2016 took off at a run. There are a lot of changes and developments happening, one of which is me closing this blog down as separate site and transitioning it to be part of elizaveta.com, as it should have been for a while.
You must be asking: what happened, Elly? Did you go to Japan? Did you have a birthday? Did you have a good Christmas?
Well, kind of yes to all of those and more. I have also moved. At the moment I am strictly nomadic, without a permanent address. Right now I am in Los Angeles. Prior to this it was Spain and Moscow. This Wednesday I am flying to Shanghai, where I will perform my song Odi et Amo in Chinese! After that I'll be briefly back stateside, but then going to Tokyo for all of February!
I am learning Japanese and it's been wonderful, plus I am still putting finishing touches on my Japanese language album, which will be released in May. So I'm off to Tokyo to take a language course, as well as explore it more, as I loved it the last time around. My love affair with Japan is in full bloom.
I have been writing and recording, don't worry! There is not only one, but TWO new Pegboard Nerds collaborations coming up this spring. I wrote and recorded two brand new duets. Two of my songs are about to be featured in movies out next month.
I am also joining Patreon, so if you are reading this blog, keep an eye out for that special link. The Patreon membership will allow me to provide new music and other content monthly, as I move around the globe and record in different languages.
I also performed at TED Global 2015 in December, which took place in Geneva, Switzerland. It was a wonderful experience. You can read a small write-up on it HERE.
We also shot a music video for the Japanese version of 'Hero', in collaboration with incredible floral artist Flower Couture (photo above is from my performance in Tokyo for Autodesk gallery opening, where she styled me). I can't wait to share all of that with you!
There is a lot more, but I have to go back to working and nursing my cold. I know I promised many times I'd be better about blogging and I guess I lied. I can just imagine my father reading this and shaking his head at his daughter's inconsistent behavior.
But hey! 2015 was a strange year and 2016 feels like the waves just got bigger. But I also feel like I am a much better surfer, so there. I am feeling creative and adventurous and this blog will not die, it will just resume a new life where it was always supposed to be - at my official site!
Stay tuned for the waves, my friends. And be assured that my absence here was not from hiding in a proverbial cave somewhere, it was just from being so ridiculously busy that I now know I need to organize myself 3,000 better. This spring is partially about that. I feel like I am about to take things to the next phase in more ways than one. Are you with me? I hope so:)
I know, it's so like me - to post a cliffhanger and then leave this blog empty and echoing.
But I was busy! (excuses, excuses).
And so here are some dates and goodies:
As you can see above, this is the cover for my upcoming album 'Messenger'. The single 'Trap' will go live on iTunes worldwide June 1st, and the entire album will be available for pre-order. Oh yes, and a really awesome remix of 'Trap' will be available, too. The full album will go live June 29, 2015.
Track list has been updated, and here it is:
2. Messenger (feat. Great Caesar)
4. Time of Your Life
7. These Stupid Games
8. Bella Anima
9. Space Pirate's Love Song
10. Trap (J Paul Mix)
This is very much my album, in the sense that it's multi genre and yet, I am hoping, there is a thread running through it. It sits somewhere in between Beatrix Runs and Hero in scope. I'll do some detailed entries on the songs and their stories later (yes, I will - pinky swear!)
This album, unlike Hero and more like Beatrix Runs, has a number of pure acoustic moments - but also gets its share of majestic and choral. Generally speaking, it's quite organic and has a lot of piano in it. More than half the tracks - or at least their foundations were recorded live, as in: me, playing piano and singing at the same time.
That brings me to THE TOUR: Look at the right hand column and you will find my tour dates for this summer, or some of them (since we are adding more soon). I'll be performing in New York, Moscow, London, L.A. & San Francisco over the course of two months, so make sure you come and partake, if you are in the area.
What else? I will be the voice of the Tavern Bard for Dragon Age again this year, so that's fun:)
OK, I am off to do more work.
PS: the source image for the cover is by a wonderful artist I discovered recently, whose name is Eugenia Loli. Google her and partake of her work because she is remarkable - and this cover will get a blog entry all its very own quite soon.
I've had a busy few weeks. The album is almost ready, it's being mixed, actually. Mixing is always so emotional and drives me crazy. All the weaknesses of the tracks become obvious, and sometimes you know exactly what needs to be done, while other times you are lost and are searching for the words in the dark, which must seriously frustrate my mixing engineer.
As I may have mentioned earlier, I sang a bunch of songs for Dragon Age Inqusition, which is a pretty cool role-playing video game. The songs were not part of the official soundtrack, but the fans of the game loved them so much, they kept asking the developers to release them separately. Lo and behold, Bioware, the game's developer gave in after a few months of the enthusiasm and is now releasing an official album:) There are ten songs. By the way, they just announced today that they are giving them away for free together with sheet music for two weeks, and also holding a fan contest. Get them HERE.
In the meantime, I filmed and recorded a couple of the songs I sang in-game, for your pleasure. The music and lyrics are by a good friend of mine, a very talented composer Raney Schockne:
And here is a song about a cheeky girl-warrior:
I had a fantastic show a week ago, here are a couple of pics:
So, as a little heads up, I will be launching a brand new music side project soon. It's called Spy Satellites and it will be All Electro All The Time. What that means is that this will be my electronic music project. I am excited about it because it has a significantly different sound. We already have the first single in place, it's getting mixed, and we're looking to make a video for it very soon, too.
This morning I am rather grumpy because I dropped my iPhone into a cup of tea as I randomly woke up in the wee hours of the morning and was checking the time. Fingers crossed it will dry out and be as good as new - because it IS new - my old one was washed in the washing machine prior to my departure for Russia. I am never this clumsy, I have no idea what is happening.
I'll just choose to believe that something amazing is around the corner and this is a way to get any kinks out of the way. Yeah, yeah, I know. But I have to believe something other than that I have to get a new iPhone.
Well, not as romantic as a train, but from my mom's kitchen in Moscow!
Last night's show in Moscow was very special. First and foremost, this was a great show for both myself and the guys. Secondly, this is my home turf - I grew up here. To perform in front of a few thousand people and win them over is something every artist dreams about, I suppose.
This was a proper way to finish off this year, so to speak. Now it's back to recording and focusing on music and planning for next year. My birthday is coming up, too.
The show in St. Petersburg was wonderful and terrifying. Wonderful because, well, any opportunity to perform my songs in front of many, many people is wonderful. Terrifying because I was having tech issues 2 minutes prior to my set, and then others IN my set. Fortunately they stopped. But having your microphone misfire in front of 8,000+ people is not something I care to do a lot unless I want to have an early stroke.
I am in Moscow now and it snowed a bit yesterday. Nothing to write home about, though. I was also fighting off an ear infection for a few days, and only now it seems like it's mostly gone away. I kept myself in denial about it because the last time I had one was when I was 11 or something - but after a couple of days of my ear being distinctly unhappy, I had to admit to myself there may be a problem.
All in all I pulled it off, but I am hoping to crush it day after tomorrow.
Also, I wasn't able to do my live broadcast with Bambuser because this train we took back to Moscow did NOT have wi fi. It was quaint and quite old and restored etc - but no whiff of wi fi anywhere. Oh well. I am thinking I should do it this Thursday before or after the next concert.
Yes, Thursday there's another big show, and it's a big deal for me - home turf and all - also quite a good way to finish up this year of Hero EP, touring Russia for the first time, releasing my own self produced project for the first time, all those things. To me, the year started last November when I was here and met with Bi-2 to collaborate, and then went to their huge show (at same venue we're performing at this week) and we decided to tour together.
A lot learned, a lot gained, for sure. That said, I am sitting here and as I am trying to be kind to myself in a 'good girl, you did a lot!' sort of way, I find myself failing and all I can think of is what I COULD and SHOULD have done, instead, how much MORE I could have accomplished. Oh well. I am also thinking about everything I should and must be doing NOW and this December. No warm and fuzzy holiday/birthday feelings for me this week, only thoughts of what I want to get done, recording and organization-wise.
Maybe it's something in the stars. Oftentimes, the feeling of my coming up short of my own potential immobilizes me. But now, I just become aware of what I need to do, and - although sometimes rather impatiently - I go and get it done.
Yes, it was a crazy, but rather good year. What did I learn?
Practice makes perfect.
Preparation, preparation, preparation.
Faith, discipline and courtesy.
Those are everything.
Oh and also laugh more. Appreciate others, let them know and give more of yourself. Nothing - and no one - is a given.
What's ahead? Music, music and more music. This coming year I want to travel, perform and live life to the fullest, without fear, without being stuck in my head. I feel like I am hatching, and maybe 3/4 out of my shell now. What's next? Maybe I'll just do my best and then see.
And for now, here's this: acoustic and a bit operatic;)
If you're reading this and would like a copy of this live sound recording, sign up at http://elizaveta.fanbridge.com
As to other things: almost finished with the Japanese EP, the Chinese recording - and the Hero full album has been pushed to spring, but as you can see, we are putting up more music and recordings in the meantime.
Dreamer has a Christmas version, too! Stay tuned...
I am sitting half dressed in the hotel room and about to get ready and go to perform.
I am in St. Petersburg. It is such a beautiful city, I wish I had a bit more time to go out and walk around. This city is very moody, though, even more than Moscow - right now the skies are gray, overcast and look like lead, hanging over the streets, really close to the ground. Anyway, usually I would still go out, armed with an espresso and brave the weather.
But I am fighting off a bit of a virus of some kind I picked up somewhere, so my energy has been somewhat limited. We came here via a night train. It left Moscow at midnight. It really is as romantic as it sounds, except there was no one special here to share my train compartment, so I drank my tea, listened to music in my headphones and stared out into the darkness, which pressed against the train windows.
After the show - I am opening for Bi-2 and then performing with them, as well - we catch another night train. I will try to do another Bambuser broadcast then. The train we took to come here had wi fi, so I am hoping this one will, too.
I also just posted a cover of a Russian song I love - it's called 'The Prayer" by Bi-2.
Hearts up on the roof
are breathing slowly before they leap
I can hear all your thoughts
All we care about has gone topsy-curvy
How can one say this, without breaking it, tearing it apart
We are a like a river, here for ages
like the words of a prayer
Everything, except love
our whole life - so far away
I am not alone
but I am no one without you
Ashes are light and weightless
you didn't notice the swift passage of time
the spell runs out and pearls become glass
How empty it is, on the inside
without mirages, without magic
We are here only for a moment
let it sound like the words of a prayer
Alright, so here is the window for Bambuser. I am planning on giving this a go and doing a live broadcast at 3PM PST, while I am on the night train, which is carrying me away into wide open spaces...
Here I am in my old city again.
What is happening in my life, you may ask?
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:)