For those that don’t know much about you… Can you tell the readers a little about your background and who you are?

Alina: Hey, my name is Alina, I’m a musician from Russia , and I’m the last living descendant of the Romanov Tsar family (which means I’m a royal… pain). My great grandmother was the only one to survive the revolution; she had fled to Siberia where she lived for the next 70 years in a hut she built deep in the forest. She had many children, all of whom lived in the forest with her. I was born there too, and, believe me, it was a very tough life, though, confidentially, I do miss the tree bark soup and the toad stool skewers…

Ok, so I just totally made that up!.. Hey – artistic license!

So, who am I. I’m a Pop/R&B singer-songwriter, born and raised in St. Petersburg , Russia , where I was fortunate to study music in one of the top schools. I performed classical compositions on the piano and was a soloist in a well-known choir. I always loved American music, especially R&B and soul. You know, it was scarce in Russia then. I began writing and performing my own songs in English and Spanish at 14. I moved to the US a few years ago.

Alina you have an amazing, soulful voice… What were some of your influences coming up?

Alina: Thank you! I have very diverse influences, which is, I think, one of the reasons I can really put my heart and soul into my singing. I traveled all across Europe with the international choir “Aurora”, performing everything from Russian folklore to French pop songs to ancient hymns in Latin. Because I was very young, I easily absorbed some of the cultural peculiarities of the countries I visited. I’m something of an international freak to be honest. Growing up in Russia , my awareness of American popular music was very limited. I only knew what was on the radio at that time and my Internet access was limited, so, naturally, I was very influenced by current artists such as Alicia Keys and Christina Aguilera. Living in the US I have acquired a much broader sense of pop culture; I’m very inspired by the Motown era artists such as Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross & the Supremes, The Temptations and many others. One of my biggest influences of all time is Michael Jackson. I’m a crazy huge fan of his!

I like many people, have found you through MySpace. What are some places we can find your music? How important is social networking, and the internet in general for getting your music out there?

Alina: Using Internet to get your music out there is essential. I think that social networking sites are a neat way for fans to discover new artists. Speaking of which, I’d love to have people who are reading this interview, visit my Myspace and Youtube pages which and I read all of my messages and I try to respond to everything!

Even though Internet is cool, there is still nothing like performing live to make you feel connected to your fans!

Being born in Russia … How did you adjust to coming to the US ? Was it smooth, rough? How did you make the transition?

Alina: I have heard that some people have a hard time assimilating, but for me it was really a cinch. I think that, on the whole, people from different countries are not all that dissimilar. I do miss my family a lot, but with all the technology available at the moment, there are lots of ways to stay in touch! I do get a little nostalgic sometimes. There’s a Russian store I like to go to and, when I went there I few weeks ago I bought a chocolate egg with a toy hidden in the middle because that’s what I used to get in Russia as a little girl. I know, it’s quite silly, especially considering that the plastic car that was inside fell apart the next day!

What motivates you as a musician? Live crowds? The Fame? Money? Passion?

Alina: The groupies? I record and perform music because that’s what I love to do! I’m a total creative addict!

So what’s in the works for you? Any albums or new music coming out? Anything we should be looking for?

Alina: Currently I’m developing some new material and I have shows coming up this summer. My business partner and I have many projects in the works, but I’d rather keep those under wraps for now. Please join my mailing list on Myspace and I promise to keep you posted on everything that’s going on!

How about live? Any tours or performances people need to check out?

Alina: I’ll be playing in Los Angeles this summer. I will announce dates and places of performance in my newsletter. If you come down to see me play, please hang around after the end of the performance – I love to meet my fans!

What other outlets do you have besides singing, that you use to express yourself? What do you do for fun when not performing?

Alina: Voodoo! Hahaha, just kidding! I’m actually writing a novel right now and I also design my own music t-shirts.

Any chance we might get to see you in DC over the summer? I’m sure it would be a welcomed attraction…

Alina: Probably not this summer, but one of these days definitely… Thanks a lot Mike, this was fun!

Originally published on PureStyle Magazine