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Posts Tagged ‘Progressive Radio Network’

sod_logo_smallThere are times when I really miss the daily blogs followed by instant reactions that usually developed into full-on electronic dialogues. But for better or worse, I can only count on a few minutes here and there to post my regular (or nowadays “irregular”… My bad!) updates. Not surprisingly, though, it takes me so long to actually get to the computer for these overdue “news blogs” that I tend to forget half of them by the time I’m typing away yet again!
So, first things first… Earlier this afternoon, we heard from our European counterpart that the authors of “Is It True” (Christopher Neil, Oskar Pall and yours truly) performed most gloriously by Yohanna, have been awarded for the #1 Eurovision Song of the Decade as voted by the ESC viewers and ESC Today readers worldwide. Did we really beat some of the greats, such as Andrew Lloyd Webber, Diane Warren, Ronan Keating, Patricia Kaas, etc. to name but a few? I’m still reeling from this, to be honest!
And from Sweden – this very song was performed at the Swedish Idol semi-finals (and won the semi’s!) by Erik Gronwall last week… which, by the way, you can hear (and see) right here.
Now, on a political note… As I’m getting ready to return to the UN Radio HQ next week to resume my weekly UN Uncovered show on Progressive Radio Network (it’s been over a month, I can’t believe it!) I am still trying to keep up with international political affairs… Believe it or not, I do read the Financial Times – still, even a year after the August War back home… So…. The other day, as I was surfing the web and reading the online Friday edition of the FT, I came across this article:
“Iceland after a year of financial crisis
Financial Times – London, England, UK
‘Is it true? Is it over? Did I throw it away?’ Seldom can the words
from an entry in the Eurovision Song Contest be more appropriate…”
To read more, please go to: FT.com
If you read on, you’ll be equally surprised by the sudden twist – a pop song lyric in a heavily political piece? I couldn’t be more excited, though, I admit!
And pop songs aside, I can proudly confirm that I am about to start working with the great Timothy Graphenreed, who wrote my very first song for me back when I was 16 years old, on our Broadway-themed concert to take place in NYC (theater, date, etc. TBC) in the new year – a variety of songs, ranging from American standards and some of my own tunes… Quite a challenge, but I’m extremely excited and really, really psyched!
While brand new material is on its way, I can already give you a quick hint – there’s about 4-5 new tunes that I’m dying to post on here asap, but it will have to wait until it’s been sent to my publishers at Kobalt Music and straight onto my homepage.
Please do stay tuned for more news and I promise to keep this blog up to date as much as possible… But for now, happy holiday to everyone (Columbus Day, if you haven’t noticed – some of the stores are closed today…. Brrrr…..!)

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russkiy-logoYou thought you knew everything?

Not really! 🙂 And here’s why…

As most of you already know about my passion for radio and the current PRN radio show that I host and produce from the United Nations called “U.N. Uncovered”, I have recently embarked on a new parallel journey that I’m very excited about and have been counting the weeks to finally share the offspring with you all!

Break Thru Radio, one of the most open-minded and musically diverse stations amid today’s commercial overload on all fronts, has become the catalyst and the driving force behind my most recent adventure – Russkiy in the Mix with DJ Tinatin.

You can hear the show anytime by visiting the BTR http://www.breakthruradio.com website or just follow one of the links above to explore other BTR shows in the Program Guide – you won’t regret it, there’s everything for everyone ranging from Jazz to Country, Japanese, German and Australian pop/rock to Russkiy in the Mix… How cool is that?!

So stay tuned – every first Tuesday of each month or simply by clicking right here to hear the only English-language source of fresh Russian music on US radio with a monthly dose of what’s fresh and “happening” in Moscow, St. Petersburg and beyond…

For those of you who know too little about Russian modern music but are fascinated by the nation’s immense culture and history, be sure to check it out…

And by the way, if you’re wondering why those lengthy blogs have disappeared from my homepage, here’s your new source from now on – on weekly basis, every Wednesday there’s a brand new Tinatin-penned Feature Article on http://www.breakthruradio.com — voila a few of the latest links:

Freedom of Speech
Russian America

Evolution of Music

Politicians vs. Popstars – Equal?

A Wednesday featurette entitled “Loli-Pop” will be available first thing tomorrow morning on BTR’s website – check it out and stay tuned for more! 🙂

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9.30 on a Tuesday morning: Turtle Bay’s busy staff entrance of the United Nations; security guards surrounding the metal detector doors; visitors queuing up in the main lobby for a multi-lingual tour and suit-n-tie, prim bureaucratic silhouettes going up and down the escalators and waiting by the Secretariat elevators.

Yet another General Assembly resolution is awaiting its approval and the Security Council is pondering over its adoption in the SC Chambers behind the milti-national flags and the famous sky-blue UN backdrop that we often see on television across the world.

Dashing over to the 2nd floor briefing room to attend a “UN accredited press only” conference with one of the head bureaucrats, humanitarians, diplomats, etc. Usually, it’s the same old story: all the goodwill in the world, highly enthusiastic speeches and rather critical questions (slowly crossing over into more “editorial” comments) posed by the press corp…

Welcome to work, Tinatin – the day job has now officially kicked off!

When I first stepped inside the Turtle Bay building, the last thing on my mind was making a career out of it… Or a side-career, anyway. The purpose of my initial meetings with the UN Department of Public Information was a song that I had wanted to dedicate to the struggle against HIV/AIDS – “I Pray”. From then on, one meeting after another with various diplomats in different departments spread up and down across the building… Months of hand-shakes, introductions, letters, CDs sent back and forth through various bureaucratic corridors. It all shaped itself into a brand new project of its own – “We the Peoples”, my UN song, or in other words, a song based on the United Nations Charter. An idea that first crossed the mind of an incredibly creative author and UN expert, Ian Williams.

When Ian first mentioned this unusual idea to me (“Put the ‘I Pray’ idea on hold for now – at least until you are more established so that you can really try and make a difference with the song and its purpose – and think about doing something that has never been done before – write a pop song based on the UN Charter… Now that’s original!”) I didn’t immediately grasp the originality of it until I went back and read more about this big organization that I had only driven past throughout the years but had never known much about.

Whilst working my way up the bureaucratic ladder (and that did take a few months, I have to say) I read overwhelming amount of literature about the UN, asked questions (Ian Williams and my other friend, Mark Seddon, who at the time was the UN Correspondent for Al Jazeera English, were incredibly patient and generous in their informative discussions with the new student of theirs!) and tried to learn all there was to know about this fascinating place located in the very heart of Manhattan.

Up until the entire music project was fully and officially approved on all fronts (no one had ever written a pop song, or any other type of song, for that matter, based on the sacred Charter of the United Nations, so having no analogy to refer to, we really had to cross every single bridge up the UN ladder of approvals), I had quite a few months at my full disposal and I slowly developed a serious interest and enthusiasm for “everything to do with the UN”… Hence, I landed a job at one of the Russian papers as the UN Correspondent.

To make the long story short, it really did become a day job after all. Now I host a weekly radio show on Progressive Radio Network here in NY, a station run by Gary Null (a highly inquisitive mind, I admit!) and to be honest, the split-personality (singer/songwriter vs. political/diplomatic correspondent) has become a serious habit – it’s not so easy to distinguish between the two… The music being a passion for life, the journalistic side of my life is a real bonus in every way – not only do I get to live and experience work on both sides of the fence, but the inquisitive mind and an overwhelming thirst for all this information across the board is more or less satisfied through the day job.

Referring to your question earlier on whether I’m a part-time DJ, well I guess you could say that – except not a club DJ but a radio DJ with a political flavor.

So there you have it… That’s the day job…

Back to music now! 🙂

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A United Nations Correspondent reporting for the world media sounds like a very impressive position – and it can be an exciting opportunity and also a great deal of fun to get to know the UN inside out, particularly if you end up becoming one of the “in house” correspondents based at the headquarters.

I was very fortunate, thanks to my fellow colleagues at the Department of Public Information (DPI) and the United Nations Correspondents Association (UNCA) to represent the Russian media (and later one of the NY radio stations run by Gary Null called Progressive Radio Network) at the UN HQ from late 2006 onwards.

In all sincerity, I became SO immensely interested and engrossed in the day-to-day life of the UN Secretariat, I literally spent my mornings on the press floor and the briefing room, afternoons at the cafeteria and the various “chambers” of sorts (Security Council, General Assembly… Almost as impressive when seen in real life as they look on TV!) and my evenings at the delegate’s lounge (an even more bureaucratic version of a rather conservative bar.)

Apart from getting to know the basic UN Secretariat activities and daily tasks, the best part of the experience (at least the first 6 months or so) was making new friends… No, not your average bureaucrats (although some are genuinely fascinating and very friendly people, albeit slightly too obsessed with the UN paperwork) but UN interns from every part of the world. We had an absolute blast and quickly became known by our first names and the newly acquired nicknames: “The Elephant”, “Pussycat”, “Grey Hair”, “Lola”, etc. In a way, the experience proved to be as entertaining as my college and Uni years… Honestly!

The first month or two were intense and we really tried to work as much as possible – noon briefings, reports, deadlines and nothing else – work, work, work. However, as we really got to know each other and became more familiar and relaxed among our little company of the “UN Youth”, it was clear that with all due respect to representing the world media in the morning hours, afternoons and evenings were THE TIME for some UN fun – and did we have fun!!!

While I was still reporting for one of the Russian newspapers from the UN HQ, one of the correspondents asked if I was interested in interviewing a well-known Russian political analyst, journalist and the grand-daughter of Nikita Kruschev for one of the broadcast services… And that’s how I met two of my dear girlfriends (we were soon labeled by everyone as “Charlie’s Angels”!)

The broadcast “side” job was, of course, the least productive of all… 0 viewership, 0 $, but we had so much fun during those few weeks I foolishly spent hours “debating” with my girlfriends on air… CRAZY!

The daily noon briefing was our regular get-together spot first thing in the morning. The Spokesperson of the Secretary-General, Michele Montas, is one of the most charming ladies you will ever meet, so she was certainly amused watching us across the room from her platform… And we did ask the daily diplomatic questions, as well! After all, we had to report afterwards, so there was a degree of hard work involved, too, particularly on those late nights when I transcribed my lengthy interviews recorded directly onto my iPod.

In the afternoons, we used to gather around our international youth-oriented table for a 2-hour lunch break – diverse topics from latest UN news to current crushes and new ice cream flavors filled every conversation and kept us “busy” throughout the day… Until we had to split for a bit to concentrate on work in our separate offices and work areas.

After spending a couple of hours genuinely researching and writing up our articles, we’d gather at the delegate’s lounge for an early round of drinks and a bit of political catch-up, discussing the UN social circle in the DL area. 

Every now and then, we had too many pressing deadlines and simply had to sacrifice our bonding evenings for a bit of work and effort. It wasn’t always hunky dory, of course, but we did manage to make the most of even the dullest of conferences and diplomatic gatherings.

My song “We the Peoples” was recorded around this time, so it was all the more exciting for us when we got together to celebrating the final approval of the music and lyrics by the head of the Department of Public Information… We even saluted each other every morning by shouting out “We the Peoplessss!!!”

When the internship period was over and most of our friends had to go back to their native countries, Facebook and MySpace became our primary medium for keeping in touch, but so far so good – can’t complain! We have managed to stay in contact throughout and those who are still in NY get together quite often to remember those good old times at the United Nations.

I am, as you may know, still at the United Nations reporting for a US radio station on weekly basis, but it is no longer about having fun and a good laugh – it’s now work, work, work – every Tuesday.

Definitely worth an internship for young people, no doubt, particularly if you are into diplomacy and what the United Nations stands for as an international body, and last but not least – if you’re lucky and you happen to be there along with a whole group of fun and adventurous fellow interns, it really doesn’t get much better than this! 

Yet with all the crazy adventures and excitement put aside, it really is a great place to be and I love every minute of it. Nothing compares to walking into the building every Tuesday morning and feeling every bit as proud and privileged to be there as I felt the very first time I went to my DPI meeting about my song project – a song that wasn’t even written at the time and was a mere idea up in the air… but more on that later!

What a shame that once-in-a-lifetime fun always comes to an end at some point… Why don’t good things ever last long enough?

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