Russian star Valeriya took stage at The Royal Albert Hall with the Philharmonic Concert Orchestra on 22nd July. This Multi-award winning singer has released 15 albums, achieved over 20 number 1 hits, sold out numerous concerts and has grossed over 100 million in record sales.
I had a chat with Valeriya before the concert.
Thank you for taking the time to speak with us. You are very experienced within the music industry, when did you realise you wanted to pursue a career in singing?
I was brought up in a family of musicians, so I was surrounded in a very musical environment. I live and breathed Classical Music. I started signing at the age of 2-3, and at the age of 5 started attending a musical school when I began learning piano and then continues by going to the Academy of Music school. So it wasn’t sudden at all, I was well prepared!
Who or what is your musical influence?
I have a variety of difference; classical music, jazz music and Folk. But I was also a great fan of Diana Ross. However I would say that I do not have one role model, I try to take the best and what I like from a variety of artists and I’m inspired that way
You have worked with a great number of well-respected artists, what has been the highlight of your career so far?
Well I hope the pinnacle of my career is still ahead of me! I would say though the highlight so far has been, when I released my album in the UK. It was a great experience and a learning curve! At that time I was very popular in Russia, but was sort of re-starting my career all over again in the UK. It was fantastic to perform in many of the UK cities, including the London O2 arena. I also worked with lots of different musical producers as well as Robin Gibb. He has a great sense of humour! It was funny how we met actually, I had recorded a cover of the hit Bee Gee’s song ‘Stayin Alive’, Robin heard the song and like it. So he invited me round his house…and that was the first time we met – at his house! The next day we went to the studio and he adding some backing vocals to the tract – it was an amazing experience, and went on the album I released in the UK.
I hope the pinnacle of my career is still ahead of me!
You were a special guest at this Simply Red, ‘The Greatest Hits’ tour in the UK, how would you some up that experience?
It was something very new and different. People in the UK didn’t know me at all, it was the first time they had ever heard me sing, and when the received me so warmly and cheered for me I was so overwhelmingly happy. It was an experience I will keep forever.
Who is the number one singer, songwriter or producer you would like to collaborate with in the future?
That is a very hard question to answer, for me personally it’s not about picking someone from a list as it were, but more about having an idea in your head about a song or track and knowing someone would be great for that idea. When you meet people in the industry and build relationships, you realise you have things in common and from there you start to have a mutual desire to work together, and that’s usually when the idea comes.
What made you want to come over to the UK for this concert opportunity?
Well I have always dreamed of having a concert at the Royal albert hall—every artist does, whether they admit it or not! It is one of the best venues in the world! The concert on 21st will have an international team or musicians as well as fans, and I believe it will be something very special.
Do you have a song that you release, that you can pick out as a favourite?
It’s very difficult to choose one song, but one of my favourites would be ‘Wild’ on the album ‘Out of Control’. This song was released in both English and Russian and in both languages you can feel the strong emotion behind the song, it also has a beautiful arrangement.
I have always dreamed of having a concert at the Royal albert hall—every artist does!
You have 3 lovely children. How do you balance your career and your family life?
This is probably my favourite question to answer! I do it somehow! Ultimately I focus on 2 things in my life; my family and my work (which is also my hobby) and don’t waste time on unnecessary things. I define my time precisely around both things and always plan my schedule ahead of time. I always ensure I know when the children have school holidays so we can spend more time as a family and try to do a lot of my work while they are at school. I think it has worked well so far!
.In 3 words how would you describe the music industry?
Pressing, commercial and dependent.
What advice would you give to youths who have a desire to get into the music industry?
I would advise them to do what they really like! But if you can live without being an artist then do, or if you can’t decide if you should become one, then don’t. In an industry like this it is absolutely vital you are 100% commited, because it is a way of life and can be extremely difficult.
What can we expect off you in the near future?
Well firstly I hope that I have a great concert at the Royal Albert Hall! Then it’s on to starting my next album, that is new and exciting. I want to keep going, I don’t like staying still. So I want to start doing some more collaborations and creating new and different songs! And hopefully at my next Royal Albert Hall concert my 15 year old boy, who is a fantastic pianist will perform too! That would be amazing!
If you can live without being an artist then do
You can follow this talented singer on twitter @Valeriya_Rus