Ahead of Eurovision 2016 she was already known for her edgy fashion and unique sense of style.

And last week Jamala showed off her fashion credentials once again, as she posed for a stunning editorial spread in ELLE Ukraine.

The “1944” singer looks ravishing in the series of high fashion photos shot for the glossy magazine.

In an accompanying article, she also opens up about her experiences at Eurovision — and the aftermath of her victory — in her first extensive interview since bringing the trophy home to Kyiv.

The singer was given a hero’s welcome when she returned to Ukraine and the onslaught of attention hasn’t slowed.

She tells ELLE about a bus trip from Lviv to Ternopil, when six fans approached her for a selfie at 3:40am.

“I realize now that I can’t take pictures with everyone. If after the concert I see a crowd where everyone tries to make a selfie, I suggest taking a single photo, and then letting the guys share it with each other.”

In 2011 she was the heavy favourite to win Ukraine’s national selection with her song “Smile,” but ultimately lost out to Mika Newton.

She tells ELLE she is confident she could have won Eurovision that year, but believes her experience in 2016 let her grow more as a person and performer.

“In 2011 it would have been too easy for me to win. The song and idea were simple…I would not have appreciated it as fully and would not have come such a long way as a musician.”

“I don’t like to be spoken of as just ‘a singer with a range of four octaves.’ I wanted people to be able to say something more about me. And all these five years I tried to find some important meaning and form, which showed me from different angles. Yes, I’m positive, but my normal state is contemplation.”

Shortly after her semi-final in the Ukrainian national selection this year, some members of the Russia media went wild, accusing her of deliberately stoking political tensions.

“Hysterics in the Russian media worked to our advantage, as foreign journalists were immediately interested and became badly hooked.”

She says that at Eurovision the Russian delegation stayed as far away from Ukraine’s delegation as they could.

“But when we were standing behind the scenes at the finals before going on stage, Sergey Lazarev approached me and wished me good luck.”

“I absolutely sincerely said that he has a very complex number: I haven’t even fathomed half of what he was doing. I did not say anything about the song, since I’m not close to that genre. But [the atmosphere in this moment] was really cool. We hugged and wished each other success.”

She admits that singing such an emotional song took a lot out of her during her time in Stockholm.

“Not even an enemy would wish for you to sing an extremely difficult and dramatic song like ‘1944’ 13 times between light, bright and airy songs.”

“To tune in to it, I had to completely get away from everything around me. It is very difficult to relive the same emotion many times — to 20,000 spectators in the hall and 200 million television screens…you have to dive deep in yourself.” 

“Again and again, every time, it sparked memories of grannies, these train cars in which my family was deported…returning to Kiev, I noticed a new wrinkle on my foreheard. It wasn’t there 11 days ago.”

Read more Ukraine Eurovision news

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Maru fr
Maru fr
4 years ago

+William Lee Adams

Are you going to apply for a visa?!)) 🙂

karminowe.usta
karminowe.usta
4 years ago

Sergey is very polite and friendly person. His behaviour is great:)

In 2011 Mika Newton had a better song than Jamala. In this year Jamala is the best in national preselection.

Glorious
Glorious
4 years ago

@mawnck

OMG, I think I have a headache! As you said, this is one of those songs that you either love or hate (just like “1944”). I don’t hate it but I don’t really like it either. It’s so annoying and repetitive. However, I appreciate her scream in the end. Still much worse than “1944”. Now that I have listened to it I have to say that I don’t think it could win. But what is a Marmite song?

Zebb
Zebb
4 years ago

“You either loved it or HATED it.”

And this time it happened again, now basing on result and converted meanings 🙂

mawnck
mawnck
4 years ago

“I have not listened to her song, “Smile” but it could have won in 2011 because it was a year full of weak songs.”

“Smile” was a Marmite song. You either loved it or HATED it. I think it would’ve struggled to qualify. Check it out for yourself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFRS2KdXImE

YoungsterJoey
YoungsterJoey
4 years ago

2011 was indeed a weak year. She could have won but I liked Mika’s song too. There were some good songs but yet Azerbaijan went in and won it.

Glorious
Glorious
4 years ago

@OR

Thank you 🙂
In the beginning, I hated “1944” but it grew on me very fast!

OR
OR
4 years ago

Glorious You see how nice you are when you comment with respect to other opinions then yours…well done!!! Continue that way…

Glorious
Glorious
4 years ago

@OR

Sorry but I love “1944” even if it’s political 🙂

OR
OR
4 years ago

Darren i agree with you : france, bulgaria and Australia ( though i know u think australia shouldn’t praticipate ) had amazing songs that i keep listing too….also those songs are radio friendly and with interntional flavor .. Jamala song is awful i said it from the very beginin there is nothing speical about a song that most of it is a bunch of scrimming and yelling… Also for my opinion even israel and ireland had better And more current songs this year then Ukraine….i told u politics control the eurovision !!!

Lavi
Lavi
4 years ago

Why don t you understand what is she saying?
She didn t say that she would have won Eurovision in 2011, she says the it would have been to easy to win first time she participate in this contest.

ella
ella
4 years ago

I agree with Blerg. It sounds more like she’s saying about experience she (as an artist) would have had winning with a simple song in 2011. It would have been more easily for her to go through it then winning with a deep meaning song that takes a lot out of her in 2016.

Marcus (day one)
Marcus (day one)
4 years ago

I think smile could have won in 2011 because it would have stood out and if Angel could come 4th then smile could have easily won.

But she might have been thinking in the sense that since she won this year she could have won in 2011.

And like Jamala said she wouldn’t have appreciated such a hollow victory.

And the fact that Jamala mentioned the quite touching moment backstage with Sergey shows she’s not a vindictive person.

Mario = Legend
Mario = Legend
4 years ago

I read that as a new winkie not wrinkle. I need glasses. HAHAHAHAHA…

Mika Newton had great song back in 2011 and I prefer to “”Smile”” and of course sand artist was just magnificent. This was right time for Jamala. 🙂

Blerg
Blerg
4 years ago

People are misinterpreting that quote about Smile. She’s saying it would have been too easy for her personally to win because she wouldn’t have progressed as a musician, not that she would have won easily.

Alex
Alex
4 years ago

she is arrogant to think she would have won in 2011 with that awful Smile song.

Azerbaijan was booked to win

Anyway, she looks amazing and i am glad she is successful in Ukraine,

Darren
Darren
4 years ago

She wouldn’t have won in 2011, it was by far the strongest year yet. Denmark, Sweden, Ireland, France, Germany where among others, the strongest entries that year, but we got another undeserving winner in 2011, so who knows? Pretty high opinion of herself regardless. Also, I doubt she would have won in 2016 either with “1944” if there wasn’t a war in Eastern Ukraine, an annexation of Crimea, similar to the lyrics of her song, or the blatant hatred of Russia by other European nations. I’ve listened to her music on Spotify, just to see what the fuss was about,… Read more »

Maru fr
Maru fr
4 years ago

In 2011 Sergey supported her! Twist of fate! lol
It would be better if she has gone then.

OR
OR
4 years ago

How did she know she could 100% win at 2011? She arrogant…
I think without a political song she never would win…..

Ivan Browdy
Ivan Browdy
4 years ago

Beauty

Glorious
Glorious
4 years ago

I have not listened to her song, “Smile” but it could have won in 2011 because it was a year full of weak songs.