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Old 03-07-2003, 00:40   #1
la aurora la aurora is offline
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Zemfira

Well, u are discussing some Russian bands from time to time here… so I just thought why not mention may be the most successful act of last years here – Zemfira.
She started her career in 1999 (a year or so earlier that TATU) and from that moment she released 3 full albums and some singles here (heh… I didn’t meant to compare this with creativity of some other band we know ).
She is a kind of best-selling act with every her album. Why? Hm… the formula is simple: her music and texts appeal to folk and so-called ‘intelligence’ at the same time (there’s deep meaning but it’s not hard to ignore it and just have fun; melodies are catchy and not too-pop at the same time) + scandalous image and charisma + some real talent (girl writes music, lyrics, sings and plays guitar and piano) = full stadiums.
She is 26 now but has quite an interesting life behind (like being radio DJ, jazz-singer or captain of Russian national youth basketball team... having after a serious illness only 30% hearing ability for one of her ears... almost being shot after refusing to sing "murka" in restaurant she worked at...). But it would take too long to write it here. So i just found one article written by american journalist. May be it would be easier for u to understand him then me with my bad english. Well... the story isn't full and sometimes not very true [I added some comments to the article - SP]. But here u r:


The pink scare
Slightly neurotic Russian superstar Zemfira is Elvis, the Sex Pistols and Courtney Love rolled into one.
By Michael Zilberman
- - - - - - - - - -

February 29, 2000

She's a slightly neurotic, platinum-selling alterna-girl. Her lyrics hint that she might be a lesbian, or bi maybe. She, or what she does, wouldn't make anyone faint here in the States. But in Russia, a country that has barely decriminalize homosexuality [that's why half of our music stars are gay - SP] -- or even seen a female rocker [thanks, we have enough now - SP] -- the 23-year-old superstar Zemfira is Elvis, the Sex Pistols and Courtney Love rolled into one. The Russian press likes to call her "Kurt Cobain in a dress." [actually i never heard anything like that. usually they call her "devotchka-skandal" (girl-scandal) after the song with such name that she wrote - SP] Amid the manufactured crooners of the Russian popscape, Zemfira (just Zemfira) [her name is Zemfira Ramazanova. And Zemfira is a band - SP] rode a carefully plotted, self-designed upward spiral to success. In a culture still largely silent about HIV, her debut album included an up-tempo ditty titled "AIDS." After it became a hit, millions hummed its refrain: "So I guess we're gonna die."

The first song she released begins with words "I burst into your life, and you freaked out." The gender-specific language in the line identified a woman as the object of the calamitous love story. Zemfira knew the song would blow up in the press [bullshit. many ppl don't hear anything lesbian even after 3 years (they just don't pay attantion). AIDS was a kind of shock], and she was right: The hype around her is enormous. The media now follows her every move; when she recently lost a Walkman, the press turned it into an Interfax news item. [it was a dictaphone with lots of unreleased songs on it. but anyway, there wasn't much hype about it - SP] Her second album, due out at the end of March, will debut in a stadium ceremony.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
There has never been a female rock songwriter in Russia. Cabaret-pop stars, sure, and giggly girl-power knockoffs by the dozen. In a way, it's the dominance of women in easy- listening genres that precludes them from rocking out. Young Russian rock 'n' roll developed its identity, as any adolescent must, through negativity -- namely, via opposition to '80s estrada (officially approved Soviet pop) and '90s popsa (dinky disco on the Italian model).
In the context of Russia's odd musical landscape, rock is easier to define by what it isn't: no synths, no lovelorn lyrics, no gypsy-derived chord progressions in A minor. In short, nothing smacking of popsa -- and that means no girls allowed, either.
Over the past two decades, only a handful of women even came close to the definition of a singer-songwriter. Nastia Poleva sang somebody else's lyrics over her own streamlined new wave. Yanka Dyagileva, a tragic punk amateur, died without a day in a studio, and her waning notoriety hinges on hissy home tapes.
Zhanna Aguzarova, the one-time leader of the retro big-beat band Bravo, sings standards in L.A. nightclubs. The funniest, and saddest, facet of the Russian paper flurry around Zemfira is that she gets incessantly compared to these three, as if no music ever existed outside. "With her second album," writes a Moscow magazine, "Zemfira is poised to claim the Lady of Rock chair vacated by Poleva" -- the world's evidently too small for two of these at a time.
Meanwhile, Zemfira's musical influences lie almost entirely outside her homeland. It's easy to hear Suzanne Vega and Portishead in her softer numbers, Alanis Morissette and Ani DiFranco, in the harder-edged stuff. She does, however, write in her mother tongue, and how could she not: Russian audiences, sublimating the fantasy of Western acceptance into a sort of sour-grapes denial, consider writing in English a crude sellout.
Westernized or not, Zemfira's songs are very much her own. "I'm responsible for every note," she often says. And her debut album is blissfully free of meddling producers -- a shocking novelty in Russia, where the music industry is primarily subsidized by shady businessmen managing their girlfriends.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A Tartar by ethnicity, Zemfira grew up in the provincial town of Ufa. "In the age of the Web and MTV, none of this has absolutely any relevance," she defensively stresses in interviews. At 16, she sang eyebrow-raising selections of jazz, soul and Motown in local restaurants. In 1998, while DJing at the town radio station, she cut a CD's worth of self- penned demos on a home computer. The recordings made their way to Ilya Lagutenko -- the leader of the established power-pop band Mumy Troll, who was about to start his own vanity label. From there on, she followed an archetypal ascent: MTV Russia, magazine covers, screaming teenage fans.
Zemfira writes and sings ascetically arranged guitar pop with occasional excursions into bossa nova and jazz chordings. Her voice is fresh and uninhibited, yet she sings "wrong." A recent cover story in the popular magazine Ogonek calls hers "the breaking voice of a generation," even though it is anything but. Still, the idea that someone might willfully leave in an imperfect take, say, or a gleefully improvised yelp, proves surprisingly hard to grasp. The Stateside lo-fi movement was an intellectualized reaction to sterile studio perfectionis (there would be no Sebadoh without REO Speedwagon). But Russian rock, born and bred on illegal dubs of basement tapes, embraced professional production in the past 10 years. The idea of flaunting the lack of it strikes the Russian listener as raging insanity. So does the idea of a debut CD's not containing a single image of the author: The cover of Zemfira's debut is a wallpaper pattern of little pink flowers, a faintly sarcastic nod to girlhood.
Zemfira's lyrics are nonnarrative wordplay informed primarily by its own sound -- hard to translate and harder to comprehend (think early R.E.M. ). Yet her imagery invariably creates tiny whirlpools of subtle subversion. The blunt refrain of "AIDS" single-handedly mainstreams a criminally hushed topic, and does so with shocking flippancy: "We're gonna die, la-la." But mostly, she deals in what could be termed reclaimed titillations. "Annie" outraged the country with a cryptic chorus consisting of the words "Annie asked, T-shirts off," without corroborating the scenario. "The Girl Is Ripe," her latest hit, is a self- consciously outrageous rave-up about the "languid self-love" of a bored virgin.
These levelheaded excursions into sexuality are fun, sly and somewhat rude, and make great angry copy -- just like Boston popper Juliana Hatfield declaring in 1994 that all girls are bad guitar players. In the end, however, it's neither Zemfira's larynx nor her lyrics that get the papers hot and bothered. It is the disturbing disparity between the message and the messenger. A ticked-off time bomb of a girl who names Vladimir Nabokov as her favorite writer has usurped the chart positions reserved for homegrown Madonnas. And journalists have gone on the attack. Here is a shortlist of the maddening questions asked in two or three recent interviews by serious newsmagazines:

Why do you move onstage like that?

Do you have a husband?

Do you like children?

What does your mother think about your success?

Why no makeup?

Smoking and a clean strong voice -- an odd combination, isn't it?

But really, what do you think about lesbianism?

Where does such pessimism come from?

You are a young girl -- why are you so depressed?

Why are you so surly?

Can you cook?

She answers as best as she can, serving up deadpan platitudes that play well under the circumstances. ("I can repair a car -- why would I not be able to cook?") Newspapers treat her verbal output like a direct communication line to the collective consciousness of the new generation. She gags at the honor. During the hysteria surrounding her first album, she quietly retired to London to record the second. Her quip on the irrelevance of borders is gaining literal meaning. Her target audiences, meanwhile, are busy whipping up Internet shrines, and let the collisions over their idol fall by the side. And that, quite possibly, is Zemfira's greatest achievement to date: The adults can divine the decline of youth that breeds such frivolity -- but apparently, or at least as of now, little girls do understand.
salon.com

Here's my poor attampt to translate this 'lesbian' song (i can't deny, it's girl-girl lyrics) that journalist mentioned. But she has some more like that.

Sneg (Snow)

I burst into your life, and you freaked out.
I wanted love and u didn’t want.
May be I’m saying something wrong?
U are silent. But listen to me!
I’m giving u a star, selling my soul…
Use ur ears!
I dreamed so, that ppl could think in a different way…
Uhm… ill-luck, I got myself under the distribution.
The first snow is there but even IT is useless.
God, I’m a cynic and u are talking about a soul!
Don’t harm my ears!

I realize: conversation is useless
I don’t wanna argue with u.
Do u believe? No… u even KNOW it.
U can fly down, fly away or get tired flying…
U can leave or stay…
But u are melting! Snow…

40 minutes were as short as a phrase “see u 2morrow”
the snow is on the boots and the utter lie in the eyes.
I’m so tired… what did u want? Do u know? …not…
Evidently there was something…
and that’s why u are playing the fool tensing me.

I realize: conversation is useless
I don’t wanna argue with u.
Do u believe? No… u even know it.
U can fly down, fly away or get tired flying…
U can leave or stay…
But u are melting! Snow…

Sure russian version is much stronger and more expressive with all this slang... Actually all her songs are cool. I love her. If wanna try something, i can advise: sneg, skandal, nenavizhu (hate u), sinoptic... or less agressive: mayechki, hochesh?, lopasti... LIVE version of nebo londona... many... so many...
sure without lyrics it won't be the same...
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Old 03-07-2003, 12:31   #2
monkcheese monkcheese is offline
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I download 'Skandal' and 'Sneg,' and I must say, they are BOTH very good songs. I like 'em!
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Old 03-07-2003, 22:55   #3
convol convol is offline
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I almost managed to miss this message, because I rarely check the general forums. Thanks a lot sunny poison for the information, article and translation! I very much enjoyed reading this! I love the songs Iskala and Sinoptik (if my mp3s are named correctly that is).
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Old 03-07-2003, 23:48   #4
Charles Charles is offline
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Thanks for the info sunny poison.
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Old 04-07-2003, 11:49   #5
la aurora la aurora is offline
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Monkcheese

Yep, I love these songs. But to be frank, I love all of her songs. ‘Sneg’ and ‘Scandal’ are up-tempo songs from her 1st album (‘Raketi’ is something like that also). But, as I said, Zemfira has 3 albums out already (‘zemfira’, ‘PMML [prosti menya moya lyubov’ – forgive me my love]’ and ’14 nedel’ tishini [14 weeks of silence]’) plus some songs that were released as singles only (like ‘brizgi’ or LIVE ballad ‘nebo londona [Sky of London]’ – I adore both of these songs). And some of her songs are different from ones u heard.

Convol
Yesterday was going to send u a mail telling about opening the thgread here (just for u not to miss it). But couldn't connect for some reason. Glad to hear that u found it urself.
It’s just more comfortable for me this way. So I can see what I’ve written already and what not. I always forget after sending e-mail. Hope, u don’t mind.



Some more info on Zemfira :
She was born on the 26th August 1976 in Ufa (quite a big city that’s really far from Moscow). Zemfira was always damn good at studying (she has ‘red diplomas’ for her school, music school and college). Professional musician. ‘Pop-singer, solfeggio and choir teacher, compositor’ – that what’s written in her diploma. Was playing basketball for 10 years. Became a captain of youth national team and was very good at all these circus stunts with the ball as they say. After school wanted to be a writer but then chose music. She got to her music college quite accidentally. Just was walking near it and decided why not to try? She tried. And was taken straight to the 2nd course. From 17 years old and for 4 years was playing keyboard and singing jazz in restaurants of Ufa. Once after the girl refused to sing some ‘blatnaya’ song the drunken guy tried to shoot her. Thanks god the bullet didn’t reach its target. From 1996 she also worked as a sound-engineer on the radio “Europe +” (in Ufa). And after work all night long was making her own songs on her home computer. Then she gave her CD to one of her friends in Moscow and after traveling from one hand to another it finally got to the producer of Mumy Troll Leonid Burlakov. And Zemfira was invited to Moscow to record her first album.

That American journalist was wrong saying that ‘Sneg’ was the song she appeared with. It was just the first song she wrote for her album after some long break (her very first song was written when she was 5 years old. It was about band “Black Sabbath” and about how well they were singing their song “Paranoid”. At the same age she started to attend music school also). First song we heard was ‘SPID [AIDS]’. It became a huge radio hit but video was never shown [Zemfira’s decision. She just didn’t like it and actually the song itself was never one of her favorites]. From that moment she became someone everybody heard and was talking about but never seen. Her first video on the song that made this girl really huge was called “Arividerchi”. But girl’s face was hidden there. So, she was a kind of enigma. And after this video Zemfira became so huge that it was impossible to hide something. But the media interest was really high still. The girl was [and IS] a person hard to work with: very emotional, stubborn, impatient, touchy and sometimes quite aggressive. U never know what to expect from her. And she’s always in trouble. For example during her concert at Kiev some ppl in police uniform came on the stage and tried to stop the show. One of them made a REAL mistake – he tried to take Zemfira’s guitar. And as a devoted musician, the girl has a kind of religious feeling to her instrument. NOBODY has right to touch it. So she took the bottle with water and soon that guy in uniform [lieutenant-colonel of Ukrainian police] found himself being damn wet. The band was arrested. Police wanted to send them to prison for 15 days for ‘hooligan aggression’ but friends of the singer somehow solved the problem. And something like that happens quite often. Zemfira says she wants ‘peace’ but she just can’t perform in conditions that most of organizers suggest [awful sound, big distance between stage and audience, etc…] She respects ppl that attend her concerts that’s why she has to fight. In few words, now she has problems with local authorities of almost every region of Russia and some neighbor countries. But she isn’t that awful. Girl just has sharp feeling of injustice and can’t control her emotions well enough. But even being angry she uses strong arguments between curses. Girl definitely has brain. She treats her fans as friends (this year she already took part in 2 chats with them and even spent whole Sunday answering their questions on the forum (it wasn’t easy, I guess… even at cut version it took 13 pages… poor girl! And now she’s planning to visit some meeting of chat members). What else… oh, yeah… and she has great sense of humor… sometimes bitter but still great.
*Scandal*
Allo. I’m a girl-scandal. Girl-air.
My Kenzo-sandal, ur and my birthday.
Sisters weren’t missing me, a girl-star.
Much higher above but still similar stars
Were sitting with their legs dangling,
Were chattering using pictures.
Who said it’s not gonna work?
If I do want, it all will come true.

Allo. I’m a girl-out of mind. Girl-stand at ease.
Having made myself, I made it painful.
Winds hate me, a girl-star.
And I was tearing winds into meters with my body.
Having measured the possibilities with segments,
I leave with king-steps.
Who said it’s not gonna work?
If I do want, it all will come true.

Allo. I’m a girl-fire. Girl-splashes.
Inside me I hide the radar that catches thoughts.
Being with me is possible for noone.
And after making u to follow the false footsteps,
I stake 100 counters on the black,
Stubbornly standing near the edge.
Who said it’s not gonna work?
If I do want, it all will come true.

Allo. I’m a girl-scandal. Girl-air.
Allo. I’m a girl-out of mind. Girl-stand at ease.
Allo. I’m a girl-fire. Girl-splashes.
Allo. I’m a girl-scandal. Girl-air.
Allo. I’m a girl-scandal. Girl…

Oh… someone, shoot me! The truest thing that that American journalist said is that Zemfira’s lyrics are impossible to translate. [But as u see, Mia, I keep on trying!] These texts can be interpreted in million ways even if u know Russian. And after being translated by someone with such an awful English they became even less understandable. Sorry.


*SPID [AIDS]*
Taking off my ear-phones
I was listening to the wind
Trough the opened doors
Of an empty rout taxi.
The wind told me about one dreadful secret
That there is the very last day left to us...

As you have an AIDS,
And that means we'll die
You have an AIDS,
And that means we.....

Will be swallowing pills in the hospital,
Not thinking about tomorrow,
Not watching television.
We'll search for the distant kingdom on the map
Maybe will be lucky to get some visas.

But you have an AIDS,
And that means we'll die,
You have an AIDS,
And that means...

Have gone away with the settling accounts.
"See you, Mom, keys are at neighbors."
I was blowing on the eyelids until they cold down
And willows were crying... and putting the markings… That's it!
You were just so lazy
To see in newspapers that...


*Maechki [T-shirts]*
You, you're white and vibrant
Me, I'm dark and tender
You, You're crying; nobody sees that.
And me, I'm crashing glass in my hands.
[I am a] Dupe!
You, you love so sincerely.
Me, I'm so hopelessly caught.
Us, we're telling each other secrets.
We understand everything, but that's not enough.

Anechka was asking to take the t-shirts off.*
Anechka
Anechka was asking to take the t-shirts off.

You, you're worth your sincerities.
Me, I believe that I'm worth them too.
You, you're genius; I'm genius too.
If you're looking for something, that makes two of us.
Hurt comes not only from pain.
Fear comes not only from conscience.
Oddly we again didn't have enough will,
And I'm multiplying cig butts; you're writing a piece.

*Don’t try to find any sense. ‘Anechka’ is just a rhyme to “maechki” as Zemfira says. The song was written for piano and makes Zemfira think about Freddie Mercury.


*Nebo Londona [London sky]*
I had dreamt of the London sky,
I saw the long kiss in it,
We were flying not even holding on,
So, who's gonna fall first,
Smashing into pieces on the Tower bridge?
In the morning,
I'll find out in the morning,
You'll find out later
Nothing else's more precious
Than these dreams…

Without these little calls
I'm just a lonely animal
I'll miss, go out my head in the night
And no one will notice.
Still the same lonely animal
I count all the steps to the last point
Let’s go flying…

I had dreamt of the London sky
I saw the long kiss in it
We were there walking in the clouds
Pretending to be the London rain
Drizzling together to the asphalt
In the morning
I'll find out in the morning
You'll find out later
Nothing else's more precious
Than these dreams…



*Arividerchi*
Moscow ravens
Woke me up
Wet matches
Killed the hope to
Smoke…
That means I’ll live longer
Means we’ll be
Burning the ships in my harbor
I'll exchange my ticket for rubles.
I'd want it to grow to the shoulders [hair, I guess – SP].
I'll never come back
Home.
Being with you is so interesting;
With them - not very...
I see what's tight
I remember what's solid
I'm giving for free
The time.
Do u see? I’m burning.
Somebody made a mistake
And put me on fire
Arividerchi
They didn't teach [me] to look in the knothole first.
And, more likely, it won’t have time to grow to the shoulders
I'll break the turnstile
And run to trade the ticket back.
I'll be waiting; give me a call.
At my usual six
I became a life older*
Perhaps that's something to be concerned about.
The ships are in my harbor.
If we can't fly, we'll swim.
I'll set the clock two hours back [time difference between Ufa and Moscow]

* I think she means the serious illness that happened to her when she was young. I remember her telling somewhere that spending many weeks at hospital when u are so young and all other kids are having fun in the street can make u ‘one life older’. But u never know for sure with Zemfira.

All these songs are from the first album except “Nebo Londona”. As I said, this song wasn’t released on any album but it became very popular anyway. I’ll add some more translations later today (sinoptik is on it’s way )
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Old 04-07-2003, 15:58   #6
la aurora la aurora is offline
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covol, songs u liked here:

*Iskala ([i] was looking for [u])*
I was looking for you
For the long years
I was looking for you
At the dark yards
In magazines, movies
Among friends
And when I found you
I’ve lost my mind.

You are same as in dreams
Are same as in albums
Where I was drawing you with paint.

Then there were phone calls
At the nights mostly
Tears, nerves and love
And fights in Poland
Children, but not mine
And old sweethearts
U are smoking every five [mins]
We are both tired...

You are same as in dreams
Are same as in albums
Where I was drawing you with paint.

For the long years
For the dark nights
For the long years

You are same as in dreams
Are same as in albums
Where I was drawing you with paint.

You are same as in dreams
Are same as in albums
Where I was drawing you with paint.

I was looking for you
For the long years
Was looking for you
At the dark yards
In magazines, movies…
For the long years
Was looking for you
For the dark nights ights ights ights ights................





*Synoptic (Weather forecaster)*
Simply wish it
And I'll kill you,
Only I will keep your photos...
Later
I'll buy shades for franks
So nobody will see my eyes,

It won't be painful, I promise
But you, please send greetings
And call me more often
From the sky [telling] about the weather

They will
Look for me in shoulder-straps
Even my friends will forget my name
They will close their respectable doors
But what are their scowls to me?
I'm outside of the law,
I'm a synoptic /weather forecaster/

It won't be painful, I promise
But you, please send greetings
And call me more often
From the sky [telling] about the weather

See how it goes on,
April, and wheels are on the asphalt...
If you can't be a god,
Then I will be one.
Kill, but promise me...

It won't be painful...
Please try...
And I will come under snow and rains
And I will call you
From the sky [telling] about the weather

It won't be painful, I promise,
And you, send your greetings,
And I will come with rains to your dreams.
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Old 06-07-2003, 15:45   #7
convol convol is offline
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Wow, thank you so much for all this work and information! I can imagine that it's hard to translate but to me they seem great, and no need for you to complain about your English. It's fine I liked the lyrics especially for SPID.. but all the lyrics you have shared here, are serious and meaningsful.

I noticed when I was listening to her music, even with such a song like Scandal which seems qute simple musicially at first, there's some pretty interesting things going on underneath with nice acoustic guitar with interesting harmonies. You can hear that her music is solid and really worked through. I also downloaded her cover of Kukushka. I found it haunting and very beautiful in a sad way.

Is Zemfira known anywhere else than in Russia? She's Russia's most famous and popular singer, so I thought she might have reached outside too, like in Eastern Europe?
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Old 06-07-2003, 23:43   #8
Charles Charles is offline
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From sunny poison's post:
Quote:
In few words, now she has problems with local authorities of almost every region of Russia and some neighbor countries.
With this reputation, she might have trouble getting a record company to back her. On the other hand, a clever marketing scheme would turn her attitude to an advantage.
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Old 07-07-2003, 00:09   #9
la aurora la aurora is offline
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convol

Quote:
no need for you to complain about your English. It's fine
I'm ok with my english when I need to say something. I know, I can make ppl understand me even if from the forty eleventh attempt. But when it comes for translation... i just feel sad that I can't make u feel the spirit this girl has in her lyrics... the best thing is words she choses to express herself. And without knowing slang I can just give u a kind of general meanings... most of emotionality is lost in this case... sorry...

Quote:
I liked the lyrics especially for SPID
they are good but not the greatest *feels sad for reasons she gave above*
anyway, may be u'll find it interesting. Zemfira leaved some comments on her songs from the 1st album. I'll tell u what she said about two songs u mentioned in ur last post.

SPID:
I don't think this song is autobiographical. But it's quite important for me. It's about the senses of 2 ppl - a girl and a boy. many say it was kinda impudent of me to write on such a serious topic. I don't know. From the altidude of my young years... i don't think i 'discovered any discovery'. I wrote everything as it is. I'll be very pleased if in the close future medics will argue this scandal line "u have an AIDS and that means we'll die" discovering some medicine that will be able to treat this illness. But don't take it to ur heart... u know, it will never touch us...

Scandal:
Girl-scandal is the only autobiographical song on the album [although later on the same page she named some more like 'arividerchi' and 'zemfira']. I up and sang about everything they were saying about me, everything I feel about myself. Why was it played this way? We just wanted so. We wanted some experiments. Really there are 84 variants of arrangement in this song. And in all of them I play according to my mood. I like a lot listening to it in the mornings, the song about scandal. A kind of alarm-clock. It's very hard to fall asleep again after, if u make the sound really loud.

And now about 'Kukushka'. U are right, it's a cover. A cover of a famous russian band KINO ('Cinema, movie' - it's the same in russian). The band was really popular. They were a kind of forbidden at first but then with the end of USSR and 'glasnost' the were giving stadium concerts. They were the most popular band in Russia at the end of 80ies.The frontman of the band was Victor Tsoy, the guy with kerean orgins. He was writing and singing his not-compromissing songs , demanding changes and freedom. Then... in august of 1990 he died. It was an accident with his motorcycle. He was damn young then and he became a kind of a legend. If u r in Russia one day and go to see our famous Arbat street u'll see 2 famous walls there. One is called 'the wall of peace' with lots of drawings made by little children there. 2nd is the wall of Victor Tsoy with lots of signs leaved by his fans. Every year at his birthday and death dates ppl come there, bring flowers and sing his songs. But even at any other day u can see many street musicians singing the songs of KINO. It's a cultish band. Everybody knows it although the guy died 13 years ago. When I was trying to learn playing guitar his songs were the first I tried. Same with other ppl. His songs contain 4-5 accords mostly, quite simple ones. His voice was a bit weird. It's just hard to imagine how he was able to sing at all. He sang so low. But ppl loved him. He was just taking life as it was, without any retouching. In few words, he is a cult figure and respected musician. So, there were always lots of projects around non-existing band. Like reproduced albums and the most popular one is "KINOprobi" ('screen tests') - tribute concerts and albums with all russian-speaking rock musicians (russian, ukrainian, belorussian and even moldovian)singing his songs. Some of these covers became really popular like 'Malish' by Mummy Troll or Zemfira's "Kukushka". There are some other interesting covers. For example KINOprobi was the first place I heard about Smislovie Gallutsinatsii (popular band now. U'll have at least one of their songs on CDs I made for u). Their "Mama, mi vse t'azhelo bol'ni" ('Mother, we are all seriously ill... Mother, u know, we have all losen our minds...' and so on) I liked a lot. But many critics and average listeners name 'Kukushka' as one of the best [although it's not the most famous song of KINO].

here's the lyrics if u are interested:
How many songs aren't written still,
Tell me, cuckoo, sing!
Will i live in the city or will i be evicted?
Will i lay as a stone or be burning/shinig as a star?
The star?

My sun, look at me!
My palm turned to a fist.
And if there is gun-powder, give me fire as well.
That's it!

Who will follow the lonely footstep?
All the strong and brave leaved their heads in the fields... during the fight.
Few stayed with the light memory,
sober mind and a firm hand
in the formation... in the formation.

My sun, look at me!
My palm turned to a fist.
And if there is gun-powder, give me fire as well.
That's it!

Where are u now, my free freedom?
Who are u meeting the sunrise with?
Tell me!
It's good with u and bad without u
[my] patient head and shoulders
Under the lash... the lash.

My sun, look at me!
My palm turned to a fist.
And if there is gun-powder, give me fire as well.
That's it!

Quite a sad song, u r right. But Zemfira has much more sad ones... u know, like one of her unreleased songs "mom, the name for me is 'suicide'"... there are some songs of this kind in i-net. I'll include them on CD if u want. They are not finished... just demos... only Zemfira and her guitar.

Now answering ur question. Yep, Zemfira is the most popular band here. She dissapeared for a year to have some rest and to work on her 3d album. And she still refuses to give interviews and attend most of the ceremonies [with just few exceptions] but still only one reminding of her name is enough to have a full stadium.
But she's not TATU. She doesn't wear school uniform. She doesn't use make-up even. The only thing u can expect from her is unbelieveble energy and great live-singing on the stage. She doesn't have a genius producer [i'm not even sure if she has one at all now. she seems to be quite independent in everything]. Lyrics are the most important thing about her. So she is popular among russian-speaking ppl [in Russia, Ukraine, Belorussia and traditionaly for russian rock - in Baltic countries like Latvia]. I haven't heard she was popular somewhere else. She was also going to make a noth-american tour... but then this war happened and she refused. Anyway, it would be for russian immigrants mostly, i guess.
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Old 07-07-2003, 00:16   #10
la aurora la aurora is offline
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Charles

Quote:
Originally posted by Charles

With this reputation, she might have trouble getting a record company to back her. On the other hand, a clever marketing scheme would turn her attitude to an advantage. [/b]
TATU have to deal with laws of western show-business. Zemfira don't. Record companies of Russia can only fight for her. She's best-selling act here, so nobody cares of her attitude. Besides, she has at least one record company owned by her friend Ilya Lagutenko, so... no problem here.
There's no marketing scheme behind her. She does what she wants now. As I said already, I don't even think she has any producer now. But ppl love her.
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Old 13-07-2003, 12:31   #11
convol convol is offline
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Thank you so much again for the information. I very much appreciate it (sorry for replying so late, I've been away for some days). I know what you mean with translating.. I only tried it with French lyrics and it wasn't a very easy task at all (since the French language is so much more fitting to playing with words etc) - I suppose it's the same thing with Russian, since it's as you said a rich language.

I'd really love to hear some of her unreleased songs, if it's no problem for you to include some of them of course Thanks very much again!

I always liked musicians with a completely independent spirit and it's nice to know that the band Zemphira are the ones behind all aspects of the creative work. It's great that today, you don't need very expensive equipment to make quite professional music - and in any case, I'd rather (of course) listen to great music that is a bit raw in production, than crap with extreme slick production.

Thanks also for providing information about KINO. Seems like it was a very interesting group.
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Old 13-07-2003, 17:54   #12
russkayatatu russkayatatu is offline
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I like Zemfira!! I didn't know that much about her, though - just listened to the albums Prosti Menia Moya Liubov' and a compilation "Lucshie Pesni" - now I know a lot more, thanks a lot for posting
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Old 17-07-2003, 00:18   #13
zebu zebu is offline
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thanx for all the information.

i didn't know anything about Zefira, i just randomly opened the thread i'm glad i did.i've downloaded 3 song so far and i love it!-Iskala,Sneg and Prosti menya moya lubov

do you know any links about her,in english?
can you also put the lyrics of Prosti menya moya lubov?

thanx again for all th info
~~~~~~~~~~~
pogledaj da li me mozes presnimiti
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Old 20-07-2003, 21:58   #14
la aurora la aurora is offline
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russkayatatu

yeah, Zemfira is one of those few russian artists/bands I really do like. She's my favorite may be... well... I don't know... I can't choose between her and Delfin [well and TATU of course]. =) Prosti menya moya lyubov is her 2nd album. I like it... although I like her first one 'Zemfira' a bit more... but '14 nedel tishini' isn't bad either...

zebu

I don't know any links in English... that article is all I could found. Zemfira isn't an import product. She hardly has sence in English... but in Russia she's really huge. Here the translation U asked for:

Forgive me, my love
Sea embraces, puts into sands.
Fishermen will set their nets
And will catch our souls.
Forgive me, my love.
It's too late; it's too late to think of anything.
I feel you need the air.
We're lying in the middle of such a big puddle.
Forgive me, my love.
Jeans got wet and stuck to the feet.
It seems to me we're stuck for good.
It seems to me the sun has burned down.
Forgive me, my love.
It's quiet - no clocks, no birds.
We're obediently turning off the heart.
And you're in the sand like in bronze.
Forgive me, my love.
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Old 20-07-2003, 23:08   #15
zebu zebu is offline
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sunny poison

thank you for the translation, you're the greatest!

ever since I read your posts about Zemfira I keep listening to her songs, that I was able to download from Kazaa. She really impressed me a lot. The lyrics are great and the music....

does she maybe have a homepage in Russian, or some fanpage?
~~~~~~~~~~~
pogledaj da li me mozes presnimiti
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Old 21-07-2003, 07:22   #16
DinoBora DinoBora is offline
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http://www.zemfira.ru/
~~~~~~~~~~~
!!!Sugar We're Going Down!!!
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Old 26-07-2003, 00:29   #17
coscos coscos is offline
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I must admit I really like Zemfira. sunny poison thank you so much for all the information about her. Do you remember the first Taty interview. Lena answers the question what artists they like listen to. One of the names was Zemfira. Well I decided to check who this is. And I must say I am so glad I did. There is not one song of her I don’t like. She has great voice, her lyrics are cool, and I think she has this ability to write “nice” melodies. I love her songs. How can anyone not notice the “gayness” of Snieg is beyond me. I noticed it the moment I heard it If I was to choose my favourite songs I would have to mention all of them. The ones you mentioned are GREAT. Few more titles. Ne poshloe, Do svidania, Skazki, Pripivochka. I can go on and on. Thank you so much for the translations. OK now I go to read the whole thread. Sorry I had to write this after reading only first post
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Old 26-07-2003, 17:25   #18
spyretto spyretto is offline
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yeah, Zemfira is quite good...but Linda, hmm nyet
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Old 26-07-2003, 20:40   #19
coscos coscos is offline
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Hm, what can I say about Linda. I don't know I like her to. Not crazy about her but...
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Old 28-07-2003, 19:02   #20
QueenBee QueenBee is offline
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sunny poison, wow thanks for all that info! I downloaded Sneg, Skandal and SPID and well I didn't really like it at first but I'm getting addicted to Sneg... Her voice is really strong, although I do prefer Tatu's and Maxi-M's cute little voices. :P

I noticed that the Sneg I downloaded from Kazaa and the Sneg I downloaded from her official site aren't the same... But it does not matter because they are both great versions. SPID is kind of sad though, I haven't even listened through the whole song...
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