ESCXTRA: Live from RotterdamπŸ‡·πŸ‡Ί Russia

πŸ‡·πŸ‡Ί Manizha: “At that moment when they sing with me, I tell myself: don’t cry”

We learn about Manizha's stage presence, the story behind her as an artist and the true meaning of "Russian Woman".

After her second rehearsal on the Eurovision stage, Manizha spoke with us about “Russian Woman”, her beliefs and her dreams for the future of humanity. Throughout the 20 minute interview, both Manizha and Nathan admit to feeling empowered and with goosebumps as the interview dives deep into the artist’s journey to where she is now, the moment that she knew she had to change her stage name and the impact of the message behind the entry itself.

“Excuse me: I am a Russian woman”

Manizha tells us that she only had one day to create the concept of the stage show for Russian Woman:

“My team said we need to find something very very special. Everyone asks me only one question: why are you going to represent Russian women? Why? You’re Tajik. You’re not Russian. Excuse me, I am a Russian woman so I’m going on stage with these women to show these people “you’re not alone”!

Feminism and the fight for equality

We wanted to learn a little more about the woman behind the empowering message of “Russian Woman”:

“When I was a 15 year old girl, my mum said that we need to create a musical project for you. A producer changed my hair, my outfits and even my name because it was too Muslim for Russia. My mental health was really low at the time, as I was standing on stage in a ‘sexy’ dress, with blonde hair… and I hate myself. I hate everything that I am doing. So I said “I can’t do this, I want to make my own story”. Producers told me how I should look to be a singer… and this is how I became a feminist.”

We need more ‘Russian Woman’.

We asked Manizha if she thinks other countries need their own “Russian Woman”, and she gave us a very strong answer:

“Of course, every country needs to have these messages. We need to come together to create this bright future. People with different minds need to have discussions which will help us all understand each other and change the world. We need to be brave, sit down in front of the patriarchy and say “hey guys, it’s not right”.”

You can see the full interview between Nathan and Manizha on YouTube:

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