Last Saturday, Jamala was chosen to represent Ukraine at Eurovision 2016 in Stockholm with her beautiful song, ‘1944’. If you haven’t heard it yet, then check out the video below and give your ears a treat. Not familiar with Jamala? Here’s 10 top facts to get you up to speed:
- Jamala was born Susana Jamaladinovain Kyrgyzstan in August 27, 1983 and is of Crimean Tatar extraction.
- This makes Jamala a Virgo, known for their generosity of spirit, intelligence and self-discipline. Jamala shares her birthday with ‘Dog Whisperer’ Caesar Milan, Gospel singer Yolanda Adams and ‘How I Met Your Mother’ star, Patrick J Adams.
3.Jamala started her recording career at the age of 9, singing Crimean Tatar folk songs.
4. After graduating from the Tchaikovsky National Music Academy in Kiev with a major in Opera singing, Jamala had planned to pursue a career as an opera soloist. However, her love for jazz, soul and other genres steered her in a different direction.
- Jamala’s Crimean heritage is very important to her. While studying, she sang with her sister in concerts at many Crimean cultural events.
- Jamala, it seems, likes to do things her way. In 2009, she won the New Wave 2009 young musicians competition, despite being told her song ‘Did not fit the format’, and got her big break. Will she manage the same feat at ESC16? Time will tell.
- This isn’t Jamala’s first time to enter Eurovision. In 2011, she competed in the Ukrainian National Song Contest with her song, ‘Smile’, which was, incidentally, a complete polar opposite of ‘1944’. Interestingly, she made the final but then withdrew due to controversy surrounding a miscount. This year, there has been no such complication (although she did draw with The Hardkiss but won by public vote) and the way is clear for Jamala to represent Ukraine at Stockholm. Definitely a reason to ‘Smile’!
- To date, Jamala has released three albums: For Every Heart (2011), All Or Nothing (2013) and Thank You (2014). Will there be a post-Eurovision follow up? I’d put money on it!
- Not only is Jamala a talented musician and classically-trained singer, she’s also taken steps into acting in recent years. If you’re a Ukrainian film buff, you may already have seen her in such films as: Find Me, All These Simple Things, Depends On You, The Guide and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
- Jamala has her own website jamalamusic.com and you can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, @Jamala_Official and Instagram @jamalajaaa