Pelageya Khanova was born in Novosibirsk in 1986. When she was 10, she was entitled "The Best Russian Folk Singer". When she was 14, she enrolled at the GITIS Variety Faculty. In 1999, she started her own band, which was later called "Pelageya".
The TV BRICS correspondent Olga Bubnova talked to the singer Pelageya.
You started singing when you were less than one year old. You made your first steps towards musical career singing along with your mother. Is it true? What melodies did you sing along to?
To those she sang to me. Not even melodies, but musical phrases, which, yes, I accurately repeated after her, both in rhythm and intonation, and that’s when she understood that something went somehow wrong. Probably, the person was supposed to sing. That’s how it all turned out. Since then, I’ve learned nothing in particular. So to say.
Do you sing lullabies to your daughter, how your mother used to sing to you?
She does not like it; now we have gradually passed this moment, but only after she began to sing, she lets me do it, and still, not always. Yes, and when she could not do it, hesitated, I also was not supposed to waste my breath.
You mean, she said: "Mama…"
"Mama" – not at all! Had tantrums, shed bitter tears, said: "No, please, no, mummy!" It looks very sad, such a twist of fate. Everyone says: "Your daughter is so lucky, for you sing lullabies to her!" And my daughter does not want to hear them from me at all.
And when you were a little girl, did you have a "star fever"? You made so many acquaintances, being in an elementary school, you knew Joseph Kobzon, and you were blessed by Alexy II. Did you understand who all those people were, or was it all just like a children's game?
I’ve never had a "star fever", it bypassed me: both when I was a child, and later. Which is also very important. I analyzed it, and perhaps, there was no click after which I became an overnight success. The story was long, and it began when I was very small.
We never gave priorities to the achievement of any goals, like winning some competition. Or maybe, I’ve never had any sports interest, like running this distance quicker, be the first, or jump higher. I do not have this trait of character at all. I am not an ambitious person. I’m not interested in proving something to someone at all.
I’m much more interested in the fight with myself, in this sense – yes. It is interesting to me to defeat myself, and it, of course, is even harder than defeating someone else. And there was no particular event, after which I woke up – and everybody knows me.
Certainly, the Voice show affected my common popularity. And in spite of the fact that I was already an adult artist – otherwise, they would not call me to the Voice – I was not ready for it, and it still makes me a little… I do not understand why people watch me like there is something wrong with me.
I immediately start to think that something has got stuck somewhere, I need to take it out, I have said something wrong. That is something like that, I am not one of those artists living like "here is my life, I eat here, I sleep here, I love this, and it has to be interesting to you". It’s not about me. On the contrary, I want to ask: "Why? Guys, why is it interesting to you?"
I’ve watched a KVN show of 1997, with your participation, and there, according to the script, you ask your senior colleague: "And why do many actors lip-synch?" And did you have to do it at least once in your life?
Yes, of course. I lip-synched. My bad. But sometimes, really, there is no technical capability to do live shows.
It's a different matter that there are more or less principled performers, some of them insist, and then organizers should either give up on their performance – and sometimes it happened to us, when there were very principal situations – or set all sound equipment, and so on.
These are absolutely other costs, including financial ones, people have to work, a lot of different nuances, without which, if everyone lip-synchs, everything is much simpler, cheaper, and so on. Actually, it can be explained very easily.
It's a different matter that there are people who just cannot make live shows, because they have recorded a number of sounds, these sounds were patched into one "sausage", and then this "sausage" charms our ears. And they cannot repeat it. You know, it’s like a dangerous stunt: you sang it once, and that’s enough!
It is a very sad trend.
Well, it is old, actually. Still, I cannot say that it is a trend. There are a lot of cool singing young people. And thanks God that the Internet nowadays has such an effect on minds, that after all, performers depend on channels, on radio rotation much less than before. After all, people do have a choice.
Except for the fact that not everybody wants to make this choice. And some people still live by the principle "put something into my ears, and I will somehow carry it along my further life". But again, it is all about the choice.
By the way, about the choice. After you graduated from the Academy, you started your own band, but why? I guess, they know you more as a solo singer. What is more comfortable to you – to work with a band or solo?
The members of our band have always changed except the only person who has been next to me practically for all my life, we’ve been friends for 23 years. And we’ve been playing together for 19 years. This is Pasha Dishura, our sound producer, guitarist and simply a significant person for me. That is that brotherly kind of love, and I am very glad that we have been spending all our creative life together, grew and have grown together.
Other guys changed owing to different circumstances, but still, these are not some session musicians. Why is it called "a band"? Because these are not coming and leaving people working in other projects at the same time.
These are guys who give as much as possible, I am sure, including their souls. The relations are cool, I am always very happy that I am the only girl, I have such a men's team of very close friends. With whom we also make music. Because live music, it is always magic. And when it happens onstage every time, this is an absolutely special relation. So, my guys, they are…
The most interesting stories from artists are about the times when something went wrong. You, surely, have had such occasions.
Of course, I have. I fell down, I forgot words, well, anything can happen. Recently rain poured down on me, in a closed theater. The hole was right over me. I mean, it was dry above the guitarist, above the bass player, and above me, it was raining. I sang for one hour in the rain. It was surprising, I saw some good sign in it.
Yes, when you treat life like that, everything appears to be a good sign.
Well, it was rain. At that specific moment, I had rain, while no one had it. It seemed cool to me.
And what is on your roadmap? New album, maybe, new songs?
Frankly speaking, I’m looking forward. It seems to me, the person who longs for the new album of the Pelageya band most of all is Pelageya herself. I want both a new program, and a new album, very much. The thing is that I have given eight years to a TV project, just on a whim.
Except the TV project, there are tours, but it all takes up time, and plus, I am a mother after all. Somehow. Somewhere. Therefore, my timing, or probably, time-management is catastrophically wrong. Bad time management! But I will improve, I promise.
We have ideas, we know what this program is going to be about, we already know what songs will be in it, but we need to be closed in some room
In a bunker…
With no drinks, food, only with a microphone in a "rec" mode. And that is all. I guess, we will release a "gun".
Thank you very much, I am looking forward to a new album, in my understanding – it will be soon, huh?
Let's not plan too far ahead. The "bunker" is waiting for us...