NU VIRGOS / V.I.A. "Gra"
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NU VIRGOS / V.I.A. "Gra"

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The best kept secret in music


"Interview: NU VIRGOS in Hong Kong"

Interview: Nu Virgos
Saturday, 11 September 2004

(Then line-up included Svytlana to be later replaced with current member Albina)

The sexiest ladies from Ukraine were in town! Changing their name from ‘V.I.A.Gra’ to ‘Nu Virgos’, doesn’t make the three of them any less controversial. For those hungry male who have been dying to get closer to the girls, here’s your chance. Not only we let you know more about these three hot moms (YES! They’re all mothers, and they’re at the average age of 22!), we also tell you what they did before becoming sex-icons, what makes them go wild, and even, what ‘V.I.A.Gra’ means to them, right here, on !
Self-introductions, ladies?
S: I’m Svitlana. I’m very ambitious, very emotional, and a very happy person.
N: I’m Nadya. And I have no personality limit. Sometimes I can be very easy and go into depression, and as easy, I can come out of depression into the opposite emotion. It’s either black or white, but not in the middle. That’s why when I’m on the stage, and when it’s a sad song, I’m always behaving myself. All my emotions, all my behavings will become sad, no matter how many times I’ve sung this song, it’ll still be the same. When the song is very happy, I’ll also be very happy.
V: I’m Vera, I’m very funny. It’s very difficult to offend me. Very emotional… that’s it!
A: Is this the first time for you all to be in Asia, and how has Asia been to you?
V: A year ago, we were in Japan, and then we went to the Philippines, after that, we just had the warmest welcome, beautiful feelings about Asia.
A: How do you find Hong Kong then?
V: Very very good. It amazes us, and we think that this is the best city in Asia. It is also so gorgeous. And it’s also a city of contrast, because there’s water and mountains, and suddenly, out of nowhere, coming all these buildings! It’s like nature plus city.
So Svitlana, you’re the newest member! Are you one of the Nu Virgos for just this tour? Or for good?
S: For Good.
What were you doing before becoming performers?
N: I am proud to enter the group. Professionally I was a dancer. Folk dancing, and pop dancing, and ballet, tried to ballroom dance… and started at the Portugal College, as the English language teacher. And worked as choreographer at kindergarten.
V: I have even more changes, but I’ll only tell you about the last three years… I started at the Economic University, the university for economy. Before that, I used to be an accountant. And before that, I was a nanny. Going and taking care of children, a baby-sitter.
S: All my life, I was singing, and I finished college, majoring in vocal singing. And I also made a Ukraine musical, on stage.
A: How did the producer find you?
V: There was just an advertisement around, and we just became really confident in ourselves, from the different parts of Ukraine. As for how many people went to the interview, if you combine all three of us, there were about one thousand people. It was happening in different times. The first stage, they chose Nadya. That was four years ago.
How do your babies change you?
N: This is our double adorement, to be a mother and a singer. And after having a baby, we became a better person. We became more sensible, more loving, we want to take care of other people more, to express our love to other people.
So what is ‘V.I.A.Gra’?
N: In Russia, we are known after the name ‘V.I.A.Gra’, which means ‘Vocal Instrumental Assemble – Gra’. And ‘Gra’ in Russian means ‘game’. So even now we are known in Russia, but this is the name we’ve chosen.
What influences your music?
S: Of course it’s our producers, and our fans, we’re going everywhere, and fans say that they’ve found their love of their lives. Of course we want our composers to make special music, to make more beautiful songs.
A: What’s your definition of being sexy? What makes a woman sexy?
S: The woman makes herself sexy. There’s no need of wanting to be sexy, it will just come naturally if you do the right thing. Just do what you want to do. For us, we just need to do our choreography, and develop how to work, try to be nice, and if you have the inner-sexuality, and of course, you will be very sexy.
N: Sometimes to be sexy, you need to just relax. And just to let your emotions rule you, and just be very natural. And that’s your sexuality. Also to be sexy, a woman needs a man. A man helps a woman to be sexy.
It may be kinda hard to imagine that one of Nadya’s favorite musicians is Tina Tuner, but if you were there at their performance at the Edge, or even saw them on local TV, you should be able to feel the sensations. If you are still hungry for more, then just stay with us, on , as we bring you moreof today’s hottest celebs!
Entertaining Asia Ltd. © 1999 - 2005 All rights reserved.
- Entertaining Asia Ltd. © 1999 - 2005 All rights reserved

""Stoking the star maker machinery behind the popular song...""

When my photographer and I hit the door of Edge nightclub Sunday night, it initially appeared that a terrible marketing error had been made.
Our assignment was to cover a rising Ukrainian girl group, a trio called Nu Virgos. Formerly VIA-GRA (get it?) the new name was the result of, shall we say, copyright concerns. It seems that Pfizer Inc. didn't appreciate the coincidence that VIA-GRA is also a Russian acronym for ``vocal instrumental ensemble game''. At least that's how Nadya, Vera and the newest member, Svetlana explained it to me the day after their six-song Edge showcase. But Nu Virgos' target audience is presumably teenage girls growing up too fast and testosterone-ridden heterosexual males, the same kind of 18-34-year-olds that subscribe to the likes of Maxim, Playboy and Penthouse.
Yes, it's safe to say that Nu Virgos - who have also posed for the Japanese
edition of Playboy - are not targeting gay males, which is what Edge was packed with when most of the media arrived.
Cher, Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler or Judy Garland, they aren't. They are melodic pop singers packaged as porn stars, a cross between another Russian sex-sells-songs group TATU and a spicier Spice Girls. The brainsirens of a producer named Dmytriy Kostiuk and a songwriter called Konstantin Meladze, Nadya and Vera and an earlier Nu Virgo named Anya who was replaced by Svetlana after she became pregnant, were selected from 1,000 Ukrainian women craving a shot at show business.
Their current single and video is a saucy, irritatingly catchy ditty called Stop! Stop! Stop!. The video is heavily pixilated in Hong Kong, and hints at more than is ultimately delivered and emphasizes the "tease'' in striptease.
But my misgivings about Sony Music's marketing strategy were unfounded. Most of the sweaty, bare-chested males mysteriously and suddenly evaporated as the techno mix music ceased and show time approached.
More media - mostly photographers and video crews - packed the stage lip and three enthusiastic middle-aged Russians, two women and a portly guy who kept bellowing "Wow! Wow! Wow!'' between songs stood on chairs and competed with the emcee as cheerleaders.
Nadya, Vera and Svetlana put on a well-choreographed, enthusiastic show. In fact, Nadya almost pulled a Janet Jackson as she flounced and bounced through Kill My Girlfriend, but fortunately her well-designed support structure took the strain and there was no Justin Timberlake as an enabler.
It was hard to tell from my vantage point, but she may have had her freebie lingerie from the Private Shop in the Hong Kong International Airport to thank.
Upon their arrival Sunday the three had been treated to a HK$10,000 each ``Nu Virgos Shopping Tour'' in four pre-arranged duty-free stores courtesy of the Airport Authority and Sony. This drew more than 20 media types and featured the
strongest security I've encountered since covering a President Jimmy Carter appearance or trying to fly from Los Angeles with a one-way ticket to China on the second anniversary of Sept 11.
Seven stern-faced airport security guards - three women and four men in identical Men in Black suits - surrounded and kept pace with the temptresses as they were guided from Baccarat (no purchases), to Fendi (Sevtlana eyed, but didn't buy several pricey bags that resembled mutant furry caterpillars) to the unmentionables store where they and the photographers were finally in their element.
``Very small! Very small!'' squealed Svetlana as she stroked her hips and flaunted a pink and black thong and matching bra for the flashbulbs.
``Do you need to try it on?'' snickered one guy from a Chinese language publication.
She and the others demurred, but purchases were made there and more suitable duds were tried on and wrapped at the final destination, an upscale Sino-fashion shop called Shanghai Tang where tourists Sam and Ruth Glauber of Long Island, New York, watched with fascination and not-a-little bemusement.
``Who are the models?'' Ruth asked as Sam began furiously photographing Nadya.
``A Ukrainian pop group,'' I explained as Sam elbowed his way through the authorized press to document Svetlana who was vamping while trying on a floor length Chinese
robe. ``They're called Nu Virgos.''
``Never heard of them,'' Ruth said a little dismissively. ``What is their music like? Just noise, I'm guessing. Enough pictures. And this place is too pricey. C'mon Sam! We've got a plane to catch, honey!''
Sam pulled himself away from focusing on Vera, who had caught his eye as she caressed herself with an expensive red silk blouse for the lenses.
``Tell Sam the blonde is named Vera!'' I shouted as she hauled her husband out toward the departure zone.
``So finish!'' barked an impatient burly Russian handler who had been assisting the airport folks. The voice of authority had spoken and was obeyed. Shopping bags and photographers in tow, the three headed for the Harbour Plaza hotel in Hong Kong
where we would meet - Shenzhen Zen


1. CD "Endeavor No. 5" - 2001
2. CD "Stop! That's a wrap!" - 2002
3. CD "Biology" - 2003
4. CD "Stop! Stop! Stop!" - 2004
5. CD "The best - V.I.A. "Gra" - 5" - 2005


Feeling a bit camera shy


September 2005 has marked the 5th anniversary of the sexiest act throughout the CIS. For years the phenomenon of this extra-popular outfit cannot be discovered neither by critics, nor by the media, nor by the trio’s enormous army of followers. Nevertheless the puzzle of their success is quite simple. NU VIRGOS (for the international market) / V.I.A. «GRA» (for Ukraine, Russia and other ex-USSR territories) it’s the talent, beauty, amazing energy and magnetism of the vocalists Nadya Granovskaya, Vera Brezhneva and Albina Dzhanabayeva, music, wonderful songs and gentle soul of the composer Konstantin Meladze, high-precision estimation of the manager Dmitriy Kostiuk complete with professionalism, harmony and superb taste in everything from musical arrangements to stage costumes. Just several ingredients have given life to the act that has no peers neither by external image, nor by musical content.
From the very birth NU VIRGOS / V.I.A. «GRA» were doomed to be nothing but success. Their first TV appearance received an avalanche of acclaim, emotions and rumors. They found themselves instantly popular. The group’s debut video entitled “Endeavor No. 5” saw the light of day on September, 3, 2000 when it was aired by BIZ TV, Ukraine’s most popular music TV channel. Then the things started whirling at maximum speed which exceeded the most courageous expectations of the group’s management in person of Dmitriy Kostiuk and Konstantin Meladze. Only 9 days later, on September, 12, the first bootleg of NU VIRGOS / V.I.A. «GRA»’s debut song was already available at music markets and by the end of the first month of the group’s career a vast of gutter press publications appeared. More fuel was added to the fire by the fact that NU VIRGOS / V.I.A. «GRA» were never open for the media as of what was going on inside the group and with its vocalists. Too many were eager to know much more because the group’s isolation from external world, their enigmatic charisma of lofty and inaccessible artists had given birth to numerous myths and speculations. Still waters of Ukrainian show-biz were disturbed by a “riddle named NU VIRGOS / V.I.A. «GRA»” (cited from those days’ news-paper publication).
One by one the new audio and video smashes followed. After “Endeavor No. 5” more videos were out on the screens: “Take me in your arms”, “Bomb”, “I won’t be back”. By the end of the year NU VIRGOS / V.I.A. «GRA»’s repertoire comprised 7 songs that was fairly enough to embark on a tour. The group’s first live date ever took place in Dnepropetrovsk on stage the city’s Ledoviy Palace in front of some 4 000 spectators. Further shows were also hugely acclaimed. In order to capitalize on that the group’s management decided to release the first full-length NU VIRGOS / V.I.A. «GRA»’s effort which, as expected, was entitled after their major smash “Endeavor No. 5”. The interest towards NU VIRGOS / V.I.A. «GRA» concentrated, thickened and almost materialized.
Within 2001 NU VIRGOS / V.I.A. «GRA» collected some of their first prestigious awards: “A Hundred Pood Hit” from HIT FM Radio, “Golden Gramophone” from “Russian Radio” all in addition to winning the “Golden Firebird” prize at the Ukrainian annual festival “Tavriyskiye Igry”. On August, 31st, 2001 in Moscow NU VIRGOS / V.I.A. «GRA» were signed to by Sony Music Corporation. That appeared to be the first international contract as the charming outfit was a Ukrainian product: most of the group members were Ukrainian and resided at its capital – Kiev.
2002 saw the group becoming a trio instead of being a duet and changing their musical direction. In spring the ladies appeared in their new video “Stop! Stop! Stop!” whose success was so stunning that enabled NU VIRGOS / V.I.A. «GRA» to take part in the “Ovation” Music Award Ceremony held at the Moscow’s State Central Concert Hall “Rossiya”. In September a new video was out for public view – this time “Good morning, papa!”, and closer to that year’s end the ladies from NU VIRGOS / V.I.A. «GRA» also displayed themselves as actresses having played the roles of crowned heads in a TV musical called “Cinderella”.
The beginning of 2003 coincided with a new phase of NU VIRGOS / V.I.A. «GRA»’s popularity following the release of one of the group’s best efforts – marvelous and dramatic “Don’t forsake me, darling”, complete with an eponymously titled video tape containing a collection of NU VIRGOS / V.I.A. «GRA»’s videos. On April, 16, 2003 the ladies appeared at a press-conference dedicated mainly to the group’s new release “Stop! That’s a wrap!” which included four new songs along with several remixes. A few more reasons to meet with the media were the prestigious Russian MUZ TV awards and the “Soundtrack” award all won by NU VIRGOS / V.I.A. «GRA». In May the group astonished (exactly so!) everyone with their new video “Kill my girlfriend”. Especially for the said video, which was regarded by many as a burlesque to the pompous music festival “Song of the