"I decided to return to the past": how singer Julia Samoilova lives after Eurovision.

Published At: 15 June 2020 , 06:50 AM

Two years after Eurovision, at which Julia Samoilova represented Russia, the singer leads a busy life: preparing for the recording of a new album and solo performances, how the illness and the transferred operation affected the artist's work, why the music contest did not divide her life into before and after, and also why the singer's team at one time lived in the forest - in the material RT.

"I had thoughts to refuse Eurovision. Especially when I understood that the preparation for the competition was not going as I imagined, not as I thought. But I thought I would try. I could cope with the task. Still, this is my dream, and even if she's naive, I just went to her, and I'm glad that this happened in my life," said singer Julia Samoilova. In 2018, she represented Russia at the Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon but did not reach the final. The performer told RT how her life turned out after a musical contest.

"Mom discovered a craving for music."

Julia Samoilova was born on April 7, 1989, in the city of Ukhta (Komi Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic). At 13, she was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy of the second type, although the first signs of the disease appeared even in infancy.

"Before I diagnosed, no one knew what was wrong with me. I give a billion different diagnoses, treated for everything in the world. And they buried as many times," said the singer.

"Julia believes that it was singing that helped her to restrain the progress of the disease somehow. The fact is that with SMA, muscles weaken, including those responsible for breathing. And vocals are, in fact, breathing exercises, the singer says."

"My craving for music was discovered by my mother. It seems that the love of creativity was inherited: my mother used to be a soloist of the choir; she often worked with me, we studied songs. The first performance on stage was at 11 years old. After that, I got to a vocal teacher and started studying, going to competitions," she shared with RT.

So, at the age of 14, Samoilova became a laureate of the music festival "On the Wings of a Dream," at 16 she took second place at the "Shlyager" competition in Yekaterinburg. Also, the girl applied for participation in the show "Voice," but she remained unanswered.

In parallel with the competitions, Julia participated in concerts. However, as the singer recalls in her book "An Ordinary Unusual Story," she had to face difficulties: "Not only were they not allowed me to sing at city celebrations with the wording "People don't want to look at people with disabilities in holiday, their mood will go bad, "they still haven't been allowed into various institutions and even shops."

"Moscow did not let go home."

In 2013, Julia Samoilova got on the project of Alla Pugacheva - in the music talent show "Factor A." The singer reached the final and took second place in the audience. She also received the Golden Star of Alla Award.

"Before the competition, no one knew about me, except for the regions of the Komi Republic. And when our story show to all of Russia on the central channel, then my life changed. People began to recognize me. I would say that Moscow did not let me go home, because immediately there were offers to speak and shoot. There was no time for a walk," Samoilov describes those days."

In particular, after the end of the show, she recorded several songs, including a duet with Gosha Kutsenko, and performed at the opening ceremony of the Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi.

But the all-Russian fame turned out to be the other side, says the singer: "I could not sleep, and it seemed to me that, barely closing my eyes, I hear everyone who says something about me. I felt it like skin. Then I realized why so many public people are so superstitious. But it appeared to me differently - I started to get hysterical, I realized that I was not ready for such close attention, but you couldn't get off."

In 2016, Samoilova underwent surgery on the spine. "They straightened it as far as possible because, at that moment, I couldn't eat properly," she says. After surgery, the artist had to learn everything again. "And, oddly enough, it has become harder to sing," she adds.

Two Eurovision

In Kyiv, a new round in Samoilova's creative career was to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 with the song Flame Is Burning. However, the Security Service of Ukraine banned the singer from entering the country for three years because Julia performed in Kerch in 2015.

The Russian side decided not to seek a replacement for Samoilova and refused to broadcast the contest, saying that the singer will go to Eurovision in 2018. The European Broadcasting Union fined the National Public Television and Radio Company of Ukraine.

In Lisbon, where Eurovision-2018 held, Julia Samoilova went with the song "I Won't Break." The girl admitted that before the trip, she "was afraid to be nervous, to sing badly."

On the eve of entering the stage in the second semifinal, the performer was almost ready to cry: "I had so many emotions that I thought I'd better catch my breath ... so that there was no lump in my throat."

On stage, Julia went astray during the performance of the song - some critics accused the artist of forgetting the words, but the singer herself said that she was worried. As a result, the representative of Russia did not have enough votes from the audience and the jury to qualify for the finals. She scored 65 points and took 15th place.

Julia's mother, after Eurovision 2018, stated that the girl was anxious about criticism on the Internet and therefore unsuccessfully spoke: "Julia broken before the performance. This happened after the first wave of negativity when the clip went on air. And what is happening on the Internet is not just hard; even words cannot pick up. Last year everyone supported her."

The singer herself admitted that she made "jambs and a lot of mistakes," but got a "cool, unforgettable experience" that will store in her heart for a long time. A flurry of criticism, according to Samoilova, appeared even before the song announced: as soon as it turned out that the artist was going to Lisbon. At the same time, in her opinion, the indifference of the audience and the media is worse for the performer than criticism.

"Eurovision is certainly a colossal experience in my life, in my work. I will always remember about him - I think, all my life. I regret that I was worried, did not live up to the expectations of my own, and the people who supported me," said Samoilova at a press conference after the competition.

"The hype subsided."

"I can't say that Eurovision somehow radically changed my life. The hype has subsided; I will not dissemble. But perhaps the fact that my husband Lesha and I became pickier also played a role. We refuse interviews and concerts to many: we choose what is interesting and necessary for us," the singer shares.

After the contest, Julia Samoilova released a book, shot a video and recorded an album, and is now working on the next one. It will differ from previous works in several ways, and the singer explains: "We decided to raise funds for it through crowdfunding, this is new to us. The songs that we write are very different from the old repertoire; the music is more danceable, youthful. "Many people are surprised to listen to them and say that they didn't even think that I could write such music."

The singer is also working on a solo program: "To my shame, I have not had a single solo album since I became more or less famous. Now we rehearse with musicians. I decided to include in the program a little bit from a rock band that I had for a long time, so to speak, to return to the past."