“I can’t imagine my life without songs”
The name of Natalia Barbu, a young pop-singer, is well known not only in the Republic of Moldova but also in a number of other countries such as Germany, Romania and Ukraine. Natalia Barbu has been traveling all over Moldova. And wherever she sings – either in large concert halls or in small country clubs – she always brings a lot of happiness to her audience. Natalia is slim, red-haired, with slightly slanting eyes and has a beautiful smile. Her grateful spectators always present her flowers and give a storm of applause. It should be mentioned that the number of her admirers has been increasing on a constant basis. Most of her songs have become very popular; people listen to her songs and sing them with pleasure. “It is a great happiness for me that my songs are loved. I want this to last forever, because I can’t imagine my life without songs”, Natalia Barbu told us. What follows is our recent interview with her.
Welcome: Natalia, let me ask you a question: there are now many young artists on the Moldovan stage such as Indiana, Aura, Nelli Ciobanu, etc. Aren’t you afraid of competition?
Answer: I think that competition has always existed. It makes us better. Today spectators can make a choice by themselves whose songs to listen to. If they don’t come to my concert they will definitely come to another artist’s concert. But the stage is not a race where someone must come first. We all are different and due to this diversity our stage becomes more attractive.
In what colors could you characterize your singing career?
Light-green, pink, red and blue.
You sing not only popular songs, but also those from the Moldovan national folklore, don’t you?
Yes, I do. I was educated on national folklore songs that my mother, Anna Barbu, sang. At the moment she performs in a famous Moldovan ensemble “Mugurel”. I graduated from the Academy of Music on a class of violin – all this contributed to the fact that I perform national folklore songs. By the way the Romanians like our folk music a lot.
Who is your mother for you?
At first my mother was my teacher. It was her who opened the world of music to me. I remember that she often took me to a restaurant where she used to sing. I always had a good time there and enjoyed her singing very much. That’s why it was clear enough for me what career I would give my preference when grown up. I have always imagined myself on a stage. I am really happy that my dreams have become true. There are some songs my mother and me perform together. My mother has a strong beautiful voice.
May be another “Barbu” will join your duet in the near future?
May be. But at the moment I am single. I live with my parents.
What kind of men do you like?
I like clever and loving men whom you can trust and rely on. It is so pleasant when there is someone that can protect you from the ills of life.
Is it necessary that your choice be a musician?
No, it is not necessary at all. He could be a creative personality while I could become his “muse”. I believe that a woman should inspire a man not only on verses, pictures or novels, but also on business and interesting ideas.
At the present world there is a tendency that most women earn more than men do and as a result they become leaders in their families. What is your personal attitude to that?
I have never claimed for the position of being a leader in the family. From my point of view any woman should remain elegant and gentle; she should not overwork. But at the same time it is not a big problem if I can earn more.
Moldovan singers earn less than those from Russia, for example. Can you afford to make video clips, buy modern clothes and cosmetics?
We should accept the fact that our singers receive low honorariums compared with those that are paid to Russian or some other singers. Moldovan interpreters cannot afford to buy property abroad; they do not go to the Canary Islands for a vacation. But at the same time our salary allows us to lead a normal way of life.
Most interpreters prefer to have their own tailor. Where do you usually buy your clothes?
I do not have enough patience to make try-on. Furthermore, the final result may be different from that you have ordered. That’s why I prefer buying ready-made clothes in women’s outlets. In everyday life I prefer sport style while on stage – romantic one.
What is, in your opinion, the way success can be achieved?
I consider that success includes many components. First of all you should increase the number of your songs in order not to lose your spectators’ love. Every performance should become an amazing show: a special dress, make-up, hairstyle, etc. – everything matters. Also if you want to receive national recognition you should make video clips. All these require a lot of money and therefore interpreters need sponsors. Without their support I would have a lot of difficulties. I would like to thank everybody who has helped me.
At the 2003 National Contest of Pop Singers called “MOLDOSTAR” you succeeded in winning the Special Prize and were named a sex symbol of the Republic of Moldova. Could you, please, share your emotions?
To tell you the truth I was surprised very much. The fact that I am a national sex symbol means that I have to maintain my reputation and always be in a good shape.
What measures do you take to look perfectly?
I regularly practice shaping and diet myself. I prefer light food, eat vegetable salads and drink fruit juices. Any artist should not only have a nice voice but also a pleasant appearance.
Is there anyone who you could call your idol?
I do not have any idols. An idol is an ideal person that you want to imitate in everything. I want to be myself; I want to be different from others. As far as my favorite singers are concerned, they are Madonna and Sting.
How do you rest after exhausting tours?
I usually listen to the classical music and see a good movie.
What kind of alcoholic drinks do you prefer?
I prefer champagne.
How do spectators in the Moldovan countryside welcome you?
All people need good concerts. Unfortunately, our interpreters do not often go to small Moldovan towns or villages with concerts. As usual audience in the countryside give me a warm reception and let me leave the stage only when I promise them to come back soon.
Do you have anything to wish our readers?
First of all I wish everybody happiness. I wish our men to be faithful and bring prosperity to their families. As far as women are concerned I wish them to love and to be loved.
Good luck in your endeavors.
Interviewed by Ludmila Mamaliga