Speaking frankly, with Emin

You may think, that successful businessman Emin Agalarov — the vice president of the whole group of Crocus Group companies— has no time for artistic torments. But music is an old passion of Emin, the same integral part of his existence as air or water… EMIN’s sensuality, sincerity and emotionality are, perhaps, the main components of his art, and everything he takes in his hands, is doomed to success. But the main life achievement of the singer-businessman is his sons, for whom he works, creates and lives… Emin who turned 35 on December 11, told about his creative search, life priorities and nuances of raising real men.

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Emin, congratulations on the release of your new album “Начистоту” (“Frankly”)! Why after all these years of successful singing in English you suddenly decided to record an album in Russian?

Thank you! Exactly one year ago I released my first, debut album in Russian “На краю” (“On the edge”). This album is the second one…I sang in English many years, but taking into account that I live in Moscow most of the time, I decided to try it in Russian as well. As a result, full album "Frankly" came out, practically made from scratch.

Just as important strategic decision was making the duets…

All duets in this album are written with performers, whom I am, first of all, friends with and whose art is close to me. The song "Смотришь в небо " became a result of "experiments" with Svetlana Loboda — the track is in hot rotation at all biggest radio stations. With Grigory Leps we wrote very unusual, I would even tell, non format song with a British sound ("I live the best of all"). Stas Mikhaylov wrote a song and suggested me to sing it with him ("Coasts"). With Ani Lorak we discussed a track ("Call me") for three years: it wasn’t working out because of the time, our calendars did not match…And finally, after long waiting a perfect song for two voices came out.

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Many people in the country were pleasantly surprised when you recorded the song “Azerbaijan” in a duo  with Zulfia Khanbabayeva...

A close friend of mine Murad Babayev once told me: “You come to Baku with concerts, you have a bunch of tracks, recorded with Russian singers and not even one with Azerbaijani!” – to what my response was that I would be happy to, but since I have troubles with language, I would not want it to be very obvious on the scene. At last, I made up my mind. I stopped my choice on Zulfiya Khanbabayeva. Everyone agreed on the fact that the song reborn with new colors. It set free my musical imagination — for the first time I experimented with Azerbaijani national instruments!

Emin, you always gather a full concert hall, the audience feels you giving 100% on stage. What state are you in after the concert?

Feelings after the concert are always very mixed: on the one hand, you feel joy that everything went as planned, and on the other — you begin to remember some technical issues, errors which probably were not noticed by listeners, but bothered yourself. Anyway, after the concert you feel so overstressed that you can’t even fall asleep — adrenaline does not let go: seems like you gave a lot of energy, but in exchange received not less as well. But it feels good to me…

If you had to choose between scene and business, what would it be?

Well, if to be crucial... then I would choose business, of course, as my children are important for most of all: only by being engaged in business, I will be able to provide my children the quality of life that I want. But, on the other hand, music is a part of my life too, and, without it, I will not be able to call myself a completely happy person.

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“Frankly” is about an unfortunate love. You sing it so insightful that anyone who is capable of feeling has a sensation as if a dagger stabs the heart. What did you feel when singing it? Never will I believe that it is just the next hit for you...

All my songs reflect some moments of my destiny to some extent. And as I am an open and public person, everything that happens in my life is in the open. This song is emotional, of course! Every word in it means to me a lot… I released the same name album "Frankly" — it represents the whole period of my life…

Watching your Instagram profile, it is possible to notice that you are active father: boxing, and Lego, music, and fishing...

Actually, I do not spend as much time with my boys as I wish. For me they are an absolute happiness. I dreamed of having children since I was very young, and I am very grateful to destiny that I have them. I gave myself a condition: wherever I am, I must see them once a week. And in this short period – day, day and a half I spend time with my sons to the max. I experience a great pleasure from communicating with them. I know that it is mutual — they gladly wait for our meetings as much as I do. I try to use every moment of our time: since the moment they wake up in the morning and until they fall asleep, I never leave, we spend the whole day together. And it makes me happy that they like the same, as me — for example, fishing or sport. Generally, we happily spend time in a friendly men's company.

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It is natural, that they like father's habits. And what are they separately, how they are similar and different? In whom do you recognize yourself more?

I think, Ali is closer by character to Leyla. His creative part is more pronounced. And besides, he is very gentle, adores being played and squeezed. He is tricky, knows how to get an additional chocolate, "to buy" an adult. But Mikail is more like me – also touchy. He is very stubborn and motivated, will not calm down, until he gets what he wants. And it reminds of me in my childhood very much. He has a special talent too: he can easily add numbers. He is more mathematically-minded. Ali, on the contrary, is scholar, he perfectly remembers and recites poems. Each of them is talented in their own way, and much of the credit for it deserves Leyla: she is engaged in their education, development, devotes a lot of time to children. They speak Azerbaijani — unlike the father, also Russian, English and learn French …

Do you have any fatherly wishes concerning what would like to see them in the future?

First of all, I want them to grow up as real men. They need to learn to understand that, when starting a family, a man has to be supportive for his loved ones... I would like to wish them to firstly realize this man function, understand that in order to realize their dreams about art, they have to stand on their own two feet.

Let's return to the topic of "fathers and children"... You call your father by his name and patronymic. Does it happen depending on a situation?

My father for me is both an example, and the mentor, though I also had a period when I argued with him a lot. I thought then that I know better and it must be done as I say. I might be right sometimes… The wisdom of my father is that then he gave me a chance to assert myself. Because he supports a very correct opinion: it’s better  for son to stumble and hurt his forehead a few times, than babysitting and correcting him, so your child will learn nothing. He says: business is always risky, and what is the risk if you risk nothing?

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How close and open are you in personal relations with your father?

We are very close and often share with each other our thoughts and ideas. But as for personal matters, he takes an unambiguous position: it is your private life, I will not advise you anything. The great advantage of my family is that all of us are very close. We meet frequently, we invite each other on a visit. I have young parents. I feel comfortable around them, as well as all those who are near them: my acquaintances, friends. That type of relationships, I think, is also one of the aspects of happiness!...

Emin, summing up our conversation, I want to congratulate you once again on your tremendous concert, your birthday and, of course, with coming New Year. I think, for you this is a perfect ending of year. And I want to wish you more great artistic achievements and fulfillment of all wishes!

Thank you very much! In my turn, I would like to wish you and all readers of Nargis and relatives health, love: everyone who has it – cherish this feeling, and those who doesn’t – find your love! Because only love inspires person and paints the world with bright colors. Be happy!


Interview: Kenul Nagiyeva