music

t.A.T.u.

Pop
t.A.T.u.

t.A.T.u. is a Russian pop music duo consisting of Lena Katina and Yulia Volkova. The two girls were marketed as a lesbian couple, but their sexual orientation was the subject of much speculation, until in December 2003 they admitted on Russian television that they were not in a lesbian relationship together and it had been exploited as a marketing strategy devised by Ivan Shapovalov. They are notorious for shocking the public and trying to break taboos.

The original t.A.T.u. concept was developed by a former Russian child psychologist and marketing executive, Ivan Shapovalov, who has become a record producer.

Katina and Volkova knew each other before starting t.A.T.u.; both sang in the popular Russian children's pop chorus, Neposedi, from which Volkova was allegedly banned for "inappropriate behaviour" (Volkova once implied that it was because she had molested the other girls in the chorus; later she said it was for smoking, drinking and swearing. Neposedi denied that she was expelled). Not long after Volkova left Neposedi, Katina did the same.

Shapovalov originally chose Lena Katina at a casting in 1999 to sing a song about the war in Yugoslavia. Later, he decided to form a duo and added Yulia Volkova (who had been in the same casting as Katina). Both were 14 at the time. Shapovalov has claimed that the idea for t.A.T.u.'s image was his. Elena Kiper, Shapovalov's former lover and originally deputy manager of t.A.T.u., says that the idea was hers.

She fell asleep at her dentist's, had a dream in which she kissed another woman and awoke remembering the words "Ya soshla s uma" (meaning "I've lost my mind"), the title of the song she then wrote the lyrics for that became t.A.T.u.'s first single.