Julia Volkova in 2014
|Birth name||Yulia Olegovna Volkova|
|Born||(1985-02-20) 20 February 1985
Moscow, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
|Origin||Moscow, Soviet Union|
|Genres||Pop, Rock, Electro, Electropop|
|Labels||T.A. Music, Gala Records|
|Website||www.juliavolkova.com/en/ (in English)|
Yulia Olegovna Volkova (Russian: Юлия Олеговна Волкова born 20 February 1985), better known by the alternative spelling of Julia, is a Russian singer, recording artist and actress, best known for being a member in the Russian girl group t.A.T.u., along with Lena Katina. A girl group who was managed in Moscow, Russia by Ivan Shapovalov in March 1999, the group signed a record deal with Universal Music Russia, where they eventually signed to Universal’s sub-label Interscope Records in 2001.
The group’s first single “All the Things She Said” topped the charts in countries including Australia, Austria, Denmark, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, the United States, and the United Kingdom, but also received controversy due to Julia and Lena kissing onscreen. The group recorded three studio albums in English, including their best-selling (to date) studio album, 200 km/h in the Wrong Lane, three Russian albums, and four compilation albums. The group also worked on alternative projects, including a 2011 film You and I, and opened T.A. Music, a Russian-based record label. In March 2011, t.A.T.u.’s management released a press release officially stating that t.A.T.u. had split, due to conflict and problems surrounding the members.
Julia signed a solo career with Gala Records in June 2011, and released her debut single “All Because of You” in November 2011. The song was also released in a Russian-language version under the title “Сдвину мир” (I’ll Change the World). Her debut worldwide single titled “Didn’t Wanna Do It” was released on 21 August 2012.
- 1 Life and career
- 2 Acting career
- 3 Personal life
- 4 Discography
- 5 Music videos solo
- 6 Filmography
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Life and career
1985–1994: Early years and career beginning
Volkova was born on 20 February 1985 in Moscow, Russian SFSR to a middle-class family. Her father, Oleg Volkov, was a businessman and her mother, Larissa Volkova, was a hairdresser. At the age of 6, Volkova enrolled in music school and began learning how to play the piano. When she was 9, Volkova became a member of Russia’s children’s chorus Neposedi, from which she would later meet fellow t.A.T.u. singer, Lena Katina. At age 11, Volkova transferred to a school fostering artistic talent, and three years later left Neposedi to join t.A.T.u. She has insisted that she was banned from Neposedi for misbehaving, but Neposedi representatives deny this, saying that she simply graduated as all of their members did at a certain age.
1999–2011: Formation of t.A.T.u.
Creator and former-manager of t.A.T.u., Ivan Shapovalov formulated the selling image of t.A.T.u. in order to capitalize on the common fascination and fantasy of school-girl lesbians, and appeal to a diverse fan base.
Shapovalov signed Yulia and Lena as t.A.T.u., managing the act until 2004, when they both came out and revealed that Shapovalov had implemented the lesbian persona, and that they were even told what to say in interviews.
t.A.T.u. soon became the most successful Russian group of all time, leaving a number of hits behind them, such as “All the Things She Said“, “Not Gonna Get Us” and “All About Us“. They also took part in Eurovision Song Contest 2003 and finished third with “Ne Ver’, Ne Boysia.” They recorded three English-language studio albums: 200 km/h in the Wrong Lane, Dangerous and Moving, and Waste Management. Three Russian language studio albums were put out: 200 po Vstrechnoy, Lyudi Invalidy, and Vesyoyle Ulybki. It was announced in March 2011 that t.A.T.u. was officially disbanded. The duo celebrated their twelve years together, and released two remix albums titled Waste Management Remixes pt. 1 and Waste Management Remixes pt. 2. It was announced they were their last albums together, as they would both would pursue solo careers.
Many Russian websites started claiming Yulia had left t.A.T.u. to go solo in March 2009. The official blog rejected the claims that Yulia had quit, but stated that both of them would be doing separate solo projects from now on and t.A.T.u was no longer a full-time job. However, in early January, the duo released a video in which they said they were still together and were planning more songs in 2010.
2011–present: End of t.A.T.u. and forthcoming solo album
It was announced that after the production of t.A.T.u.‘s album Waste Management, t.A.T.u. would no longer be a full-time project and it was later announced that Julia and Lena would both be working on their solo careers. Julia is currently working on her solo album in Moscow and Los Angeles. Julia has said that she has introduced a new genre she referred to as “Sex rock“. As Julia explained “I’m not going to go from t.A.T.u. style to R&B, I like rock. It’s going to be sexy, electric, but I don’t want to give away all the secrets just yet.”
Julia was asked about touring and she explained “I am looking forward to performing and touring the whole world. The live shows will be different from t.A.T.u. altogether. It will be me alone and a beautiful show with big screens, each of them will have a little movie. I want the fans to take part in these movies. I want to help them feel a part of something and to be part of my show, to see that they’re traveling around the world with me.” She was interviewed by Cherrytree Chat. She was asked about her music and she said that “[she is] not doing any songwriting, [she is] only recording English songs [although Russian songs are planned], the album is planned to be released worldwide and wants to be into drums throughout her career”
On 16 August 2011, Volkova announced on her website, as well as on Facebook and Twitter, she has officially signed with Russian Label Gala Records, subsidiary of EMI records. She has also stated that her new single to prepare for her debut album, “All Because of You/Sdvinu Mir” will be released in late August with accompanying video. 2 weeks after the announcement, her official site reported that Julia will be returning to the studio to complete an additional recording session for “All Because of You/Sdvinu Mir,” and that the single will be officially released in October. For a third time, the single release was postponed until November. Though fans hoped for “All Because of You” to premiere on the radio prior to Julia’s South American tour, it was planned to premiere during Julia’s first performance in Rio de Janeiro on 17 November 2011. The Russian version “Sdvinu Mir” premiered on Lenta.ru on 11 November 2011. This is Volkova’s first debut single for her upcoming untitled debut album. The song was recorded in Sweden and was produced by Niclas Molinder, Joacim Persson, Johan Fransson, Tim Larsson and Tobias Lundgren. A music video is also currently directed. Evan Winter is also the director of the video. The music video was released on 2 December 2011, premiering on Ello.com and her website.
Volkova also announced she will travel to South America for a promotional tour, where she will perform some songs from t.A.T.u. and some of her new material. “All Because Of You” peaked at number 247 in her native Russia. It was announced by Volkova that the album will be released in Fall 2012.
On 1 March 2012, it was reported by the press that Volkova was one of the 25 artists in the Russian final selection who would be competing in order to represent Russia at the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 in Baku, Azerbaijan. Russian broadcaster RTR later confirmed her participation among the other 25. She entered the competition together with Eurovision 2008 winner Dima Bilan as a duo with the song “Back to Her Future“. They finished in second place with 29.25 points behind the winning entry, “Party for Everybody” by Russian ethno-pop band Buranovskiye Babushki, with 38.51 points.
Since March 2012, Volkova and her management have been quiet. On 11 July 2012, Volkova’s Facebook administrator announced on their t.A.T.u. Facebook page that Volkova is unable to release any updates or news without her and her representatives’ confirmation. However, that same day, the administrator announced on their t.A.T.u. Facebook page that Volkova is finishing her second single from the album titled “Didn’t Wanna Do It,” due in July 2012. It was confirmed it would be released as her first worldwide single. Volkova released two music videos, for “I Didn’t Wanna Do It” and “Back to Her Future” (Russian version “Lyubov-Suka” with Dima Bilan). Both videos topped the Ello music video charts. “Lyubov-Suka” also reached number 47 in the Russian airplay chart. She recorded a song with Sergio Galoyan titled “Night of Your Life.” Galoyan released on YouTube the original demo of the track, and asked people to remix it.
In late 2012 Julia Volkova had a surgery on her vocal cords and didn’t publicize it in the press for a long time. She is still recovering her voice and has plans for more surgeries. Despite her voice problems she still performs.
In 2014, Volkova made a series of performances with her former bandmate Lena Katina as t.A.t.u which ended on a TV performance in the Olympic Games in Russia, however shortly after Katina accused Julia of blackmailing her putting an end on t.A.T.u as a band. Volkova denied the accusations, however, the single “Lyubov v Kazhdom Mgnovenii” (“Love in every moment”) was released as a collaboration of them both, but not listed as a t.A.t.u song. Also in September 2014 Julia launched her own line of shoes “C & C shoes by Julia Volkova”. Within six months, the singer and leading Italian designers have developed a new collection, so now it is to submit to the Russian market.
In 2016, Volkova talked for the first time about her disease, revealing that in 2012 she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. During a complex surgery to remove the tumor, laryngeal nerve was damaged, so Julia almost lost her voice. She had two surgeries in Germany to recover the voice, but they have been unsuccessful. It was only the third operation in Seoul, in 2014, was able to fix the situation for the better.
In 1996 and 1998 Julia participated of sketches from the children’s comedy TV show Yeralash.
Volkova made her film début alongside Lena Katina and Mischa Barton in the film You and I, the story of two teenage girls who meet and fall in love at a Moscow t.A.T.u. concert. The film is based on the novel t.A.T.u. Come Back, which was in turn based on true events.
During August 2011, Julia participated in the shooting of the movie Zombie Fever (previously titled Fear Mongers and also 9½ Zombies). According to the post on her official site Zombie Fever is a Russian language zombie horror/comedy movie shot on location in Minsk, Belarus. Produced by New Wave Production in the style of such films as Zombieland or Shaun of the Dead, Zombie Fever premiered at 15 August 2013 in Russia with the local name of “Zombi kanikuly 3D”. Julia plays the heroine, Natasha.
The video of “Lubov v Kazhdom Mgnoveniy” (Love in every moment) was launched as a short film named “Together Apart” in 2014 that is part of project CORNETTO’s CUPIDITY. In the history, Julia is one of the cupids that try to make a young couple, that is in a long distance romance, get together. Also on 18 February 2014 Julia made a cameo in an episode of the Slovak daily television series Panelák.
In May 2004, Volkova announced that she was pregnant by her then long-time boyfriend Pavel Sidorov, which caused some controversy due to Sidorov already having a wife and daughter. Daughter Viktoria Pavlovna “Vika” Volkova was born on 23 September 2004, in Moscow. Volkova does not keep in contact with Sidorov.
In 2007, Volkova then had a long-term relationship with businessman Parviz Yasinov. The press reported that she and Yasinov got married. Volkova gave birth to a baby boy named Samir on 27 December 2007, in Moscow. In 2008, it was speculated by the media that she was diagnosed with postpartum depression, but it was never confirmed. In 2010, Volkova confirmed that she and Yasinov had broken up, but denied claims that she had been separated from her son.
In a January 2012 interview, Volkova stated that she no longer communicates with Lena Katina.
In March 2013, Volkova confirmed in Hello Magazine that she converted to Islam in 2010, saying, “I don’t wear typical Muslim clothes, but I converted to Islam because it’s the closest to my heart.” When asked if she would want to live in a Muslim country, she answered, “Why not?” In 2017, she returned to Orthodoxy..
In many interviews, Volkova has officially stated that she is bisexual, stating, “I still like boys and girls. Even my current husband Volodya, sitting in front of me would confirm that he knows about my stories with the girls. For me, this is a current issue. Quite recently, I had a girlfriend that I liked … This is not even the echoes of the past, this is what I now live in… “
In September 2014, Volkova appeared as a contestant on a Ukrainian game show called Lie Detector and made comments considered to be highly homophobic towards homosexual men. The show’s host asked the singer if she would condemn her son for being gay, Volkova responded, “Yes, I would condemn him because I believe that a real man must be a real man…a man has no right to be a fag.” In spite of this, she said, “Two girls together — not the same thing as the two men together. It seems to me that lesbians look aesthetically much nicer…”
Later on, she wanted to make it clear that she isn’t “against gays” and that they are still “better than murderers, thieves or drug addicts”. Nevertheless, her perspective on male homosexuality sparked outrage in social media, where she was seen as extremely hypocritical and biased. Her former band member, Lena Katina, reacted by saying, “God is teaching us to live in love, to be tolerant and not to judge other people!…I think everybody should be free to love who they love and be with who they want to spend their life with!” 
- 1997: Pust Mirom Pravit Lyubov (album)
- 2011: Сдвину мир (Sdvinu Mir)
- 2011: All Because of You
- 2012: Didn’t Wanna Do It / Davai Zakrutim Zemlyu
- 2012: Lyubov-Suka / Back to Her Future (feat. Dima Bilan)
- 2014: Lubov v Kazhdom Mgnovenii (with Lena Katina & Legalize feat. Mike Tompkins)
- 2015: Держи рядом/Derzhi Ryadom
- 2016: Спасите Люди Мир/Spasite Lyudi Mir
- 2017: Просто Забыть (Prosto Zabit)
- 2012: Night of Your Life (original demo) – Sergio Galoyan
Music videos solo
- 2011 — “All Because of You”
- 2011 — “Сдвину мир”
- 2012 — “Didn’t Wanna Do It” / Давай закрутим Землю
- 2012 — “Любовь-Сука” (feat. Dima Bilan)
- 2015 — “Держи рядом / Derzhi Ryadom”