|Also known as||TEMA|
TEMA (Russian "ТЕМА") was created by Maugly Jr. (Russian Маугли Jr.), a former rapper turned music producer in May 2004. The two members were Sasha Anohina (Russian "Саша Анохина") and Nastia Kotova (Russian "Настя Котова.") Their debut album, released on July 27, 2005, on "Nikitin Records" was titled "Просто Я Фанатка" (Prosto Ya Fanatka), meaning "I'm Just A Fan." Two official music videos were released for the album, for the song titled "Это Тема!" (Eto Tema!, or What An Idea!), and "Lyubov Vnutrivenno" (Love Introvenously) which shows Sasha and Nastia being rejected by their idols. In the video for "Это Тема!", Ivan Shapovalov (t.A.T.u.'s former producer) acts with Sasha, and the two appear to be having sex. A third video was made, but never commercially released, because Sasha Anohina, and Nastia Kotova were kicked out of TEMA.
Their first song "Kto Esli Ne Ya?" caused many t.A.T.u. fans to think it was them, because TEMA's vocals sounded almost identical to t.A.T.u.'s. This rumor was later confirmed by t.A.T.u.'s management that the song was not by t.A.T.u. TEMA's management quickly capitalized by this PR move, which landed the TEMA girls (Anohina and Kotova) on MUZ-TV, talking about their song. In all truth, TEMA quite often gets a lot of criticism for being "too much" like t.A.T.u., because both groups were an all girl duet, both sang about powerful themes, and both released cutting edge pop music throughout Russia Although TEMA have not entered any other charts besides Russia unlike t.A.T.u.
During the year of 2005, tension grew between the ТЕМА girls, their producer (Maugly Jr.) and the company. On an unknown date, Sasha and Nastia decided to leave the studio, and went along with their PR manager, Natalia Kulesh. They attempted to negotiate contracts behind Maugly Jr.'s back, which forced him to take action. He denied them allowance to the name "ТЕМА", and restricted them from singing any of the songs that were produced under his name. This was a devastating blow, due mainly to the fact that almost all of TEMA's music was created by Maugly Jr.
After this, the former TEMA girls (Anohina and Kotova) struggled to regain their fame. They changed their name too many times to count... OXI, DNK, TE MA, TE MY, and more were created, but never trademarked, or even used for that matter. The ex TEMA girls (still under Natalia Kulesh at this time) recorded one song called "Za Proschayu." The music was made by the late Alexander Kuroedov (the musician behind TEMA's hits "Eto TEMA, and Radiatsia) though this song was never released, because Natalia Kulesh realized she did not have the resources to be the producer of the project.
The girls then went to Alexander Bondarev, a Russian PR man. He released a statement on Russian news sources that TEMA would be back in the fall with a new song "Devochka Problema," though this song was never even recorded. In 2007, it was definite that the old TEMA girls would not be back. TEMA's producer "refused to accept the fact that we had changed" but no change was present.
After the complications with the former TEMA girls, producer (Maugly Jr.) promised fans that TEMA would live on, but with new girls. Maugly Jr. let out a casting call to find two new girls through supertema.ru and 1mp.ru. He did in fact find them... The two new girls were Alia and Mary. Alia (A war correspondent for the РИА Новости news agency in Russia) & Mary (A Japanese girl, who sings Japanese in the songs).
Their first (and only) song together was entitled "Pozvonyu" (I'll Call.) This song is about a friendship that was ripped at the seams by betrayal. Music and lyrics were created by Maugly Jr., and this song was said to be about the ex TEMA girls (Anohina and Kotova.) The song strayed from TEMA's standard uptempo fierce pop sound, though it was much more complex, vocally. In fact, it utilized vocal techniques that were never used by the ex TEMA group.
Shortly after the songs release in 2005, Alia had to leave on a business trip with her news agency. This would have been okay, but a horrible incident happened a little bit later... Maugly Jr. was attacked in the streets of Moscow in broad daylight. This worried Mary's father, who already feared about his daughter's safety in Moscow. It came as no surprise when Mary's father forced Mary to return to Japan, which of course ended the 2nd lineup of TEMA.
Now that all of the drama has passed, it was time to begin anew. Maugly Jr. let out a 2nd casting call, to find the new "TEMA." Lots of letters came in to Maugly Jr. and Frederick Newton, but only one girl was used... Her name was simply "Asya." Her first song (entitled "Bei Ili Begi" (Hit or Run) was released on January 5, 2007. The song features an uptempo beat, set to a driving guitar rhythm. Music and lyrics were created once again by Maugly Jr. This did not last though, because Asya Arhipova was dropped from TEMA in March, of 2008. The reason for her exit was communication issues.
Current TEMA: Anya Zubko
The casting call remained, and was helped greatly by Tanya Azanova. Tanya has worked with TEMA, Kontakt, tAO, and more. This time, a girl named Anya Zubko answered the call. She is originally from Uzbekistan, but then moved to Ukraine 15 years later. She is now located in Moscow, Russia. She is TEMA's current singer (one half at least, as a casting call is still going out for TEMA's second singer) and has already recorded "Bei ili Begi 2008." This song was originally made for TEMA's ex singer Asya Arhipova, but was re-done for TEMA's current singer. This version is less pop-rock, and more dance-pop. The song was released on September 29, 2008, and has received a great response from fans so far.
TEMA's second song was released in November, 2008. "American Brothers" has become TEMA's most controversial song to date, with lyrics such as "American brothers, the real killers are free. They think they can continue, stealing liberty." This song was written for the TEMA group because of the American documentary "Loose Change 2nd Edition" which questions the events of September 11. TEMA released a montage video for "American Brothers" that climbed the YouTube Russia videos section to #2. The video features scenes from the documentary "Loose Change 2nd Edition" and journalistic voice-overs filling in where there should be verses. The response was so great that TEMA has decided to make "American Brothers" into a full song. It will most likely be released in January–February, of 2009.
TEMA's third song was "Ty Moya" (You're My.) The song was released just before the new year, and featured a music video. Details of the video-release are currently being worked out by TEMA's producer, and music channels in Russia. The song "Ty Moya" is about a love affair that started from childhood.
TEMA's fourth song was "Lyubi" (Fall In Love) which was released on February 14, 2009... Valentine's Day. The radio release took place on February 10. For the time of January–February, TEMA had two songs in active rotation battling each other for regional charts (Ty Moya & Lyubi) "Lyubi" ended up charting higher than "Ty Moya" but the latter was added to more radio stations, and heard in more cities across Russia.
TEMA's fifth song was a studio version of "American Brothers" which was did not have a very public release. The song just appeared one day on their MySpace page, and was added to their YouTube page. The reason for this was because CPG TEMA was very busy preparing their 6th song. The song and video is set to be released sometime in June, 2009.
During this time, there was a news article that appeared on NewsMusic about TEMA's producer forcing TEMA's singer Anya Zubko to record songs for free. This news report actually prompted the Russian police to arrest Maugly Jr. out of suspicion the story was true, as photos leaked of Anya Zubko tied up, recording a TEMA song. More news has not yet been given.
Creative Production Group
For the first time in years, things are moving for TEMA. Moving indeed! More songs are already in production, including collaborations with Kontakt's composer/arranger "Sunfire" and tAO. Creative Production Group TEMA (Informally written as CPG TEMA) has existed since 2007, and is the main production house for the TEMA Group. Various creative people from literally around the world work with CPG TEMA, including the following employees:
- Dmitry Nesonov, under the pseudonym Maugly Jr. Maugly Jr. is the producer, director, and the active force behind the TEMA project.
- Frederick Newton, under the pseudonym tAO. Freddy is a songwriter, and manages TEMA's financial affairs in the west. He also designs all of TEMA's merchandise.
- Tatiana Azanova, under the pseudonym "Tanya_mysh", or "m69sh." Tanya handles PR for the current TEMA group, and helped with the casting.
- Vladimir Novikov, under the pseudonym Sunfire. Sunfire is a composer, and has created the music for TEMA's hit "American Brothers" as well as TEMA's new song "Ty Moya."
Updates & Casting
- Просто Я Фанатка (I'm Just A Fan)
- Menya Vstavlyaet | "I'm Inserted" in English, but a better translation would be "I'm Happy."
- Davai Splusuyemsa | "Lets Get Together"
- Fanatka 2004 | "Fan 2004"
- Lyubov' Vnutrivenno (Demo Version) | "Love Introvenously"
- Radiatsia | "Radiation"
- Pozvonyu | "I'll Call"
- Bei ili Begi | "Hit or Run"
- Bei ili Begi 2008 | "Hit or Run 2008"
- Ty Moya | "You're My"
- Lyubi | "Fall In Love"
- American Brothers
- Kak Zhit? (Pomogi) | "How's Life" (Help)
- Ya Pogibayu Bez Tebya | "I'll Die Without You"
- Obnimat, Tselovat, Gladit | "Embrace, Kiss, & Stroke"