t.A.T.u. , or Тату as they are known in Russia, is a multi-award winning Russian music duo consisting of Elena Sergeyevna Katina (Елена Сергеевна Катина) and Yulya Olegovna Volkova (Юлия Олеговна Волкова) .
The group was formed in 1999 by Ivan Shapovalov in Moscow. t.A.T.u. is the most successful international recording act exported from Russia, with a fan base stretching all over the world. Their debut album, “200 Po Vstrechnoi ” was the first from a Russian act to reach gold status internationally. With the release of their debut English album, “200 KM/H in the Wrong Lane ”, t.A.T.u. became the first act to receive an IFPI Platinum Europe Award for the same album in two languages.
Much of their early success was based on what was thought of as a lesbian image portrayed by Katina and Volkova, and the controversy that surrounded it. However, in December 2003, it became apparent in their documentary, Anatomy of t.A.T.u., that their sexuality was just part of the group’s image at the time, and that they were not actually lesbians. Then, in 2004, the group took a hiatus after they split from their producer and Volkova became pregnant. They were soon back in the studio, and, in 2005, released “Dangerous and Moving ” and “Lyudi-Invalidy ”. In the last year, the group has released a compilation album, negotiated out of their contract with Universal records, and announced the production of a third twin albums “Waste Management ” and “Upravlenie Otbosami ”, which will coincide to the release of an upcoming film titled ‘You And I’ (Previously known as ‘Finding t.A.T.u.’, which was the working title).
Waste Management is the third English studio album by t.A.T.u… Production began in early 2007 and is expected for a 2008 release. The album will be much less metaphorical than the last album, and will follow a more philosophical theme. According to t.A.T.u., the album has a much “dancier” style than their previous albums.
t.A.T.u.’s image and vocals fit well into pop music, however, the group’s sound varies from rock, to dance, to pop and electronica. Their first Russian album was mostly rock and dance influenced, while their first English album was heavily influenced by rock and electronica. Their English follow-up, Dangerous and Moving, was a more traditionally Euro-pop album than the first.
t.A.T.u. represented Russia at the Eurovision Song Contest 2003 and came in 3rd place with just 3 points less than the winning song performed by Sertab Erener from Turkey. They sang “Ne Ver’, Ne Boysya”, but because of Volkova’s inflamed vocal cords, she did not take part in rehearsals, lowering the quality of their performance. They later stated, “Eurovision is for beginners. We were already artists and only attended because our country asked us to attend.”