Russian Duo to Hold 1st Concert

Time of publication: 18.09.2006
Nasty and outrageous rumors often chase big-time stars. But there are few nastier than the one that became stuck to the female Russian duo Tatu, whose "lesbian" image still lingers.

It started as a prank when they released a music video for their song "All the Things She Said." Lena Katina, 22, and Julia Volkova, 21, stirred up controversy in Russia and other countries in 2000 with the video, in which they projected a "lesbian image." Clad in schoolgirl uniforms, the teenagers appeared on stage as lesbian lovers.

However, they have now grown up, and the prank is over. They are seeking a new image partly through a tour to Korea and a concert to be held today.

"We're very glad to come to Korea and to meet Korean fans at the concert. This is the first time for us in Korea. We'd like to look around the country and know more about it," Volkova said in an interview with The Korea Times.

The duo arrived Sunday and is scheduled to hold its first concert in Olympic Hall in Olympic Park in southern Seoul, at 8 p.m.

The concert is also part of a series of events to boost Korea-Russia cultural exchanges and to mark the release of an album.

The duo, which was created in 1999 by their former producer, Ivan Shapovalov, is mostly known around the world as an underaged lesbian couple.

They admitted on Russian television that their image as lesbians was only a marketing strategy that helped them gain huge popularity on the pop charts, both in their home country and in European countries.
The nature of their relationship was part of the mystery and hype of the package designed to skyrocket them to the top of the charts.

"We've never thought of ourselves as lesbians," Volkova said. "We've known each other for 11 years. We're so close each other that we're like family, sharing a deep friendship. So many people see more than that in our relationship."

The duo also worked together in a children's musical group called "Neposedi," where both girls started their singing.

However, the girls said that they hope many fans will listen to their concert performances and their album, which will soon be released with more lavish songs.

The duo said that the style of music has changed from the first album to the third album, which has not been released yet.

"The first album was mostly pop music," Volkova explained. "The album, which will be released next year, includes more rock-styled music."

"We hope fans pay more attention to lyrics and melodies in our songs instead of our images. We hope our fans think our images come after our music," she said.

"We're looking for our own style that can be branded as Tatu We don't want to be categorized along with other singers," she said.

The duo said that, so far, its songs are tinged with a little sadness. But the songs in the next album will be dance music with upbeat rhythms, the duo said. The third album will be released in the fall next year.

They plan to hold concerts next year.

They said that modern Russian music lags behind that in other European countries.

"Many Russian singers and groups are trying just to live up to other singers, instead of finding and developing something unique and different from other musicians," they said.

They said that many singers are dance singers, pursuing images as good-looking, rather than musically talented.

The duo has just released a "The Best" album this month, including 20 hit songs such as "All About Us," "All The Things She Said," which triggered controversy over its provocative music video, and three new songs _ "Ne Ver Ne Boysia Ne Prosi," "Null & Void," and "Divine."

Chung Ah-young
The Korea Times
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