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You're reading: Like mother, like daughter: How a folk singer tries to capture the pop stage
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Nina turned 64 on Oct. 10 and has a collection of awards for her vocal talent, among which is the Hero of Ukraine. Tonya, her daughter, is 30, and has her mother’s unmistakable three octaves. But what has been a mother’s blessing turned out a challenge for the daughter who wants to popularize her folk voice beyond the refined conservatory stages.

A former lead singer in famous Veryovka National Academic Choir and now of Kyivska Kamerata folk band, Nina maintains a low profile in modern show business. She wears little to no makeup at all on most days, travels by metro and doesn’t have an agent. Matviyenko junior, however, is braving the bright lights of TV shows and pop stages.

Unwilling to trade on her mother’s name, earlier this year Tonya signed up with Voice of the Country talent show, where judges sit backwards to the stage and choose best contestants only for their voice. Looks, names, dancing – nothing is supposed to influence their judgment.

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