Катя Оушен

Biography

Katya Ocean (born in Minsk October 8, 1981) is a Belarusian pop singer, actress and radio anchor.

Her artistic activity is hard to compare with anybody else’s on Belarusian stage. The singer can be easily recognized by her individual and inimitable style that is unique for Belarusian variety art. Katya Ocean always stays different and interesting for the most sophisticated audience, performing various things from blues to pop-dance.

Start of Music Career

Katya Ocean’s ascension started with young age performances and unbelievable desire for fame. She first appeared on the stage when she was five, participating in a very challenging government concert. Love of music was fostered in Katya by her mother who devoted all her free time to her daughter’s daily singing practices. 

Katya Ocean left Minsk lyceum with a music bias. She sang in "Zhuravinka" children's choir for 5 years, which allowed her to visit several European countries. She learnt to play the violin from the 1st to 9th grade and when at school she also played the piano for three years.

Straight after lyceum Katya was enrolled at the Belarus State University of Culture, majoring in direction of festivals. She had always been interested in the ins and outs of the stage. “I’ve always been curious to know where it stems from. I took up this major, thinking that time will come and one day I would have a solo concert and I would direct it myself.” Katya greatly enjoyed her studies – she was developing in different directions – acting techniques, voice training, choreography, standards of speech, and a lot of special courses. However, in spite of being busy with her studies, Katya never gave up singing. In 2000 she recorded her first song "The Seventh Heaven" composed by herself with the lyrics of the Belarusian poet Kasimir Kameisha. It was with this song as well as the Beatles' "Let it Be" that she took part in the young singers' contest and became an award-winner. Thus it all started.

Early Success

Along with her studies at the University Katya took up composing and recording her own songs more seriously. This work resulted in her second song "I won't Come Back". The young singer arranged this song herself but the recording and mixing was done by Aleksei Zaitsev in "Mezzo-Forte" Studio.

In 2002 Katya recorded another song under the title of "Don't Leave" that was afterwards successfully rotated by Belarusian radio stations. Soon after that a remix of this song was made.

In parallel with composing and recording songs and performing them in concerts Katya Ocean managed to do the direction at the University as every year she was supposed to submit her direction works at the exams in her major subjects. However, these two things didn’t interfere with each other, but on the contrary, they were mutually complementary.

Soon another Katya's song appeared – "I Know for Sure…", recorded in cooperation with the composer Leonid Shirin. This one was also successfully broadcast by FM-stations.

By the way, there is a little humorous story underlying the titles of these three songs. When "I Know for Sure…" got on air of Mir radio station, one of the DJs said “Katya has made up her mind at last… First she asks him not to leave, then she runs away herself and says that she won’t come back, and now it’s all clear – the girl knows exactly what she wants.”

In 2004 the next song was released – it is "It's our World." The name itself suggests that it was not like the previous ones. In it Katya is quite different – cheerful, joyful, admiring the beautiful and colorful world around. By the way, when recording the song which had no name at first, Alex Zaitsev named it "An Optimistic Song." Though Katya liked that name, she preferred to stick to hers.

Acting Experience

Katya can't imagine her life without traveling around the world. During her winter holidays in the last year at the University she visited France, Holland, Belgium. It was remarkable because in France she met a young director Charle Duchore who later offered her to act in his graduation movie. Having completed her studies at the University Katya was invited by Charle to come to France. There she met interesting and well-known people, learnt a lot about the culture and traditions of the country. Her first acting experience in the movie ("Along Love Lanes") appeared quite a success for both herself and the young director Charle. His graduation movie was highly assessed and according to Katya, "There can be no barriers for a creative person." After three months in France Katya came back to Belarus with great plans for the future – to record an album in French.

French Tunes

Katya Ocean’s parents did their best to contribute to her promotion in the world of music. Thanks to her father, Katya met a well-known Belarusian producer and composer Sergei Zhdanovich who later on composed a song for her. The lyrics for the song in French were written by Alla Rapkina. Thus the "C'est la Vie" ("So Goes the World")  track was born which by the end of 2005 became a hot hit song and was successfully rotated by radio stations not only in Belarus but also in France. 

In June 2006 a video clip for "C'est la Vie" was shot. It's interesting to note that preparations for the shooting took much longer than shooting itself. The thing is that the director of the clip Alexander Bokatyuk had met Katya several times and talked to her a lot to find out more about her inner world, to fully reflect it in the video. To all appearances, all worked well and he succeeded in it.

(Follow the hyperlinks to see Katya Ocean’s video

The same year the fate brought Katya and a well-known composer Leonid Shirin together again and they continued the French project. As a result in autumn "Comme Tous le Reste" (“As All the Rest…”) track was produced with L. Shirin’s music and I. Vasilenko’s lyrics.

This successful song was followed by another one – “San Souci” written by the same authors.

Alongside with recording songs Katya Ocean toured the country a lot. 

Earlier in 2007 continuing their cooperation with Leonid Shirin and Irina Vasilenko Katya recorded a new song – “Rien a Faire” (“It Can’t Be Helped”) that had a tremendous success and gained popularity with radio stations.

Projects, Contests

In spring 2007 MTV-Minsk invited Katya to take part in “Semi-Acoustics” project. The singer accepted the offer with pleasure. She performed an acoustic version of four of her French songs "C'est la Ve", "Comme Tous le Reste", “San Souci”, “Rien a Faire”.

In August the same year Katya participated in the Golden Bird competition in the Ukraine with her song “This is our World” and became a winner in the “Magic Harmony” nomination. 

A month later the singer participated in the 6th Belarusian Contest of pop performers and youth music “Belaz Chord ‘07” and became a prize winner. She presented two songs to the attention of the jury – “Rien a Faire” and “A Wonderful Dream”, a blues in Belarusian.

Just a couple of weeks later Katya received an offer from the National TV Channel to participate in the TV show “Silver Gramophone” which the singer certainly couldn’t refuse.

A little later Katya Ocean felt a desire to try herself in the pop-rock style simultaneously getting ready for Eurofest-2007”. Thus the song “Sous le Masque Dore” (“Behind the Golden Mask”) came into existence. This song reveals Katya’s music curiosity, her desire to change in search of her own style. Katya says that she wants to be a varied actress so that her artistic work can be close to anybody.

The New Katya Ocean

In December 2007 Katya formed a new creative tandem, with DJ Evsey. According to the singer, Evsey is a really talented person, he feels the time very well and knows what people need at the moment.” During a month they recorded two tracks – “Hold on!” and a cover version of “Voyage, Voyage”. With these songs Katya Ocean participated in the International Contest “New Wave-2008”.

Working together with DJ Evsey, Katya decided to return to the native language and now she sings again in Russian. The result of this cooperation led to the next track “All my Love” (music and arrangement by DJ Evsey, lyrics by Katya Ocean). The singer surprises us again – now trying herself in the pop-dance style. Katya says, “There’s no limit to perfection and eternal search”. Immediately the extended version of “All my Love” was released, made by DJ Evsey.

Her next song “I Am Yours” (music by L. Shirin, lyrics by K. Ocean) took Katya Ocean to the top! In May 2009, the All-Russian Exhibition Center in Moscow hosted a major international contest “Slavic Star – 2009”. It brought together more than 30 young performers from the CIS, as well as close and distant foreign countries. Katya Ocean was the one to win the contest. The singer not only won the Grand Prix, but was also awarded with the Russian Medal “For Professionalism”. Each contestant had to perform three songs. Katya chose the famous ballad “I Just Called To Say I Love You” (by Stevie Wonder), a Russian-language song “I Am Yours” and a Belarusian-language blues “Wonderful Dream”. Katya chose such different songs to demonstrate the full range of her voice.

In July of the same year, Katya Ocean performed at the International Festival of Arts “Slavic Bazaar in Vitebsk” within the “Dance Till the Morning!” program with the disco version of her song “I Am Yours”.

Besides her concert activity Katya Ocean continues to record new songs, with the next one called “Don’t Let Me Go” (music by S. Evseenko, lyrics by K. Ocean). This track’s recording was rather painstaking and lengthy. At some point, Katya Ocean and Sergey Evseenko thought that this song would never see the light. Yet, it was eventually finished and released. Moreover, it was followed by its second version “v. 2.0 (Don’t Let Me Go)”.

In 2010, Katya released an experimental track called “Soul In Pain”. Originally planned as a romantic ballad, the song was arranged in a radically different manner, on the last moment’s insistence of Evsey. The song came out as a drum’n’bass track. Three people took part in its creation: Sergey Evseenko, Leonid Shirin, and Katya Ocean. The track was a real breakthrough in Belarusian music industry, since no one had ever really created such singles in the country before.

Katya continued with experiments. They involved the music itself, arrangements, and sound of Katya Ocean’s new song, as well as the language of its lyrics. In May 2011, the single “Nothing, Nothing” (music by S. Evseenko, lyrics by K. Ocean) was released. The song was a mix of several musical styles – indie pop with elements of light rock and synthpop.

A little later, “Nothing, Nothing” was remixed and released again, this time to be well received in the countries of near and far abroad. In particular, the track made it to the Top 100 dance hits of Russian radio stations Europa Plus and Hit FM, and became successful on the German radio station LAUT.FM.

On December 10, 2012, Katya Ocean’s new song in the Belarusian language “Seventh Heaven” was released. Music and arrangements were composed by Sergey Evseenko with the lyrics written by Belarusian poet Kazimir Kameisha. According to the singer, the track “Seventh Heaven” opens up a horizon of bright feelings and emotions, desire to preserve the quivering relationship and not to lose the lofty sentiments.

The Katya Ocean project is constantly in search for new, interesting ideas, it is looking for its place in the world of diverse music, which resulted in the recording of the “Seventh Heaven” song. It’s interesting that the creation of this track began at the moment when Katya, in pursuit of inspiration, took a few collections with poems of Belarusian poets and started reading them. The poem called “Seventh Heaven” written by Kazimir Kameisha immediately attracted the young singer’s attention. Katya Ocean liked this work so much she immediately knew she wanted to perform it. Thus began creative relations between Katya Ocean and Belarusian poet and translator, Laureate of A. Kuleshov Literary Prize, the author of numerous poetry and prose collections Kazimir Kameisha (a member of the Union of Belarusian Writers since 1972). As soon as Katya showed these poems to her sound producer Sergey Evseenko, he immediately got down to writing music with inspiration and unveiled excitement. On January 28, 2013, the “Seventh Heaven” single makes it to the top five of the “Bulba-Hit” hit parade on the MV Radio! Within a week the song gains an incredible number of votes and becomes number 1. “Seventh Heaven” leads the charts for three weeks, after which it remains in the hit parade top list for a few weeks more, occupying 2nd and 3rd places.

On February 17, 2014, track “Nothing, Nothing” (Evsey Remix) appears on the shelves of the best online stores – iTunes, Beatport, Amazon.com – as part of dance music collection “Millennium Dance Party Vol. 1”.

On March 10, 2015, Katya Ocean released her new single in the French language “Je Les Oubliais”. The song’s official premiere took place at the First National Channel of Belarusian Radio on April 2.

In November 2015, the singer’s next single in English “Still Into You” gets a release. She wrote the lyrics for the new song, while Sergey Evseenko was responsible for music and production. The following day after the song’s release, on November 10, it was first broadcasted on the radio station Radius-FM in the morning show “Getting All Done”.

On March 10, 2016, the official remix of the “Still Into You” track sees the light. The remix arranged by Sergey Evseenko (DJ Evsey) is cutting-edge dance house music. The “Still Into You” remix’s premiere happened on March 17 on the Radius-FM radio station in its “Blonde Behind the Wheel” program.

The forthcoming year Katya is going to be very busy with her debut album and its promotion. According to her, she is going to stay long in the music world.

“Music is something I live by and breath with. I want it to be always a part of my life.”

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