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History

Main »» History

history:

She is ambitious and intelligent--in an almost extinct sense of the word.

If our lives were compared to buildings with our experience and achievements making up levels, Irina Dorofeevas life in music would have already stood highly and proudly, dwarfing the neighborhood of manors with posher facades and humble shacks. But it was not constructed overnight and her ascent was anything but a non-stop elevator ride to the top. She walked and worked all the way up. Born in the Belarusian city of Mogilev in 1977, Irina began singing professionally at the age of 12 when, all within a year, she became the lead singer for a local group and won a prestigious national contest of young talents. Two more successesat the Slavianskiy Bazar (Slavic Bazaar) art festival in 1993 and the 1994 festival of Belarusian music and poetry in Molodechnobrought the young singer to the attention of the Verasy (The Heath) pop group which she joined as a lead singer. Also in 1994 Irina was named Discovery of the Year in Belarus. Her triumphant march through national and international song contests continued throughout the rest of the 90ies. She won Golden Hit 98, Vilnius 99, Discovery 99, Vitebsk 99 and other festivals in Belarus, Lithuania, Bulgaria, and Ukraine. In 1997 to 1999 Irina worked with the Belarusian State Concert Orchestra. This period in her career also saw her widening her vocal horizons to include jazz. In February 1998 she sang with the Arkadiy Eskin Trio at the International Jazz Festival in Minsk and, later that year, took part in the jazz program of the Slavianskiy Bazar. Her discography includes three albums of songs in Belarusian and Russian which sold dozens of thousands of copies o­n CD and tape; songs from these discs made multiple newspaper and radio charts. Another disc is to come out shortly. Popular with the fans is her major 1999 concert o­n video which, upon its release, was instantaneously characterized by the press Renaissance of Belarusian pop. A main character in video clips for two of her songs, she also starred in a musical film called Moment; filming of a documentary about Irina has been recently completed. Despite the recording accomplishments and extensive radio play, Irina has always remained a singer of exceptional commitment to and emphasis o­n live performances. Her recent two-year-long tour of Belarus set a record for this country: she played 435 concerts in most all major Belarusian cities and towns, performing before listeners whose hopes to hear a popular singer had always begun with buses and trains to bigger places. She sang to audiences of several dozens of children and invalids at orphanages and hospitals as well as at the forsaken villages in the Chernobyl contaminated areas just as passionately as she did to crowds of thousands in many venues throughout her own country and Europe. From the early stage of her solo career in 1996 Irina has been gravitating toward a show atmosphere o­n stage. For years now she has been performing with the Eos Theater headed by her long-time producer and composer Yuriy Savosh. In 2002 she had a joint project with Belarusian stars of callisthenicsthe type of cooperation which is visually and musically uplifting. I would very much like to be able to create the same atmosphere in concert as Freddie Mercury did, Irina confesses.

the voice of Belarus:

She is not seeking cheap popularity singing o­ne-day hits but strives for highest standards of vocal mastery.
Probably the most universal singer these days.

At the age of 25 Irina Dorofeeva can already rightfully claim to be the voice of her country. She represented Belarus at international festivals in Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Poland, Austria, Switzerland, Netherlands, Lithuania, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, and Ukraine. Her voice and the songs she sings transcend the boundaries of just o­ne culture and have been wholeheartedly embraced by the public in many countries. During her tour in Cyprus, she was offered to represent that country at the Eurovision song contest. It didnt go any further than just this half-jest of a proposal but it shows the appreciation for what Im doing and thats the most important thing, she explains with a smile. In 1999 in Poland she was offered a singing stint with the Warsaw Big Band. But most importantly, Belarusian audiences regard her as a singer that is theirs not just geographically. She has in her the soul of this East European nationthe sadness of the transience of life, the torment and the rebelliousness of centuries of oppression, the releasing power of love, the joy of just having the chance to live and be in harmony with the world around you And the composers whose songs Irina singsBelarusians Dolgalyov, Yeryomenko, Polivoda, Neronskiy, Savosh and Ukrainian Ponomaryovsharpen the message to the point of a lance piercing deep and in the right spot.

influences:

Strong, expressive voice to remember this outstanding singer has a great future.

I never really tried to sound exactly like someone else, says Irina describing the stages of her vocal development. When I took to jazz, I was looking to Ella Fitzgerald as the vocal standard to work towards. Tina Turner is unparalleled in her overspilling energy, and Barbara Streisand is exemplary in a soft, chamber manner of communicating with the listener as if o­ne o­n o­ne. I wish I could sing like both of them. Irina herself describes her musical style as ethno-rock. The singers assessment would pass for a moderately informative genre tag o­n her CDs in music stores and is certainly not something to challenge. But critics and music fans alike would note the lack of oftentimes boring uniformity that a narrow definition makes o­ne expect. The music o­n Irinas third album, The Pulse of My Moments, varies from heavier tunes with an evident presence of sympho rock to folk pop to Baroque music to Latin music. The thing that holds this seeming patchwork of styles together and molds it into a highly convincing record, sounding outstandingly integral with all its ramifications, is Irinas soulful and gentle to pain-stricken and exploding voice, pitching to match the intense crescendo of a song. It will rock you, it will make you cry, it will make you dream, and it will make you want to listen even more.

to always have strength to sing o­ne more:

Amazing in this singer is not even her voice but the conscious movement forward, the wish to try everything and attain her goal.

It is hard to believe that she can be weak. Or that she has time to afford being weak. Her success would have been impossible without extreme focus and hard work. She reluctantly tells about an incident back in 1993, at her first Slavianskiy Bazar festival, when she stumbled and fell while o­n the stage. She walked with the winner from that contest and a motto for the rest of her life, No more falling. My sincerest wish? Irina repeats, becoming very thoughtful. Then her face lights up. As years go by, I may feel exhausted and unable to go further. It becomes increasingly hard to renew the energy supply. But it is my destiny to share warmth and joy with others. And I guess what I ask for is that I always have strength to sing o­ne more song. Let her always have this strength. Because when she doesnt, the world will be a much smaller and much poorer place to live in and enjoy.