Multi award-winning ZULYA KAMALOVA is the leading proponent of Tatar and Russian music in Australia as well as one of the most versatile and accomplished vocalists on the world music scene today. Since her move to Australia in 1991 ZULYA has developed a totally original approach as an affirmation of her unique identity – an affirmation that takes her Tatar and Russian background to totally new places and in completely new ways. ZULYA has independently produced six albums to date, including ARIA-nominated elusive (2002) and, together with her band The Children of the Underground – ARIA-winning 3 nights and 2004’s The Waltz of Emptiness (and Other Songs on Russian Themes) both of which upon their release in Europe spent several months in the top 10 of European world music charts – a feat no other Australian album has ever achieved. Her latest release “Tales of Subliming”
(2010) has received glowing 5 star reviews in Europe.
A native of Tatarstan-Udmurtia region of Central Russia, ZULYA began performing Russian and Tatar songs at the age of 9. Later she studied music and languages at university level. She made a dramatic decision to settle in Australia in 1991and inspired by the diversity of cultures began to share her music with Australians. ZULYA’s first release in Australia, Journey of Voice (1997), a unique collection of vocal styles and traditions received accolades for its versatility, passion and the “achingly beautiful” tone of her voice. In the following years, Australian audiences have been able to witness the continuing rise of this unique musical treasure. ZULYA’s later albums, Aloukie(1999) and elusive (2002) have also been released in Europe and have been awarded and nominated for various awards. These albums feature traditional and original songs in her distinctive Tatar style but with unusual instrumentation, presenting the traditional music from a new perspective. Several tracks from these albums have been included in various compilations such as Putumayo’s Music from the Tea Lands and Dreamland along with many others.
Since beginning collaboration with The Children of the Underground in 2003, ZULYA’s music has further developed in surprising and intriguing directions. The band brings a new level of sophistication in arrangement and musicianship to ZULYA’s work, immediately apparent in highly -acclaimed The Waltz of Emptiness, and perhaps even more so in 3 Nights (2007). These two albums showcase the band’s impressive facility with their instruments, and listeners are struck by their talent for the composition of sublime melodies.
ZULYA’s work has been repeatedly featured on national radio and television to high acclaim. She continues to dazzle audiences with her passion for music and outstanding musicianship and during the last few years has performed at many major venues and festivals in Europe, Russia, Tatarstan, and of course in Australia, including The Moods (Zurich, Switzerland), Kulturbrauerei (Berlin, Germany), Savoy Teatteri (Helsinki, Finland), Porgy and Bess and SARGFABRIK (Vienna, Austria), Kulturfabrik (Luxembourg), Red Square (Moscow, Russia), Creation of Peace Festval (Kazan, Tatarstan), Living Water Festival (Altai Mountains, Siberia), Red Club (St.Petersburg, Russia), WOMADELAIDE (SA), QPAC – Women in Voice (Qld), Sydney Opera House and Angel Place (NSW), The Basement (NSW), Melbourne Recital Centre, Iwaki Auditorium, Bennetts Lane, Northcote Social Club (Vic), National Folk Festival (ACT), 10 Days On The Island Arts festival (Tas), Woodford Folk Festival (Qld), Brisbane Biennial Festival of Music (Qld), Apollo Bay Music Festival (Vic), Kulcha (WA), Musician in Residence Program, Aboriginal communities (NT) etc.