Message of hope and empathy from Belarus.
It’s often hard for actors to sing truly well. Not for the the lack of technique – as they would often have it. Acting is inherently an art of pretending, and even if you are employing Stanislavski method, it’s only to improve the illusion of being somebody else. Singing, especially pop singing, is an excercise in sincerity. Great singers stand emotionally naked in front of public, exposing their real pain and vulnurability. It’s easy to see these two things are not compartible.
Ana Khitrik (Ань Хитрик) is a theatrical actress by trade. When she started with her first project Deti Detey (children of children) in 2005, it was overtly theatralised – as expected. While some people enjoyed it and it had its following (as theatrical singing in itself has a fan base of people who prefer entertaiment to sincere communication), it had all the usual drawbacks. Acted interpretation, show elements, all this stuff.
Later on, Ana moved to her next band, S’unduk. Here, she was more sincere and very promising. The project definetely had potential, but didn’t last past two albums. Ana emigrated, and then survived breast cancer. She’s coming back now, and does so as an incredible, touching and sincere singer.
Is it immense suffering that changed her performance, is it just experience, continuation of the earlier trajectory? We don’t know, but the result is remarkable. It’s her amazing vocal, understated, direct, speaking straight to the listener’s feelings.
In this song, Ana touches on the recent events in Belarus. Lyrics are simple – it’s all about new year, hope, future, freedom from fear. Chorus is almost naive: “Prison bars are only a build-up for the future life where they don’t exist”. It’s not about the words though, it’s about how they are delivered.
This is a message of calmness, confidence, hope, and empathy – things that are always in short supply, and more so in difficult times.