The video for Astemir Apanasov's song "Bella Chao" (KAVKAZ MIX - Bella Ciao) has already gained more than 1000 views on YouTube
The popularity of the track is growing every day, and in order to discuss this, as well as talk about the artist's creative plans, we met with Astemir in Nalchik.
- Tell us how the idea of the Bella Chao project was born?
- Inspired by the Spanish TV series "Paper House", where the theme song "Bella Chao" sounds, I, as a Caucasian artist, inside whom the Lezginka constantly "plays", decided to make an appropriate version of this song. There are about 7000 covers on digital platforms - an incredible number of people performed the song! Therefore, when haters write "the original version is better!" (laughs) I always wonder what they mean when they say "original"? Because it's not there!
Originally, it was a song by women who worked in the rice fields in Italy. Over time, the text changed, it became popular for partisan movements. But even in this case it was re-sung many times, so the original version is unknown.
The Caucasian peoples also waged a partisan war against fascism in the Caucasus mountains for several months, just like the Italian peoples in the mountains of Italy. There are connections and logic here.
Overalls are the uniform of any well-coordinated team. Red - like firefighters, rescuers, symbolizes masculinity and dedication. Salvador Dali's masks hint that we are all artists, people of art, and the musical instruments in the video symbolize that art is the most effective weapon in our time. We use these tools to fight nationalism, fascism, any manifestation of intolerance and any kind of discord. What I sang in different languages is also part of this paradigm, and people of different nationalities participated in the project. Friendly team, family atmosphere. After all, we all live in the same territory, as one people.
- What responses about the project do you hear most often?
- My subscribers are adequate, kind, well-mannered people and there was no negative. It was from commentators of third-party publics and was more often associated with the fact that not all people saw the series "The Paper House", not everyone recognizes Salvador Dali in our masks. Some people think that this is just some kind of scary face and write: "Why dance national dances in these ugly masks?", "What kind of overalls?", "This is not the topic!" There are eternally dissatisfied people who pour out their negativity in the comments. But, to surprise someone, this was not the case. I am familiar with an audience that always criticizes everything - very conservative, degrading, striving for a primitive state.
I strive to develop, create something new, keep up with the times. No vulgarity, obscene words, not calling for something bad. I call for unification, friendship, respect for each other. And I think that most people notice and feel it. It is very nice.
- Tell us about the creative plans related to the project.
- There is an idea to make a show based on "Bella Chao". I have already ordered more costumes, I am thinking over a concept and, as soon as they give permission to hold mass events in Nalchik and Moscow, I will hold concerts.
- People, especially now, need positive emotions. Although television diligently saturates the people with negativity. If you suddenly became the director of Channel One, what programs would you cancel first?
- Political. It seems to me that it is from them that the most negative comes, and this affects the psyche of people. In Russia, the people are somewhat embittered, aggressively-minded, especially towards foreigners, because we are told that there are enemies around, but we want friends around. After all, Americans or Europeans for the most part are kind people and have a very positive attitude towards our country. But, instead of moving towards the unification of peoples, the emphasis is only on politics, only on the bad.
Therefore, if I were the head of Channel One, I would remove all the negative, dirt, programs about maniacs, violence, DNA tests and so on. I want something positive. During the pandemic, many have lost loved ones and acquaintances. Everyone was touched by this problem. But if we also “finish off” them from television, then this will ruin every mood in the country.
- You fly to New Jersey every year with a concert for the Circassian diaspora. Did you manage to do this last year, or did the border closures interfere?
- Yes, since 2015 I have been going there, and then - for a month to see friends in California. I rest, walk, shoot various videos. Last year I managed to fly, but this year not yet. Now I have a lot of financial responsibility: the implementation of new ideas, the release of my products, taking care of my family and parents. I am also doing repairs in my apartment in Nalchik. Therefore, I am not planning any travels yet.
- You bought an apartment here, are you planning to live here?
- No, I am registered in Moscow and live mainly there. But I got into a pandemic in Nalchik and got stuck here. Now I'm renting an apartment, and I'm doing repairs in mine.
- What did you do during the pandemic?
- I got such pleasure! Alone, 4 months in the room, was engaged in music, creativity. It was with great pleasure that I spent the quarantine, communicating with people on the Internet, broadcasting. I organized my show on the Internet, invited artists. I had about 80 guests online. We sang, joked, played games, I liked it. Therefore, in my free time, when I am not in Moscow, I am happy to come here alone.
- It's good that the quarantine was easy and fruitful for you. We hope that this year the situation will stabilize and life will become even easier. What would you like to wish your listeners in 2021?
- I wish everyone a Happy New Year and wish our loved ones to be with us as long as possible, in good health. Take care of yourself, please take precautions, but do not forget to enjoy life. After all, as the pandemic has shown, life is very fragile, and sometimes very short. So enjoy every day, spend time with your family, listen to music, have fun! Good luck!