Karakat Bashanova from Kazakhstan has recorded her performance for Junior Eurovision 2020
Karakat Bashanova from Kazakhstan has recorded her performance for Junior Eurovision 2020 Photo: Khabar

Keep up with Karakat!

Learn what 'Beshbarmak' and 'Orama' is with Karakat, Kazakhstan's Junior Eurovision 2020 hopeful! The piano and violin playing extraordinaire virtually met with us to share with you all about her life, hobbies, and hopes for this year's contest. Keep reading to find our more!

Karakat has a huge passion for music which she inherited from her father. The young artist gives you exclusive details on everything from how she gets the inspiration to believe in herself to what she likes to get up to outside of music and more! Let's read what she has to say!

Your song is dedicated to your father. Can you tell us more about this?

When I was a little girl, my Dad used to play music to me all the time and he used to record videos of me singing. He was the one that really taught me how to love music and I really wanted to dedicate this song to him and his memory because I am so thankful to him for that.

What is your favourite thing to do in Talgar?

I'm actually originally from a village called Ryskulov in the Almaty region. I grew up there but right now I'm studying at a boarding school in Talgar. One of my favourite things to do in Ryskulov is to go into the big fields with my sisters, play and breathe the fresh air!

What is your favourite word in Kazakh and why?

My favourite word is 'Ainalaiyn' but it cannot be directly translated word by word into English. It is a word that is used when addressing someone younger and you use it to express love and gratitude. The meaning is kind of like 'dear' or 'my dear' and you would say this to someone who is really close to your heart.

What is your favourite word in English?

My favourite word in English is "forever". When I was a little girl I used to write this word down a lot, even though I didn't even know it's meaning! I wrote it with nice, special letters and it became really special to me. It's really crazy and interesting that this is now the name of my song!

What is your favourite traditional Kazakhstan dish?

My favourite dish is 'Beshbarmak'. The term 'beshbarmak' means "five fingers" because nomads traditionally ate this dish with their hands! It's usually made from finely chopped and boiled meat mixed with dough and onion sauce. My second favourite dish is "Orama" which is steamed pie. I prefer to use cottage cheese as a filling to this dish!

How long have you been playing the violin and how did you start?

I have been playing the violin since I was in 1st grade and now I am in 6th grade, so I guess I have been playing for roughly 5 years!

Do you have a favourite piece you like to play on the piano or violin?

For the violin I like to play traditional music from Kazakhstan and for the piano I like to play River Flows in You by the Korean composer Yiruma.

We heard that you initially learnt to sing by watching YouTube. Can you tell us more about this?

This information isn't completely right. I started to sing professionally at the age of 9 and had been going to special classes for about a year, but then I didn't have enough time anymore to keep going, so I started to teach myself through watching YouTube videos. Then, I felt something was tense in my throat so my sister found me a professional singing trainer so I can learn how to sing safely and even better!

Beyoncé, Celine Dion and Whitney Houston are your idols. What is your favourite song of theirs?

I Was Here by Beyoncé, All By Myself by Celine Dion and I Have Nothing by Whitney Houston.

Your song for JESC is about believing in yourself. What helps you to believe in yourself?

Most of all my sisters who encourage and inspire me. Even though they are not in the music field, they try to help me learn new things and they also try to provide me with all the necessary information about music too!

What other hobbies do you have outside of music?

I really like drawing, dancing and to make scrap books or little designs on my notebooks!

What is it like to be the youngest in your family?

I am really happy about that fact! They help me so much and they protect me. They support me a lot and do everything to help me develop and grow.

What's happening here?

Karakat gives us the details behind some of her Instagram photos!

This was my first time I played the violin on the radio station. I felt really happy and really excited. I played a famous Kazakh song.

It was one of the biggest moments in my life as well. It was the first time I went to the opera. I went to see Iolanta by Pyotr Tchaikovsky at the Abai Opera House.

This video which I made together with Yerzhan Maxim who came 2nd in Junior Eurovision 2019. In the caption we basically say that he didn't quite get enough support to finish first but maybe this year we can get to the top together!

Karakat fills in the gaps!

We played a game where Karakat had to 'fill the gaps' in our sentences. Let's find out what she had to say!

The 3 words that describe my personality are: kind, sincere, and honest!

The words that best describe my song and performance are: that it is a touching story about my dad.

You might not know that I am also really good at: playing the violin, the piano and that I can actually dance really well too!

But I wish I was also good at: speaking foreign languages.

If I could be a previous Eurovision representative from any country I would be: Jamala who represented Ukraine in 2016 with the song 1944.

This year has been tough for everyone but 2020 has taught me that: patience is the most important thing. There is a proverb in Kazakh that doesn’t really translate word for word in English, but the main concept of it is about patience.

When I first found out that I wouldn’t travel to Poland I felt: really bad because I wanted to meet the other participants in real life. Of course, we do get the opportunity to connect through social media but I also wanted to meet them face to face and truly get to know them.

Junior Eurovision is so special to me because: this whole process has been a real journey for me. First of all, it was my dream to dedicate my song to my dad. It has been a really special time so far and I've learnt so much. I have had the opportunity to take so many lessons, like musical coaching, vocal and acting lessons. Through all of that I started to truly feel like a real artist - it has been such a special experience for me!

I am most looking forward to: the Grand Final! It will be a tense day for me in terms of the lead up, but I do really enjoy shooting and the whole performance process, so I just can't wait!

The advice I would give to anyone who wants to participate in JESC in the future is: to step outside of your comfort zone and dive into the world of music!

We can't wait to watch Karakat perform for her country with the song Forever on Sunday 29 November. While we're waiting though, we might start cooking up some Beshbarmak to enjoy during her show!

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Karakat Bashanova

Karakat Bashanova

Forever

Kazakhstan