Kazakhstan will be celebrating Astana Day from July 6th-8th. One of the biggest parts of the celebration will be the displaying of Kazakhstan’s most talented singers and one of them is the young and talented Asia Ospanova. We got a chance to interview with her to explain why she’s so talented.
So Asia, tell us a little bit about yourself.
Well, I’m 17 years old. Now I’m studying at 1styear in Music College under the University of Arts in Astana on piano faculty. I study piano since 6 years old. But I began studying to sing earlier. When I was 4, my grandmother brought me to a vocal studio. I was singing in a “Shalunishki” group (Young monkeys or naughty children), then in duo, and from the age of 6 I am singing solo. From 14 years old I began to play the guitar and write my own music and lyrics.
What made you decide you wanted to do a career in music?
I live in this music atmosphere from my childhood. My parents are not musicians, but my dad plays the guitar and sings, by the way, he showed me the first chords, and my mom plays the piano and sings too. They took me to a music school, and each day I liked it more and more. I was surrounded by music, and I lived with it. To be honest, I am not that good in science or sport. Especially now, I have no doubts that I want to be a professional musician. As my father says, “if you want to be a musician, first of all, you have to be a professional”. That’s why; I always improve my piano playing skills, take solfeggio, harmony, and composition classes.
Who would you say would be your greatest influences?
When I was a little girl, I couldn’t stop listening to Britney Spears – she was my idol. The cassette of her concert was almost erased from the numerous of views.
Also, I adore Alicia Keys! Admire her voice power, piano playing, the way she represents herself on the stage, she is so talented!
And of course, Beyonce. When sometimes I feel upset, or I need some energy, I put her DVD concert on, and just repeat everything she sings dances and says.These 3 powerful and so much talented women inspire me all the time!But also, I am the big fan of old good music, that my parents play with our relatives and friends at home. Kazakh songs like “Kozimnin karasi”, “Ayttim Salem Kalamkas”, Russian songs by “Mashina Vremeni” group, and foreign songs like “Hotel California”, “Venus” etc.
How did you learn to sing in English?
I started singing from the popular songs, and they were in English. But of course, I was 3, and I didn’t understand what I was singing about, I just repeated the words I heard. Once my cousin, (who studied by exchange program in USA) noticed that I didn’t have an accent in English. And when I became a little older, I wanted to know the meaning of the songs I am singing. It really helped me in learning this language. I’ve been always learning English with a big pleasure.
You work with Astana Music Studio in Astana. Are they a school for teaching people music and playing instruments? How did you end up with them?
Up to my 7 years we lived in Pavlodar (North Kazakhstan). I was taking lessons at “Svet Zvezdy” (“Starlight”) vocal studio, where I learned how to sing, and dance. There was a comprehensive approach to the song and stage performance. Now I understand that I had such wonderful teachers.
After moving to a capital, Astana, when parents have solved the questions with housing, work, when I was already accepted to a Music School, and learned all the bus stops etc., I raised the question about going to a vocal studio again.I found one music studio, and I was there during 2 years, I took part on singer competitions, performed on different stages in Astana, once even on morning TV-show. But the level set in the studio in my childhood was high, so I continued searching in the internet vocal studios, and I found “Astana Music Studio”, which was called “Alem”, at that time. Yes, you’re right. They teach people to sing, and play different instruments. Teachers met me very friendly on the audition that was about 4 years ago. Currently, they give some lyrics and I write music on them.
Have you competed in any competitions?
If we talk about piano, I participated in international competitions in Istanbul, 2010 (2ndplace), also laureate of competition in Bulgaria, 2008, in Russia (3rdplace), 2011.
Regarding vocal, took part in a competition in Petropavlsk, Kazakhstan, took 3rdplace, 2005, and other contests. But, I think, a serious competition was Russian contest “Next Generation” in 2013, in Turkey, where I firstly performed Russian version of my song “Senemin” , which is called “My-korabli” (“We are ships”) in front of the eminent jury.
Have you tried out for SuperStar KZ or X Factor?
Yes, finally last year I tried to participate in the X-factor (there is an age qualification), I passed the first selection, but didn’t pass to the second.
But I can say that after X factor, my growing up was started – I began to philosophize about life , what I didn’t notice before in myself. I realized that there are different factors in life, like luck, in addition to a voice, that might play a huge role in your career.
What are some goals you want to achieve as a singer?
I want to sing and compose good music, catchy songs. Achieve a higher professionalism, so that people could not switch to another channel, when they saw me on a TV. I want to be a star, open a music studio for children.
Finally, we saw you collaborated on a song with international and Kazakh superstar Son Pascal. What was it like working with him?
Ooh, first of all I want to say that he is very kind and charismatic man, so much talented musician, fond of music and good songs. He lives in Almaty, but I always feel his support, that I’m on the right way. He gives me advices. He always open to respond on my questions, doesn’t matter about life or music.
Recently, Son Pascal and other Kazakh pop stars came to a charity concert in Astana, helping to raise money for treatment of one beautiful Kazakh model – Kamilya, who became ill with leucosis. I also performed there song by Stevie Wonder “Isn’t she lovely”.
Thanks so much Asia for a chance to talk with you and show the world the Kazakhstan has some very talented singers. We actually got in contact with her just before we posted this that Asia will be singing at Astana Day, which will be celebrating the 15th anniversary of the establishment of Kazakhstan’s capital city. She will be performing with Son Pascal again and X-Factor judge, international singer, and Pussycat Dolls lead singer Nicole Sherzinger! Asia with these two talents will for sure bring the house down!
If you want to learn more about her or keep up with her you can find her on:
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Дастархан в те времена был скромен. Не было понятия «сынау» - осуждения кто как живет, какой в доме ремонт и т.д. Пока взрослые обсуждали задержку заработной платы, мы играли в армию, жмурки, строили городки...