Natalya Simakova, “originally from Siberia, moved to Moscow to study theater at the academy. After graduation she became a successful actress and played in such a movies as “Daun Hause,” “Nulevoy Kilometr,” and many others. Her theater experience and her husband, who is front man of one the most popular modern rock bands in Russia, “TOKIO,” pushed Natalia to express herself in a different field”. For the last three years Natalya has spent most of her time dedicated to music, as a producer, composer and vocalist in the band called Siberia. Natalia defines her music as “glam-punk-rock,” mixed into a Lewis Carol world of rebelliousness, sex, and grotesque behavior.
Siberia’s first album “STORM” was released in 2008. After a successful worldwide tour including participation in the London festival “Russian winter,” Natalya decided to release her second album in New York, where she currently works and lives. Their second album will be released in May 2011 and will be named THE ELEPHANT, According to Natalya it is going to be an “intense album with strong energetic, emotional conflicts with a more advanced sound,” (siberiagroup.com)
Like a true New Yorker, Natalya of Siberia (the band) was biking to downtown New York, (in the rain), before our call. Once she got comfy on her couch and connected her cell phone charger, we began our interview, (which Thrillcall conducted entirely in Russian), and then translated into English…
Thrillcall: What made you decide to move to the United States after having what seems like great success as an Actress in Russia? How long have you lived in New York?
Natalya: There are a lot more resources for the actualization of my projects here. There is not much left in Moscow for me, even though I did accomplish a lot as an actress and as a musician. I am here in New York for the people. Great, talent-loving, supportive, friendly people, who truly love and want my music.
Plus, my albums were primarily meant for the American/English-speaking audience. I have been in New York since January this year, and I already have a few concerts scheduled.
Thrillcall: How did you meet your current bandmates? And are they New York based?
Natalya: I was looking for musicians across all major live music parties and clubs, but eventually I realized that I needed professionals with an appropriate musical education. I was fortunate to meet these awesome guys right out of their Jazz college here in New York. I met one of them at an event and then he brought his buddy, who he played with before and so on, here we are now.They are all native New Yorkers.
Thrillcall: Can you tell us anything about your husband’s band “Tokio”? What impact does your career and your husband’s music career have on your relationship?
Natalya: They are experiencing a big success here as well. In fact, they have a US tour planned in June. As far as the music – love balance, we live in complete harmony and understanding. I would even say that we love each other even more because of the fact that we are both artists. We are able to achieve a higher level of understanding through mutual support.
Thrillcall: What have your biggest challenges been now that you’re in the US? Do you feel like it’s harder or easier for you here?
Natalya: It’s definitely easier for me here. Overall, people are tuned in to notice and appreciate talented, successful people. It’s a lot easier to succeed here, than in Russia, because people are determined to help and give all they can when they see a true talent. Unlike Russia, where people are often envious about someone else’s success and are determined to build roadblocks rather than offer support.
Thrillcall: The colors, style, and production of your music videos are very interesting to the viewer. Do you consider yourself a performance artist, especially with your background in acting and theater?
Natalya: Absolutely. I am trying to leverage my theatrical success. I have a great education and a background in film and acting. I achieved a lot in the film arena and the theatrical stage and often times these original talents naturally actualize in my music career. I do not want to leave everything I learned behind in the light of my new project [Siberia]. I am still doing movie roles and I am definitely trying to bring it all together in my music.
Music videos are like miniature films for me. For example, my latest video “Chocolate” was filmed (absolutely free) in the Paris apartment of my very close artist friend. This is how things are between my friends and me, they support me and offer me all kinds of resources knowing that , when I make it big I will pay them back, and this is the kind of mutual understanding I have with all my supporters. I am a very kind person and they all know that I will not forget anyone.
I am not doing this to just be “big” and consume all my success, through my music and everything I do my goal is to remind people that we are here for each other and we should help and love each other. We cannot be so cold and inhumane, we should all feel compassion, which is slowly vanishing from the face of this earth. Humanity is the drive for my music.
Thrillcall: On a similar note, your fashion looks very chic and well-made along with being eye-catching… are you friends with someone in the fashion world? Or do you make your own clothes and costumes?
Natalya: I pay very close attention to my costumes. I do not make my own clothing, but I do create my style and fashion. I do not use the services of stylists or any other creative personas to help me express myself. Sometimes I buy from grand, world-known designers, other times I buy Vintage from major boutiques of New York and Paris. I prefer a unique style for my work on stage. I do everything myself. I even edit, produce, and direct my own videos. This is the only way I can ensure my creative persona is fully present.
Thrillcall: Are you involved with the Russian-speaking community in New York? Do you have a good support system of fans and family here?
Natalya: Of course they all support me, but they are not my primary audience. They are my friends, but I am aiming for the American audience. I want them to know me and accept me. It’s already happening for me and It’s very cool to have such support so early on, it really means a lot to me.