Recently I interviewed the very talented Ksenia Blake. Here is the interview below:
Who is your biggest musical influences?
I am influenced by many different artists since I listen to very different styles of music. Ben Howard, Paramore and Birdy tend to influence my song choice whereas State Champs’ and The Wonder Years’ lyrics often inspire my own. I also seem to connect to Demi Lovato’s personal story and her voice is incredible, so she is a huge inspiration to me.
What made you realise that music was the profession that you wanted to pursue?
I have been doing music since the age of 3. I would always sing and dance for family guests and on trips abroad, in hotels. There was nothing that could stop me from performing. After I started professional training, I knew it’s what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Music is an outlet for me and I feel safe while I’m singing. Even if I’m bearing my soul to the audience, it is rather comforting because I know there are other people in front of me, who went or are going through the same things.
What was it like taking part in Maslenitsa 2013?
The Maslenitsa 2013 competition was absolutely fantastic. I think it’s important that we remember where we come from and celebrate our culture and this competition presented the opportunity to open the annual Maslenitsa on Trafalgar Square. Opening the whole show was an honour for me and my duet partner, Alexandra Maks (Skachko).
The audience was not quite warmed up for a festival, but throughout the performance we felt welcome as people started arriving and clapping. When the audience gives back the energy while you are on stage, it’s unbelievable how much easier performing becomes.
What was it like taking part in the International Dance & Music Festival Riviera in Italy’s Portofino?
The International Dance & Music Festival Riviera in Portofino was a wonderful opportunity to meet new people and learn new skills from other performers. People came from all over: Ukraine, Russia, England and several others. The dancers were especially entertaining and incredibly talented. Vocal ability varied throughout, but I met several people I learnt a lot from, especially in terms of stage presence while performing.
Tell us about your experience as part of the 8th UK Russian Song Festival and International Contest?
As for the 8th UK Russian Song Festival and International Contest, I can say the level of performances was probably the best I have seen throughout the competitions I have taken part in. Many people from all over came to celebrate the Russian culture as well as its integration in other countries. The competitors in my category were very strong and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to perform with them. The contest was held in The Royal College of Music, which, of course, is a fantastic venue, the acoustics are great and it’s an honour to have been able to perform there.
Where did you get your stage name from?
Well, originally my name is Ksenia Kazintseva, which is a bit long and complicated for a stage name considering that people have to be able to say it and remember it. Ksenia still is quite hard for some people to pronounce, but I felt that my name is what makes me unique and I though that keeping my name would celebrate my background. Blake actually came from some TV series, I think. To be honest this family name’s been on my mind for quite some time and I wasn’t sure if I liked it or not. The original idea was making my stage name an object or feeling, but when it came to picking one, I could not find something that hasn’t been used, so this seemed like the best bet. I think it’s important to have a unique stage name since it’s what people will refer to you as and if it’s like any usual name, you won’t stand out.
Did you enjoy playing Sharpay in High School Musical?
Playing Sharpay in High School Musical was probably one of the most uplifting experiences of my life. To be honest, I am generally very similar to Sharpay in life. Not that I’m borderline rude or like pink, it’s just the way she talks and the way she is so cutely sarcastic and very sassy is a lot like who I am. The role sometimes was like playing myself, which definitely made it more enjoyable, pretty much exaggerating my regular self. My friend, who played Ryan (Sharpay’s brother) was also perfect for the role and we got along so well and shared the sass. I could not have asked for a better stage partner to be honest, we understand each other from half a word.
What’s next for you in your career?
Right now I am in the middle of recording an original song, which I was fortunate enough to get a contract for. It’s the biggest project I’ve done so far and it’s a collaboration, which makes it even more fun. Hopefully the song will be recorded by September and then when it is mastered, it will be available on iTunes. I’m not quite sure where life will take me after that, hopefully more exciting experiences, collaborations and experiences should be on the way. It’s possible I will be collaborating with a pop punk band next, which would be great since that is the type of music I listen to and trying myself at it would be a dream come true.
To listen to Ksenia Blake’s music go to: