Monday, January 29, 2018

Ukraine - 1944 - Jamala

Winner of the 61st Eurovision Song Contest

1- 534 pts / 2 - 287 pts in semi 2

Ukraine took a year off because of other pressing matters but they're back with a vengeance.
1944, the winner of the national final, is a song by Jamala (Джамала) reportedly about the deportation of the Crimean Tatars by Stalin. (Check the history book on the shelf people)
It's sung in English and Crimean Tatar (Qırımtatarca).
The song is written by Jamala and Art Antonian.

The song was performed live in May 2015 (in the Crimean Tatar language) as Our Crimea (Бизим Къырым). This was not outside the current EBU rules for early disclosure of the songs.

1944 has been released as a single through several digital outlets.
For a few weeks 1944 and the 1944 EP were deleted from all digital stores, including the possibility to buy it as a seperate track from the Stockholm 2CD. But the single track is now back on under a different licence (Enjoy records / Comp music)

1944 EP
A five track EP including 1944 was released on May 7. Also out on CD. (Enjoy records).
It also features four previously released songs.
You can listen to all tracks here at Jamala's Soundcloud.
See full tracklist below.

1944 - The Album
A 12-track album is released (Universal). It features nine songs in English and three in Ukrainian. All tracks except 1944 come from earlier Jamala releases, see full details and tracklist below.
The album has been released through most digital sources, no CD release has appeared.
In 2017 the digital album was re-released with the Symphonic version of 1944 as a bonus track.

1944 - 2017 version
Sweden top 100: 46
France top 200: 49
Switzerland top 75: 73
Austria top 75: 54
Spain top 50: 32

In the first semifinal of the 2017 Kyiv contest Jamala performed a new version of 1944. This version with symphonic orchestra has been released as a digital single now.
Remixes by Roy Malakian were released in November 2017. (Soundcloud has one of them)

Jamala, (Susana Jamaladinova, Сусана Джамаладінова) came to the Eurovision worlds attention with Smile, the ill fated preselection song from 2011 that wasn't to be.
After dissatisfaction with the validity of the results with Mika Newton as the winner, a rematch final was planned between the top three songs of 2011, but the other contestants Jamala and Zlata Ognevich withdrew, leaving Mika Newton with the Eurovision ticket. But you probably knew all that.

2010 single It's Me Jamala (DRI)
But on a personal note, with Smile and the videoclips of Jamala covering songs of one of my all time music heroes Yma Sumac, the Ukraïnian singer stole my heart and I've been a devoted fanboy ever since.
She released a host of singles like the wonderful You're Made Of Love, the crazy It's Me Jamala, All These Simple Things and more recently Zaplutalas (Заплуталась) and Innye (Иные). Most accompanied by amazing videos.
She has released three full albums
- For Every Heart (2011)
- All Or Nothing (2013)
- Podykh (Подих) a.k.a. Dykhaniye (Дыхание) (2015)
(The CD has the first title, but the digital version I bought is titled Дыхание, what's with that Jamala?)
In 2012 a live CD/DVD was released: For Every Heart: Live at Arena Concert Plaza, the DVD also includes video clips of her first five singles.

single digital release image
Jamala also contributed songs to several soundtracks. For the 2014 movie The Guide, in which Jamala portrays jazz singer Olga, the love interest of the main characters father, she recorded You're My Thrill, made famous by Billie Holiday.

She recorded songs in Ukrainian, English, Russian and Crimean Tatar.
On the 2011 album For Every Heart there's Pengereden (From the window) and on All Or Nothing you can find Unutmasan (Don't forget), both recorded in the Crimean Tatar language.
In 2011 I wrote a blogpost about For Every Heart, read it here at Eurocovers.

1944 digital EP
1944 - single version
- digital release, Stockholm 2CD, 1944 EP and album
1944 - Symphonic version
- digital release
1944 - Roy Malakian full vocal remix
1944 - Roy Malakian radio vocal remix
- remixes digital release 2017
1944 - karaoke version
- on the official karaoke album (digital release)

Tracklist 1944 EP
1. 1944
2. Watch Over Me ***
3. Hate Love **
4. I'm Like A Bird *
5. Thank You ***

Tracklist 1944 Album
1. 1944
3. Hate Love **
4. Watch Over Me ** *
5. Perfect Man ***                           
6. My Lover ***
8. You've Got Me ****
9. Thank you ***
10. With My Eyes (Очима, in Ukrainian) **
11. Way To Home (Шлях додому, in Ukrainian) **
12. Breath (Подих, in Ukrainian) **

* From CD All Or Nothing (2013)
** From new album Podykh (Подих) a.k.a. Dykhaniye (Дыхание) (2015)
*** From the Thank You EP (2014)
**** English version of Чому Cаме Tебе from new album Podykh (Подих) a.k.a. Dykhaniye (Дыхание) (2015)   
Smile DRI

Links and sources
Jamala website,  FB and VK
Listen at Jamala's Youtube, Soundcloud
Jamala at Eurocovers - The One That Got Away

Check out these Ukrainian Eurovision gems
No participation in 2015
2014 - Mariya Yaremchuck
2013 - Zlata Ognevich
2012 - Gaitana
2011 - Mika Newton
2010 - Alyosha
2009 - Svetlana Loboda


  1. Hi :) Do you know where I can buy physical copies of her albums? I don't know if the sites I've found are reliable :(

  2. I bought my older Jamala (and Ruslana, Gaitana, Ani Lorak) cds at UMKA, but they don't sell the 1944 EP (They only give it away if you buy 5 cds) so I got that on e-bay.
    You can always check e-bay where Jamala's albums pop up often. Check the ratings to see if a seller is reliable. Sometimes people ask rediculous prices, just ignore them, there are often normal (or even cheap) offers too.