Being a London based website we’re lucky enough to be surrounded by more emerging artists than we are Pret A Mangers, perhaps we even take it for granted that musicians worldwide fly across the globe to be a part of the London music scene. Due to this we sat down to have a chat with Kazakhstani-born up and coming pop artist Bota for a New Music Blag Q&A not only to find out her story, but also the inside scoop on partying with the Gorrilaz.
You started learning the piano at such a young age (5!). Did you know since then that you wanted to be a musician?
No, at first I wasn’t really keen at playing piano at all because I was made to by my parents. Every child in the family wanted to play piano but I was the only one who continued on a musical path. At some point when I was 11 I just told my parent’s ‘no! I’m not going to continue.’ They were really annoyed about it but then my Grandad said ‘let her go, let her quit.’ I enjoyed all the pleasures of being a child without doing anything else but after one year without playing I was begging my parents to give me the piano!’ I then fell in love with the piano for myself.
You also practise ballet, does dancing translate over into your song writing?
Dancing is a part of expressing (yourself) and music is expressing personality so they both are so connected. You can write a song and you can feel something but sometimes you want to show it as well so dance is a second option of expressing. It definitely helps me to open up because after my ballet classes I’ll just be so inspired, uplifted and I can write a song easily.
You moved to London from Kazakhstan at just 16, was that a terrifying move for you?
It wasn’t terrifying, no. I knew that I would like to do music somewhere else as I’ve always wanted to explore what’s happening out there. If I can make it here, I can make it anywhere. When I came here I felt that was the right move because now I’m looking at how the music industry develops there (Kazakhstan) and compared to London it’s completely different.
You appeared in Gorillaz’ video for Strobelite. How was that as an experience?
That was so amazing! I got a call saying they had chose me as a feature cast so I would actually have a part. When I came on the shoot there were loads of people cast as extras so they were all having their make-up done and I was the only one standing there. No one did anything with me so I was thinking ‘that’s fine, maybe they found someone else.’ There was a corner in the room and I saw a beautiful wig and a Geisha dress but then after everyone was ready they finally came up to me and said ‘now we’re going to prepare you’ and they began preparing me to be the Geisha! Jamie Hewlett was directing the video and he kept joking that I was royalty because I looked so cool!
You’re latest single Once In A Lifetime is about unique love. Do you believe in soulmates?
Totally, one hundred per cent! I would never understand people who say it doesn’t exist – if they say so then they’ve never experienced it. When we come to this world we have our second halves somewhere. In my case it was like that, it was something so special, something I’ll never forget and I’m not saying that the story has ended.
What has been your proudest achievement to date?
Being able to stay in London. This is something I’ve had to work hard for and everyday when I get up in the morning I’m so thankful that I’m here.
What do you hope to have achieved by this time next year?
Good question! I really hope that I’ll be able to tour, at least around the UK. Also at the least released my EP and keep on going! I’m only just starting…