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ministori: How did you first get involved in music and who are some of your influences?
Elina Milan: Well, let’s back to basics. Having come from a musical family, I had always felt a special connection with the world of music from an early age. It became just a part of me. If you asked me to tell about my childhood, I would say that the most important things for me were [toys?] (Laughter) no, not toys; it was a tape recorder, microphone, and a huge collection of cassettes. But I had been just a listener for a long time before I realized one thing – “I want to make my own music…but where to start from?” Having bought a synthesizer, I started writing lyrics and simple melodies. Ok, I tried to write). That was not so easy. Actually, it took me a few years to learn the basics. At the time I was inspired by the songs of Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. Also, I used to listen to a lot of dance tracks. Later, in 2007 my friend game me a CD with a mix from one of the world’s biggest music festivals – Trance Energy. Gosh, it just rocked my world)Trance settled in my heart forever. These days my biggest influence is Armin van Buuren. I admire him as an artist and person; he is for sure my number one dream collaborator.
ministori: I see you are from Almaty, Kazakhstan. How does that influence your music and what is the music scene like over there?
Elina Milan: I was born and raised in the southern capital of Kazakhstan – Almaty. But in general, it doesn’t affect the formation of my musical interests at all. I always knew that foreign music has a greater impact on me. As for Kazakhstan’s show business, it’s still at the stage of development. Our Top Hits are still not strong enough to become “the real” Hits. But the situation is slowly changing and I know some producers who write amazing tracks. So, I think music here still needs a few more years to reach the desired level.
ministori: Your vocals on this track are performed in English, how many languages do you speak and do you write and sing in each?
Elina Milan: Living in a multicultural country, you get used to the perception of different languages. So, I speak Russian and English. Also I know the basics of Kazakh, but does it count? )) As for singing and writing lyrics, I prefer English.
ministori: You’re featured on the closing track “It’s Time for You to Go”. Is that a personal statement and can you tell how that song idea came about?
Elina Milan: Yep, I got a story to tell: I was at home watching MTV, and there was one cool video on there. I jumped up and started dancing, following the movements of those hip hop guys from the vid. And right after this, the ideas for my song came instantly, line by line. All that I needed to do is to take a pen and write down them. The song basically wrote itself when I heard that beat. This may seem rather weird, but the inspiration for writing does not depend on my mood. New ideas come unexpectedly: at home, in a car, on the street… whatever, it doesn’t depend on time or place and every single moment of this life can inspire me.
ministori: Many international artists have made attempts to break into the American music industry, some with success and others without. being multilingual do you intend on making a push into this market?
Elina Milan: Ohh, I think every musician has this “American Dream”. No doubt, there are more opportunities to get noticed and grow professionally in the States rather than in Kazakhstan (for example). I also have my dreams and plans, but for now it’s too early for me to think about such a high level. I am very demanding of myself. Still there are so many things I have to learn. It’s just a matter of time. Ask me this question when I become a Pro.
ministori: Have you ever been stateside and what do you think of American (pop) music (e.g. Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Beyonce and Lady Gaga?
Elina Milan: I’ve never been to the U.S, but it’s in my plans for the next 3 years. One of my strongest desires is to visit the “City of Angels” or simply Los Angeles). There are a lot of interesting things to see in LA! Well, now, talking about Pop culture I’m gonna touch on the philosophical aspect. What can I say? American pop music has long moved beyond just music, becoming a huge and very influential industry. Nowadays, every popular musician is a profitable brand and a long-term project. Because for a modern listener, just to sing and dance is already not enough. The requirements for artists are much higher than before. Their fans want Top Hits, grand shows, private photos taken by paparazzi, breaking news and daily updates…and they want to get this info directly from the celebrities (Twitter rules)). There was a time for Britney Spears, now it’s time for Lady Gaga, which currently inspires a lot of pop musicians! And when they dress and try to act like her, I call it the “Lady Gaga style”. She was the first who understood how it all works- without changing her own principles and staying honest to all her fans. Gaga knows well how to shock, amaze and sustain public interest. So, the World of Music changes fast, and we don’t know what happens next…but being a part of this process let’s us see what surprises our tomorrow brings : )
Dynamica Music label
September 26, 2011