Zulya and The Children of the Underground

Zulya and The Children of the Underground


Zulya and the Children of the Underground are by far one of the most intriguing and unique acts in Australia. They play exquisitely arranged original music inspired by Zulya’s Tatar and Russian roots. Their latest album 3 Nights won an ARIA (Australian Record Industry)award (5 star review Songlines)


Multi award-winning ZULYA and the Children of the Underground are by far one of the most intriguing and unique acts in Australia, and indeed the world. They play exquisitely arranged original music inspired by ZULYA’s Tatar and Russian roots. Since ZULYA’s move to Australia in 1991 she has developed a totally original approach as an affirmation of her unique identity – an affirmation that takes her Tatar and Russian background to totally new places and in completely new ways. ZULYA has independently produced five albums to date, including the ARIA winning 3 Nights (2007) and magical The Waltz of Emptiness (and Other Songs on Russian Themes)(2004) – both of which upon their release in Europe spent 16 weeks in the top 10 of the European world music charts – a feat no other Australian album has ever achieved. Although she is well-known in Australia, ZULYA’s performances of her stunning blend of traditional and original music have recently been enchanting audiences from Serbia to Siberia, Luxembourg to Moscow, Tatarstan to Helsinki and almost everywhere in between.

A native of Tatarstan-Udmurtia region of Central Russia, ZULYA began performing Russian and Tatar songs at the age of 9. Later she studied music and languages at university level. She made a dramatic decision to settle in Australia in 1991and inspired by the diversity of cultures began to share her music with Australians. ZULYA's first release in Australia, Journey of Voice (1997), a unique collection of vocal styles and traditions received accolades for its versatility, passion and the “achingly beautiful” tone of her voice. In the following years, Australian audiences have been able to witness the continuing rise of this unique musical treasure. ZULYA's later albums, Aloukie (1999) and elusive (2002) have also been released in Europe and have been awarded and nominated for various awards - the World Music Album of the Year 2000 at the Australian World Music Awards (Aloukie) and ARIA 2003 (elusive). These albums feature traditional and original songs in her distinctive Tatar style but with unusual instrumentation, presenting the traditional music from a new perspective. Several tracks from these albums have been included in various compilations such as Putumayo's Music from the Tea Lands and Dreamland along with many others. ZULYA's work has been repeatedly featured on national radio and television to high acclaim, and she was also awarded "Female Artist of the Year" at the World Music Awards (2001) and Best World Music Artist by Australian Live Music Awards (2002). ZULYA has worked with Bob Brozman, Nikola Parov, Slava Grigoryan, Sirocco, Llew Kiek and Epizo Bangoura among others.

Since beginning collaboration with The Children of the Underground (Anthony Schulz – accordion, Lucas Michailidis – electric guitar, Andrew Tanner – double bass, Justin Marshall – drums) in 2003, ZULYA’s music has further developed in surprising and intriguing directions. The band brings a new level of sophistication in arrangement and musicianship to ZULYA’s work, immediately apparent in highly –acclaimed The Waltz of Emptiness (2004) and 3 Nights (2007). These two albums showcase the band’s impressive facility with their instruments, and listeners are struck by their talent for the composition of sublime melodies. ZULYA and The Children of the Underground continue to dazzle audiences with their passion for music and outstanding musicianship and during the last few years have performed at many major venues and festivals in Europe, Russia, Tatarstan, and Australia, including The Moods (Zurich, Switzerland), Kulturbrauerei (Berlin, Germany), Savoy Teatteri (Helsinki, Finland), Szene and SARGFABRIK (Vienna, Austria), Kulturfabrik (Luxembourg), Red Square (Moscow, Russia), Piramida (Kazan, Tatarstan), Living Water Festival (Altai Mountains, Siberia), Red Club (St.Petersburg, Russia), WOMADELAIDE (SA), QPAC - Women in Voice (Qld), Sydney Opera House (NSW), The Basement (NSW), Iwaki Auditorium, Bennetts Lane and Northcote Social Club (Vic), National Folk Festival (ACT), 10 Days On The Island Arts festival (Tas), Woodford Folk Festival (Qld), Brisbane Biennial Festival of Music (Qld), Apollo Bay Music Festival (Vic), Kulcha (WA), Musician in Residence Program, Aboriginal communities (NT) etc.
5 stars “What strikes you immediately is not just the confident purity of Zulya’s voice, but the quality of writing and arranging….. Swinging like a Bolshevik Marlene Dietrich, Zulya and the Children of the Underground are able to strike a deft balance between melancholic sadness and the unbridled joy that is never too far away…….” Songlines, UK.
4 and 1/2 stars Rolling Stone, Germany.
4 stars "Her band is exquisite.. but it's [Zulya’s] rich, emotive vocals that shine. Her shimmering high register and swooping pitch-perfect lower range flutters and skips from to song to song with ease...It's an incredibly sophisticated and brilliant instrument", The Age, Australia


"3 Nights", 2007, 16 weeks in the top 10 of the European World Music Charts, ARIA Award for best world music album.
"The Waltz of Emptiness (and Other Songs on Russian Themes"), 2004, 16 weeks in the top 20 of the European World Music Charts.
"elusive", 2002
"Aloukie", 1999, World Music album of the year 2000, Australian World Music Awards
"Journey of Voice", 1997

Set List

Original songs in Russian, Tatar and English. The length of the set can be taylored to the venue's format. We can do 1 set of 90 mins or less, 2 sets of 45 or shorter