5 Questions for Ruslana Lyzhychko

Ruslana Stepanivna Lyzhychko, known as Ruslana, is a People’s Artist of Ukraine and a star of Ukraine’s cultural landscape. She is a young and talented singer, songwriter, producer, musical conductor, dancer and social activist. In 2004, she won the Eurovision Song Contest and was recognized as the best Ukrainian singer with a World Music Award. Ruslana also served as a member of Ukrainian Parliament from the Our Ukraine Party (2006-2007).

Since the next Eurovision song contest final will be held in Kiev in May 2017, we asked Ruslana about her professional plans, the development of tourism in Kiev and her role in the Eurovision final this year.

[dropcap]Q[/dropcap]Ruslana Stepanivna, you travel a lot and can compare Kiev with other well-known tourist destinations. What do you think needs to be done to develop tourism in Kiev?

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]Especially during the past few years, Kiev has grown and continues to do so. If I arrived here for the first time, I would definitely be surprised by the many architectural monuments, elegant restaurants, beautiful parks, museums, theaters and numerous shopping squares. Kiev has already become one of the most attractive European shopping cities, as our designers are extremely talented and famous far beyond Ukraine’s borders.

For the development of tourism, in my opinion, first of all, we need to shape up the city’s house fronts, remove disorderly placed billboards and street advertising, sign-boards and storefronts. This all has to have unified format and has to be taken care of.

Apart from that, underground cross-roads look far from what locals and tourists deserve. And of course, public transport also could be much better. I heard that just recently municipal authorities have started to take care of these issues. Bad service on public buses and in taxis are big minuses for the Ukrainian capital.

All my creative work from the beginning was aimed at promoting and securing Ukrainian history, traditions and rituals.Ruslana Lyzhychko
[dropcap]Q[/dropcap]Ukraine has a fascinating culture that’s richly embedded in ancient traditions. What are your thoughts on how to popularize and make foreigners more interested in Ukrainian culture?

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]In my opinion, today all artists actually are busy with bringing attention to Ukrainian traditions. They shoot movies, sing songs, publish books, and sew traditional Ukrainian embroidered shirts, which have already become extremely popular. With a common effort, we are introducing ourselves as talented nation with rich history. This also concerns me personally, as all my creative work from the beginning was aimed at promoting and securing Ukrainian history, traditions and rituals. I have always been proud that I was born a Ukrainian.

[dropcap]Q[/dropcap] What can you tell us about the projects you are working on now and your future plans?

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]At present, I’m experimenting a lot with music, going to my roots and learning the rituals and traditions of the Ukrainian people, particularly of the Hutsul area! For every musician, this is a real necessity – to have time to write music freely, look for new styles of sound and improve my vocals.

For me, it’s important to know and feel that I’m not pressed by external circumstances, a tough schedule and endless trips; that’s why I’m trying to isolate myself from the bustle in order to open my creativity in full. I feel very happy during such moments!

I’m planning a number of concerts very soon, and after that, I will actively get ready for the new show, which I will start to present during the Eurovision contest in Kiev.

[dropcap]Q[/dropcap] How do you see your role in the preparations of Ukraine for Eurovision 2017?

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]As I mentioned earlier, I plan to present certain singles from my new album. I do not want to approach it in a piecemeal fashion; that is why I am currently focused on this. However, I of course accepted many proposals to support various activities held during the Eurovision contest. Also, I’m actively participating in the work of the Organization Committee of the Eurovision, sharing my experience and ideas.

[dropcap]Q[/dropcap] Tell us about your favorite place in Kiev.

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]I have plenty of favorite places in Kiev. Usually these are places related to my life experiences. I like Sofievskaya Square a lot for its beauty and grace. I like the Dnieper and Trukhaniv Island. I feel very comfortable there. I like Podil for its historical aura. Each yard has its own history, which lives there till now. This inspires me. I love Andriyivskyy Descent for its mystics! Without doubt, I love Maidan Nezalezhnosti for its power and strong will! Glory to Ukraine!