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Who Is t.A.T.u.?

t.A.T.u. (pronounced "Tatoo") is a Russian vocal duet composed of Julia Volkova and Lena Katina. The band was conceived by producer Ivan Shapovalov, a former child psychologist and producer of TV commercials. Lena and Julia used to sing together in a kids-band called "Neposedi". Lena and Julia met again during an audition at MOSFILM studios, when Ivan Shapovalov was looking for girls for his new band. They were selected independently out of 500 contenders.

The group's name is spelled "Тату" in the Russian Cyrillic character set (still pronounced "Tatoo"), and means "this girl -- that girl" or "this girl loves that girl" (implied). Their first album, "200Km/hr In The Wrong Lane", has been a huge international success all over the world, including Eastern and Western Europe, the Americas, Asia, Austrailia and New Zealand.

t.A.T.u – The Success is a Fact
(Article reprinted from City Stars No. 10, July 3, 2003; Translated from Russian to English by TatySite.net Team)

On October 4, 1984 a girl was born to the family of musician Serguey Katin. Upon her father’s wish she was given the name "Lena". Lena hadn't turned 4 years old yet when Serguey began to put her in various sports and dance schools to develop her artistic and creative abilities. First it was figure skating, then artistic gymnastics and then classic dance school. Lena was not good at those disciplines though (probably because of her natural overweight), that’s why she didn’t stay in those schools more than for a year. Instead, she liked swimming and horseback riding. She enjoyed both genuinely. After that, she started to attend piano classes at children’s music school #30. Kind and fair by nature, Lena was favoured by many. She was rather hard working and had good school grades. She liked reading, especially love fiction. But for some reason, she didn’t have many friends among kids of her age. To going out with friends, she preferred to sit inside and read a favourite book. In 1994 she was admitted to a famous children’s band Avenue. She sang there for 3 years. At the age of 13 she started at the famous Moscow band Neposedy, where she got to know Yulia.

Yulia was born on February 20, 1985 in Moscow. Her father – Oleg, was a rather successful businessman by that time. Her mother – Larisa had just begun her career as a hairdresser. Yulia was the only child. From the very early years Yulia was give a lot of attention, maybe too much attention. She was given the best toys and dolls. The girl was growing very soft, tender, kind and fair. But she was always missing something… The parents made sure that the daughter was growing harmonically, they tried to get her interested in something. She changed one sports school after another but only tennis with a personal coach made her stay for several years. In 1992 she started a regular school. The same year she was admitted to the piano class at a children’s music school. But in the 3d grade she got a nervous break down. She became very nervous and intolerant. The parents spent several months to get their daughter’s psychological condition on the right track again. The character changed drastically though. Yulia became very demanding to herself and another people, she became more goal-focused. In 1996 she changed school to a one with drama classes.

Almost at the same time she got noticed and admitted to the children’s band Neposedy. It was one year before Lena joined the band. In Neposedy, Yulia became friends with nearly all the children. The teachers got amused by Yulia’s ability to focus on things and achieve almost everything she wanted to.

When Lena appeared in the band they had a “hello-goodbye” type of communication but a month later they became very good friends. They knew how to appreciate their friendship. They never got apart and followed each other everywhere. No one could believe that being introduced to each other at that age they could become such good friends. But it was a fact that they became like sisters.

One beautiful day Yulia and Lena along with another girls were introduced to Alexandr Voitinsky. Alexandr invited them to take part in a casting. They were asked to sing a few songs there. Yulia wanted to get noticed and tried to show all her abilities. She tried to sing very high tunes but only showed that she had a very bad control over her own voice. Yulia didn’t get through. Instead it was Lena who was the one. There were financial problems though – Voitinsky didn’t even have his own studio then. At that moment Ivan Shapovalov showed up.

When Ivan got money, he decided that he could create something more interesting that he had planned first. He gave a profound thought to it and decided to take one more girl which was a total opposite to Lena. It was a simple turn of things that the best friend of Lena’s – Yulia matched these criteria. Then having observed their friendship, he decided to give them this lesbian image. At this point, without any wish to have anything with this kind of “idiotism” and having some sort of morality, Voitinsky left the project. He doesn’t regret it in any way.

In October 2000, a video clip was shown on MTV Russia. The society was in shock. The success, as it goes, was a fact – a new star lit in Russia.

Lena Katina

Full Name: Elena Sergeevna Katina (Елена Сергеевна Катина)
Born: October 4, 1984 in Moscow, Russia
Nationality:  Russian
Residence:  Moscow, Russia (lives with parents)
Father: Sergey Vasilievich Katin
Mother: Inessa Vsevolodovna Katina
1991-2001:   Elementary, Junior High and Senior High School #457, Moscow
1992-1999:   Junior music school, piano course, Moscow
2001-today:   Student of Moscow State University, faculty of psychology
1994-1997:   Children's band "Avenue" (Авеню)
1997-1999:   Children's band "Neposedi" (Непоседы)
Aug 1999-today:   Duet "t.A.T.u." (Тату)
1988-1989:   Figure skating
1989-1989:   Gymnastics
1989-1991:   Ballroom dancing
1992-1995:   Swimming
1996-1997:   Horseback riding
Email: lena@taty.ru, Neformat@airton.com

Julia Volkova

Full Name: Julia Olegovna Volkova (Юлия Олеговна Волкова)
Born: February 20, 1985 in Moscow, Russia
Nationality:  Russian
Residence:  Moscow, Russia (lives with parents)
Father: Oleg Viktorovich Volkov
Mother: Larisa Victorovna Volkova
1992-1996:   Junior high school #882, Moscow
1993-2000:   Junior music school, piano course, Moscow
1996-2000:   Senior high school #1113, Moscow
2000-today:   Moscow State Music School, faculty of vocals
1996-1998:   Children's band "Neposedi" (Непоседы)
Aug 1999-today:   Duet "t.A.T.u." (Тату)
1991-1996:   Tennis (with personal trainer)
Also tried figure skating, swimming, ballroom dancing.
Email: yulia@taty.ru, Neformat@airton.com

Last Update:  July 12, 2003
Webmaster:  Chris LaRosa <cplarosa@yahoo.com>