Biography

Biography

(updated Jun 2017)

Honoured Artist of the Republic of Tatarstan, 2012
ARIA 2007
(Australian Record Industry Awards) World Music Album of the Year for 3 Nights
National Film and Sound Archive Award 2005
Best Album for The Waltz of Emptiness
ARIA 2003
World Music Album of the Year nomination for elusive
Australian LIVE Music Awards
2002 World Music Artist of the Year
Australian World Music Awards 2001 Artist of the Year
Australian World Music Awards 2000 Album of the year for Aloukie

Multi award-winning ZULYA KAMALOVA is a multifaceted artist as well as the leading proponent of original Tatar music in Australia and the world. Since her move to Australia in 1991 ZULYA has developed a totally original approach which takes her Tatar and Australian identity to totally new places and in completely new ways. ZULYA has independently produced eight albums to date, including ARIA-nominated elusive (2002) and, together with her band The Children of the Underground – ARIA-winning 3 nights and 2004’s The Waltz of Emptiness (and Other Songs on Russian Themes) both of which upon their release in Europe spent several months in the top 10 of European world music charts. The band’s most recent release in collaboration with a visual artist Dilka Bear –  a hardcover storybook/album On Love and Science (2015) has received high critical acclaim (including a 5 star review in the Australian).

A native of Tatarstan-Udmurtia region of Central Russia, ZULYA began performing Russian and Tatar songs at the age of 9. Later she studied music and languages at university level. She made a dramatic decision to settle in Australia in 1991, and inspired by the diversity of cultures began to share her music with Australians. ZULYA‘s first release in Australia, Journey of Voice (1997), a unique collection of vocal styles and traditions received accolades for its versatility, passion and the “achingly beautiful” tone of her voice. ZULYA‘s later albums, Aloukie (1999) and elusive (2002) have also been released in Europe and have been awarded and nominated for various awards. These albums feature traditional and original songs in her distinctive Tatar style but with unusual instrumentation, presenting the traditional music from a new perspective. Several tracks from these albums have been included in various compilations such as Putumayo’s Music from the Tea Lands and Dreamland along with many others.

Since beginning collaboration with The Children of the Underground in 2003, ZULYA‘s music has further developed in surprising and intriguing directions. The band brings a new level of sophistication in arrangement and musicianship to ZULYA‘s work, immediately apparent in highly-acclaimed The Waltz of Emptiness, and perhaps even more so in 3 Nights (2007) and Tales of Subliming (2010). These works showcase the band’s impressive facility with their instruments, and listeners are struck by the intricate compositions of sublime melodies. In these albums the story telling and theatrical dimensions of ZULYA‘s work have also flourished. The present line-up of The Children of the Underground is Anthony Schulz – accordion, Andrew Tanner – double bass, Lucas Michailidis – guitar, Aviva Endean – bass-clarinet and clarinet, Phill Collings – drums.

In the recent years ZULYA has continued to explore new directions. In 2014 she presented “Evolution, Revolution and the Mail Order Bride“, a theater piece, which she wrote and performed in (directed by Maude Davey). In 2012-13 ZULYA collaborated with an acclaimed electronic artist OMFO (The Netherlands), which resulted in her first sci-fi experimental pop album Kosmostan (released in Australia in 2015).

ZULYA‘s work has been repeatedly featured on national radio and television. She continues to dazzle music lovers with her passion for music and broad-reaching interests and during the last few years has performed at many  venues and festivals in Europe, Russia, Tatarstan, and of course in Australia, including The Moods (Zurich, Switzerland), Kulturbrauerei (Berlin, Germany), Savoy Teatteri (Helsinki, Finland), Porgy and Bess and SARGFABRIK (Vienna, Austria), Kulturfabrik (Luxembourg), Red Square (Moscow, Russia), Creation of Peace Festival (Kazan, Tatarstan), Living Water Festival (Altai Mountains, Siberia), Red Club (St.Petersburg, Russia), WOMADELAIDE (SA), QPAC – Women in Voice (Qld), Sydney Opera House and Angel Place (NSW), The Basement (NSW), Melbourne Recital Centre, Iwaki Auditorium, Bennetts Lane, Northcote Social Club (Vic), National Folk Festival (ACT), 10 Days On The Island Arts festival (Tas), Woodford Folk Festival (Qld), Brisbane Festival of Music (Qld), Kulcha (WA), Musician in Residence Program, Aboriginal communities (NT) etc.

Recently ZULYA has composed music for Snow White, a joint production between Opera Queensland and La Boite Theatre in Brisbane. This piece written in collaboration with Suzie Miller and Lindy Hume premiered at Brisbane Festival in September 2016.

Discography

On Love and Science (2015) with The Children of the Underground

Kosmostan (2014) with OMFO

Tales of Subliming (2010) with The Children of the Underground

3 Nights (2007) with The Children of the Underground

The Waltz of Emptiness (and Other Songs on Russian Themes) (2004) with The Children of the Underground

elusive (2002)

Aloukie (1999)

Journey of Voice (1997)

Compilations

BBC Radio “Beyond the Horizon”, 2008
Music Deli “Celebration”, 2007
Asian Dreamland, Putumayo, USA, 2006
Asian Garden, Clubstar, Germany, 2004
Felix and Me, ABC Classic FM, 2004
Dreamland, Putumayo, USA, 2003
World Circuitry, 2003
30 Years of Maldon Folk Festival, 2003
Nightingale, ABC Classic FM, 2002
Music from around the world, Festival of Asian Music, 2002
Music from the Tea Lands, Putumayo, USA, 2000
Australian Folk Compilation, 2000
Port-Fairy Folk Festival Live Celebration 2000
3LO Deli Breakfast compilation, 1999