Vitas

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Vitas
Vitas in Nigniy Novgorod
Vitas in Nigniy Novgorod
Background information
Birth nameVitaly Vladasovich Grachev
Also known as
  • Vitalik
  • Vitas
Born (1979-02-19) 19 February 1979 (age 42)
Daugavpils, Latvian SSR
OriginOdessa, Ukraine
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Singer
  • songwriter
Instruments
  • Vocals
  • keyboards
  • accordion
Years active2000–present
Labels
  • Iceberg Music
  • CD Land
  • Квадро-Диск
  • CICAC
  • KHAM
  • Gemini Sun Records
  • Universal Music Taiwan
  • Никитин
  • Media Land
  • Creative Media
  • Monatomic Music
  • 反正靠谱
Associated acts
Websitevitas.com.ru

Vitaly Vladasovich Grachev (Russian: Виталий Владасович Грачёв; Ukrainian: Віталій Владасовіч Грачов, romanizedVitali Vladasovich Hrachov; born 19 February 1979), known professionally as Vitas (Russian: Витас, IPA: [ˈvʲitəs]), is a Ukrainian-Russian singer, songwriter and actor.[1][2] Vitas is known for his unique falsetto and his eclectic musical style, which incorporates elements of operatic pop, techno, dance, classical, jazz, and folk.

Having achieved prominence through Russian television in the early 2000s, Vitas crossed into Asian markets in 2005.[3] Much of his recognition outside Russia and Asia came in the 2010s, when songs such as "Opera #2" and "The 7th Element" (both from his 2001 debut album Philosophy of Miracle) and "Smile!" (from his 2002 album of the same name) achieved viral success; the unusual music videos for "Opera #2" and "The 7th Element" have been cited as the most prominent examples of this.[4]

Vitas has performed with entertainment labels such as Universal Music Group, and has toured extensively in several countries.[3][5] He designs his own stage costumes,[6] and employs a backing band named DIVA during live performances.[7]

Early life[edit]

Vitaly Vladasovich Grachev was born in Daugavpils, which was then in the Latvian SSR, on 19 February 1979.[8] He soon moved with his parents to Ukraine, where he was raised in Odessa. He is the son of Lilia Mihailovna Gracheva, who was Russian, and Vladas Arkadevich Grachev. His paternal grandfather, Arkadiy Davidovich Marantzman, was Ashkenazi Jewish while his paternal grandmother was of Latvian descent.[9] He showed an interest in music from an early age; his grandfather taught him to play the accordion at the age of 5 and wrote his first song, "Rain in Tbilisi", when he was 6. He later said that he had composed at least 1,000 songs by the age of 12. He attended an art school in Odessa from the age of seven, and appeared in various theatrical productions as a teenager.[10] His dean at the art school in Odessa reportedly hailed him as "a gift from God".

Career[edit]

Vitas' signature

Vitas came to public attention in Russia in December 2000 with the song "Opera #2", which was notable for his surprisingly high-pitched and energetic vocals. In the music video, he portrays an eccentric lonely man with fish gills who lives in a bathtub with jars of fish and plays the accordion naked. In February 2001, he held his first concert, "Opera #...", at the "Russia" Concert Hall in Moscow, and presented his first concert tour, Philosophy of Miracle, which ended in early 2003.[11]

Vitas received an invitation from Lucio Dalla, the composer who created "Caruso", to perform this song together with the author at the "San Remo in Moscow" concert in the State Kremlin Palace in 2003. Mr. Dalla then invited Vitas to come to Rome to take part in the rehearsals of "Toska", a modern version of Puccini's opera.[citation needed]

In dedication to his mother who died in 2001, Vitas released two albums, "The Songs of My Mother" and "Mama".[12] "The Songs of My Mother" included classic Russian songs which are sometimes considered to be the "gold reserves" of Russian pop-music. In November 2003, Vitas presented his second tour program, "The Songs of My Mother" in the Russia Concert Hall in Moscow. Compared to the flamboyant nature of his previous "Philosophy of Miracle" tour, "The Songs of My Mother" was more conservative, drawing on classic Russian songs. From 2004 to 2006, Vitas' management, the "Pudovkin" Production Center continued "The Songs of My Mother" tour in Russia and the United States, Germany, Kazakhstan, Israel and the Baltic states.[3]

In addition to his singing career, Vitas also starred in a murder mystery television series called "Сволочь ненаглядная" ("Beloved Scoundrel"), in which he played a pop singer with an unusually high voice.[13] He also starred in a comedy called Crazy Day.[14]

In June 2006, Vitas was invited by China Central Television to take part in a grand event entitled "The Year of Russia in China" in Beijing. Vitas performed two songs, "The Star" and "Opera #2" during the event, marking the beginning of his popularity in China.[citation needed]

Vitas' "Return Home" tour, beginning in 2006, had a conservative atmosphere similar to the "Songs of My Mother" tour. The concert performed in Saint Petersburg on 4 March 2007 was later released on DVD on Vitas' website, as well as officially in some countries, albeit with many songs removed. The full concert in Moscow was later released on DVD.

In October 2007, Vitas was signed with now-defunct American label Gemini Sun Records. Gemini Sun released the Audio Visual Connect Series Vitas compilation CD + DVD set featuring eight music videos with the corresponding songs also on audio CD, in addition to a bonus audio track.[15] In 2008, Vitas also released "Light of A New Day", a 40-minute track of non-lyrical vocalization and instrumentation. The song is available as a free download on his website.

The "Sleepless Night" tour included concerts in China and more elaborate presentations than the more conservative "Return Home" program. Vitas performed his "Return Home" concert in Bucharest, Romania on 25 February 2009. The concert was broadcast on the Romanian TVR2 and TVRi television networks, achieving their highest ratings in twelve months.[16] A benefit concert, with Vitas performing "The Star", was held on 12 May 2009 in Sichuan province in memory of the victims of the previous year's earthquake there; a song known as "Mommy and Son" was released in late October 2009 in remembrance of the victims. It was the very first title track of the "Mommy and Son" album (released 1 September 2011), which included new songs, such as "C'est La Vie" (French for "Such is life"), "Once More", "Let the Father Teach!", "Young Rook" and others.[4]

Vitas played the role of Gude in the Chinese film Mulan, which premiered in Beijing on 16 November 2009.[17] He recorded music for the film's soundtrack.[3][18]

In early 2011, Vitas performed a series of seven "Sleepless Night" concerts in New York City, Toronto, Chicago, Miami, Vancouver, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Later that year, he played the role of Bolshevik Comintern official Grigori Voitinsky in the Chinese propaganda film The Founding of a Party. He also starred with Huang Shengyi in the musical A Night to Be a Star.[citation needed] In March 2011, Vitas' concert tour "Mommy and Son" started in several cities of Russia. His large-scale concert at the Palace of Arts "Ukraina" in Kyiv in March 2012 was broadcast in Ukraine's main TV channels and later released in DVD. In 2013 he brought the tour to Germany, performing in several cities.

In June 2015, Vitas' unusual music video for his 2001 song "The 7th Element", which features him as a kind of humanoid alien performing on a Top of the Pops-esque show, became popular after it was posted on Reddit.[19]

In 2017, Vitas' song "Smile" became popular in Brazil, where Facebook pages such as "South America Memes" were responsible for memes using footage from his performance of the song at the "Songs of My Mother" tour. On 5 October, he thanked the pages for his popularity.[20]

In August 2020, Vitas' 20th anniversary EP OPERA20 was released in China.[21] The album contained songs in English, Russian, and Chinese, as well as a collaboration with Chinese singer Elvis Wang. 1,000 limited edition vinyl copies were issued.[22]

Personal life[edit]

Noted for fiercely guarding his private life, Vitas has frequently declined interviews. He married his wife, Svetlana, in 2006.[citation needed] They have a daughter and a son. In an unusual move, he allowed himself and his family to be interviewed on the talk show Let Them Talk in January 2012.

In 2007, Vitas appeared on the talk show Everybody Is At Home to discuss his personal history and his development as an artist. Later that year, he appeared on the show again to address a man's allegations that he was Vitas' biological father. After much backlash from friends and family, and the man's admission of lying, the DNA results proved that he was not Vitas' father. To show that he had no hard feelings, Vitas sang and danced with the man's mother on the show.[citation needed]

On 10 May 2013, Vitas was arrested after hitting a cyclist with his car near the VVC Exhibition Centre in Moscow. The cyclist was uninjured and proceeded to film the scene with police afterward, which depicted an unkempt and possibly intoxicated Vitas being held by authorities. The accident was widely covered by Russia-1 and Channel One Russia,[23][24] two of many other TV channels who broadcast Vitas' driving license with his personal data, which had been presented to journalists by a police officer.[25][26]

Backing band[edit]

Current members[edit]

  • Aleksandr Gruzdev – guitar, saxophone, backing vocals (2001–present)
  • Maxim Musatov – keyboards, backing vocals (2019–present)
  • Aleksandr Illin – bass guitar, backing vocals (2016–present)
  • Yaroslav Andrey – drums (2012–present)

Former members[edit]

  • [unknown] – guitar, backing vocals (2014–2015)
  • Vasiliy Musatov – keyboards (2004–2019)
  • Ilya "G.IL.V" Grebenyuk – keyboards (2001–2003)
  • Aleksey Rostov – keyboards (2003)
  • Andrey Artemov – bass guitar, backing vocals (2007–2015)
  • Rashit Kyamov – bass guitar, backing vocals (2001–2007, 2015–2016)
  • Rushan Harryasov – drums (2001–2012)

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Russian[27] English[4] Year
Философия чуда Philosophy of Miracle 2001
Улыбнись Smile! 2002
Мама Mama 2003
Песни моей мамы The Songs of My Mother 2003
Поцелуй длиною в вечность A Kiss as Long as Eternity 2004
Возвращение домой Return Home 2006
Криком журавлиным. Возвращение домой, Часть 2 Crane's Crying: Return Home, Part 2 2007
Хиты ХХ века 20th Century Hits 2008
** Audio Visual Connect Series: Vitas (CD + DVD)[5] 2008
Скажи, что ты любишь Say You Love 2009
Шедевры трех веков Masterpieces of Three Centuries 2010
Романсы Romances 2011
Мама и Сын Mother and Son 2011
Только ты. История моей любви, Часть 1 Only You: My Love Story, Part 1 2013
Я подарю тебе весь мир. История моей любви, Часть 2 I'll Give You the World: My Love Story, Part 2 2014
** Come Just For You! 2016
** Made in China 2016
Бит бомбит Bit Bombit 2019

DVDs[edit]

Russian[27] English[4] Year
Витас в Кремле Vitas at the Kremlin 2002
Песни моей мамы The Songs Of My Mother 2003
Лучшее от Витаса на DVD The Best from Vitas on DVD 2007
Возвращение Домой в Санкт-Петербурге Return Home in Saint Petersburg 2007
Возвращение домой в Москва Return Home in Moscow 2007
Бессонная ночь Петербург Sleepless Night in Saint Petersburg 2010
Две столицы Two Capitals 2011
Лучшее от Витаса на DVD (2) The Best from Vitas on DVD (2) 2011
Мама и сын Mommy and Son 2013
Лучшее от Витаса на DVD (3) The Best from Vitas on DVD (3) 2014

Singles/EPs[edit]

Original[27] English[4] Year
Опера #2 Opera#2 2001
Good Bye ** 2001
Свет Нового Дня Light of a New Day 2008
真童话 Fairy Tale 2010
That Song (Remix of 7th Element by Drangabeats) ** 2015
Делю любовь на доли I Divide Love Into Shares 2015
Roll With The Beat ** 2018
Opera #2 (HD) ** 2018
Back to the Stars ** 2020
За ней After Her 2020
无词歌 Song Without Words 2020
向着太阳

(with Elvis Wang)

Towards the Sun 2020
"The King"[28]
(with Timmy Trumpet)
** 2020
OPERA20 ** 2020

Videos[edit]

Original[29] English[30] Year
Опера No.2 Opera #2 2000
Опера No.1 Opera #1 2001
Дождь в Тбилиси Rain in Tbilisi 2001
Блаженный Гуру Blessed Guru 2001
Улыбнись Smile 2002
Звезда Star 2003
Мама Mama 2003
Птица счастья The Bird of Happiness 2004
Поцелуй длиною в вечность Kiss As Long As Eternity 2004
Берега России Shores of Russia 2005
Lucia Di Lammermoor Lucia Di Lammermoor 2006
Криком журавлиным Crane's Crying 2006
Ямайка Jamaica 2007
La Donna è Mobile[31] The woman is fickle 2009
Люби меня Love Me 2009
Раз, два, три One, Two, Three 2011
Фронтовики War Veterans 2012
Мне бы в небо (Дуэт с Ксеноной) I'd Like To Go Up To Sky (feat. Ksenona Ksenia) 2012
Я подарю тебе мир I'll Give You The World 2013
Делю любовь на доли I Divide Love Into Shares 2015
Made in China (feat. Sergey Pudovkin) ** 2016
Roll With The Beat (feat. Nappy Roots) ** 2018
Подари мне любовь Give Me Love 2018
Симфоническая Symphonic 2018
Делала Did 2019
Back to the Stars ** 2020

Concert programs[edit]

Original English Year
Опера №... Opera #... 2001
Философия чуда или Улыбнись Philosophy of Miracle or Smile 2002–2003
Песни моей мамы The Songs of My Mother 2003–2006
Возвращение домой Return Home 2006–2009
Бессонная ночь Sleepless Night 2009–2012
Мама и сын Mommy and Son 2011–2013
Скажи, что ты любишь Say You Love 2011
15 лет с вами. История моей любви 15 Years With You. My Love Story 2014–2017
Come Just For You! ** 2016
Подари мне любовь Give Me Love 2018–present
20 Years ** 2019
OPERA20 ** TBA

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role
2002 Сволочь ненаглядная
2005 Сумасшедший день
2009 Mulan Gude
2011 The Founding of a Party Grigori Voitinsky
2012 A Night to Be a Star Himself

Awards and achievements[edit]

Year Category Recording
2001, 2002, 2003 Best selling single Russian Record Prize "Opera #2"
2001 Komsomolskaya Pravda and Internet Survey "Forum 2001" Musical Discovery of the Year
2000, 2001, 2002 Three-time-laureate of the festivals "The Song of the Year" (2000, 2001, 2002)
2001, 2002 Two-time-laureate of the People Prize "Golden Gramophone" "Opera #2", "Smile!"
2001, 2002, 2003 Three-time-laureate of the Musical Prize "PODIUM" for the most stylish achievements in pop music
2001, 2002, 2003 Russian "People's HIT" Prize "Opera #2", "Smile!", "The Star"
2001, 2003 Radio station "HIT FM" Prize "100 Per Cent HIT"
2002 National Musical Prize "Ovation" Soloist of the Year
2004 Russian Internet portal AFISHA.COM
2007 Order of Service to the Arts
2007 Best Album – NewsMusic Poll[32] "Crane's Crying"
2011 International Song Writers Contest Winner, 3rd place Music Video Category for "Opera #2". Also won second place in People's Choice vote.[33] "Opera #2"

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Витас менял права как перчатки". mk.ru. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  2. ^ "Витас готов отказаться от украинского гражданства". vesti.ua. 29 July 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d "Vitas' official site. Press release". Vitas.com.ru. Archived from the original on 3 September 2007. Retrieved 28 September 2010.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Discography. Albums and singles. - Vitas' official website".
  5. ^ a b "Gemini Sun Records Press Release". Vitas.com.ru. 29 January 2008. Archived from the original on 29 July 2013. Retrieved 28 September 2010.
  6. ^ Source: Shanghai Daily
  7. ^ DIVA website (Russian)
  8. ^ http://www.mega-stars.ru/music_stars/vitas.php
  9. ^ "Biography of Vitas". Retrieved 17 March 2021.
  10. ^ "Biography of Vitas". Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  11. ^ VITAS - Full Concert: "Opera #..." (Moscow, 2001), February 2001, retrieved 6 May 2018
  12. ^ "Витас споет в Одессе в память о трагически погибшей матери". od.vgorode.ua (in Russian). Retrieved 22 July 2020.
  13. ^ Beloved Scoundrel (Сволочь ненаглядная) - Part 1, December 2002, retrieved 6 May 2018
  14. ^ Crazy Day, 2005, retrieved 6 May 2018
  15. ^ "Vitas: Artist Who You Have Been Waiting For" Archived 28 September 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ "Vitas'official site. News". Vitas.com.ru. Archived from the original on 28 September 2010. Retrieved 28 September 2010.
  17. ^ "《花木兰》电影官方网站". Mulan.ent.sina.com.cn. Retrieved 28 September 2010.
  18. ^ "Vitas Guest Stars in 'Mulan' – AsianFanatics Forum". Asianfanatics.net. 20 April 2009. Retrieved 28 September 2010.
  19. ^ "Reddit - Videos". www.reddit.com. 30 June 2015. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  20. ^ "Vitas". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  21. ^ "Announcement post of Vitas' anniversary EP "OPERA20" on Weibo".
  22. ^ "Announcement post of the vinyl release of Vitas' anniversary EP "OPERA20"".
  23. ^ TV news of Russia-1 about Vitas' incident on 10 May 2013 (Russian)
  24. ^ TV news of Channel One Russia about Vitas' incident on 10 May 2013 (Russian)
  25. ^ Russian television Channel One Russia shown Vitas' Ukrainian driving license after accident on 10 May 2013 with all personal data (Russian)
  26. ^ Russian television Russia-1 shown Vitas' Ukrainian driving license after accident on 10 May 2013 with all personal data (Russian)
  27. ^ a b c Дискография. Альбомы и синглы. - Официальный сайт Витаса (in Russian). (Vitas discography)
  28. ^ Meadow, Matthew (7 July 2020). "Timmy Trumpet & legendary Vitas finally release stunning Tomorrowland ID". Your EDM. Archived from the original on 8 July 2020. Retrieved 13 July 2020.
  29. ^ Видеоклипы - Официальный сайт Витаса (in Russian). (Vitas official site: music videos)
  30. ^ "Music Videos - Vitas' official website".
  31. ^ Sung in Italian.
  32. ^ "Победителем NEWSmusic Pop Top 2007 стал Витас". NEWSmuz.com. 28 December 2007.
  33. ^ International Songwriting Competition[failed verification] Archived 1 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]