Singer/songwriter Yana Brilitskaya has already made her mark on the Ukrainian music scene as a participant in multiple TV talent shows and as lead vocalist in Celebrity Band. But what about beyond her stage persona? What’s On finds out.
What’s On is to meet with Brilitskaya at the popular Ludi:CasualFood in Arena City. She is running late. She texts to say she will be 10 minutes but a check of the time shows she is already 12 minutes late. Patience is a virtue and we are in no hurry. While waiting on her we check YouTube, researching the work of our interviewee.
Then the door opens and there she is: a smiling sweet-looking face who before making the usual greetings, apologises profusely for the delay. We are charmed immediately and any previous frustration melts away.
She is dressed in a casual, but stylish sweater, wears no makeup (well, that’s what she claims), and is here between rehearsals. Learning she is limited for time we jump right into it.
Knowing you’re featured in all kinds of TV talent shows, what keeps you going?
I believe there are two things you have to have to become a singer. An understanding you cannot live without it, and hard work.
There is the saying “what doesn’t kill you….
…. makes you stronger” (Brilitskaya continues). That’s what I believe. I have several projects and am also working on new material (she laughs). Some wise man said: “It’s not the talented people per se, but the hardworking ones.” Winners are made of 30% talent and 70% hard work and I fully agree with that.
Let me ask you about Celebrity Band.
Some time ago we took a special approach to creating a cover band that set high standards of quality and content, which immediately made us different from many other bands. We made a quality promo video and have put together a very good repertoire. Three of us (myself, Vadim the drummer, and Orest, who now works with Dzidzio) started it and we grew to eight musicians on stage, including saxophone, trumpet, and other instruments.
And you are not going to settle only on covers, is that right? You have a solo project in the pipeline?
Yes, I am writing lyrics and composing original music for my songs!
Wow, nowadays, it is rare to see singers write their own songs. Isn’t it easier to buy a ready-to-go song and jump to the top?
I believe in putting some heart and soul into the songs I perform – the same when you live through a certain situation and then you put it into music and words. How can you sing someone else’s words with conviction? I may consider purchasing a song in future, but so far, I enjoy the process of creating all of it from scratch.
How about yourself, what music influences you?
From early childhood it was names of jazz singers like Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, and people at the pinnacle – Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston. My personal attachment is to Beyoncé, I admire her as a singer and as a woman. Nowadays I listen to Pharrell and Frank Ocean, jazz, soul, R-n-B, hip-hop.
When writing your own songs, what emotions are you trying to conjure up in people?
Well, in general, I want people to be inspired. I want to fire them up. If we speak about my first song Nature has a Plan, at first glance it tells the story of a girl with good visuals of cute ladies in the music video. But it’s deeper than that – it’s about our mission, our plan in life, which is bestowed from above, from the universe. The task is understanding that mission and then following it.
Tell us about your future vision, five to ten years from now.
I see myself growing and developing in music, as well as in other areas, like movies. Even perhaps creating a music school for children. My belief is, regardless of age, 30…45… 60…you can always live a full and interesting life.
WO Top 5 Answers Fast
Eating – high-end cuisine
Dobryi Dyadya and Milk Bar
Style of dress
Casual – no heels or makeup
Bright colours – red!
Single or Married?
Neither, I’m into music
(we had to confirm) You date music?
(laughing) Well, if I like a person and their sense of humour – I can spend time with them. But I as I said, I am quite busy.
To find out more about this up-and-coming songstress, check out: