More than 10 years ago, the IOWA members released “A Simple Song”, becoming so dear, close and understandable to many. Over time, the texts became more complex, the images more conceptual, but the audience did not go anywhere, but grew up with the group. This year the team started with the philosophical track “Signs”, and plans to hold a large-scale solo concert. In anticipation of it HELLO! met with IOWA soloist Ekaterina Ivanchikova to talk about her love – for music, fashion, spiritual practices and, of course, her husband, and part-time guitarist of the group Leonid Tereshchenko.
When you started, you were associated with a girl from a neighboring yard – just like everyone else. And now you are a fashion diva.
I’ve always liked beautiful images. But for a long time the prejudice did not leave that if I dress cool, I will tear myself away from my audience. I felt like I had to be super simple to be understandable. And if I become complex, stylish and even strange, they will not read me. I restrained myself, and then I realized that all these stereotypes were only in my head. People love me for my music, and not for any individual details. Now I want to experiment more and more. To be watched, well-read, to keep up with the times, even to form tastes.
Who do you style with?
I have a cool friend – Tanya Velvet, a stylist. And she gets me things that no one else has. For example, models that academy graduates create as graduation projects. We shoot with them, after which everyone asks: where to buy this? We say: such and such a brilliant girl made it in a single copy. We also found some amazing designers in St. Petersburg, as well as a designer who works with 3D printing. I love to support young talents and Russian brands.
And your new haircut is in harmony with the images.
Lesha Osipchuk made it for me, we have been working for many years. Before that, I had a long bob, and Lesha simply gathered a tail on my head – it was very epic – and cut it off. He knows how to put on a show, and I adore such people. I think if you already found a genius, you need to trust. It turned out a mullet haircut, which not all of my subscribers understood. Some said that I looked like Tsoi, others recalled the actress from “House of Cards”, others – the heroine of the cartoon “Beware of Monkeys!”. There was an active discussion. I am not offended by people, because many people want to live in the old way and believe that I should remain that simple girl from the district and sing “Minibus”. But there were also those who considered this haircut to be the missing puzzle in the image, because all these extraordinary things played differently with her.
Is this your most daring experiment with appearance?
No, I experimented a lot. And I was convinced that courage is not always good. (Laughs) Everything must be done on time. For example, there was a period when I went with dreadlocks and felt great. I liked how I look with this hairstyle in the video for “Bad to dance.” But then I came to Spain with the same dreadlocks to shoot the video “Dance with me”. And the image was so out of place that the stylists ran after me with scissors to cut these dreadlocks. As a result, the video turned out to be very stylish – a cowboy theme, hats, high boots, sexy jeans. I love reviewing.
In the family, not only you are fond of style issues, but also your mother. How did she decide to become a model?
I gave her a professional photo shoot for her 60th birthday – she had never been photographed before. We made a very cool look in the style of France of the 40s – a bright red suit, gloves, a handkerchief. And then we went to an exhibition in the Manezh, where all the press was present. As a result, it was not me who was photographed, but her — she looked so harmonious in these interiors, surrounded by paintings and sculptures. She realized that she was attractive, saw how it works. I started her page on social networks, after which agencies began to invite her. We worked with one, then the pandemic came, and the contracts that were planned in Europe fell through. When the virus died down, the Oldushka agency, the largest in Russia among age models, became interested in us. This year, life has changed again, we are still taking on some separate projects, my mother is participating in advertising. For example, I recently filmed with Serezha Zhukov for his sushi bar. Work is in progress, hopefully more will be done soon.
Are you so creative and active as a mother?
Yes, she never sat still. She was engaged in physical education in kindergarten, was the best teacher in her field. She taught me to dance, draw, thanks to her I fell in love with the stage at first sight. The last year in the garden was especially powerful: our senior group won all competitions, including intellectual ones. Mom also put on numbers, prepared open lessons. Poor parents – they constantly needed to sew some costumes for their children, because we had performances every week. Thanks to my mother, I realized that I want to develop in creativity. From the age of 5 to 15 she was engaged in dancing, then the piano, academic singing began.
What are you doing now to keep fit?
My husband and I go to the gym 1-2 times a week to pump up. Cardio is enough for us on stage, but strength training is not. I also want, like a mother, to walk 10-15 thousand steps a day. She has been doing this regularly for several years – thus curing high blood pressure. The doctors said that she needed to take pills, but she just started walking a lot – and her health returned to normal. For the time being, I consistently perform breathing practices — pranayama — in the morning. I also go to energy singing – such a synthesis of vocals, movement and meditation.
Does your husband also practice?
Regularly in the mornings, he practices only … sleep. (Laughs)
So long together – 15 years, but the chemistry between you is visible to the naked eye. How it works?
You need to constantly grow, be interesting to yourself – and only then will you attract a partner. I’ve always been amazed by guys who make their girlfriends quit what they love. From the category: if you want to be with me, stop working, study. This does not speak of a great feeling, but of the complexes of the person with whom you live. Another thing is if next to you is a cool guy who is afraid of heights, but is ready to insure when you conquer Everest, makes it clear that you can count on him in any situation. I don’t want to say the word “sacrifice”, because when you donate, you accumulate discontent inside yourself, and at some point it will bomb. Here we are talking, rather, about a sincere desire to always be there. This is what love is.
The other half of success in a relationship is sincere communication. It is very important that you are listened to and heard. Words can be embraced. In the course of conversations, you can come to completely unpredictable conclusions. For example, we once realized that we never swear – and this is bad. Everyone was looking for a zone so as not to harm, not to offend. We have become super partners, but we have robbed ourselves of a certain amount of passion. And at one moment I wanted to let off steam, turn into an Italian family, scream, beat the dishes. We are learning this now. But a brawler, probably, needs to be born. We do it as a joke, as a game. Humor helps a lot – Lenya neutralized my outbursts of anger with a joke a bunch of times. But a lot here depends on the woman, it’s a big job to understand when you need to cheer up, when to quit everything and go together to an island without the Internet, for example. Lenya and I have been together for 15 years, and it happened in different ways. Sometimes it seemed – everything, the relationship faded away. But after some time, passion returned with renewed vigor, feelings became even more powerful. The main thing is mutual desire.
You said that in order to be in a relationship, you need to cultivate yourself. Give some specific advice – where to start if, for example, you want to know yourself better?
I would recommend keeping a diary and reading two books first – The Magic of the Morning by Elrod Hal and The Morning Pages by Julia Cameron. They turn your worldview and understanding of your capabilities upside down, form positive thinking and teach you to visualize desires.
What desires do you have now, what are your plans?
IOWA 10th Anniversary Celebration. The group’s anniversary will be celebrated in autumn, in Moscow. We want to organize a concert for everyone: prepare everything with our own hands, set a price tag so that everyone can afford a ticket. In parallel, we are preparing a new EP-album, as well as an album with the best songs, which will be released on vinyl. I really want to summarize everything. This year, at every concert, I ask the audience to tell their stories related to the group. And I understand that over these 10 years someone has grown up with us, someone has fallen in love, someone has already built a family under “Smile”, “Mom” … I dream of making a mini-film where people will just share these moments.
Are you afraid of change? After all, many are waiting for tracks in the style of “Minibus” from you, and you have often been experimenting lately.
Over the years we have understood our style, we know what people expect from us. But at the same time, this is the best moment to try new things and not get stuck in a comfortable state, not lose yourself. We were closed for quite a long time, stewed in our own juice, I wrote songs for myself. Now I want to work in a different vector, trust talented people, take a text invented by someone else. I have a note in my diary, which I have been keeping since 1996: “I want my songs to become popular.” But I never wrote that I myself want to become popular. That is why our compositions at one moment became more famous than us. A few years ago, everything changed, people began to recognize us, the time has come to open up to the world – and it continues to this day.