Home > Domino Grey - Electronic music, Interviews and Innerviews > ministori blogsite interviews Elina Milan and FarishaMusic from Back in the Black

ministori blogsite interviews Elina Milan and FarishaMusic from Back in the Black


Moar Duets²

Unfortunately this will be the final session of interviews covering the latest Domino Grey project, Back in the Black. Again we have two multi – talented features from the album, this time, Elina Milan and Farisha Haque. They do a splendid job infusing a blast of pop into the LP, Farisha also masterfully displays the integrity of her voice on the ballad inspired track, “Take Me Home”.

Elina Milan (#17 “It’s Time for You to Go”)

ministori: How did you first get involved in music and who are some of your influences?

Elina Milan: Well, let’s back to basics. Having come from a musical family, I had always felt a special connection with the world of music from an early age. It became just a part of me. If you asked me to tell about my childhood, I would say that the most important things for me were [toys?] (Laughter) no, not toys; it was a tape recorder, microphone, and a huge collection of cassettes. But I had been just a listener for a long time before I realized one thing – “I want to make my own music…but where to start from?” Having bought a synthesizer, I started writing lyrics and simple melodies. Ok, I tried to write). That was not so easy. Actually, it took me a few years to learn the basics. At the time I was inspired by the songs of Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. Also, I used to listen to a lot of dance tracks. Later, in 2007 my friend game me a CD with a mix from one of the world’s biggest music festivals – Trance Energy. Gosh, it just rocked my world) Trance settled in my heart forever. These days my biggest influence is Armin van Buuren. I admire him as an artist and person; he is for sure my number one dream collaborator.

ministori: I see you are from Almaty, Kazakhstan. How does that influence your music and what is the music scene like over there?

Elina Milan: I was born and raised in the southern capital of Kazakhstan – Almaty. But in general, it doesn’t affect the formation of my musical interests at all. I always knew that foreign music has a greater impact on me. As for Kazakhstan’s show business, it’s still at the stage of development. Our Top Hits are still not strong enough to become “the real” Hits. But the situation is slowly changing and I know some producers who write amazing tracks. So, I think music here still needs a few more years to reach the desired level.

ministori: Your vocals on this track are performed in English, how many languages do you speak and do you write and sing in each?

Elina Milan: Living in a multicultural country, you get used to the perception of different languages. So, I speak Russian and English. Also I know the basics of Kazakh, but does it count? )) As for singing and writing lyrics, I prefer English.

ministori: You’re featured on the closing track “It’s Time for You to Go”. Is that a personal statement and can you tell how that song idea came about?

Elina Milan: Yep, I got a story to tell: I was  at home watching MTV, and there was one cool video on there. I jumped up and started dancing, following the movements of those hip hop guys from the vid. And right after this, the ideas for my song came instantly, line by line. All that I needed to do is to take a pen and write down them. The song basically wrote itself when I heard that beat. This may seem rather weird, but the inspiration for writing does not depend on my mood. New ideas come unexpectedly:  at home, in a car, on the street… whatever, it doesn’t depend on time or place and every single moment of this life can inspire me.

ministori: Many international artists have made attempts to break into the American music industry, some with success and others without. being multilingual do you intend on making a push into this market?

Elina Milan: Ohh, I think every musician has this “American Dream”. No doubt, there are more opportunities to get noticed and grow professionally in the States rather than in Kazakhstan (for example). I also have my dreams and plans, but for now it’s too early for me to think about such a high level. I am very demanding of myself. Still there are so many things I have to learn. It’s just a matter of time. Ask me this question when I become a Pro.

ministori: Have you ever been stateside and what do you think of American (pop) music (e.g. Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Beyonce and Lady Gaga?

Elina Milan: I’ve never been to the U.S, but it’s in my plans for the next 3 years. One of my strongest desires is to visit the “City of Angels” or simply Los Angeles). There are a lot of interesting things to see in LA!  Well, now, talking about Pop culture I’m gonna touch on the philosophical aspect. What can I say? American pop music has long moved beyond just music, becoming a huge and very influential industry. Nowadays, every popular musician is a profitable brand and a long-term project. Because for a modern listener, just to sing and dance is already not enough. The requirements for artists are much higher than before. Their fans want Top Hits, grand shows, private photos taken by paparazzi, breaking news and daily updates…and they want to get this info directly from the celebrities (Twitter rules)). There was a time for Britney Spears, now it’s time for Lady Gaga, which currently inspires a lot of pop musicians! And when they dress and try to act like her, I call it the “Lady Gaga style”. She was the first who understood how it all works- without changing her own principles and staying honest to all her fans.  Gaga knows well how to shock, amaze and sustain public interest. So, the World of Music changes fast, and we don’t know what happens next…but being a part of this process let’s us see what surprises our tomorrow brings : )

FarishaMusic (#01 “Put Your Headphones On” and #11 “Take Me Home”)

ministori: As a multi – talent, do you find the ability to write musicals and sketches helps you with writing song lyrics?

Farisha Haque: Yes I do. Having the freedom to work on different kinds of musical acts gives me access to a range of emotions and ideas. There are no limits or standards in these types of acts, which gives me the privilege to try and access a whole different perspective of music. It gives me the ability to try every genre, allowing me to interpret myself into different styles of writing.   

ministori: You’ve also done fine without music or using your own harmonies as back up. Have you ever considered releasing a project without any instrumentation?

Farisha Haque: I have considered it, I think it would be a great idea and project to do. I think if the opportunity did present itself, I would definitely do it. The joy of writing a capellas is that there are multiple ways for the vocals to be mixed. I enjoy seeing what other artists can make with my vocals, interpreting them into their own style and form. 

ministori: The Domino Grey album features a short track entitled “Take Me Home” in which you provide the vocals for. Does this song have any basis in your ethnicity  ?

Farisha Haque: Home is an important thing for everyone. It is a sense of belonging, and I think ethnicity is an important part of that. Knowing where you come from gives one a great sense of pride which I think everyone should be able to experience. Being Bengali myself, gives me great joy to know that I am rooted from such a rich culture. 

ministori: How has your early life influenced your musical directions?

Farisha Haque: From the beginning, I have been surrounded by foreign music which has had a substantial influence on me. Personally I think by listening to Indian and Bengali artists, more so influencing my riffing abilities than artist like Christina Aguilera. It gave me the ability to learn the strengths that different vocalists have. Being surrounded by different cultures, it has allowed me to take the best from both worlds, and mesh it into one. 

ministori: Many young women seem to have difficulty finding their own definition of self within the industry. What kind of thoughts would you like to give to young woman looking to pursue a career in music?

Farisha Haque: My thoughts would be to take critiques in stride. Instead of letting the critism stop you, let it drive you farther. Many people in the past have told me to settle in one genre, or try and fit into one mold, but that was never what I wanted to do. I had to accept that I wasn’t doing music to please others, but I was doing it for my own self gratification. Being able to try all different sides of music has allowed me to find what I am good at. Understanding what in music makes you happy will further your fulfillment as an artist. Knowing your worth, in my opinion, with make a more successful and gratifying career.

READ Part I with Domino Grey


READ Part III With Melody Diagnosis player Donna Schwartz

READ Part IV with Stephanie Kay and Shea Lizette

→ To purchase more of Domino Grey’s music check out his iTunes page, thedynamicuniverse, or cdbaby for the physical release . . . Support Indie labels and music!

  1. September 28, 2011 at 6:46 am

    Thank you!!! I’m glad to be a part of this album! : )

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