A stage is a place for great people

Gulsim Myrzabekova's interview

– Gulsim, before coming to you, I’ve been searching some information about you on the Internet. I’ve seen the programs “Tungi studiya”, “Benefis-show” where you participated with the band “Format”. However, I couldn’t find your individual interviews.

– Because I do not give interviews to journalists a lot. To be honest, I do not know the reason of refusing to give interviews. Mostly, inner voice tells me “it is better not to go”.

– So, why did you agree to meet with me?

– When you texted me on Istagram Direct, I visited your account once. And I visited your website too. I cannot say that I came to today’s meeting because I had seen your ratings. I liked the atmosphere of your account. That is why I agreed to do interview. Actually, if an artist wants to become famous, he or she should meet a lot of people. As a young singer, I know that I need public relations. Besides, I am not a famous person yet to be arrogant and decide where to go or not. However, in any case, I listen to my inner voice.

– So, becoming a singer was a dream of your childhood, but you did not dream of giving interviews, singing autographs, did you?

– To tell the truth. I want to laugh, when girls are running after young singers, taking photos, crying bitter tears. By saying that, I am not talking about our band. For example, I am not shy to take a photo with Yeskendir Hassangaliyev. It makes me proud. Because he has achieved a lot in art, and you can learn many things from him. Talking about young singers, they have not reached the status yet to run after them and take autographs.

Fact file

Gulsim Myrzabekova was born in the village Dogalan, Abyraly district, East Kazakhstan region, on October 19, 1991.

She graduated from Art College named after Tattimbet, Karaganda and Kazakh National University of Arts, Astana.

In 2010 she won the Grand Prix at the International Festival “Shabyt”.

In 2012 she was a prize-winner at the Young Musicians Contest “Zhas Kanat”.

Since April, 2012 she has been singing in the band “Format”.

Since 2016 she has been the soloist of the Presidential Orchestra of the Republic of Kazakhstan

– Well, if fans run after you?

– I will feel myself uncomfortable. Everyone knows that the band “Format” is Kairat Baekenov’s own project. Although I am making a contribution to the art of the band, I have not shown people all the sides of myself yet. In general, Gulsim’s nature from “Format” and Gulsim’s in real life are really different. Some people are joking “a girl na-na-na” about my image in “Format” (song “Makhabbat”). My real appearance is different from that image. God bless, one day I will show another side of myself.

– So, what kind of person are you, then?

– I love lyrics.

– Can you tell our readers about how you joined the band “Format”?

– In 2011 I entered Kazakh National University of Arts in Astana. When I finished the first term, I met a qualified person who worked at Arman Mukashev’s studio. He probably liked my voice, he asked “Gulsim, would you like to work?” I was a simple girl, who lived in a student’s hostel, so I agreed. Arman-aga said that the band “Format” needed a soloist. I had known about Kairat Baekenov, but the name of the band was unknown to me. Before audition, I had caught a cold and I felt bad. Although I had a sore throat, according to the rules of the audition, I sang “Kua bol”, “Hutoryanka” and one song which I preferred. Honestly, I was not content of my performance, because of my sickness. Despite this, Kairat-agai could see my ambitions, he took me into the band.

– Have you joined the band “Format” easily? Didn't you stop your studying?

– There was another soloist before me in “Format”. I got used to the team quickly. If I make a mistake, they accept it with understanding as all the musicians in the band are older than me. All of them are experts in their own field.

I have never faced any difficulties in terms of studying. It is probably embarrassing to say but teachers fought for me during entrance (laughed). I was invited to study in Almaty by Honored Artist of the Republic of Kazakhstan Laki Kesouglu when I got the Grand Prize from “Shabyt”. And our teacher Guldana Bazylkhanova invited me to Astana city. I was teachers’ pet at university. I gave my homework for checking on time purposely and without any warnings. My school teachers and university teachers as well gave credence to me. They told me “You will learn from your own mistakes”. I have taken part in a lot of national and international contests since my childhood. I love to sing Rosa Rymbayeva, Witney Huston’s songs with a wide range and which show technical skills. But with the advent of the work I began to sing songs of different styles. Among these songs there are entertaining ones. As I have understood later that if you want to earn money, dress beautifully, have a car you have to perform at the celebrations apart from participating in concerts.

– I have read such comments on YouTube as “Gulsim’s voice is great” “ this performance makes my skin crawl”. How do you estimate your art?

– Isn’t it strange to speak about myself?

– What do you think of the comments above then?

– If people estimate my art this way, I know that it is a result of hard work. However, I am not going to stop at this point. It is only the beginning. Such kind comments give me strengths to move forward. It has taken me a while to get to my career. I am not this kind of singer who suddenly became lucky and appeared on the stage. I cannot imagine myself having another job. It seems like I was born to be an artist.

– How do people criticize you?

– It has emerged that a lot of people say that I am proud-hearted. However, I am not like that. I do not deny that I am person with an attitude. Unfortunately, we are told “smile at everyone as you are young”. The following stereotype is established in our nation “you have to be kind to everyone you meet”. Such kind of behavior is strange to me. I cannot smile at people deliberately. I only need to be honest doing my job, respect my job and my audience.

I hate lying, falsifying information. I dislike people seeking publicity without working hard. I think true men of genius do not do such things. For instance, a composer Rinat Gaisin is a real expert in his field. Though he is incredibly talented he is ordinary at the same time. I have never seen him being boastful.

– Do you like being recognized off stage?

– My life should be witnessed while I am on the stage. However, my private life starts as soon as I am off stage. For example, when I am ill I do not look for a doctor at his home. Singing is a job as well. But people in this field are more recognizable to public. It is interesting that some people like being distinguished by saying “we are extraordinary as we are artists”. I can tell you that nowadays one of two is extraordinary. People who create false characters for themselves make me laugh.

– Didn't you offend your colleagues by giving this opinion?

– I regret that I threw my opinion in their faces. Being young I am not aware of a lot of things. Secondly, I have not reached such an achievement to say something for sure. Sometimes it is better to keep the words for myself. However, if someone around lies goes beyond borders I cannot keep quiet. Sometimes I drown in self-pity because of this quality.

– You (“Format”) sing live. Unfortunately, this ordinary phenomenon is still unfamiliar to the audience of Kazakhstan. What can you tell on issue of singing live? People are fed up with this issue. But still...

– Generally, singing live is not surprising in developed countries. It must be this way. Sometimes we have to use phonorecord because of technical difficulties. And in this cases I am embarrassed to look at audience sitting in front of me. Because I lie to their faces. People do not enjoy the concerts with phonorecords. I love the stage very much. It makes us famous and vice versa. A person must be thick-skinned to stand at such a saint place and lie. Nevertheless, on the other hand, the priority of singing life at many concerts makes me happy.

– Does the fact that our audience remains emotionless, even if the stage is rocked and there is a real show make you sad?

– When I just joined the band we went to perform at one celebration. Kairat-aga told me “If at least one person looks at you, it will be your success. Because it means that he interrupted his meal to look at you». That is why when I go on the stage I look for a person who is listening to me willingly. Hopefully, we will get to the day when the audience cheers us, dances and applauds with great respect. Probably we have not achieved it yet as our country is still young.

– The style of “Format” band is unusual. Who is it created by?

– We have a stylist called Lidiya Andrea. Lidiya is a very talented designer. She lives in Tashkent. She chooses all our characters herself, putsthe make-up, gets our hair done.

– There was a concert dedicated to the tenth anniversary of “Format” in May. What is the concert memorable by?

– The concert went very well. Monitor in my ear stopped working due to the fact that Wi-Fi network did not work. I had to sing the song “Sheshingen sudan taiynbas” without monitor.

– You have recently sang the Kazakh soundtrack to the cartoon “ Moana” which was translated into Kazakh.

– Yes, it was interesting experience for me. I have sung the soundtrack in R&B style. However, the actress sings it slowly in the cartoon.

– What do you think of acting in films?

– I am not an actress, I do not want to act in films. I was offered several times, but I refused. Because I do not want to do anything I do not like doing.

– What musical instruments can you play?

– I can play the piano a little. I can feel the instruments well as I sing in a band singing live. It is very useful for listening to sing in such kind of band. Unfortunately, there are singers who cannot feel the instruments, and do not feel the music. They are needed practice as well as studying. The most interesting thing is that I often meet people with well-developed listening abilities, who are very “musical”. In spite of being off stage, they with their great “hearing” teach professionals.

– There were following comments on the Internet : “She sings very well. Why doesn't she leave the band and sing on her own?”

– Timing is everything. When time comes, I will sing on my own. But I have no such thoughts now.

– You started writing music yourself three years ago. When will we listen to your songs?

– Hopefully, one song will be released in the near future. The lyrics were written by Bakytzhan Kassymov. The music was written by both me and my friend Murat Kabylov. To be honest, I am very worried. Because this time I am going to present myself to people not only as a singer but also as a composer. Generally this song is cry of my heart. I took part in writing the lyrics. I am very grateful to Bakytzhan aga for rendering all my thoughts properly and beautifully.

– Does such problems like low quality music, lack of taste, low priced PR and other ones that you mentioned above make you frustrated?

– No matter what, I cannot give my opinion, because I have not achieved this level yet. Everyone has to be responsible for himself. I aspire to create the music which will not make me feel ashamed. A stage is a place for great people, I suppose. My father taught me “Do not be good, do not be bad, be the best”. I do my best for it.

– Has your off stage life become as you planned it?

– No. My life is not as beautiful as people think.

– What dreams do you have?

– I have dreamed of singing with Witney Huston since my childhood. But this person passed away in 2012. At that moment my parents even called and offered their condolence. (laughed)

– I would like to catch on internationally and make Kazakh music recognizable.

Thank you for the interview!



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