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FEATURES
R
egina Spektor is a compelling
character. From her razor-
sharp cheekbones to her self-
deprecating manner, from her beautiful
smile to her idiosyncratic voice; it’s hard
to keep your eyes and ears off her.
The New York-based musician has that
undeniable star quality that a million ITV
primetime talent shows couldn’t unearth,
and she is all the more endearing for
having carved out a successful career in
her own inimitable style.
Born in Soviet Russia, Spektor moved to
New York when she was nine, and was a
talented classical pianist, studying music
composition at college. She gradually
began to soak up the influences of her
new home, got into hip hop, punk and
indie, and when she began performing
in coffee houses in the Lower East Side,
she found she had an eager audience.
That success grew as the singer, now 29
years old, self-released three albums,
using the internet to spread the word in
a way now commonplace, but which was
pretty innovative back in 2003.
“I do think that the internet is probably
the main reason I’ve been able to get my
music out to so many people,” she says.
“It’s a nice feeling to know you can make
something and three seconds later put it
up and anyone in the world can hear it.”
Which is what Spektor did for a while.
After three albums, the singer was
snapped up by big label Warners, a step
which saw her reaching a much wider
audience, but one the previously prolific
songwriter found frustrating, due to the
length of time it took to do things on a
major label.
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