Over the three years that have passed since the first appearance of this fragile girl touchingly clasping a teddy bear to her chest, the name Alsou has become known in almost every home across Russia. But for all her Moscow-scale ambitions, Alsou has never given a concert in the Russian capital. Now, this November, she'll be performing in Moscow for the first time, presenting three concerts under the common name "Trilogy." On Nov. 3, Rossiya Concert Hall will be hosting the final concert of her world tour, and on Nov. 8 she will appear in the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall performing a mix of her old and new songs, with the Globalis Band accompanying her. Finally, on Nov. 12, Alsou will sing in a gala show at Olympiisky Sports Complex. As the "Trilogy" approached, LifeStyle met with Alsou in her production office and was happily surprised to find her greatly matured since her first interview with LS three years ago, when the paper was among the first publications to interview the then-obscure novice singer.
Why has it taken you so long to perform in Moscow?
I've been planning to perform in Moscow for a while now, but something always got in the way. The thing is, I see these performances as something exceptional, and I want to showcase not only my own abilities, but also those of my team, which includes 32 people. This is a team of young and talented people, including dancers, musicians, technicians and stylists.
You will perform at three different venues. Aren't you afraid that the public might somehow ignore one of these concerts?
Thank God I have experience on stage, so my knees won't be knocking. They were when I was singing for the first time in my life. My only fear is about the new programs, because we haven't had enough time to get them ready. I'm not worried that the public might ignore any one of the "Trilogy" concerts. Six weeks ago, even before the start of the advertising campaign, we had received a lot of bookings.
Is "Trilogy" timed to the release of your new album?
All three concerts are aimed at promoting my new album, new single and new video. The album is all in Russian (except for the song "Etkei," which is actually in Tatar) and will be out by the end of October. And I've already done a video for "Etkei." The album contains a lot of love songs. There's even one song I wrote myself. I'm also trying not to forget about the West, either. If everything keeps going as successfully there as it is now, I'll alternate Russian-language albums with English-language ones, like Enrique Iglesias does.
You write songs only in English?
Not anymore. I've written the lyrics to all my English-language songs and the guys on my team and I did the music together. But recently there was an important moment in my life: I did a song completely by myself - both the lyrics and the music. The song is in Russian and it's called "Angel."
Do you plan on going the way of many singers and doing a movie?
Being a movie actress is my dream. A year ago I enrolled in the Department of Acting of the Theater Academy, GITIS. Being an actress and starring in movies has always been my dream. But that can wait. My career as a singer comes first. I'm a maximalist - that is to say, I aspire to get to the top of any occupation I choose for myself. Afterwards, if I see a good script, I'll try acting in a movie.
What do you think of the jokes circulating in show-biz circles and in the press, that your career began 70 million years ago, when oil began to accumulate in the Earth's crust?
That's not the only joke about me (laughing)! I know a couple more. I feel OK about it. Four years ago I would have been hurt, but now it's just funny. There are jokes about me - that's a sign of popularity!
Alsou, are you Muslim?
Yes. I'm Muslim and my parents are Tatar. But I'm not a religious fanatic. I don't regularly go to the mosque, but I respect the traditions of the Tatar people and I know two or three prayers. And I do eat pork! I believe in God, one God. I think there shouldn't be any room for hatred between people on ethnic or religious grounds.
You spend most of your time in London. Don't you feel lonely?
No, I don't feel lonely. I've lived abroad since I was 10 years old; I have friends there, and my brother lives there with his wife, too. Almost all my friends live in London: I hang out with ordinary guys and girls who I studied with in college, and with their friends. And I meet new people there where I couldn't really hang out in Moscow - at clubs and discos. It just happened that in Moscow my circle is limited to successful and well-off people.
Can you confirm or deny the rumor that something was going on between you and the American singer Sisqo?
A romance with Sisqo? Me (laughing)? Oh, those journalists! They're always turning everything upside down. If they see two people sitting together in a restaurant they immediately say they're lovers - even though it might have been just work or a meeting between friends. They also wrote about me and Enrique Iglesias saying that if I sang a song with him, that must mean there was a romance. The truth is, there was no romance there. There was only a professional relationship: We sang together and we hung out a bit. Just in case, to stop any potential rumors, I want to say I don't have a boyfriend at the moment. I don't have time to even think about that. I'm just working and getting ready for the concerts. I often stay as late as 2 a.m. in the office. What boyfriend?