The Ukrainian national final is taking place this Saturday, and six acts will compete for representing the home country of this year’s Eurovision in May. Tayanna was the winner of the first heat with her song “I Love You”, that also got her over 30% of the public vote.
We had a great pleasure to speak with Tayanna ahead of the final about her upcoming performance, her song, and we also asked her some more personal questions to get to know her a bit better. She also left a message for all of her fans and our readers, which you can check out right here, and the interview follows below:
Hi Tayanna! First of all, can you tell us a little bit about your music career so far?
I have dreamt of scene since childhood, I practiced vocalism; I have started my activity in the branch of show-business as a song writer and I recorded backing vocals for hits of many top artists from CIS. And having gained the proper experience I decided to start my own solo career. 2016 became a turning point in my life. I began cooperation with the producer and editor Alan Badoyev. The first product of our cooperation was EP (mini-album) “TAYANNA. Portraits” which consisted of five tracks. Besides, every song has been filmed by Badoev. Three videos (“ 9 жизней” / 9 lives/, “Осень” /Autumn/, “Люблю”/I love you/) have already been presented to the audience.
You are already in the Final of the Ukrainian selection and won your semifinal. What is going to be your next step, and how are you going to try and win the Ukrainian final?
I do not think the juries and the public have to be impressed or convinced of something. You need to communicate with people. If they like your story, if it resounds in the hearts of the listeners, it will definitely bring victory.
Max Barskih is the composer of “I Love You”. How is it working with him, and how did you start collaborating?
I was lucky to meet such a bright, interesting and talented person as Max Barskih. He is a good friend and a wonderful composer. The song “I Love You” is our first experience in common work. I wrote the main part of the music and Max acted as a sound-producer, wrote the lyrics of the verses and English lyrics. At the same time he made it clearer not only for Ukrainian listeners but for foreign ones as well.
Is there a special message that you want to share with your song?
My main message is that even after the one-way or tragic love we should continue to believe in this bright feeling and not to give up. I am not sure if there is something more important than love – to parents, children, husband or wife, to your country… In the song “I Love You” I encourage to never give up, under no circumstances surrender to melancholy mood from the past and not to be afraid to love after unhappy relationship. Love is our engine, it inspires.
Why should you be the one to represent Ukraine in this year’s Eurovision, and what would this mean to you?
I believe that every participant of the national selection is worthy. But the the audience and competent juries get to choose. The most important thing for the artists is to show the best they can, to give the listeners a part of themselves and their creativity. I believe that I can worthily represent our country. This is both a great honor and a heavy responsibility. But if I do not believe in my success, who will?
What sort of music would you generally listen to, and are there any artists that have inspired you and influenced your sound?
My favorite singer is Beyoncé. I observed the development of this artist almost from the beginning of her musical career. And in my opinion, she is one of the strongest performers of the modern age, whose energy and sexuality inspire many women. In addition, my player always plays Céline Dion’s songs. Her lyric-dramatic soprano deeply impressed me as a child. Talented Whitney Houston, unpredictable Coldplay, clear and always contemporary Earth, Wind & Fire – there are a lot of those who inspire me.
Are you a big fan of Eurovision, and if so are there any particular songs from Eurovision that you have particularly enjoyed?
Eurovision contest was much sought after by Ukrainians last year. Of course I was not an exception. I liked the song “1944” very much and Jamala’s performance in general. Among the others I should mark “Ne partez pas sans moi” by Céline Dion and “Waterloo” by ABBA.
The whole of Europe is coming to Kiev this coming May. Are there any favorite places of yours that everyone should go to in Kiev?
You should see all Kyiv! Because this is a history. Make sure to visit Independence Square, Andrew’s Descent, the Cathedrals of St. Sophia and St, Michael, Kyevo-Pecherska Lavra. I love the parks of the capital, in May they will be very beautiful.
We also have a couple of more personal questions, just to get to know you a little bit better: What would be your favorite book?
I have many favorite books because I am fond of reading. I was impressed the most by the novel of Australian writer Gregory David Roberts “Shantaram” which is based on real story from the author’s life. I also recommend the novel of American writer Ayn Rand “Atlas Shrugged” and the volume “Anna Akhmatova. Favorites” – I take it on all my trips and often read it over.
Your favorite movie?
I like philosophical films, for example “Secret”. Among the feature films I would gladly watch again “Eat, Pray, Love” with Julia Roberts starring.
Your own signature dish?
I love to cook fish baked in salt, and also to bake. My signature dish is a casserole, and I make it in different variations: of the cottage cheese, with the addition of fruit, nuts, rice or pasta. It all depends on the mood and desires of my child.
What’s the one thing would you take to a desert island?
Piano. Although I cannot play it perfectly because of lack of time. But on a desert island there is plenty of time – I would just learn!
What was the last song you listened to?
“Set Fire To The Rain” by Adele. I love to switch it on while driving.
Thank you very much for your time Tayanna, and the best of luck at the Ukrainian Final!
If Tayanna is your personal favorite in the Ukrainian final, make sure you cast your vote for her in our poll here:
Give a listen to Tayanna’s “I Love You” right here: