He’s a legendary composer, producer and performer, who recently placed second on the Forbes list of Russian power celebrities.

And on Sunday evening Philipp Kirkorov worked his magic yet again on-stage at Zhara Fest in Baku, Azerbaijan, before inviting wiwibloggs backstage for an exclusive interview.

Wearing an ornate Balmain kaftan top, he channeled luxury and glamour as he spoke with us about everything from his work with The Tolmachevy Sisters and Sergey Lazarev to his thoughts on the Eurovision jury system, which saw Russia get blanked by half of the 42 juries in 2016.

Philipp has a very strong track record at Eurovision, having written and produced Koldun’s “Work Your Magic” (sixth place), Ani Lorak’s “Shady Lady” (second place) and Sergey Lazarev’s “You Are The Only One” (third place).

Sergey, who won the televote, got snubbed by 21 juries and Philipp has been outspoken about the matter in the past. How does he feel about it now?

“This makes me very sad because I always believe that Eurovision is a very true story,” he says.

“How is it possible five people in one room [could reach that decision]. I was very disappointed for all the Eurovision idea. Because the idea is to make people happy, to come together. How it possible?”

More troubling for him, however, was the public’s treatment of The Tolmachevy Sisters during Eurovision 2014.

“[It was the] most hard year for Russia in Eurovision because there was booo,” he says. “But the sisters were strong. It was a very hard period for everybody in our country.”

Julia Samoylova at Eurovision 2018?

Another hard period for Russian Eurovision fans came with the banning of Julia Samoylova from Eurovision 2017 in Ukraine.

“I was very sad because the political never has nothing to do with Eurovision and it happened this year. What can I do? I hope…next year in Lisbon Russia will participate with a singer. I don’t know who it will be.”

Philipp points out that he was a host of Faktor-A — Russia’s version of the X Factor — when Julia competed and he knows her well. He’s not sure if Eurovision is right for her right now.

“[It was] very hard. She is a very warm girl. She is very talented and she has a problem. How is it possible to do this [to her]?”

Philipp is clearly a fan of the “Flame Is Burning” singer. So would he lend his talents to her should she be chosen for 2018?

“If she asks for a song from me, sure. I always work for Eurovision with all my heart.”

“And I want to say hi to all my friends in the Eurovision world — in Greece, in Israel, in Norway, in Sweden, Carola my very big friend — I love her so much. Helena Paparizou, Anna Visi, Sakis Rouvas.”

It’s a given, but Philipp is a diehard Eurovision fan. As he says: “It’s a fantastic event — the magic moment of Saturday night.”

Russia’s 1995 participant has fond memories of his own time at the contest.

“I miss this period of my life even if it didn’t start successfully for me. 1995 — it was the first participation of Russia in Eurovision — no experience, we don’t know nothing and I have no to time to preparing, maybe not right song. But I never forget this amazing moment of my life in Dublin.”

“All time journalists, they think they make me crazy, they always say, ‘And 17th place — the worst place of Russia at Eurovision — Philip Kirkorov.’ And they think that I will be very angry. I love it. I was the first. I never forget this period. It was an amazing time in my life. I have amazing memories from Dublin, Ireland”

Since then he’s gone on to perform a series of noted covers of songs from Eurovision — including Scott Fitzgerald’s “Go”, which finished one point behind Celine Dion’s “Ne partez pas sans moi” in 1988, and “Diva” — the song that took Israel’s Dana International to the top ten years later.

“It’s my respect to all Eurovision people who make music, lyrics,” he says.

Would he compete again?

“I think if I want to go again to Eurovision — only as a producer or composer. I prefer to be backstage. It is even more nervous than to be on stage because I always put all my heart into my singers — Dima Bilan, Ani Lorak, Koldun, Tolmachevy, Sergey. But I never back to Eurovision stage as a singer. But who knows. I’m a crazy star — maybe I change my mind.”

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goprake
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goprake

Well, personally I don’t really like the styles he often works with, but it seems to work for Russia, so I don’t know why should they quit him, it’s not like Ralph Siegel and San Marino. About Julia, well, I really doubt that she will go to Eurovision, but there’s still the hope.

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

Funny you should mention Ralph Siegel, because “Flame Is Burning” was quite reminiscent of “Chain Of Lights” (San Marino 2015). How soon before Philipp’s songs actually do become just as stale as Ralph’s, with one or more in real danger of not qualifying?

esc1234
Guest
esc1234

who is so sick to copy siegel, i am wondering

sojat
Guest
sojat
Loll
Guest
Loll

Can anyone other already write songs for Russian entries? His songs are boring, without originality, still the same. Send Timati or song by Elena Kiper (author of tATU songs from the first album, its typical Russia for me)

Charles
Guest
Charles

Can anyone remind him that he was not the first ever Russian participant in Eurovision and that Russia debuted one year before his entry? Can anyone teach him on how to act more like a real musician and not a desperate Kardashian who won’t rest until a Russian win is in his hands? We already have Christer Bjorkman doing all those things for Sweden … less egos and more music for heaven’s sake.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

I mean, how could he forget about vocal legend Youddiph, the actual Russian debut who scored Russia’s only top ten in the 90s? Her song is one of my all-time favorites.

Iain
Guest
Iain

Preach re Björkman. Cannot STAND the cretin.

suzuki
Guest
suzuki

Philipp is the weirdest person in the world. But he is also the kindest and most enthusiastic and hard-working celeb I know. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2F49wKzOudA

Esc fan Lisbon 2018
Guest
Esc fan Lisbon 2018

I loved Russia in 2014, Im still listening to the song. Hope to see Russia back in Eurovision next year!

Tomás Patrick davitt
Guest
Tomás Patrick davitt

GURL I know you love ‘work your magic’ as much as I do but unfortunately it came 6th, not 4th, due to it’s awful draw as the third song performed. Should have been top 3!!! Belarusian magician Bond REALNESS!!!!

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

I feel like his style was perfect in the late 00s but now it’s a bit stale. He’s always welcome though, Shady Lady is still THAT bop.

May 8, 10 and 12
Guest
May 8, 10 and 12

QUOTE ABOUT 2017 – “[It was] very hard. She is a very warm girl. She is very talented and she has a problem. How is it possible to do this [to her]?”

So…blame Ukraine for 2017, because it’s convenient.

QUOTE ABOUT 2018 – ”He’s not sure if Eurovision is right for her right now.”

ESC is not right for Yulia right now?…but when? Her voice will not be better in the future, let’s face it (because her health). Philipp Kirkorov is blaming Ukraine for 2017, but for 2018 he is the one that kills her dream.

Mark
Guest
Mark

The Tolmachevy Sisters did not deserve 7th place. They should have been bottom 5.

Erasmus
Guest
Erasmus

Agree how could entries from UK, Azerbaijan, Slovenia, Finland, Norway I mean almost every entry that year finish below them.I would also rather see Tanja or Suzy to qualify instead of them, nothing personal, or against Russia(I love Russia), but that entry just wasn’t that good to be even in the finals.

Jo
Guest
Jo

According to Wikipedia, Russia debuted in 1994 and finished 9th. Also, in 1996 they failed to qualify.

About the voting system, let’s remember that they went to Sweden because Mans won in 2015 in a very similar situation, which means they agreed with the system.

David S
Guest
David S

You’re right Jo, he wasn’t the first, Russia’s first entry was amazing, 2nd entry (not so much).

Ron
Guest
Ron

Seriously what the hell is he wearing?