Next stop in our series of Eurovision 2013 participants’ interviews is Moscow, Russia where we meet 22 year-old Dina Garipova. Dina will perform What if at the 1st semi-final on 14 May. She was selected internally by the Russian broadcaster Channel One Russia to fly the country’s flag in Malmö.
Which artists do you admire? Do you have any specific influences in your performance or in the way you work?
There are many singers and musicians who I respect a lot. For instance, I am a big fan of Whitney Houston. She was an amazing singer with a very strong voice. I’d also mention Sting, whose show I have watched live not long ago. Adele is another favorite singer of mine. I know many people compare us and try to give me the title of “new Adele”, but in spite of her influence on me and my music, I think each singer is unique. And no doubt, I am in love with music of Josh Groban. This American singer is always my number one and I am so happy that in almost a month we will perform together in Moscow.
You are still at the very beginning of your singing career but you have also studied journalism. Apart from winning the Eurovision Song Contest, which is obvious at this point, what is your biggest career dream?
I have always seen myself as a professional singer. Journalism has helped me with self development, but I don’t think I will pursue a career as a journalist. I don’t have a big dream, but for the time being I wish my album and my first tour to be successful. As for the bigger desires, I want to make people like what I am doing as long as it will be possible.
What would you change in the Eurovision Song Contest format, if you could do so?
I wouldn’t change anything. It’s very ok at its current form.
If you were not taking part to the Contest, which song would you like to win?
Well, difficult to say. This year there are so many good songs and strong contestants, that I really don’t have only one favorite.
How is Dina in her everyday life? How do you prefer to spend your free time?
Honestly speaking for the last three months I have no free time and if I had any that was to sleep for a bit. My schedule is very tough at the moment: in the morning we can have an interview in one country and in the evening we might have to perform back in Moscow, for instance. However, if I had free time, I would love to spend it in my hometown with my family and my friends there.
If you could rule the world for one day, what would you change?
I cannot even imagine this, because this is definitely not what I am looking for. Though if that occasionally happened, I would do anything to make people enjoy every minute of their lives, to think about people around them, to be more open and caring.
You are “The 2012 Voice” of Russia. Can you describe us your feelings when you first went on stage and what you felt when you were eventually announced as the winner of the show?
I was shocked in both cases. Totally.
Can you give us any idea of how your stage performance in Malmӧ is going to be?
Let it be a small secret until the first rehearsals, but exclusively for esctoday.com I can say there won’t be a big show. I want my performance to be more concentrated on the song and the message in its lyrics.
Your song carries a strong message for peace and solidarity. What is the story behind it?
You’d better ask the song authors about this. As for me, when I first heard the song, I realized it’s mine and I want to perform it. I feel like the lyrics are about to make people paying attention to others around, to forget arguing, but to try to accept each other, and enjoy all the similarities but also the differences we have to each other. I know this might sound very naive or – someone could say – very pathetic, but this is the way I feel the message of my song.
You have experienced singing in many languages. Which languages have you sung in so far? Which is your favourite language when it comes to singing and performing?
I have no preferences. Every language is beautiful by its own. Though the most common ones for me to sing are Russian, English, Tatar, French and Italian. This doesn’t unfortunately mean that I speak all the above mentioned languages. (smiles)
You hail from the Russian region of Tatarstan. Can you tell us more about Tatarstan and its culture and heritage?
Tatarstan is a part of Russia, but Tatar people are different from the average Russians in case of culture and language. We have Turk origin. Tatar culture dates back to many centuries ago and people try to save it even nowadays. The main features of Tatar people is that we are very keen on music: lots of us love to sing. And at the same time Tatar people are very hospitable and open to strangers.
What is your message to the readers of esctoday.com?
I want to wish every reader and all staff of esctoday.com to have many great and memorable moments in every single day of their lives! Always be in a very good mood and keep loving good music. Many hugs to all of you!!!
Esctoday.com would like to thank Dina Garipova for this interview and wish her the best of luck at the Eurovision Song Contest.