The very beautiful Inessa, the popular singer and successful composer, lives in Chicago. With her loyal friends and colleagues from Chicago Destiny Band, she gives concerts and participates in festivals and competitions, not only in her new home city on Lake Michigan but also across the United States, in Russia, and in Europe. The best and most respected poets write songs for Inessa. They always invite her to participate in spectacular musical events. Musicians of many different genres seek to work with her. Her album “Maximalist” continues to win new devotees. Admirers fill her mailboxes with flowers and letters. Inessa loves sweet, trusts in signs, and still plays an accordion that was the instrument of her childhood. But how did she achieve her current artistic happiness? Inessa was born in Kiev, but she’s lived in America since 1993. She admits that she always loved music and since her preschool days wanted to be a singer, too. How many of us have achieved our dreams from childhood? To have the internal strength and never to stop believing in one’s chosen path. Inessa has retained this quality in herself: she believes in herself, her music, her team, her fans, and she has not stopped growing and experimenting as an artists. Our guest for this month’s interview asserts that only a happy woman can be beautiful. Look at her and you see a surprisingly beautiful woman… she must be very happy..!
Inessa, you were born in Ukraine. Whether Ukrainian folk music influenced (which, as we all know, different stunning melody) on the formation of you as an artist?
Let’s just say, all the music in my life has deeply influenced my life. I always hears both Ukrainian and foreign music somewhere nearby. And my family is quite musical: I have a singing mother, and my grandfather sang…
You studied music professionally, first in the Kiev College of Music and later in Kiev’s Institute of Culture. So, apparently you chose the musical profession consciously and since your childhood. What is your memory of when you realized that you want to be a singer, and nothing else.
I always wanted to play music, even when I was a little girl. All the time I was singing something, and always somewhere acting. Then I decided to go to music school and learn to play … the accordion! My mother played it, and I, of course, wanted this, too.
Now, are you, by the way, still playing the accordion?
No, I don’t play the accordion any more, unfortunately. But I play the piano, especially when composing: it is needed to record a composition for the arranger. And for my soul’s pleasure I also sometimes play. Although, to be honest, in these days I pay more attention to my vocal classes.
Tell us how do you identify the genre in which you make music, or are you in fact experimenting and ready to try something new?
Rather – the second. I’m always experimenting, because I do not like monotony, including in my music. I like to sing jazz and pop, and chansons sometimes. I recently tried performing in the R&B style.
What kind of music do you listen to in the car?
I listen mainly to American music, sometimes good music in Russian, Ukrainian. I love Jamal and Tina Karol among Ukrainian performers. In all the popular music genres, now there are so many interesting and bright performers!
You are not only a singer, but also a songwriter. Can you remember your first self-penned song? What was it about?
Strangely enough, but I wrote a song for the first time for a friend. It was a song that uses lyrics by Dmitry Bulavinov ”I sing to you.” It was, of course, about love, like all my songs.
By the way, about cooperation with other creative persons. Tell us, what kind of people do you best, and least, cooperate with?
First of all, the team of musicians with whom I work differs in their human qualities. I believe that it is important to bring a serious attitude to work, to have friendly relationships with each other, and always to be attentive to the musical material. Everyone with whom I work are professionals. So, answering your question, I will say: I can easily find common language with professional and dedicated, sincere and friendly people, and it is difficult to build relationships with others.
Are you a demanding kind of person?
Highly! First and foremost, I’m demanding of myself. I am never 100% satisfied with my own work, so I always try to do even better. For people who work closely with me, I am also demanding, and –I expect from them only the best.
Inessa, how do you imagine, “a woman’s happiness?” And most importantly – whether is there happiness for you?
I think a woman’s happiness is the ability to live in harmony with each other. When a woman lives in harmony with herself, she also makes the space around her harmonious. And this is happiness, and for everybody, too.
You have sung more than 500 compositions, you have successes in musical festivals, and you have participated in significant musical projects and cooperated with first-class professionals in the world of music. What do you consider your main achievement? What for you is the main reason to take pride from a project?
For me it is important that I have my own listener. People constantly write me, comment on my songs, offer the services, and it is incredibly pleasant! So I am proud of the fact that I have managed to find a way to hearts of many people.
You immigrated to the United States from the Ukraine in 1993. Do you consider yourself an American or nevertheless at least still a little Ukrainian?
I consider myself an American with a Russian-Ukrainian soul. I sincerely love the country where I live, but at the same time I never I forget where I’m from.
What is the riskiest thing that you’ve done in your life?
I make risky steps every day! New projects come to my mind all the time, and all the time there is the wish to jump over something and to stride ahead much farther. I am a maximalist, so risky behavior is normal in my life.
With such a busy professional life, do you have time for any hobbies? Do you have a hobby?
I always find time to travel, for my friends. I like to walk the dog, listen to music, attend concerts, the theater, the cinema.
Our readers won’t forgive me if I don’t ask you about beauty secrets. Please tell us whether you have obligatory daily rituals or some confidential masks or creams which help you to look so amazing?
Of course, that question is difficult! For me the main ritual of beauty is to sleep at least 9 hours. In the morning I wash with cold water for cheerfulness. I use cold water on my face [[TRUE??]], and I apply skin serum around my eyes, then I put moisturizing creams on the same areas. And I do a light facial massage. I do most of this again in the evening before going to bed. That’s the whole secret! I can’t recommend any specific cream product, as I am constantly experimenting, and I frequently change one brand for another.
By the way, what does the word “beauty” mean for you? What kind of woman do you consider beautiful?
A beautiful woman is a happy woman. A happy woman, as I said before, knows how to live in harmony with others.
And what about men: What man do you consider to be “real”?
He must first love me for what I am, with all my pros and cons. There must always be ready to help and it must always be on top. It is not so easy, and, probably, other women are well aware that I mean…
What can you never forgive about another person?
A betrayal of myself and my family
Is it your habit to think ahead about things, or are you mostly spontaneous?
I am collected, but circumstances can sometimes overwhelm me.
Tell me about your family, please …
My family is rather varied. Everyone is doing something of their own. Only my son is a professional musician, on the guitar. My daughter studied music in the past, but it was more to please me, not because it is her own love. But nevertheless she loves music, and sometimes she sits at a piano to play something. My mother, as I said, played a few years on the accordion. Grandmother and Aunt on my father’s side play the piano. The others in my family have no relation to music, but passionately love it, including my music, which is very important for me.
What is your life motto? Be human.
Do you love to cook? If yes, what is your favorite dish?
I like to cook, and I do it well. My best dish is solyanka. My family always ask me to cook this.
Are you superstitious? Do you believe in omens and horoscopes?
I’m superstitious but reasonable. I trust in human power: I am fond of it lately and, to tell you, a knowledge of each person’s own powers helps with the solution of many questions. Also I believe in the energy of one’s thoughts – I try to keep only positive thoughts in my mind.
With which fairy tale heroine could you compare yourself? And why?
Probably, with The Little Mermaid. And why? Because I wanted to live close to the sea!
Let me offer you a short quiz. What do you choose: the sea or the mountains?
The sea, of course.
White or black?
The necklace with jewels or a balloon flight as a gift?
Necklace, of course.
Roses or cornflowers? Roses. Is there a song for which you imagine, “Oh, I am sorry that I did not sing it …”?
Yes there is. The song “Love Blues” was sung by Irina Ponarovskaya. In my repertoire I have this song, and once I even won a prize for singing it in a contest in New York. But I’m not the first performer of the song, it is a pity …
Quote any line from one of your songs that you consider as the most significant for your life today …
The Chicago avenue, how I lived – in fog. There is no Kiev connection, a local key in a pocket How long I went, I repeated questions in loud: Here have I found more or I have lost?