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Jamala IFF2012.jpg
Background information
Birth name Susana Jamaladinova
Born (1983-08-27) August 27, 1983 (age 32)
Osh, Kirghiz SSR, Soviet Union
Origin Crimea, Ukraine
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter
Years active 2005–present
  • MOON
  • Major Music Box
Website jamalamusic.com

Susana Jamaladinova (Ukrainian: Сусана Джамаладінова; Crimean Tatar: Susana Camaladinova; born 27 August 1983), better known by her stage name Jamala (Ukrainian: Джамала), is a Ukrainian singer of Crimean Tatar descent. A spinto soprano, she performs music of her own composition on the junction of jazz, soul, world music and rhythm&blues with elements of classical 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 confident singing manner in a variety of genres.


Early life[edit]

Susanna Jamaladinova was born in Central Asia, namely in Kyrgyzstan, where part of her ancestors had been forcefully resettled to under Stalin. Upon the gaining of independence by Ukraine, her family returned to Crimea. Jamala and her Crimean Tatar father are Muslim, while her mother is Christian of Armenian ethnicity.[1][2][3]

Jamala has been fond of music since her early childhood. She made her first professional recording at the age of 9, singing 12 children and folk Crimean Tatar songs. Graduating from the Music school (piano class) in her hometown 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. During her study in Kyiv, she participate actively in events of the Kyiv's cultural organization of the Crimean Tatars and sang together with her sister Venera in concerts on occasion of the Crimean holidays: Hıdırlez and Derviza.

2005–2011: Early career and New Wave 2009[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 made statements regarding Jamala's "not fitting the format", stating it did not stop her from reaching the finals and more than that receiving a grand prize of the contest.

2011–present: Eurovision attempts[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.[4] She will attempt to represent Ukraine in the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 with the song "1944".



Video Clip
Year Song Director
2009 History Repeating Alan Badoev
2010 You're Made of Love + (Russian) Katya Tsarik
2010 It's Me, Jamala + (Ukrainian)
2011 Smile Max Ksjonda
2011 Find me John X Carey
2012 Я люблю тебя (Russian) Sergei Sarakhanov
2013 Кактус (Russian) Denis Zakharov
2013 All These Simple Things
2013 Depends On You + (Russian) Viktor Vilks
2014 Чому квіти мають очі? (Ukrainian) Oles Sanin
2015 Я заплуталась (Ukrainian) Tolik Sachivko
Year Title Role
2014 The Guide Olga
2014 Alice's Adventures in Wonderland Caterpillar


External links[edit]

  1. ^ Ruban, Mariya. "Джамала: "Хочу пишне кримсько-татарське весілля"". Cегодня.UA. February 10, 2015. Retrieved April 20, 2015. (Ukrainian)
  2. ^ "Джамала: Моя мама христианка-армянка, папа крымский татарин-мусульманин". UA-Report. February 25, 2011. Retrieved April 20, 2015. (Russian)
  3. ^ "http://thenordar.com/jamala-interview-public-talk/ Интервью с Джамалой на Public Talk". Арт-журнал Thenordar. August 27, 2014. Retrieved April 20, 2015. (Russian)
  4. ^ Hondal, Victor (2011-03-01). "Ukraine: Jamala withdraws from national final". EscToday.com. Retrieved 1 March 2011.