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“Great replacement for traitors!” Where did the singer Shaman come from, gaining millions of views with the patriotic hit “I’m Russian”

The song

The song “I’m Russian” performed by a singer with a creative pseudonym Shaman blew up YouTube.

Suddenly, the rather toxic and liberal environment of Russian YouTube was blown up by a video for a song with the now uncommon slogan “I am Russian” performed by a singer with a creative pseudonym Shaman. In just a few days, the video gained more than five million views. The clip has more than 82 thousand comments and almost all of them are enthusiastic. People (including foreign ones) began to record reactions to this song, and this also collects a lot of views. So who is this mysterious Shaman?

To some, a video where a whitish guy with dreadlocks in a white shirt and with a cross on his chest sings in a field of eared rye may seem overly pretentious and false. Well, what is this, they say, for Gazmanovism? You also bring a horse.

However, this is only a superficial impression. Shaman – 30-year-old vocalist Yaroslav Dronov from Novomoskovsk has actually gravitated towards folk-themed for a long time. It was in this style that he chose a song for himself from the repertoire of the ensemble of ancient Russian sacred music “Sirin”, made an author’s arrangement for it at the age of 17, and then sang live on Channel One, which ensured his entry into the semi-finals of the show “Voice-3”.

No, the guy didn’t speculate on this format. For the audience of the First Channel, the folk song was not the closest genre (the performers of ballads in the style of Muslim Magomayev or romances usually won), so Dronov took a risk. And, although he did not win the project, he was remembered for this non-trivial performance.

And this was not Yaroslav’s first TV project. Prior to that, in 2011, he tried his hand at a sudden vocal show “Factor A”, where he received the special prize “Gold Star” from Alla Pugacheva herself.

Alas, neither “Voice” nor “Factor A” did not torpedo the artist’s career in any way. Despite an excellent education (he graduated from the Gnessin Academy) and brilliant professional skills (he plays a lot of instruments: piano, synthesizers, drums, bass guitar, flute, harmonica, balalaika, percussion), Dronov continued to perform after participating in popular TV shows with the cover band “Rush Hour”. There were concerts, yes, but obviously not popularity.

He was not going to give up music, because he was issued a ticket to the stage according to his pedigree. All of Yaroslav’s relatives are somehow connected with music: his father plays the electric guitar in a group, his mother sings, and his great-grandmother performed in the Orenburg choir – in which Lyudmila Zykina started.

“KP” spoke with Yaroslav, when he had not yet become a Shaman, in 2014, but even then the artist spoke about the hypnotic state into which he introduces himself before going on stage.

– I do not like pathos expressions, but trance and meditation are close in meaning to this state [в котором выхожу на сцену] concepts, – then Dronov explained. – I try to put everything out of my head, empty myself. To the point that I forget my name. There is a full reboot in two minutes. I step aside, abstract, and a few seconds before entering the stage I fill myself with the energy of the hall. And I don’t have any talismans.

A photo: Video frame

Apparently, the tendency to a trance state became the key to the birth of a new image. In 2020, Yaroslav signed a contract with Viktor Drobysh. They came up with the pseudonym Shaman for the young musician, focused on his mystery, silence and a certain closeness, and created a new visual image: bleached hair with dreadlocks, almost like the sinister twin brothers in the second part of The Matrix.

A photo: film frame

Shaman made several lyrical tracks, and on February 23, 2022, the day before the start of the CBO, he gave a powerful salvo. Clip for the song “Stand up” with the following words:

“Let’s get up

And our eternal memory beats stronger in the chest, between us

Let’s get up

Heroes of Russia will remain in our hearts

To end

Let’s get up

And remember all those who were lost in this fire

Who went to die for freedom, not for medals

I know that we will definitely meet you

Let’s get up

And we’ll tighten it again”

The video now has over 30 million views on social media.

Not otherwise than the prophet Dronov explains the breakthrough simply: “I was sitting at the computer, drinking tea. “Let’s get up,” this word directly screamed in my head. I sat down, wrote a song, posted it on the Internet on February 23, and on February 24 it already went to the people.

It was about the same with the already viral clip “I’m Russian.” The shaman again struck the tambourine – and again hit the target.

– This is not a song, but a state of mind! — admitted the artist in the description of the clip. I wanted to give people a gift and I wrote this song.

The lyrics of the track include:

This song flies into the sky

And calls me along

And my heart is on fire

Lighting the way home

Where you just want to love and breathe

And I don’t need another

This is who I am and you can’t break me

And all because

I am Russian, I go to the end

I am Russian, my blood is from my father

I am Russian and I am lucky

I’m Russian, to spite the whole world”

In a very short time Drone has over 1 million subscribers on YouTube, now he has solo concerts all over the country and the love of an absolute entire audience. People of all possible nationalities applaud, thank Yaroslav for the tracks and ask to continue:

“Yaroslav, we, Dagestanis, support you in your work. Thank you for the patriotic song. Dagestan”

“The Russian (Tula) land gave birth to a nugget. We haven’t had talent in a long time. Waited. And just in time. Bravo, Yaroslav”

“I was born in Mordovia, my husband’s roots are Belarus + Poland, my son is married to a Kalmyk woman, we have a granddaughter and WE ARE ALL RUSSIAN!”

“Frost on the skin from the first sounds !!!!! And the voice is just something! Nice song! Singing technique is awesome. The song came at the right time! Great replacement for traitors”

Yaroslav keeps his personal life secret. But “KP” still managed to find out something. Firstly, in that same interview, the artist told us that his then-wife was on maternity leave. Marina is a vocal teacher at a children’s music school, where they met, and in 2012 they got married. In 2014, their daughter Varya was born.

Secondly, in one of the latest interviews, Shaman swore that he was not married. So, already divorced Marina.

And, thirdly, information spread through the telegram channels that the musician lives with Elena Martynova, the ex-wife of the writer Alexander Tsypkin and the top manager of Megafon, as well as a member of the Board of Directors of the Kommersant Publishing House. However, this data has not yet been verified.

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“I am Russian”: how singer Shaman tried to become popular for 15 years and why Yaroslav Dronov divorced

Contrary to the canons of show business, patriotic songs “Stand up” and “I’m Russian” burst into it, which became popular hits (more)

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