Taisiya Povaliy

Taisiya Povaliy (Таїсія Повалій) is a classic Soviet and Ukrainian pop and shanson singer.

Born in 1964 near Kyiv to a musical family, Povaliy attended music school in Kyiv and then worked at a music hall for a few yeas before starting a solo career. She won a number of Soviet music contests at the beginning of the 1990s, and in 1994 was named the Best Singer of Ukraine and Musician of the Year in the Ukrainian televised music contest New Stars of the Old Year (Нові зірки старого року). Her first album then appeared in 1995. Already in 1996 she was named a Distinguished Artist of Ukraine, and in 1997 a People’s Artist of Ukraine.

With those successes already under her belt, she dramatically increased the pace of her recording, releasing a full 13 albums between 1999 and 2010—three alone in 2003. She also increased her popularity outside Ukraine in these years, particularly in Russia and the CIS. While she hasn’t released an album in several years, her singles—among them the 2016 “Ladles” (“Половинки”) and “Tea with Milk (“Чай с молоком”)—have continued to do well on the charts.

Besides all this, though, Povaliy has been politically active for much of her career. In 2012 she was a presidential adviser and a candidate for Ukraine’s parliament, but she fell to a massive scandal because of her connection to a high-placed figure who had ill-advisedly mixed business with politics. In 2014 she again earned the ire of her people when she performed at a concert at the Moscow Kremlin while Euromaidan was raging back in Kyiv; she also congratulated Crimea on its “independence.” She visited Russia’s Duma later that year, and ultimately canceled all her 50th-birthday concerts in Ukraine because of the strong popular sentiment against her. In 2015 the Ukrainian parliament went as far as debating a law that would have stripped her of her People’s Artist of Ukraine title (she was not alone—they did the same to Ani Lorak and several other artists who had not sufficiently cut off their ties with Russia).

Despite these setbacks, Povaliy is continuing to record and perform. In addition, her son, Denis Povaliy, is also a singer.

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“Enchanted Violin” (“Чарівна скрипка”), an earlier Ukrainian-language hit, 2000:

 

Lyrics for “Чарівна скрипка”:

Сіла птаха білокрила на тополю,
Сіло сонце понад вечір за поля
Покохала, покохала я до болю
Молодого, молодого скрипаля.

Покохала, зачарована струною,
Заблукала та мелодія в гаю.
В гай зелений журавлиною весною
Я понесла своє серце скрипалю.

Йшла до нього, наче місячна царівна,
Йшла до нього, як до березня весна.
І не знала, що та музика чарівна
Не для мене, а для іншої луна.

Відміна:
Покохала, зачарована струною,
Заблукала у березовім гаю,
І понесла журавлиною весною
В гай зелений своє серце скрипалю.

 

 

“I Believe You “(“Верю тебе”), the title song of her 2010 album and her most recent Golden Gramophone win:

 

Lyrics for “Верю тебе”:

В миражи закутаны сны, в это новолуние
В миражах запутаны мы, тёплых до безумия
Стану каплей утренней росы, свечой застыну на стекле
Ты самый лучший, самый лучший на земле.

Припев:
А лица плывут имена мелькают, но ты самый лучший я это знаю
Верю тебе, я верю тебе
И в “любит не любит” я не играю, ты самый лучший я это знаю
Верю тебе, я верю тебе.
Я тебя сложила из снов в этом новолунии

Слито столько ласковых слов в тихом звуке имени
Если хочешь снова повторю, с улыбкой повторю тебе
Ты самый лучший, самый лучший на земле.

Припев:
Я о том что ждёт впереди
У дождя подслушала
Подожди чуть-чуть подожди
Прикоснёмся душами.

Припев

 

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Julie is currently studying Russian as a Second Language in Irkutsk (and before that, Bishkek) with SRAS's Home and Abroad Scholarship program, with the goal of someday having some sort of Russia/Eurasia-related career. She recently got her master’s degree from the University of Glasgow and the University of Tartu, where she studied women’s dissent in Soviet Russia. She also has a bachelor’s degree in literature from Yale. Some of her favorite Russian authors are Sorokin, Shishkin, Il’f and Petrov, and Akhmatova. In her spare time Julie cautiously practices martial arts, reads feminist websites, and taste-tests instant coffee for her blog.