Well, lots and lots. First and foremost, I am working on an acoustic EP, called Fairytales and Satellites, to be out by summer's end. It's all just piano and voice... ok voices, and some beautiful strings here and there. The titles are:
Fairy Tale for Girls
I am very excited about it because unlike HERO, this EP very will be very pure and acoustic. I get so ambitious when I record or arrange these days. Fairy Tales and Satellites is a good counterpart to Hero because it is so stripped down and breathes differently. As a matter of fact, the original takes that are being used were not even recorded to click - they are performances, and it also gives the songs/tracks a different kind of vibe, which is not as polished and very organic.
Plus, the full Hero album promises to be pretty ambitious and full sounding, just like the Hero EP, so Fairy Tales and Satellites provides a welcome harbor for those of my fans who miss Beatrix Runs. Also - Bella Anima is a hybrid pop/opera kind of song, just like Odi et Amo, so since the Hero EP didn't have any opera on it, this should soothe the pain;)
This past weekend I was a guest of B2 at Russia's largest open air rock music festival, aka NASHESTVIE. It means Invasion, more or less. I guested on one of my favorite songs of theirs - Молитва, or Prayer. Actually, I am going to post a cover of it shortly.
By the way, do you see a pattern here: I release an EP called HERO, which then gets used for an epic viral Superman video, and following that I perform at a festival called Invasion? Coincidence? I think not!;)
Performing in front of 120,000 people is quite a high, let me tell you. There was a symphony orchestra and fireworks. I wore a new headpiece, designed by my lovely i102fly:
Ignore the sweater with dots. This photo was taken in the green room/tent and I was trying to keep warm. By evening's end it was FREEZING cold. I thought I would die. But I still wore the dress. Ah, the pressures of performing life;)
Unfortunately that morning I woke up absolutely sick - apparently I had had some sort of food poisoning. Warning: do not eat little cakes in Moscow's cafes you are not familiar with - which I had.
Shura B2, one of the band's two leads, suggested I take some super Soviet remedy which had been developed in the USSR in the 70's for cosmonauts, in case they got poisoned by something in space. Ok. Well, it worked - it tasted like chalk, but by the afternoon I was alive and well and keeping food down, as opposed to lying down flat with my eyes closed.
Note to self: driving for three hours on Russian country roads while sick from food poisoning is not something that can or should be done on regular basis.
All in all, I'd love to do it again. And again. And again. I mean, the performance part, not the food poisoning part. It was unreal, it was beautiful - it was a high of all highs.
Speaking of performing in front of large crowds. Here is a video we just posted of my performance of Dreamer with symphony orchestra in Minsk, Belarus (Minsk Arena), when I was touring in support of B-2. Maybe not 120,000 people, but definitely around 12,000. I was terrified out of my mind, but had such fun. My personal favorite part of the video is when the camera pans across the keyboard player who is having a blast. What else could I ask for, really?:)
Other updates and things coming up or in the works:
- A cute and much delayed fan-sourced HERO video, where I am talking about the song. It features footage from fans and kids.
- Japanese language EP (two songs, Dreamer and Hero)
- Odi et Amo in Chinese
- Two new covers
- Full Hero album this winter
- Full Russian language album this spring
However, there are other big things in progress I am not quite at liberty to talk about just yet... so stay tuned, my darlings;)
The PegBoard Nerds version of HERO was used by their label Monstercat for a remix contest. So now, if you go to YouTube, and type in Elizaveta, what you get is literally hundreds of Hero remixes of all kinds.
A final note to my fans who read this: I know it takes me time to deliver things I promise to you, like the Hero video. However, since I am an indie artist at the moment, a lot rests on my shoulders and sometimes things just take - a lot - longer. This will change soon enough as I am putting together a new team and a framework for myself which will make everything easier. But I am not quite there yet. So I am the CEO, the builder, the artist, and the everything.
Well, except for you, who read this, listen to my music and come to my concerts. Without you, there would not be much at all, so thank you for your patience:)
I performed at 16 Tons and it was amazing. First of all, I was pleasantly surprised by how many people came. Secondly, there was a real synergy between myself and the two new musicians on stage with me.
The drummer is an incredibly talented and sweet guy who is the official drummer for B-2, the band I have been touring with - Boris Lifshits.
As I booked the show, I realized I had no bass player because the bass player who was supposed to play with me completely flaked on me last minute. So Boris asked his brother, Sasha. It was a pretty special occasion, also because prior to this show, they had never played together.
We rehearsed together for the first time the day before. Needless to say, I was terrified. See, I am pretty used to doing impromptu acoustic events/concerts. I have charts, all that. No problemo. But involve a drummer with a full kit and an electric bass player - and now it's a real band - and that requires special handling.
And yet, when we rehearsed, I walked away feeling like I was floating. Sure, it wasn't perfect. But there was something. And that something felt pretty amazing.
We had another run through next day, the morning of the concert. Shura B-2 joined me on two songs and there were a lot of fans of the B2 band who came out to support me.
I had such a good time at the show, I just wanted to turn around and do it all over again.
And it looks like I will have more than one chance to do it again, and pretty soon:) More on that later.
In one week's time my EP Hero will be released to the world, as will the EP "Как Дети".
I am in Minsk, and this is where we performed last night. I really love it here. And this is a photo of the arena from the other night where the concert was:
I really don't see how it gets any better than this, really, except that if this was MY concert 100%... but I guess that is just something to work towards starting now. Performing in an arena is so addictive. I loved every minute of it.
I have had so much fun performing with Shura & Lyova of B-2! And doing this with an orchestra on-stage has been such a treat.
One week to go until my release of the Hero EP, the official music video for "Sorry", the "Как Дети" ЕР, which features three new songs in Russian.
А если вы читаете это по русски, приходите ко мне на концерт в это воскресенье:
I am on tour in Russia, supporting a veteran Russian band, B-2. I get to do the opening set, but then also sing seven duets with them throughout their own set, PLUS sing one of my own songs with orchestra.
Yes, I forgot to mention that there's a symphony orchestra, too, in addition to the band.
I am loving every minute of it. So far we have done two cities - Kursk and Oryol. The audiences in both were so warm and welcoming, it was like a dream. Maybe it is a dream. But it's also a homecoming of sorts. After all, I am Russian. I grew up here. I may not have spent the recent years here, but the roots run deep. For my opening set, I sing songs both in English and Russian.
The political situation leaves a lot to be desired... and here's to hoping it will improve, and very soon:( But as for this moment, I am here to sing for these people - and hopefully remind them that sometimes you do get through, that life is not JUST struggle - sometimes after years of struggle you do get to live the dream.
On top of that, the PegBoard Nerds version of my single Hero is so, so good - and the Superman video it's attached to has gone viral - over 5 million views in the last two days. Here's the thing: I am already in heaven thinking about the fact that in the last 48 hours 5.5 million people have heard my voice.
That's enough for me.
But the response is mostly so positive - and today my site crashed because, apparently, the traffic to the site was too heavy for it to handle. This had never happened to me before: a definite first.
Hero is a very special song for me. I'll tell you why in the next post, though, because it's midnight here and I am absolutely knackered. Tomorrow's another show. See you then, goodnight.
London is all gray skies and piercing wind. The rain lets up occasionally and then it's plain lovely.
I went for walks and got rewarded by sun:
I also got rained on quite a lot.
After a while I decided to take matters into my own hands and bought a hat. It came in handy. I also got lots of compliments. Strange, because you'd think the English wear hats more often. But I guess not, I was the only one rocking the wide brimmed gray sexy hat. It was good for the rain.
I also went to see a Paul Klee exhibit at the Tate Modern. It was a feast for the senses.
He had a good life, that Klee. He got to be in Germany at the height of the Bauhaus movement and spent time with Kandinsky. They probably smoked cigarettes and debated art and philosophy over wine or something stronger in late night cafes and bars. Lucky him. He spent most of his life doing what he loved and in the right place. He died just before the start of the 2nd World War - probably a good thing since it would have broken his heart. His last painting was called 'Twilight Flowers' and it made me cry.
Here is a quote of his, I love the last sentence about the artist being 'a creature on a star among stars'.
I stayed with friends and was surrounded by cats. It's nice to have a warm cat around on a cold night, let me tell you.
This one, though, was as large as a panther - I swear! But very sweet and cuddly.
On occasion the sky looked magical, like in a Peter Pan story:
I went to the Borough Market and spent lots of money on edible things. Can you blame me?
My Troubadour show was sold out and packed. The sound guy was a cute Italian serious bloke and he was very good. I think I'll hire him again!
I caught a cold and brought it back to L.A. On the way back I woke up and saw glaciers:
I had an incredible couple of days and only now getting a little bit of rest. Next week I still have some vocals to finish for my Russian record and then I am off to London.
Joe's Pub performance was a grand time for me and it seemed to really connect with the audience, as well. It was sold out and people were so nice. I think I have become a better performer since the last time I sang here. New Yorkers are a tough crowd, they are very sophisticated and demanding.
I loved being part of the Prototype Festival. Unfortunately my buddy Timur the Tenor couldn't join me on the Odi et Amo duet at Joe's. I would have liked that because our performance at the LuEsther Lounge together was quite something. I think being paired up with another singer of an operatic background on a pop-ish duet makes me get louder and more dramatic/operatic than usual, and that it turn fires him up... and off we go into the stratosphere of vocal omnipotence;)
There are so many things I want to add to my live set, though. Electric guitar is going to become a permanent part of it, as I work on this in February, once I am back. Choreography...
But it's important to realize that I have come a long way as a performer in these last two years since the very advent of the first Beatrix Runs songs.
I love New York. Well, I was born here. When I come back, I am always both a little scared and excited. It's almost as if I am feeling the city challenge me and say: 'So? Have you accomplished your destiny? Where are you at? Why are you slacking? This is not why you were born here, little girl! Step up!'
Unlike Los Angeles, where I am just face to face with myself and act like a hermit, NYC has an energy all its own. It's alive, it breathes, shudders, buzzes. It provides stimulation everywhere and on every level.
My show tomorrow night is sold out:
I will have a wonderful bass player performing with me, Anthony Maceli.
If you are reading this, and missed out, I am performing a short set late tonight at The Festival Lounge at Public Theater, 425 Lafayette St NYC 1003. It's like an after hours hangout space for festival goers.
I go on at 11 PM, and it's free.
Yesterday New York was chilly and sunny.
One of the things I simply can't understand is how New Yorkers don't all weigh 300 pounds, simply because there are so many incredible places to eat everywhere, ten per every city block.
A fan drew a picture of me and posted on Facebook. It's beautiful, but what's even more striking to me is the owl. You see, I have been writing a story (animation screenplay sort of thing) and there is an owl in it. I have neglected the story in the recent months because the music took over. But this is like a definite sign to keep at it and finish it. All right, I'll do my best!
(drawing by Melissa Posch)
The show at Witzend in LA was also sold out and a few fans showed up to sing Hero with me. Some of them were 10, others in their 20's, 30's, 40's & 50's - I'd say we had quite a diverse group. It was a great start to a tradition, I think. It felt great.
I love to sing.
Right now I am pretty tired, though. But it's a good tired. Tonight, I'll be joined on Odi et Amo by a pretty amazing tenor (and friend) Timur Bekbosunov. He is quite something - I guess I'll just use his own description on his personal site because I couldn't come up with anything better: "The tumultuous sensation of omnipotent splendor, fueled by passion for contemporary art, culture and politics".
Only a tenor would come up with something like that;)