Special for the Armenian Weekly
“Without music, life would be a mistake,” said Friedrich Nietzsche. Several months ago, in an attempt to rectify the mistaken path of my life, I started surfing through YouTube in search of quality music. Somehow I stumbled upon a video of the Russian-Armenian singing sensation Margarita Pozoyan. Her vocals were captivating. With each passing song, her voice kept getting better and better.
“I do not reflect upon my success or victories,” Pozoyan would tell me. “I’m just glad that I have made it thus far without any form of sponsorship or financial support.”
Aside from performing in numerous countries and on different stages, Pozoyan also composes her own songs.
During the Great War, Margarita’s great grandparents moved from Akhalkalaki to the village of Otradnaya near the city of Krasnodar in Russia. When she was 2 years old, her family moved from Krasnodar to Artyomovsk in Ukraine.
Growing up in the Soviet era, Pozoyan’s sense of Armenian patriotism was always restrained. “I did not consider myself different from my classmates. I knew I was Armenian, but back then, within the USSR, we were all the same,” said Pozoyan.
Her passion for singing started during her kindergarten years. “At home, I used to sing every day, while imagining myself standing in front of large crowds,” Pozoyan reminisced. “At the age of 13, I entered the ‘Bakmutskaya’s Starlet’ singing competition. It was the first time in my life that I performed in front of judges and a large audience. I won the competition.”
Not long after, Pozoyan entered Yevgeny Martynov’s “Father’s House” lyrical singing contest, and after numerous rounds of competition emerged victorious in the “Young Voice” category. Her winning streak continued when she won the gold medal at the Youth Delphic Games of Russia and of the Commonwealth of Independent States.
“I have a wonderful family. When I first started singing, my mother did not believe that I could become a professional artist, but over time I proved to her that this is exactly what I was meant to do,” Pozoyan said. “My family’s unconditional support has been instrumental in my success. In fact, everyone in my family sings. We have a lot of fun when we gather as a family and have sing offs.”
In 2012, Pozoyan auditioned for the Russian reality talent show, “The Voice.” During the show, singer Dima Bilan, the winner of the 2008 Eurovision competition, coached Pozoyan. Under Bilan’s guidance, she reached the final of “The Voice of Russia.”
Growing up, Pozoyan fervently listened to pop, jazz, soul, R&B, rock, and blues. “I studied the works of great artists such as Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera, Celine Dion, and of course, Cher,” said Pozoyan. “Later on in my life I discovered the incredible talents of Billie Holiday, Dionne Warwick, and Etta James. Today, I closely follow the works of Beyonce, Alicia Keys, and Jennifer Hudson. But my idols have always been Steve Wonders and, the late Michael Jackson.”
Eight years ago, Pozoyan’s friends gave her the nickname Arishata. Arishata became synonymous with Margarita Pozoyan. “Arishata is just a name. It does not translate into a specific word or meaning,” said Pozoyan. “Over time, Arishata became my stage name.”
Arishata is currently working on two different albums, one in English and another in Russian. She hopes to release the Russian album by fall 2014. But while Pozoyan primarily listens to and sings Russian and English songs, she is a fan of many Armenian artists, including Sirusho, Hayko, Tata, Shushan Petrosyan, Andre, Sofi Mkheyan, Sona, Christine Pepelyan, and Arto Tunchboyacian.
“My family was a traditional Armenian family. They instilled Armenian values in me and my siblings,” she said. “I am a proud Armenian. My favorite Armenian song is ‘Krunk,’ which I performed during the 2013 Tashir Music Awards. I am thankful to Inga and Anush and Andre Hovnanyanwho helped me prepare for the ‘Krunk’ performance.” Pozoyan is planning to record an Armenian album at some point in her career.
“One of my biggest dreams is to represent my historicalhomeland, Armenia, at the Eurovision singing competition,” she said. “I intend to tour the United States when the circumstances allow me.”
Whether she is singing in Russian, English, or Armenian, Margarita “Arishata” Pozoyan’s divine vocals enchant her fans and anyone who comes across her angelic performances. Pozoyan is an Armenian jewel, and we are lucky to have her.
Pozoyan responded to our questions in Russian. We thank Gor Nazaryan and Tatevik Vardazaryan for the translation.