Sergey Lazarev is without a doubt one of the most successful singers in Russia today. Before going solo, Sergey, a multi-talented singer, dancer and actor, started out in a band called Neposedi which also included Julia and Lena who later formed Tatu.
He then went on to form pop duo, Smash!! with childhood friend Vlad Topalov. They were signed by Universal Music Russia, had five Number 1 hits, airplay on MTV Russia, numerous awards and millions of copies were sold in Russia, CIS and South East Asia.
Sergey's debut solo album 'Don't Be Fake', released in Russia, instantly sold more than 300,000 copies which led to the prestigious Russian National Music TV Channel's MUZ TV Award as "Best New Act" in 2006.
After having recent success in the UK club charts, Sergey is now set to release his latest single, "Everytime" on December 3rd, 2007 in the UK.
Sergey was gracious enough to take some time out for this exclusive interview with me for BandWeblogs.com.
Jenny May: Can you tell us about your latest single, "Everytime"? How it came to be your next UK release?
Sergey: "Everytime" is the second single from my new album. The first single "Shattered Dreams" is very dynamic, so I wanted the next one to be kind of sad, and especially the fall is the time of the year that has something melancholic about it in the air. But the remixes of "Everytime" will make everyone jump up.
Do you write your songs? If so, what is your song writing process like? Or if not - how do you select your songs?
I have lots of ideas about music, the ways it should sound, its concepts and creativity, but as for writing music it's kind of difficult for me so far...that's why the songs for me are written by professionals. But I always take an active part in the process.
Who are your musical influences?
There are many artists whose work I respect and I listen to their songs a lot. I have over 100 cds of different artists and music styles in my car. What I really like are the artists who make an incredible and bright show out of their performance on stage. I respect and admire artists who have a lot to say by their work, real leaders, artists who are not afraid of experiments and radical changes...
What are your views on western music?
I think that Russian music and show business in general have a lot to learn and to look up at...I think there's such a massive stream of new music coming and it's very hard for young artists to make their ways without the support of a serious big label. And the audience is becoming very picky - it's very hard to surprise it with something.
Have you toured the UK and/or the US? Do you have any plans for a large scale tour?
I have this idea in my future plans. But there's so much to be done before I go on a big tour. So far I have a lot of concerts around Russia and other neighboring countries. I have a perfect team of dancers and musicians from Britain with me. And of course my dream is to perform with my new show in Britain.
Do you keep in touch with your old Neposedi band mates, Julia and Lena (who went on to form Tatu)?
Of course we do. We are good old friends. Julia and I are very close...always supporting and helping each other. She is like a sister to me.
What is your favorite style of music?
As for me, the right style of music is the one which is best to your mood and situation at a specific moment...
Do you have plans to act in more projects in the future? If so, what?
I have taken part in many projects in my life - different TV projects as well as contests. The last two of them were Dancing on Ice, where I took the 2nd prize and Circus with the Stars, where I was the winner. I used to spend lots of time training and as you can see the results speak for themselves. But at the moment I am 100% in music.
Do you prefer to act or sing?
I just love being on stage...I feel totally comfortable there. I remember myself singing since childhood and I can't imagine my life without music at all. Music under my skin...by the way, the song with the same title is in my new album.
How and/or why did you start singing and performing?
Since childhood I was a very energetic kid: was doing something, jumping, running around all the time - and never had a minute of rest. When I turned 6 years old my parents took me to a sports school, but because of the injury I got, I had to leave professional sport at the age of 8. But except for being a very sportive child I was good at singing, that's why after I had to quit gymnastics, I started taking vocal classes...and since then I have been singing...
Since you started in the music business at a young age, what are your feelings about child stars and do you think you've coped well in the business?
It is obvious that it is very hard to be in the centre of everybody's attention since a very young age. At a certain point you are getting used to being very successful and it's hard to surprise you with anything, and you start to want more and more, which you don't get all the time, as success is a very unsteady thing, so sooner or later you start lacking it. Then the panic starts, sometimes you get depressed, you don't know what to do and which way to go. I have been through that. At a moment like that, it is very important that your close friends and your family are with you - they can always help you to go through hard times.
Do you prefer the recording process or performing live?
I really enjoy recording songs at the studio. But there's nothing compared to a live concert. I love touring. And now when I have an incredible team of dancers and musicians that I work together with - it is even more exciting!!!