
No, he is from Slovenia and lives in America. I sometimes think that if maybe, God forbid, something goes wrong with my solo career, I am still grateful that because of my attempt at it ( hersolo career), I met him.
So, is he your musician?
No, he is a friend of my musicians. And he is fits with us perfectly. His family loves me very much and my family loves him a lot. I do not know, we will see, in our relationship I am afraid to plan anything. I can say that now I am a happy person.