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| Home | About Belarus | Culture | Uzari & Maimuna at Eurovision 2015

Belarusian duo Uzari & Maimuna at Eurovision 2015


Duo Uzari & Maimuna won the right to represent Belarus at the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna, Austria, after they were voted best at the national selection. Belarusian duo performed their entry Time at Vienna’s Wiener Stadthalle indoor arena under number 11 in the first semifinal on 19 May.

Uzari (Yuri Navrotsky)

Popular singer Yuri Navrotsky, better known under his stage name “Uzari”, was born in the family of musicians in Minsk.

He started his music education at the National Music College where he studied choral conducting. In 2013 he graduated from the Saint Petersburg State University of Culture and Arts where he majored in pop and jazz singing.

When still a student, Yuri Navrotsky starred in the Tender Queen musical staged by the Saint Petersburg-based Music Hall State Theater. Apart from that, he was the lead singer in the famous group True Jazz Band.

UZARI in top-5 of the 2011 Eurofest finalistsIn 2011 Uzari became a laureate of the prestigious song contest New Wave in Jurmala, Latvia.

Uzari is not new to Eurovision. He took part in the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest in Dusseldorf as a background singer for Belarus’ Anastasia Vinnikova. In 2012 and 2013 he made it to the final of the national selection performing solo.

At present Uzari is a successful singer, song writer and arranger. He was the one to do the arrangement for Belarus’ entry to the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2014 Sokal performed by Nadezhda Misyakova.

Maimuna

Maimuna, a talented violinist, was born to the Belarusian mother and Malian father. Her music career started at a very young age when her grandmother took her to the music school. The young hopeful chose to play violin, rather than piano.

Maimuna developed her music skills at the Mogilev State College of Arts and the Belarusian State Academy of Music.

Violinist MaimunaMaimuna won the Grand Prix of the music contest in Smorgon and high awards at the international contests Young Virtuoso in Kiev and Music of Hope.

In 1999 she was awarded by the Belarus President Special Fund; later she became the first violin and concertmaster in the Viktor Babarikin Presidential Orchestra.

Since 2009 the talented violinist has been pursuing a solo career. Her signature style is classical crossover. Her first maxi-single Queen of Africa released in 2011 included instrumental compositions written in various periods.

In October 2014 Maimuna presented her second album Showtime featuring compositions of various genres. Among them is the interpretation of Michael Jackson’s Medley that was a kind of tribute of the violinist to her favorite artist.

Uzari & Maimuna’s entry Time

Belarusian duo Uzari & Maimuna performed their entry Time in the first semifinal of the Eurovision Song Contest. The song is about the elusive moment that can bring happiness and love.

The music was written by Uzari, while the idea to combine classical crossover and pop rock was suggested by Maimuna.

Belarusian duo Uzari & Maimuna

The lyrics were written by Belarusian singer and song writer Gerylana, the author of several entries for the national selection – the Far Away song that helped the group "3+2" win the national selection for Eurovision 2010 and I Believe In a Miracle performed by Gunesh at the Eurovision 2015 national final.

The arrangement for the entry Time was made by composer Vitaly Sudiyn who composes soundtracks for movies and stage productions.

After the victory in the national selection, Uzari and Maimuna recorded more than five arrangements for the song (acoustic, country, electropop). They will choose the final arrangement of the song later. Their fans translated the lyrics into German, French and Spanish.

Duo Uzari & MaimunaA new violin for Maimuna was custom-made in the run-up to the contest. By the way, Maimuna’s violin collection features several instruments, two of which were made by Dutch and German specialists in the 19th century. The studio version of the song was recorded using the violin made in 1840.

The choreography of the show was the responsibility of famous choreographer and producer Olga Shamrova who has been working with Belarusian pop stars for many years already. By the way, she staged the performance of winner of the Junior Eurovision 2005 Ksenia Sitnik.

Uzari & Maimuna preparing for Eurovision 2015

An international team of specialists helped Uzari & Maimuna with preparations for the contest. The team included famous vocal coach, singer, composer and producer Alex Panayi. He coached many participants of the Eurovision Song Contest including Greek singer Elena Paparizou, Russia's Tolmachevy sisters, and Belarus’ Alyona Lanskaya and Teo

Shooting of the Belarus’ postcard for Eurovision 2015Uzari & Maimuna performed with backing vocalists Artyom Akhpash, Yury Seleznev, Denis Lis who also sang with Teo, Belarus' representative at Eurovision 2014.

Belarus’ postcard for Eurovision 2015 was filmed in Minsk, in the picturesque Upper Town. The video was shot by Austrian cameraman Matthias Poetsch. Uzari & Maimuna receive a surprise parcel sent by the organizers of the contest which is delivered by an employee of the national postal service Belpochta…

Uzari & Maimuna's promo productionThe promo USB flash drive included cover versions of the duo's song “Time”. By the way, Uzari & Maimuna had announced a contest for the best arrangement of the single. Eurovision promotional products for Uzari & Maimuna were developed by designer and photographer Anna Gert.

The duet performed in outfits by Olga Bukhal who designed the unique costume of Belarus' representative at Junior Eurovision 2014 Nadezhda Misyakova.

The new version of the Belarusian entry "Time" was presented to the European audience at the traditional "Eurovision In Concert" in Amsterdam on 18 April.

Music Video

The video for Uzari & Maimuna’s song “Time” was directed by Mitry Semyonov-Aleynikov.

The plot reads that the main protagonist Yuzari, who resembles a mystic elf, goes through fire, smoke, snow, and wind to rescue his beloved – Maimuna – from an hourglass. However, when their eyes meet, he himself suddenly gets trapped in time…

For more than five hours of the shooting Uzari had to run on a treadmill surrounded by the sand while Maimuna spent some three hours inside a huge hourglass playing the role of the unapproachable “lady in red”.

The final arrangement of the song “Time” was made by Oleg Fedosov, the sound producer of the famous band Quest Pistols.

The official video of Uzari & Maimuna's song Time

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