A-list only: Julia Samoylova working with Leonid Gutkin and Alexei Golubev for Lisbon


Julia Samoylova recently revealed to wiwibloggs that she and her husband decided to select a Eurovision entry from another composer, rather than going with one of their self-penned works.

And Rambler.ru has now revealed the identity of one composer behind her to-be-revealed song: Leonid Gutkin, the former bass player of the famed Russian rock band Autograph.

Leonid is no stranger to Eurovision. In 2013 he oversaw the songwriting team behind Dina Garipova’s “What If”, and he later worked on ESC tracks for Polina Gagarina (“A Million Voices”) and Lidia Isac (“Falling Stars”). Those first two tracks both placed in the Top 5 at Eurovision.

Russia: Julia Samoylova performs “Flame is Burning” on New Year’s Eve show

Julia previously confirmed another heavyweight in her posse: the stage director Alexei Golubev. He’s the sought-after mind behind roughly 300 music videos for some of Russia’s biggest stars, including Dima Bilan, Alsou and Valeria.

He also oversaw Polina Gagarina’s highly regarded stage show at Eurovision 2015, which saw her place second in the televote and third with the jury.

Add it all up and it’s clear that Moscow isn’t coming to play — they are coming to slay.

Long wait for Julia

For months Eurovision fans wondered aloud whether Russia’s Channel 1 would make good on its promise to send Julia to Eurovision 2018 following Ukraine’s ban on the singer last year. There had been such a long silence from the broadcaster that fans were skeptical when Julia announced her participation on Facebook on January 26, and again when her management confirmed to us that she was, indeed, singing at Eurovision.

Channel 1 finally and officially confirmed her participation in a statement published on January 29.

“The decision was made last year after [the broadcaster] was forced to withdraw from Eurovision 2017,” the statement reads. “Julia has already started preparing for the contest.”

Just hours before that the blonde singer teased fans with images she described as “training for Eurovision”, along with the news that she was working with Polina Gagarina’s Eurovision stage director.

“This is the start of the training for Eurovision!” the ebullient singer wrote on her Facebook page. “At Last! Met our team with Director Alexei Golubev, discussed the future number. The song has already been chosen, so now we work.”

In an e-mail message sent to wiwibloggs, her management said:

“Julia and her husband offered several songs of his own composition but decided to choose a song of other authors. The Russian broadcaster has confirmed Julia’s participation. Now is preparing for the contest, recording a song and staging a show program.”

That followed on from the January 13 news that Julia had prepared two songs as potential Eurovision entries. Julia was said to have co-written two songs with her husband/manager Alexei Taran (a romantic who likes to read her poetry under the moon). They involved themes of outer space.

Are you excited? Do you think that Russia is hungry for a win after last year’s drama? Let us know in the comments box below.