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Birth name Susana Jamaladinova
Also known as Jamala, Джамала
Born (1983-08-27) August 27, 1983 (age 31)
Origin Osh, Kyrgyzstan
Genres Jazz, Blues, Soul, Opera
Occupations Singer-songwriter
Years active 2005–present
Labels Major Music Box
Website www.jamalamusic.com

Jamala (Ukrainian: Джамала), the real name Susana Jamaladinova (Ukrainian: Сусана Джамаладінова) is a Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar jazz-singer (spinto soprano) performing the music of her own composition on the junction of jazz, soul, world music and rhythm&blues with the elements of classics and gospel.

The turning point in Jamala's career path came with her performance at the "New Wave - 2009" International contest of young pop singers in Jūrmala. The singer was awarded with the grand prize, impressing the jury with her outstanding vocal talent and the confident singing manner in a variety of genres.


Jamala has been fond of music since her early childhood. She made her first professional recording at the age of 9 years old, singing 12 children and folk Crimean Tatar songs. Graduating from the Music school piano class in her native Alushta, the singer entered the Simferopol Music College named after Tchaikovsky followed by the graduation from the National Music Academy named after Tchaikovsky (Kiev) as well, majoring in opera singing. Being at the top of the class, Jamala planned to devote herself to the classical music, envisioning her career as a soloist at the famous Milan La Scala Opera. Nevertheless her true passion for jazz and experiments with soul and oriental music has changed her plans defining the main streams of the future career.

Competitions and New Wave - 2009 International contest[edit]

Jamala made her first steps on the big stage at the age of fifteen. During the next few years she took part at the dozens of vocal contests of Ukraine, Russia and Europe, where she received some prestigious awards, not mentioning the 1 Concorso Europeo Amici della musica International contest in Italy. Since 2001 she was a solo in the vocal quintet "Beauty Band". The terrific performance at the Dо#Dj junior 2006 Jazz festival of young artists brought Jamala a special award, while attracting the attention of the famous choreographer Elena Kolyadenko, who in her turn invited Jamala to perform the leading part in the "Pas" of Olena Kolyadenko multi genre musical and ballet Freedom. This part in the musical became an essential step in Jamala's performing career.

The turning point in Jamala's career path came with her performance at the "New Wave - 2009" International contest of young pop singers in summer 2009. The contest's chief director statements regarding Jamala's "not fitting the format" did not stop her from reaching the finals and more than that receiving a grand prize of the contest.

Next step to success[edit]

Following the triumph in Jūrmala, Jamala instantly jumped into the top artists’ category, performing at the various spots from Moscow to Berlin. Two large Jamala's concerts The Revue Show are taking place in Kiev, where she is to reveal to public the whole range of the singer's vocal potential and the diversity of the music material. During the few months Jamala is going to take part almost in all the main TV shows of Ukraine, from the "TV Triumph2009" awards ceremony and One Night Only (tribute to Michael Jackson of the Ukrainian top artists) to "Christmas Celebration with Alla Pugacheva". Cosmopolitan entitles her a "Breakthrough of the Year", she wins the "Singer of the Year" Elle Style Award and the "Ukrainians’ Idol" nomination at the "Person of the Year 2009". Being busy with the intense tour schedule, Jamala finds time to devote to classical music. In summer 2009 she performed the leading part in "The Spanish Hour" opera by Maurice Ravel, and in February 2010 she took part in Vasiliy Barchatov's opera production on Bondiana motif, for which she was noted by Jude Law, the famous British actor.

Early in 2011, she took part in the Ukraine in the Eurovision Song Contest 2011 with the song "Smile". The song was a crowd favorite and Jamala herself managed to land a spot in the finals of the competition. However due to a controversy of miscounting votes, another finals was set for March 3. Although, Jamala would still advance into the finals she decided to withdraw from the competition on March 1 claiming that the votes would again be rigged.[1]

Music videos[edit]

  • "History Repeating" appeared on Ukrainian TV in November 2009
  • "You're Made of Love" followed in February 2010
  • "It's me, Jamala" appeared on Ukrainian and Russian music channels on October 18, 2010. The video was directed by Charley Stadler, while Fraser Taggart was director of photography.
  • "Smile" video was directed by Max Ksenda, and the operator was Sergei Mikhalchuk. The clip is made on the basis of puppet animation. For story clip Jamal traveled to different corners of the planet on a toy car and helicopter, and is followed by an enormous cartoon smile, which helps her in all situations to make contact with people of different faiths and nationalities.
  • Find Me
  • Я Люблю Тебя
  • Кактус


  • For Every Heart (2011)
  • Live At Arena Concert Plaza (concert DVD, 2012)
  • All or Nothing (2013) (now available on iTunes)


  1. ^ Hondal, Victor (2011-03-01). "Ukraine: Jamala withdraws from national final". EscToday.com. Retrieved 1 March 2011. 

External links[edit]