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Monetochka : Internet made Popstar that became face of Young Russia

Monetochka (Russian: Моне́точка, lit. ’Little Coin’) is the stage name of Elizaveta Andreevna Gyrdymova (Russian: Елизаве́та Андре́евна Гырды́мова, born 1 June 1998 in Yekaterinburg, Russia), is a Russian singer-songwriter.

Her witty pop observations on everything from snacks to Syria caused a sensation in Russia when she first appeared on Youtube in January. At just 17, Monetochka is at the forefront of a generation of internet-made millennial popstars reinventing what it means to be Russian

Monetochka

In December 2015, an 11th grade student in Yekaterinburg named Elizaveta Gyrdymova uploaded her album to Vkontakte. Calling herself Monetochka and titling the album “Psychedelic Cloud-Rap,” it was a medley of witty, touching songs where she played piano and sang lyrics with cute vignettes about teenage everyday life, with satirical jabs at modern culture (especially at fashion designer Gosha Rubchinskiy) and even a few political jokes.

Monetochka : Internet made Popstar that became face of Young Russia

Within a month, pop-culture websites were writing about Monetochka, and her Vkontakte page was getting thousands of likes. In Moscow and in other cities across the country, people invited her to come perform.
Monetochka’s songs became the ideal manifestation of the Vkontakte culture, which by this time had confidently become pop culture: the album was a funny, deliberately naive reworking of Russians’ everyday information overload, fit into short, catchy amateur hits. In other words, the music was a meme you could listen to at home and go see live in concert.

At first, Gyrdymova’s trajectory seemed to mimic what’s happened to so many Internet stars before her: a hodgepodge of concert performances, meetings with celebrities, and a few collaborations with major rappers (where Monetochka mainly played out her usual comic role). Meanwhile, Gyrdymova finished high school, moved to Moscow, and enrolled in the Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography. You might have logically assumed that she simply wouldn’t have time to continue working on her music.

Monetochka : Internet made Popstar that became face of Young Russia

You would have been wrong. Exactly the opposite happened.

Monetochka’s Music Career

Monetochka got serious about her music, with some help from Viktor “BTsKh” Isaev (who is maybe Russia’s most talented alternative R&B musician today). Their collaboration demonstrates wonderfully the role a good producer can play. Isaev has brought his groove to Monetochka’s music, highlighting all the irresistible clarity of her melodies, and finding the perfect sound for her voice. It was clear when Gyrdymova first teamed up with him on “Poslednyaya Diskoteka” (The Last Disco) that it was time to start watching her closely. With the new album, Monetochka has finally established herself as a true pop star. She’s already performed on “Evening Urgant” — which remains an important recognition of artistic legitimacy for Russian musicians — and she’s likely bound for further success.

Monetochka : Internet made Popstar that became face of Young Russia

Arts and Crafts is Monetochka’s third album, after the 2018 release Colouring-In for Adults, and her first album, I am Lisa. Album ‘Colouring In for Adults’ became a hit of early summer of 2018 in Russia. The official release of her album, which premiered in Moscow on 1 June, the International Children’s Day and the author’s twentieth birthday, was followed by a number of articles seeking musical and semantic quotes in the album.

Monetochka : Internet made Popstar that became face of Young Russia

The hype around Monetochka’s new album seems absolutely justified if we see it as a manifesto of metamodernism: a new sensitivity and a cultural dominant of the near future, which has finally found its sound and made it to the masses. The new sensitivity, which has not yet taken a definitive political or aesthetic shape, means that ideological statements are put in a strategically naive form, a melancholic hesitation between seriousness and irony, sentimentality and “sanity on the verge of cynicism”.


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