‘My heart always strives to people’

Singer Anya Sharkunova discourses on her love for her homeland, family values and talent

By Viktar Korbut

Singer Anya Sharkunova has been awarded with the President’s letter of gratitude for her participation in the Republican Belarus is Us! public-cultural action, held countrywide in 2010, with the aim of promoting national culture and supporting Belarusian performers.

“I feel great responsibility and a desire to do something new,” admits Anya. “I feel with my heart that people need Belarusian songs. I wish so much to continue my performances to the public.”

 

Have you had any rest recently?

I’m always working — giving concerts or rehearsing. Last year, I attended the ‘Songs of the Sea’ Festival in Ukraine. I miss the gentle waves now. To be frank, this summer, I spent each weekend in a village. It’s wonderful there: beautiful, clean and calm. Unsurprisingly, agro-ecotourism is developing well in our country; I think that every Belarusian enjoys the countryside.

 

You seem to be an absolute urbanite. Where did you learn about life in the villages?

I work there, touring with my concerts. I also know how my grandparents and great-grandparents lived. We also had a summer cottage in a village, 6km from Pinsk.

 

Where is it now?
It’s been sold. Later, my parents moved from a Pinsk multi-storeyed apartment house to their own house and my mother created a true fairytale in the garden. Flowers were everywhere. I learnt from her example and, at my friends’ house near Minsk, I’ve made alpine gardens, planted roses and grape vines, restored the beautiful grass lawns and cut the bushes. I love to do this. Sitting in the natural environment afterwards, I feel absolutely happy. I already understand landscape design and can distinguish flower varieties. I planned to plant some flowers, seeing an empty bed, so went to the Botanical Garden (which has huge greenhouses full of flowers). I spent a long time there, leaving with boxes full of plants. It was quite tricky to transport them all to our summer cottage.

 

You sing beautiful songs which are sometimes sad. Are they about you?

My producer, Vladimir Kubyshkin, composes songs for me. He knows all my heart-piercing stories and what I feel at a certain moment. He is aware of the reasons behind my tears and smiles and… presents songs to me. I wonder at how he, being a man, can compose songs for women, being able to narrate their stories. It may seem strange but he succeeds perfectly. We’re all different — in age and our place in society. However, we all have similar stories; we feel the same sorrows.

 

What are your dreams?
Recently, I’ve been thinking about the number of great women who fail to have a family. I feel sad for them, as they suffer such internal pain. No job can substitute for a woman desire to have a family. Some actresses focus so much on stardom that they only realise they need a family when they reach 40 or 45. I hope I’ll avoid this. Many artistes are successful wives and mothers, combining pleasure and fame. If I faced a choice, I’d choose family.

 

Do you visit the ‘world’ of clubs very often?

I’m tired of this ‘world’. You meet the same faces even if you only visit once every six months. A light atmosphere reigns, which has nothing special. I don’t wish to breathe it. I’m more interested in flowers now.

 

Have you substituted people with flowers?
Not people but the ‘in-crowd’; I’d never substitute people.

 

What helps you achieve success?
Firstly, nothing would have been possible without Vladimir Kubyshkin. However, on a wider scale, any talented person can achieve success.

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