With the Turkvision Song Contest drawing ever closer we spoke to this years entrant from Belarus, Svetlana Agarval.

The 4th edition of the Turkvision Song Contest is a matter of weeks away and as it draws closer we want to bring you closer to the artists. Following our interview with Seyran from Germany, today we bring you our chat with this years entrant from Belarus, Svetlana Agarval. We talk to Svetlana about her journey to Turkvision, her love of Indian music and what she would tell her younger self.

Thanks so much for talking to us, how does it feel to know you will be representing Belarus at the Turkvision Song Contest 2016?

This is very exciting! And very responsible! But I’m glad that I received such an honor – to represent Belarus! I would really like to try to live up to my expectations!

How were you selected to represent Belarus at Turkvision and did you ever think that you’d be selected?

To be honest, it all happened very suddenly! Selection of candidates in our country is engaged by singer Gunesh, and probably my style and genre fit most for the competition. My songs and materials were sent to organizers of the Turkvision Song Contest and they confirmed my participation.

Sevtlana Agarval

“Music runs like a red thread through my whole life”

What are you most looking forward to about participating in the contest?

For an artist, participation in such events is always an opportunity to show their work to more people. This is a new experience, meeting new persons and new acquaintances.

We’ve talked about Turkvision, but what was it that drew you to singing as a child?

I always sung since I can remember. Even being a school girl I wanted to put poems to the music. I was engaged in a vocal and instrumental ensemble, and later was a soloist of the choir. In a word music runs like a red thread through my whole life.

Your performance of Hindi songs and Indian music is what you are best known for. How did your love of Hindi songs begin and what is it that inspires you to perform these songs?

My love of Indian songs appeared in childhood, when Indian movies were at the peak of popularity . After watching them I reached home, sat down at the piano, played to myself and sang songs from these movies. I sung them as a head them – because I did not understand the words. Then after a while, I started to learn Hindi to perform songs intelligently.

And the inspiration for singing Indian songs comes from positive feedback from fans on my music. They are very happy listening to my songs and looking at them I am pleased also ..

You’ve participated in both Eastern Bazaar and the Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk, what were these experiences like and how did they impact on your career as a singer?

Yes, I was a participant of the festival Eastern Bazaar in Yalta, where I represented India and was among the finalists. Frankly speaking I never thought that I would represent this country on competitions! Although I did perform Indian songs so agreed to the offer without hesitation. Eastern Bazaar was not like the competition, it was rather resembled a festival of national cultures – there reigned a friendly atmosphere, everyone supported each other and empathize. Of course, any competition for the singer – is a test which gives a new impetus for development in the music. It helps to reveal as a performer and opens up new facets of his opportunities. In the Slavonic Bazaar I was a participant of just the concert, that also is very nice.

Svetlana Agarval

“It is a new opportunity to prove myself as an artist “

Turkvision rules state that you must perform in a Turkic language. What language will you be performing your song in and how are you finding learning this language?

I will not open all the cards, but I can say that the song is in one of the Turkic languages, and its written by Gunesh. As for me who had never spoke the language, of course, it was difficult at first, but so interesting – it is a new opportunity to prove myself as an artist !! And we have to be glad in this opportunity !!! I said to myself: I can do this (laughs) Thanks to Gunesh who helped me to understand the text and was with me in during the song’s recording!. We are organically combined, these our three nationalities in one song !! But how – you will see soon!

With the Turkvision Song Contest just months away and a large amount of attention soon to be placed on you by media from the competing countries. What is one piece of advice that Gunesh has given to you about going into Turkvision?

Calm !! Just calm !! Get pleasure from the process !! Try to transfer excitement on stage to the right creative direction !! Of course, I want to back home with a prize. And I’m preparing for the competition very actively – rehearsals are every day. Hone every detail. In any case, we will play in front of a large audience, and its burning applause – praise for any artist!

Looking over your career so far, what is one piece of advice that you would give your younger self?

The most important thing is to believe in yourself! The main helpers in the work are perseverance and hard work! If something happens – not to despair, and extract useful lessons for yourself from this situation! A negative result is the same result! Do not mistake the one who does nothing)))! You should stubbornly go to the goal and everything will work out!

We thank Svetlana Agarval for talking to us and Iryna Vabischevich for helping organise the interview. Keep up to date with Eurovoix World for in-depth coverage of all of the news from the Turkvision Song Contest.