“DRUMMER” NIKOLAI GNATYUK
Hearing the name of this artist, most music lovers will immediately remember the famous “Smereka”, “Bird of Happiness” and “Raspberry Ringer”. Although some of the singer’s admirers prefer such hits as “Galina” and “Hour of Red Water”. Some with nostalgia will remember “Dance on the Drum”, “Girl from Apartment 45”, “If the City Dances”. In a word, everyone will like some hit of the talented and charismatic Nikolai Gnatyuk. The statuses invented by the press like “stars”, “recognized masters”, “stage legends”, “pop classics” Nikolai does not welcome. He has his own explanation of popular love and popularity: “God gave, and now he has become …”.
14 kilometers to the dream
This simple rural boy was lucky enough to see different countries in life, gather concert halls, perform on the same stage with the best performers of the country, pass the test of popularity, first succumb to temptations, but then still find the strength in himself not to be sidelined by singer Nikolai Gnatyukzhizni and creativity.
Nikolai Gnatyuk was born in the small village of Nemirovka in Khmelnitsky on September 14, 1952. The boy from early childhood showed his vocal talent, so his parents sent him to study at the school of Starokonstantinov, which is seven kilometers from his native village. Nikolai had to walk 14 km every day on foot through marshy terrain for the sake of the opportunity to study at a school with a music class. At 6:00, to the sounds of the hymn on the radio, Kolya got up not at all joyful, because he had a hard way to school. Often the bus passed by children, and they had to get to the city on foot in any weather.
The desire to become a singer with Nikolai Gnatyuk was formed and did not immediately strengthen. Although he sang from the age he remembers himself, at first he dreamed of becoming an actor. A childhood friend even began to “prepare” him for this, doing boxing with him so that the future artist was not frail. Together, the children studied poems by Vladimir Sosyura and Maxim Rylsky. Nikolay was looking forward to the beginning of the introductory campaign at the Karpenko-Kary Institute of Theater Arts in Kiev. Arriving in the capital, Gnatyuk received a pamphlet at the school with important information about the institute. He took it, leafed through, singer Nikolai Gnatyuki something happened in the soul of a young entrant – either some doubts surged, or the woman’s intonation from the admissions committee did not like, but Nikolai lost his firm intention to prepare for admission. Having gone outside, he realized that he would not study at this institute.
The future performer was not at a loss, got on the train and went to Rivne. There, at the musical pedagogical institute, his father had a familiar teacher, who a few years ago had invited a talented young man to go there. Applicants there were seriously trained, everyone came after music schools, and not schools, like Nikolai Gnatyuk. Beside them, he felt like a boy. But the case saved the situation – one of the commission members asked Gnatyuk if he could sing something. Then he had no equal! The examiners immediately agreed to accept such a vocal guy. Although he entered the institute as if in “advance”, he later leveled himself in level of knowledge with his more experienced classmates.
On the professional stage, Nikolai Gnatyuk first appeared in Odessa. There, hearing his clear voice, they immediately invited the soloist to the orchestra “We Are Odessa People”. There were some incidents during the first performance. While singing in the dressing room before the concert, Nikolai heard from one of the artists the singer Nikolai Gnatyuk a boorish “request” to shut up, but continued his vocalization as if nothing had happened. Then a stage colleague came up and hit him in the face. Nikolai Gnatyuk had to go out to the audience beaten, but with prepared vocal cords.
With this Odessa team, the singer traveled to many cities of the country, and then decided to join the army. He was sent to serve in the GDR and, as a musician, was assigned to a collective that performed at discotheques for families from the USSR. Over time, Nicholas began to notice that people began to come not just to dance to his songs, but to listen to them. So, confidence in his abilities and the belief that he could become a real artist began to grow in him.
At the banquet on the occasion of the victory of the Soviet Union in the competition, the director of the festival in Sopot approached Nikolai Gnatyuk and asked if he would refuse to come to Poland next year. Of course, the singer did not refuse, it was his dream! And a little later, a letter from the organizers, singer Nikolai Gnatyukfestalya, was sent to the central television of the USSR with a recommendation to send Nikolai Gnatyuk to the contest. But the singer had nothing to go to Sopot with – there was no suitable song in the repertoire. For three days he wandered around the park near the television center in Moscow until he got the image in which he would like to perform.