‘Villainous roles are interesting’

Anastasia Vinnikova goes to Dusseldorf to perform at Eurovision, while pondering her career as an actress

By Viktar Korbut

She initially needs to compete against contestants from Ukraine, Moldova, Estonia and Latvia in the semi-finals. “I’m not afraid of rivalry. Competition is a great thing,” Nastya admits, confidently thinking of the future. She’ll perform I Love Belarus at the European musical competition; English, Belarusian and Russian language versions are available at www.belаrus-eurovision.by. Not long ago, she performed at one of Amsterdam’s largest clubs, which gathered Eurovision contestants from 21 countries.

Your song, I Love Belarus, is very patriotic. Do you sing from your soul?

The theme is close to my heart, so the song really comes from my soul. Many famous composers and singers have devoted songs to their home over the years. Alicia Keys sings of America, while The Beatles sang of Liverpool. French chansonniers recollect Paris. I was born in Belarus. I love my country and want to celebrate it in song; it’s quite logical.

Did you change your image before the contest?

I’ve changed nothing — not even the length or colour of my hair. I have no desire to change. I’m still searching for my own image, so it’s easy to experiment, trying something new, but it’s also vital to feel at ease. If your image and the way you feel contradict your inner voice, it works against you.

Have your heard your rivals sing? What do you think of them?

Giving concerts in Holland, I met participants from almost every country. I was able to watch and assess their performances and must say that their recorded shows and the way they perform in reality differ greatly. All are very strong, with great live energy, which is great. I love the entrants from Holland and Greece.

You study at the Linguistic University. Would you give up your studies for the sake of a musical career?

This will never happen! I want to have a higher education. Moreover, I’m convinced that it’s not enough to have just one education in our modern world; at least two or, even, three are needed. However, music is my soul’s desire, as I love singing and the feeling of being on stage. I love to share my emotions with the audience and receive their charge of feelings in return. In Holland, we so well understood each other that the Dutch audience even sang along with me: ‘We love Belarus’. This was a strong response; it’s always great when such an exchange happens. The atmosphere created is indescribable. I wouldn’t change that for anything, but studies are essential. Moreover, my knowledge gained at University was of great help in Holland. There was a large press conference, lasting for about three hours, all in English, with reporters from all over the world in attendance. I needed no translator as I speak fluent English.

What are your plans for the future?

Probably, I’d like to try acting, playing a multi-faceted role; it seems so interesting. Simple heroines are loved by everyone, with their character already known. Villainous roles are interesting. At school, we had an annual contest — ‘Ball. Ball. Ball’. We once staged ‘Gone with the Wind’, where I performed Scarlett O’Hara, whose character is questionable. I loved playing her.

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