t.A.T.u "This that"

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t.A.T.u "This that"

Post  Alena on Thu Jun 11, 2009 2:32 pm


Yulia Volkova and Lena Katina
Background information
Origin Moscow, Russia
Genre(s) Pop,[1] Dance, Electronica[2] Rock[3][4]
Years active 1999–present
Label(s) Universal 2001 - 2006
Interscope 2001 - 2006
T.A. Music 2005 - present
Associated acts Neposedi
Website www.tatu.ru (http://www.tatu.ru)
Lena Katina
Yulia Volkova

t.A.T.u. (Russian: Та́ту Russian pronunciation: [ˈtatu], translated: "This that", in feminine grammatical gender form, like "She Her") is a Russian duo formed in Moscow, Russia in 1999 by Ivan Shapovalov. The group consists of Lena Katina and Yulia Volkova. Early on, Katina and Volkova put forth an image of a lesbian couple, but their 2003 documentary, Anatomy of t.A.T.u., made it clear that this was just part of the group's image, and that they were not lesbians.

In an interview in September 2008, Katina is quoted as saying that everything was overblown but very real, that they were showing the emotions they had at that time for each other. In the article, Volkova also adds that it was their teenage years, and it felt at the time that it was real love.[5]

In 2004, the group took a hiatus after they split from their producer. In 2005, they released Dangerous and Moving and Lyudi Invalidy. During 2006, t.A.T.u. released a compilation album and then ventured on their own after negotiating out of their contract with Universal Music.

A third Russian studio album, titled Vesyolye Ulybki was released on 21 October 2008 on iTunes, the official t.A.T.u. web shop, and select Soyuz stores in Moscow. There is still no confirmed release date, or title, for its English counterpart.[6]

On 21 March 2009 Insider announced that there had been a staff meeting in December and they'd decided to cease the "operation of t.A.T.u. in full-time mode". Firstly they will close all "open items" i.e release the third video as promised, the girls will do their part in a promo for their movie "You and I" which will be released. There will also be special releases of Happy Smiles album.[7]

On 27 March 2009. An interview with both Katina and Volkova was posted on their websites media blog. In this, it was stated that Lena and Yulia would both go solo, but the girls would still keep t.A.T.u. alive. Katina said "From now on there will be not only t.A.T.u., but also Yulia and me as two different artists." Meaning that the girls will be working on both their solo careers, and t.A.T.u. respectively. Katina will also be working with the t.A.T.u. team in correspondence with her solo career.[8]

On May 31st, 2009 t.A.T.u. celebrated its 10th anniversary.Contents
1 History
1.1 1999–2000: Formation of t.A.T.u.
1.2 1999–2003: 200Km/h in the Wrong Lane/200 Po Vstrechnoi
1.3 2003–2004: Hiatus/Reformation
1.4 2004–2006: Lyudi Invalidy/Dangerous and Moving
1.5 2007–present: Vesyolye Ulybki / Happy Smiles
2 Production companies / Management
2.1 T.A. Music
3 t.A.T.u forever
4 Band members
4.1 Current members
4.2 Former members
5 Discography
6 Filmography


1999–2000: Formation of t.A.T.u.

Ivan Shapovalov and his friend/business partner Alexander Voitinskyi developed plans to create a musical project in Russia. With this idea in mind, Shapovalov and Voitinskyi organized auditions in Moscow in early 1998 for teenage female vocalists. By the end of auditioning, the partners narrowed their search down to ten girls, including ex-members of the group Neposedi, Katina and Volkova. Both girls stood out among the others, especially because of their appearance and vocal experience, but the producers decided to start with 13 year-old Lena Katina, who sang "It Must Have Been Love" by Roxette. Katina began recording demos, including "Yugoslavia" a song about the Yugoslav Civil War of '91-'95, which Voitinskyi had written about the turmoil he experienced. After the demos were cut, Shapovalov insisted that another girl be added to the project. Thus, in late October 1998, 13 year old Yulia Volkova was added to the group.

After completing the duo, the producers decided on the name Тату (Tatu). It is a shortened version from the Russian "Eta devushka lyubit tu devushku", meaning "This girl loves that girl".[9] For the release of their first English-language album, they decided to go by t.A.T.u., using uppercased letters and periods to differentiate between an already existing Australian band also named "Tatu."

Over the next year, Katina and Volkova recorded songs with their producers. At some point, Voitinskyi left the project, and Shapovalov decided to sign Elena Kiper as co-producer and co-writer for their debut album.

1999–2003: 200Km/h in the Wrong Lane/200 Po Vstrechnoi

The first single was completed in Autumn 1999, entitled Ya Soshla S Uma (Literally, "I've lost my mind", released in English as "All The Things She Said"). It was not physically and formally released until December 2000. The song describes the turmoil in a girl's soul because she is in love with another girl, but is afraid to as she has the society frowning upon her and asks her parents for forgiveness. Elena Kiper has been credited with the song, and has said that the idea came to her when she fell asleep at her dentist's office, and had a dream in which she kissed another woman. She woke up with the words: "Ya soshla s uma." Ivan added the second phrase of the chorus "Mnje nuzhna Ona" ("I need her").

Shapovalov decided to direct the music video for the single, where Volkova and Katina dressed up in school uniforms, while singing and kissing. At the time of recording (in late 1999), Volkova was 14, and Katina was 15. MTV Russia aired the video in November 2000. It went on to win the People's Choice at the MTV Russian Music Awards. Kiper and t.A.T.u have stated that the video (and the group's image) was influenced by the 1998 Swedish film Fucking Åmål.

Stringent rules were laid out for Katina and Volkova. Their management told the girls only to sign autographs for people related to the group, no one else, and to only give brief answers to the press, if at all.[3] They were forbidden to speak about their sexual activities, living together and their personal lives. Their tight contract they were under dictated what they did, what they said, and even how they felt. Volkova was told to ignore questions from reporters, frown, and look clearly upset to further the contrast between herself and Katina.

On 16 May 2001, after releasing the hit "Ya Soshla S Uma," and touring Russia and surrounding countries, t.A.T.u. was signed to Universal Music Russia for five albums. The group released their debut album on 21 May 2001. 200 Po Vstrechnoy (200 [km/h] in the Wrong Lane) included 9 tracks, and 2 remixes. At the same time, the girls released their second video and single, titled Nas Ne Dogonyat (They won't catch us)." It countered the claim that t.A.T.u was just a one-hit wonder. After one week of heavy rotation on MTV Russia, it went straight to #1 on MTV's "Russian Top 10" (a weekly chart show with Russian-only videos competing with each other) and #7 on the MTV Top 20. The single received success on radio as well, listed on 1st National Radio "Russian Radio" and 7 other national radio stations in Russia.

In late 2001, t.A.T.u. recorded a video for their third single, 30 Minutes." The single was released in September, and in August the girls were scheduled to begin recording their songs in English. Volkova, who did not speak fluent English then, enlisted the aid of an English professor from Moscow State University, delaying the recording. The girls continued to tour throughout Europe.

Early in January 2002, the girls began recording their English album first in London, England and Germany then in the United States. In April, it was announced that Elena Kiper had left the group as co-producer, and that she was being replaced by Beata Andreeva, a former MTV VJ. Later that month, t.A.T.u. recorded the song and video for Prostye Dvizheniya ("Simple Motions"). The video was then released in May and showed, according to the girls, "How simple moves are always in our lives, like drinking water, reading a book," which is what Katina does during most of the video, or masturbating, which is what Volkova does in the video.

In June, t.A.T.u. made their first appearance on MTV's TRL in New York. , and in September, the single All The Things She Said was released on CD format. Later in February, the group's debut Russian album, 200 Po Vstrechnoy was re-released with a new song ("Klouny") and two new remixes. The album secured the IFPI Platinum Europe Award, having sold a million copies of "200 po Vstriechnoy" in Europe; the girls became the first artists from Eastern Europe to receive this award. In, April 2003 they would achieve the IFPI Platinum Europe Award again, for sales 200 km/h in the Wrong Lane in Europe; the girls are now the first and only artists to win this award twice for the same album in two languages.

On 10 December 2002, t.A.T.u. released 200 km/h in the Wrong Lane, the English version (co-produced by Trevor Horn) of their Russian debut album. The debut English-language album sold over five million copies around the world.

The band and its management were criticized for their blatant use of lesbian imagery to create controversy and publicity. For instance, the cover of the January 2003 issue of Maxim magazine Russia showed Volkova topless and wearing a skimpy thong bikini bottom with Katina wearing sportswear lingerie. Volkova was 17; Katina was 18. Other photo shoots included the September 2003 issue of FHM Russia, where both girls were topless and Katina was covering Volkova's breasts with her hands.

Questions about their sexuality were evaded by ambiguous statements such as "Don't be afraid to be yourself; don't be afraid to love", or that they did not like labels. Katina once said in an interview that this lesbianism was "no image", although she had acknowledged in earlier interviews that it was an obligation.

In a 2003 interview on Liquid News, the girls stated that they preferred not to answer personal questions, those specifically about their sexuality. One reporter mentioned that people did not believe that they were actually lesbians, then another reporter chimed in saying "kiss, kiss." Both girls just laughed, and Katina told them that if they want to see them kiss, they can just watch their video. It was also mentioned that t.A.T.u. had reached the top of the charts in the U.K.

In late February and early March 2003, the girls flew to the U.S. to promote their new English album. Filming on the reality show Anatomy of t.A.T.u. began during this time. They caused much controversy through the media for their attitude, choice of words, sexuality and their phrase "Hui Voine!" ("Fuck War!"). The girls first wore shirts with this phrase on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, but it was the studio not showing the girls' kiss that got people talking. A day later on Jimmy Kimmel Live, they were not allowed to wear the shirts. However, Volkova ended up writing the phrase on Kimmel's hand. On Total Request Live, the girls irritated their hosts by ignoring questions, messing around on stage and speaking Russian to each other. The hosts failed to pronounce the group's name correctly (saying it as individual letters) throughout the entire show even after being corrected by Volkova. Ivan Shapovalov was standing in front of the hosts as the show was coming back from commercial break. One of the hosts said "People don't know how this works, it's unbelievable." TRL did not censor the words printed on the shirts, nor the kiss between the girls. The girls also appeared on Last Call with Carson Daly, The Late Show with Craig Kilborn, and MADtv. They also did a photo shoot for Maxim magazine which was included in their May 2003 issue, though photos with their shirts were only available online.

Also in May, t.A.T.u. represented Russia at Eurovision Song Contest 2003, where they placed third.[10] They decided to sing "Ne Ver', Ne Boysia", but because of Volkova's inflamed vocal cords she did not take part in rehearsals, and their final performance was rough at the beginning. The girls were placed third but claimed they would have won if the Irish telephone votes had been counted - a technical fault within eircom led to a jury deciding placings (it was also notable that, despite a #1 single in Ireland, they weren't awarded any points by the jury). The jury had voted on the rehearsal performance, where only Katina performed. They later stated, "Eurovision is for beginners ... we were already artists and only attended because our country asked us to attend". Russia protested the Eurovision results but to no avail. During the same year, in a concert in Istanbul they sang Sertab Erener's song "Every Way That I Can" (Sertab Erener was the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest that year).

Only a few days after being denied the Eurovision spmg award, t.A.T.u. performed "All the Things She Said" and "Not Gonna Get Us" at the 2003 MTV Movie Awards. The performance included nearly 100 girls dancing around the stage, having them strip to their underclothes at the end of the performance and kiss each other. The chorus in "Not Gonna Get Us" is partly playback due to the fact that Yulia had developed a vocal cord cyst earlier during Eurovision. During this trip to the U.S., they also taped a segment for the "Show Me Love" video on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California.

The group faced a lawsuit after management canceled two May concerts, one at the Wembley Arena (Scheduled for 2 May 2003), and another at the Manchester Evening News Arena (4 May). EEM Group, who were organizing the performances, told BBC that they would sue the managers of t.A.T.u. for nearly $500,000 for both canceling and throwing unobtainable obstacles to the EEM Group. BBC also stated that the concerts were canceled due to poor ticket sales, but the group stated it was due to Volkova's vocal cyst.

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Re: t.A.T.u "This that"

Post  Alena on Thu Jun 11, 2009 2:32 pm

2003–2004: Hiatus/Reformation

On 26 September 2003, the act released a compilation CD of remixes, titled Remixes. In November 2003, the CD was released in Russia, with two new tracks, and videos. The two new tracks were "Prostiye Dvizheniya" (which was previously released as a single but had not appeared on a commercial release before) and "Ne Ver, Ne Boysya."

A DVD compilation of t.A.T.u.'s music videos and more titled Screaming for More was released on 24 November 2003.

Anatomy of t.A.T.u. aired on Russian television on 12 December 2003. The documentary revealed that the girls were not lesbians, and chronicled the group as they took part in Eurovision, earlier in the year.

In December 2003, t.A.T.u. legally broke their contract with Ivan Shapovalov, and Neformat. In the months before the split, t.A.T.u. and Shapovalov were being filmed for a reality show on STS in Russia titled Podnebesnaya. The show chronicled the group as they were recording their second album, but to little success, with their producer, Ivan Shapovalov. The documentary aired on Russian television from January to March 2004. There were many rumors around the split until the show aired, which depicted the group leaving due to a lack of interest and care from their producer. They also claimed the quality of the music being produced was too low, and that Shapovalov was only interested in creating scandals. Volkova stated, "He [Ivan] spends his time thinking up scandals instead of planning our artistic work. I'm sure our fans would rather hear new songs and new albums than new scandals."[11]

In one of the final episodes, Volkova mentioned about returning to the U.S. in the following spring, (Spring 2004), to record with new producers. However, soon after, she became pregnant, and recording was delayed.

2004–2006: Lyudi Invalidy/Dangerous and Moving

t.A.T.u performing in October 2005.

On 23 September 2004, Volkova gave birth to Viktoria (Vika) Pavlovna Volkova.

Volkova soon joined Katina and previous producer, Sergio Galoyan in the studio. The group was backed by their record label, Universal Music International in finding adequate songs and production to release a new album.

In August 2005, "All About Us" and "Lyudi Invalidy" were announced to be the first singles from the English and Russian albums, respectively.

t.A.T.u. released their second English album on 5 October 2005 titled Dangerous and Moving. Its Russian counterpart was released on 19 October, titled Lyudi Invalidy.

The second single was "Friend or Foe." Soon after the video was released, the group's management replaced drummer Roman Ratej with Steve Wilson, and appointed a new bassist, Domen Vajevec.

On 17 April 2006, t.A.T.u. returned to reality TV in Russia with t.A.T.u. Expedition, which was broadcast on the Russian music channel Muz Tv. It chronicled the release of their second album, and recording the video for their third single, "Gomenasai" which was released during the airing of the show. t.A.T.u. performed in St. Petersburg, Russia on 28 April kicking off their Dangerous and Moving Tour. On 30 August 2006, the official website announced that the girls had left their record company, Universal/Interscope.

On 21 November 2006, the region of the Komi Republic in Russia filed a lawsuit against t.A.T.u. over the album and song "Lyudi Invalidy". Leonid Vakuev, a human rights representative for the Komi Republic, cited words written in the booklet for the album, which said: "Disabled people [Lyudi Invalidy] do not know what it means to be a human being. They are fakes inside the human form. They do not live, but — function". Katina said, "Of course, we meant moral invalids, people who do not have [a] soul and human feelings." When asked if they had anything against disabled people, she stated that she finds it offensive to refer to people by that term, and added, "We take pictures together and make sure they have priority seats [at concerts]."[12]

2007–present: Vesyolye Ulybki / Happy Smiles

On 17 May 2007, t.A.T.u. issued a statement directed to their gay fans: "When t.A.T.u.'s second album came out, many of our fans of alternative sexual orientation thought that we lied and betrayed them. This is not true! We’ve never done that and we’ve always advocated love without boundaries."[13] On 26 May, they flew out to Moscow to take part in the Moscow Gay Pride demonstration.[14]

On 12 September 2007 the group released the concert DVD "Truth". It was the group's first release since leaving Universal. In late 2007, "Beliy Plaschik", the lead single from their upcoming Russian-language album was released. The project was then known as "Upravleniye Otbrosami", which translates to "Waste Management". The second single, "220", made its radio premiere in May 2008 and the music video was released on their official YouTube channel on 5 June 2008. "Beliy Plaschik" and "220" were the main attractions on a special release known as "Hyperion-Plate", the first-ever EP from the band. The EP was released on 8 May 2008 and featured multimedia content including music, video, ringtones, wallpapers, and more. To promote the EP and their forthcoming album, t.A.T.u. performed live shows in Russia, Germany, France, Dubai, Italy, Egypt, and the United States.

At the time of the "Hyperion-Plate"'s release, "Upravleniye Otbrosami" was scheduled to hit the stores in June 2008. The EP featured a poster which advertised that date, as well as a coupon redeemable for a discount on the album that expired on 30 June 2008. However, the release schedule abruptly stalled on 5 June 2008, when t.A.T.u.'s manager Boris Renski announced that Yulia Volkova was seriously ill.[15] Volkova's illness forced the cancellation of a concert in Santa Clara, CA, and the singer was not seen in public until the wedding of producer Sergey Konov on 5 July 2008. The band returned to work in late August, when it was reported that t.A.T.u. would be the face of fashion designer Marc Jacobs's fall and winter campaigns in Russia.

t.A.T.u performing in Moscow in September 2008.

On 9 September 2008, a press release appeared on the band's official website that declared that the forthcoming album would be titled "Vesyolye Ulybki" ("Happy Smiles") instead of "Upravleniye Otbrosami". The name change reflected sarcastic comments about the state of the Russian music business made by Volkova and Katina in an interview with Moscow's Time Out Magazine.[16] The press release also provided the tracklist of the album and an early version of its cover art, but still no confirmed release date was given. On 12 September, the album's third single, "You and I" made its debut on Love Radio. The press release disappeared from the site shortly afterward, only to re-appear on 8 October with a change made to the cover art --- where there was once the face of a smiling astronaut on the original design, a black square now appeared.

On 15 October, t.A.T.u.'s website announced that "Vesyolye Ulybki" would be released on 21 October 2008, beginning with a special event at two Soyuz record stores in Moscow where fans could meet the girls and get their autographs. The album also went on pre-sale at the official t.A.T.u. web shop on 18 October, with a small number of buyers receiving a limited-edition postcard set as a prize. The songs were also made available internationally through the iTunes digital music store. Upon its release, it became apparent that the album essentially had two covers --- the astronaut cover was a slipcase, while the original design used for "Upravleniye Otbrosami" appeared inside. The black square from the press release had been hiding a Mars scene.[17]

On 23 October, t.A.T.u. appeared on Vladimir Polupanov's "The 7 Premieres" to promote their new album. They are also the subjects of an ongoing mini-reality series on the website Russia.ru. The show follows the girls in their daily lives, much like 2006's t.A.T.u. Expedition.

On 21 October 2008 "Vesyolye Ulybki" was released internationally on the iTunes and Amazon music stores.

On 28 November t.A.T.u were awarded the Legend of MTV at the MTV Russia Music Awards 2008.

In March 2009, a statement was released on the band's site and MySpace stating that the band will no longer be a "full-time" project and that Katina and Volkova were working on solo projects. This post also mentioned that an extended version of Happy Smiles will be sold on their official website, a special version is being made for Amazon.com in jewel-case format with new remixes and that the album would be released on vinyl on the t.A.T.u shop. They also mentioned that the third video will be released on 17 April on MTV Russia. This video includes Yulia and Lena after filming the video for 220, riding off on motorcycles. While driving vigorously on their bikes they are surrounded by police officers and make the decision to drive their bikes into each other, choosing death over captivity. [18]

The girls performed a special concert at the Eurovision Song Contest on the 10th of May and will perform on the 12th at the 1st semi finals, according to their official website.

According to t.A.T.u, an English album will be released. No details on when were given, however, It is rumored that the English counterpart will be released Autumn 2009.

Production companies / Management

When t.A.T.u. was first formed by Shapovalov, the group's production company Neformat was born, with Shapovalov and Renski at the head. In 2004, the company was dissolved when t.A.T.u. left Shapovalov.

T.A. Music

Since 2005, T.A. Music has been the production company of t.A.T.u., which is located in Moscow, Russia. The liner notes that accompanied the release of Dangerous and Moving said that the company was composed of t.A.T.u., Boris Renski, Dasha Mischenko,and Andrey Artischev.

After t.A.T.u. broke ties with Universal Music in 2006, it was finally announced in 2008 that T.A. Music would become the standing record label for t.A.T.u., although only currently in the Russian market. Boris Renski is still currently the band's manager.

T.A. Music was the label under which Happy Smiles was released internationally on iTunes. T.A. Music will now act as the label and management company for Lena Katina's solo project.

t.A.T.u. is one of the first Russian groups to be known internationally.

t.A.T.u forever

In March 2009, an Insider statement was released on the band's site and MySpace stating that the band will no longer be a 'full-time' project and that the girls were working on solo projects. This post also mentioned that an extended version of "Весёлые улыбки" will be sold on their official website, and a special version is being made for Amazon.com in jewel-case format with new remixes and that the album would be released on vinyl on the t.A.T.u shop. They also mentioned that the third video will be released by the end of March or beginning of April 2009. The girls will not close t.A.T.u. but they will have a break for Yulia's & Lena's solo careers.[18]

Band members

t.A.T.u.'s band has played with them since touring around 2002.

Current members
Sven Martin ( http://www.svenmartin.com/ ) — Keyboard, musical director (2002-present)
Troy MacCubbin ( http://www.troymaccubbin.com/ ) — Guitars (2002-present)
Steve Wilson (Myspace) ( http://www.myspace.com/stevewilsonofficial ) - (Homepage) (http://www.stevewilsonsite.com) — Drums (2006–present)
Domen Vajevec ( http://www.myspace.com/TheDomenator ) — Bass (2006–present)

Former members
Roman Ratej ( http://www.myspace.com/aws ) — Drums (2003–2006)


2009: You and I

200 Po Vstrechnoy Tour (2001-2002)
The Show Me Love Tour (2003)
Dangerous And Moving Promo Tour (2005-2006)
Dangerous And Moving Tour (2006-2008)

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