Ukrainian pianist Anna Demis has been filling the airwaves of Dubai's luxury hotels and 5-star dining establishments for nearly a decade. Oceana at Atlantis The Palm, Penthouse at Five Palm hotel, Armani Hotel and the list goes on.
A professional freelance pianist, piano composer, music producer, Dj and multi-instrumentalist (plays the saxophone and drums), Anna has mystified audiences both here and abroad, cities like New York, Paris, Florence, and Istanbul. musivv caught up with the piano virtuoso amidst her bustling schedule. Get to know her in this 'musivv: indie now' exclusive.
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tell us about yourself
I came from a musical family. Both of my parents play the piano. I started practicing the piano when I was 3 years old, and my mother was my first teacher. Then I went to study at the children's school of art when I was 6. Aside from the piano classes, I studied choir singing, theater acting, painting, and dancing.
I was the busiest student in the class because my mom wanted me to study everything. After I got a Master's degree at Tchaikovsky National Academy of Music, I went to work in a music school as a piano teacher. However, I knew that the World has bigger plans for me. I moved to Dubai, and that is how my solo pianist career has started.
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what led you to play the piano as a profession?
In 2013 I started working under contracts with luxury 5-star hotels, which provided me a visa, accommodation, meals, and all the facilities. It was very convenient for me. I did not have to think about where to live and what to eat.
step to a
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however, after getting a lot of positive feedback from audiences,
I realized, it has brought me tremendous delight and pleasure to see them get impressed by my playing and grateful for the positive vibes. Some of them even told me that my music made them cry. Moreover, I realized that I could heal people's souls with music.
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Everything went smooth in my piano career, which [made me feel] I am in the right place. Only once I felt lost and had a few months of hard times when the hotel that I used to work for (6 years) could not extend my contract anymore. I felt like I lost my home.
But it was a good challenge because it pushed me to start my career as a freelancer and to have more freedom to compose and produce music.
If you ask me about a memorable experience in my career, it would be performing at a Givenchy event. I played piano, drum pads and saxophone in one performance. That was my first ever in that format, and it was very propitious, that's why it was memorable. About a general experience: paramotor classes that I took in 2016, it was very memorable; stressful but at the same time breathtaking (smiles)
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My biggest inspiration. For those who do not know, Tokio is a British pianist and producer. I saw his live performance at the Dubai Film festival in 2014 when he was not yet well-known and became famous only in 2017 when he won Britain's Got Talent. I was charmed by his manner of playing and got obsessed with his performance concept.
Usually, I do not like bothering people with questions, but if I see Tokio in person, I most probably will tell him how I admire him and express my gratitude [for sharing his talent to the world].
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I have to say though, from old-school pianists, I love Sviatoslav Richter. The way he plays Sergey Rachmaninov preludes, makes me cry and brings me to an otherworld of daydreams. From contemporary pianists, I love Lola Astanova. She inspires me with her combination of talent, style, beauty, and intelligence.
When I studied in the school of art, as a child, I have excellent skills in painting as well. So my dream is also to become a fashion designer of Haut Couture Dresses and perform my music during my fashion shows. It is not a dream actually but a goal I am working on.
I love painting and art. It takes me away from reality into my world of colors and fairy tales.
be faithful to
you love to do
what would you advice aspiring pianists?
Be faithful to your dreams and do what you love to do. Never listen to what the other people say negative. You are living your own life, not the life of somebody else. Failure is only a start for something new, more significant, and more exciting. There are no failures; there are only challenges that bring you to the next level.
If you have some free time, spend it on reading books instead of watching movies. Reading develops your imagination, which is the most important process in achieving your artistic dreams.
Practice systematically. If you practice something for 2 hours per day, it is almost 60 hours per month so that you can become an expert in anything just in one month. (winks)
A living testament on how anyone can dream and live the dream, Anna Demis continues to travel and mystify audiences from around the world.