- Today in Moscow at 21:00 p.m. there will be the presentation of the second album of the Tatar-Bashkir singer Zemfira Talgat kozo Ramazanova.The presentation will be held at the "Olimpiyskiy" stadium.According to the results of some polls Zemfira's rating among young people cedes only to President Putin's rating.Irek Bikkinin
- Zemfira Stars in Russian Rock Awards
By Sergey Chernov
The St. Petersburg Times
April 11, 2000
"I wrote this song while I was high on hash," said Zemfira of her opening
number, to a screaming 10,000-strong crowd packing out the Yubileiny Sports
Palace at the Fuzz Awards concert on Saturday.
But Zemfira was also probably on the kind of high that only success can
engender: A spectator like any other at the awards 12 months ago, Zemfira has
come out of total obscurity to win the prizes for Best Group and Best Album
The Fuzz Awards, established in 1996 by Alexander Dolgov, founder and
editor-in-chief of rock magazine Fuzz, represent the top ceremony for the
Russian pop music scene. And like every prize-giving event of any note, they
attract a fair mixture of praise and criticism.
According to Leonid Fomin - one of the editors of Fuzz magazine who put
together the list of nominees and forwarded it to a panel of music experts -
the awards aren't really there in order to discover new names or trends.
"Rather, they make concrete [an already existing situation in Russian
music]," he said.
Joining Zemfira at the Yubileiny - and among the prizes - was the band
Splean, which made a surprise appearance after frontman and songwriter
Alexander Vasilyev was honored for his song "Moloko i Myod" ("Milk and
Honey") - which came as something of a surprise to many.
Mumii Troll, whose record label was the one originally to "discover" Zemfira
and aggressively promote her, wrapped up Best Video trophy for the clip
"Nevesta?," shot by Latvian director Viktor Vilks.
Another controversial winner was Britpop-influenced band MultFilmy, which was
voted Best New Group, beating off the challenge of the spectacular jazzy folk
punk band Leningrad, which spent the year releasing two albums and breaking
out of the clubs and into bigger concert halls.
Leningrad frontman Sergei Shnurov, whose trademark is writing witty songs
abounding in obscenities, shrugged off defeat. "We didn't expect to get an
award anyway," he said.
"A band like ours will never win any prize. For us it was simply an
opportunity to perform in front of such a big audience. In fact, it was all a
solo concert for Zemfira. These events are all pure show business."
Shnurov was right in that most of the music talk in Russia recently has been
about Zemfira. She has just released her second album - this time on the
major label Real Records, having dropped the Mumii Troll indie label after
her debut album - and is now the focus of huge media attention.
And at this year's concert, Zemfira was the main attraction. Her name was
printed biggest and boldest on posters promoting the show, and her mostly
teenage fans clearly dominated the audience. The Yubileiny was well above its
official capacity (7,000 spectators), with more fans than at last year's
awards but fewer than at Deep Purple's one-off St. Petersburg gig the night
"This was probably the first ceremony [my band and I] have agreed to come to,
because I have a deep-seated prejudice against prizes and awards in the field
of music," said Zemfira at the press conference before the show. "I think
that [prizes] are the prerogative of sportsmen."
"But we agreed because [Fuzz] is a St. Petersburg tradition, and because I
have been reading Fuzz magazine since I was 15."
Although participating bands played for free, some of them can probably
expect commercial benefit from performing. Fomin said that for eccentric
local rock band NOM, which was nominated for (but didn't win) Best Album in
the 1998 Fuzz, playing was "a great help."
"Now NOM is enjoying great commercial success in Moscow," he said. "I think
MultFilmy has a similar fate ahead."
But while the teenagers may have loved the triumph of today's musical
heroine, more seasoned observers were distinctly less impressed.
What was exciting for teenagers, was not that much fun for more seasoned fans.
"For me, it was the worst Fuzz Awards concert ever, because the selection of
artists was not interesting," said Andrei Burlaka, one of the experts tasked
with choosing winners from the nominees.
"Commercially, it was probably the most successful - for the first time they
got it right and made some money. But in my opinion, for years Fuzz magazine
has been trying to guess who will be popular with the crowds and then go with
that, which has nothing to do with creativity or new musical breakthroughs."