Tell us your real names, country of birth, date of birth and childhood experience. 
My real name is Akbota Kassymova and originally I come from Kazakhstan. I was born on April 4
th and I am a fire sign Aries. 🙂 Since childhood I was playing classical piano, dancing ballet, and performing at the local concerts in my home town Almaty. I remember once our dance group was invited to perform at the TV show and our teacher forgot to bring our outfits! That was fun.

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Tell us about your music career, band name, musical background, experience and skills. 
BOTA – is a shorten version of my full name Akbota. It is a very traditional Kazakh name. If you translate Akbota from Kazakh language it literally means the ‘baby camel’, but in fact it is compared to the purity and innocence of the child’s soul. However on a daily basis everyone calls me Bota and I took it as my artist name.

I started doing music since I was 6 years old. My grandfather brought me to the classical music school where I was studying piano for 11 years. I started to sing and songwrite since I was 15, at that time I became a winner of the vocal competition and started to feel that music is what I want to do for the rest of my life. I think that my classical background, love to Pop music and desire to dance and perform on the stage formed my musical identity.

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Tell us about your genre, concept and idea behind your music video and the song. 

My genre is pop, and I sometimes tend to mix it with ballad and soul music. I love pop productions, and the fact that it involves dance and performance production.

My song is called ‘Special’, It is about being special, finding your uniqueness and confidence. I remember I had a break down when I was 11, I had no friends and felt insecure. But then I won piano&vocal competitions and confidence came to me. I realised that I have something so special, I have music and it will always be with me. Music made me feel stronger and me who I am today. So this song is dedicated to my love to music and I want to motivate others to believe in themselves and to start doing what they truly love.

Idea behind the music video is about the spy girl, who is special and the villain tries to catch her in order to find out what makes her special and steal it from her. However, the spy girl is smart and she knows that it would be impossible for him to do. At the end of the video she frees herself and villain falls into his own trap. And her uniqueness is about her bravery to do what she loves (music). Me and the director of the music video Lukasz Pytlik, had a whole journey of shaping this concept. Our main influences were coming from the films Man from U.N.C.L.E., and James Bond’s themes. And then we modified it and made it more original and contemporary.

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Tell us everything that we need to know about you as a musician and the ups and downs you have faced in the music business. 

I have a solid background in the classical music. I played with orchestras, accompanied to opera singers, I was studying everything you could imagine when it comes to music theory. I also traveled to Boston to study at the prestigious music university Berklee College of Music, where I completed summer program. After I graduated from classical music school I moved to London to pursue my dream to become an artist. I then graduated with a performance degree from British Modern Institute and with Master’s Degree in music business from London College of Music. I am glad I didn’t take any breaks from studying and managed to finish higher education at my early twenties. 😉

I had moments of euphoria and sadness of course! And I know I will have many more. I am just starting my career and can’t really say that I had some major ups and downs yet. I am thankful for every experience as it only makes me better at what I do.

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Tell us about other members of your band, music producer, crew or music video director, how the song was recorded and how the music video was shot. 

“Special” was recorded by the talented and great producer Nick Bitzenis with who I was honoured to work with and enjoyed every session a lot. I remember I was talking to Nick saying that I want to write a song that would have a strong instrumentation, and then he came up with that great instrumental part of piano, horns and bass, which I absolutely loved and wrote my melody and lyrics on it. It was a perfect match.

Music video was filmed by the award-winning music director Lukasz Pytlik, who is based in Warsaw. I remember how I spoke to Lukasz by the phone for the first time and since then I knew he is the one who I want to film my first music video. He was so creative and passionate about it and I felt secure while working with him throughout the whole process. I traveled to Poland to make it happen! And it was worth it. The crew, the shoot, Lukasz were amazing and professional.

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Tell us how long you have been in the music industry, your experience and your future goal. 
Since I was 17. I started to work with my first producer at that time. I feel that I have grown up a lot since then. I recall that I could not even look at my audience when I was singing, my voice was not shaped well, I barely knew anything about the music business! My future goal is to become an established artist with dedicated fan-base and hopefully perform around the world and support other musicians.

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Tell us what inspires you to write, compose and sing. 
People inspire me and the way they make me feel. Every time something good or bad happens I start to write a song, or even just an idea for the song. Also, great performers inspire me to work harder and practise more.

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Tell us the secret behind making a hit song.
I think it is about writing from your soul and then shaping it into the right sound and production.

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Tell us the message you will like to pass to your fans out there.
I would like to thank them for supporting me and for inspiring to continue what I do! And I can not wait to perform to them! 🙂

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Tell the kind of advice you will give to an upcoming artist. 
I consider myself as an upcoming artist, and what I usually say to myself is: Be hard-working, smart and stay positive.

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Elaborate on your music careers, albums, songs, tours, recognition or awards you might have obtained. 
“Special” is my debut single, in the near future I will be releasing one more single and then I will concentrate on my EP release. Currently I mostly perform around London, once EP is out I will announce more gigs hopefully! From the past achievements, I have collaborated with the well known Russian/Kazakh boys band The Jigits, we released a single on my original song ‘You + Me’ and it received very positive feedback and was aired on Kazakhstan TV. I have also had an opportunity to be filmed in the music video ‘Strobelite’ of the world-famous band Gorillaz and became a featured ‘Geisha character’. That was unforgettable! Also, I have recently filmed my cover on the song ‘Alone’ from Cirque Du Soleil, the music video was filmed on the most beautiful rooftop in London and involved contemporary dance. 

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List Radio or TV Stations that are airing your songs and blogs that have featured you as well and send message to them via this platform. 
Hopefully my songs will be on a few local radio stations, which I am about to confirm. Huge thanks to The Devil Has The best Tuna and Jamie Hetherington for reviews, and to Eternity Network for adding my song to their Spotify Playlist ‘Sunday Selects’! My music video will appear on Kazakhstan TV Music channel Muzzone. In regards to UK, music video will be send over to the local TV channels too. I will be posting all updates on my website. 🙂

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Tell us how you write your lyrics, compose, sing and record in the studio. 
I always start to write songs by playing chords on piano and then sing over ideas for the melodies. Sometimes I write lyrics because of the story that I want to tell. On the other hand, books, films, my friends’ and family’s phrases/quotes inspire me to find the right lyrics. Also, I listen to a lot of music, I believe that it is the best way to learn how to songwrite. When it comes to the recording in the studio, previously I was concentrating a lot on my diction and was learning how to shape my sound. At the moment I care more about the emotion I want to translate while I record. But of course, improving my technique and looking for the right sound is still something I am working on.

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Name five biggest artists that you like. 

Alicia Keys, Britney Spears, Beyonce, Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder.

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Name the artists you have collaborated with before in your songs or artists you are willing to collaborate with in the future if you have the chance to do so. 

As I previously mentioned, the boys band The Jigits.

I would love to collaborate with my huge influence Britney Spears, also JP Cooper, Bruno Mars, Michael Buble, David Guetta and SIA.

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Give us the links to your website and your entire social network. 
www.botamusic.com

facebook.com/botamusic

twitter.com/bota_music

instagram.com/bota_music

youtube.com/botamusic

soundcloud.com/botamusic

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Give us the links to your various stores for fans to buy your music. 
http://smarturl.it/SpecialBota

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Tell us about your happiest day and saddest day. 

Happiest – when I got to know that my little brother was born.

Saddest – when I got to know that my grandfather passed away.

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Tell us how you will spend a million dollars.

I would invest it in the creation of the music school for those who can’t afford an education or experience difficulties.


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