Guðrið Hansdóttir: «Russians are the same as us»

It’s already more than two months that Guðrið Hansdóttir came back to the Faroes after her Russian tour. Those, who were at her concerts in early October, will remember this wonderful modest girl with a sensual pure voice and own sincere songs. As Guðrið admits, her acquaintance with Russia left a lasting impression, and the concert at the Surgut Philharmonics was one of the most memorable in her life. Her thoughts about Russia and artistic plans the singer shared with your humble narrator.

Tell, please, has the acquaintance with Russia changed you somehow?
— Yes. I did not know anything about Russia before, and I realized that the western countries have a wrong image about Russia. We only hear bad things in the news about the political situation, Pussy Riot, gay rights etc.

I also had an image in my head, that Russia would be very poor. But I realized, that, in general, people are a lot like us, and have all the same things that we have, for example, iPhones etc. Russian people are very warm and positive people and it affected me somehow, and I felt really welcome, and that’s very important for me, when I come to a new country.

— Is there anything new you've learned about Russia?
—  Everything was really exciting and exotic for us. Now I have lots of friends in Russia, and I learned a lot about culture even though I was only there for one week. People seem to be very cultivated, and they really listen to your music and I really appreciate that.

— Most time you spent in Surgut. What impressions has it left?
— I have to say that the concert is Surgut is one of the most memorable concerts I´ve ever played. It was right on my birthday.  I played a concert at the Philharmonics, and hall was filled with excited people. And lots of people came up to the stage while I was playing with presents and flowers. It was amazing! I ´ve never experienced that before.

Surgut was very cold, but it was nice and the people were so nice and friendly and I hope to come back.

— What do you remember about other cities?
— All cities were different, but we really like Ufa and had a good time in Perm too.

— You sang the song of the band Kino at your concert in Surgut. How did you come to the idea to sing something from Russian repertoire?
It was the idea of  our promoter in Russia. He wrote, that it would be a good idea to sing a Russian song and he sent me some suggestions. And one of them was “Little Star Called Sun”. I really liked it and decided to sing it ( Guðrið sang the song in English in the version of band Brazzaville — author's note). I still like this song and I often listen to the song when I miss my Russian friends.

—  You have a project KATA. You perform songs a cappella”, and, as far as I know, one of them is Russian. What kind of song is it?
— Yes, I´m in a Female Vocal Quintet and we sing Faroese traditional songs, but we also sing Russian and Bulgarian folk songs. One of the songs we are singing is called "Nje Pa Pogrebu Bachonachek Katajetsa”. We just listen to the song on Youtube and try to pronounce the words right.

— What about future projects? As far as I know, you record a single now. When will it be released? When will we see a complete solo album and the second Byrtas album? Would KATA release its album?
Yes I will release a single in February 2015. It has two songs. One of them is «A Lot Like Dying», which was already sung in Russia. Byrta is working on a new album, which will probably be out sometimes late next year. KATA is also working on an album, which we will be recording next summer, so lots of exciting things are happening.

Have you thought about making video for your song? There's a lack of videos for your compositions...
— I do actually have one video for the song “Cloth Mother”. The artist which did the artwork for the cover also did the video. But I also have two videos of Byrta. But yes I would like to do more videos, but it’s so expensive.

— Would you like to visit Russia once more?
– Yes, of course! W are planning on coming back next year and I can´t wait :-)

Interview by Anton Kovalsky.

Translated by Irina Boiko.

Russian version interview.