Today we have another special article and it’s…. An exclusive interview with Kpop Cover Artist and Vlogger, Margarita Letitchevski! Are you excited?
If you’re a regular reader on our site, you might have seen the recent article about Margarita and her 10 most amazing covers in our opinion.
As for Margarita‘s interview, if you follow her already you will get to know her more in depth, how she started her YouTube channel and her feelings about the Taeyang contest she won. If you don’t know Margarita that well… I hope you will want to know her and check out her amazing YouTube channel after reading our article.
Let’s start the interview!
1. Could you introduce yourself to our “sweeties” (Sweet Sweet Kpop fandom name) that don’t know you yet? (Your name, where you are from, what you do…)
안녕하세요 여러분! 마가리타입니당~! Hi sweeties! For those who may not know me, my name is Margarita and I’m a coverist/vlogger on YouTube. I’m 20 years old and I currently live and study in London, UK. I was born in Russia, but I’m actually half Israeli, so there’s that 🙂
2. When and how did you discover the Korean culture and more specially Kpop?
I’ve actually made a video about my ‘K-pop story’ and I was so happy to see so many people sharing their own stories and relating to mine. I discovered Kpop in 2008ish through Japanese dramas actually. I’ve always been fascinated with Asian cultures and I felt a connection to them through my Russian up-bringing, which surprisingly, was very similar to Asian upbringing. I was very into anime during my childhood and in my teenage years I transitioned to Japanese dramas. I watched ‘Hana Yori Dango’ and then I somehow landed on the Korean version. I absolutely fell in love with the OST of the drama and found Kpop through that. My first Kpop band, which I fell in love with was Big Bang and I’m still a huge fan of theirs.
3. How did you get the idea of starting a YouTube channel to make Kpop covers?
The idea of actually maintaining an active YouTube channel did not come to me until I won Taeyang’s contest. I posted my first videos in 2012 and, boy, they are so funny. I keep all of them (apart from one haha) public to see how much I’ve progressed but, oh my, they are so embarrassing! I’ve always loved to sing and when I began learning Korean in 2012 I wanted to see what would happen if I tried singing in Korean. Would people like it? Hate it? Not care about it? I’ve gotten positive feedback on my first covers and one of them actually became pretty popular even when I barely had any subscribers. Originally, the idea for my channel was purely musical, but I’ve expanded my activities in the past 4 years to cover vlogs and educational videos.
4. We noticed that you also do Russian covers. Do you speak any other languages than Korean, Russian and English?
Yes, I do make Russian covers even though I haven’t made one in a while. I’d say that fluently I only speak 2 languages, English and Russian. I’m definitely not fluent in Korean, but I’m a solid intermediate, I’d say. I’ve studied Spanish and Hebrew in school for a short time and some basic Japanese as well.
5. In 2014, you won the YG Entertainment and Taeyang’s “Eyes, Nose, Lips” contest. How do you feel about winning? Did you expect to win? Do you still have the signed album and hoodie you received?
How do I feel about winning Taeyang’s contest? Hmmmm, well I obviously feel happy and grateful, but it wasn’t always like that. To tell you honestly, I didn’t really know it was a full-blown competition. I joined because I saw lots of people uploading covers of his newly-released song and I just wanted to jump on the bandwagon really. I had no expectation that I’d win. I was very surprised when my cover reached 11,000 views in the first 3 days but, honestly, I thought YouTube was just playing tricks on me. The day the results were announced I woke up because my phone was going crazy. I had hundreds of messages/friend requests/emails congratulating me, hating on me, offering me collaborations and sponsored videos. I could not understand what was going on at first but then I checked Taeyang’s facebook fan page and there I was, with my video on the top of the page with a big #1 next to it. I couldn’t believe it and I thought it was a mistake. I saw the runner up video and his cover was professionally made with good editing, perfect quality of the recording, etc. And my video was made in 2 takes while sitting on the floor in my room. I thought it was unfair and I was so close to emailing YG and asking to change the results. A lot of people weren’t happy and that hit me really hard. For the first time, I encountered an incredible amount of hate and I was very close to breaking. At that point, my family showed support for my YouTube activities for the first time and that’s what pulled me through all the online hate. It was an interesting experience overall and I learned a lot from it, gaining strength to continue uploading videos and not giving in to negativity.
P.S. I still have the hoodie and I wear it all the time, as well as the album. I brought it all the way to London with me when I moved from my home in Israel ^^
6. What are your favorite cover(s) you’ve made? (Mine is Mino/Taeyang’s “Fear”, I think that cover is amazing**)
One of my all time favourite covers is actually a very old one of Akdong Musician’s beautiful track “Melted.” The song is definitely my all-time favourite and I was very proud of that cover. It was also this cover that pushed me to rap as well as sing because skipping the rap part looked silly, so I began learning those as well. Also the cover of Dream by Lee Hi holds a dear place in my heart because my emotions pushed me to make it. I wasn’t in the right place emotionally at that time and this was my way of letting the weight off my shoulders and pouring my feelings into the song. I think if you ask me which one of my covers is my least favourite the list would be much longer haha because I’m extremely critical when it comes to my covers and I don’t like most of them, as ironic as that sounds.
7. Do you have any plans for upcoming covers or projects on your YouTube channel?
I actually have plans to launch my own website (!!!) next week and I hope by the time this interview goes live my website will be up and running! I’m super excited because it feels like I’m taking my YouTube activities to a whole new level and that’s very thrilling. I am also planning to introduce a new segment on my channel, but it’s still in the developmental stage, so let’s keep it a secret for now 🙂
8. At the moment, who is your favorite Kpop girl group? What about your favorite Kpop boy group?
To be honest, I feel like I grew out of the ‘fangirl’ stage and I don’t obsess over idol groups anymore because at the end of the day they are just regular human beings with their own lives, which I think should be respected. I enjoy and support a lot of artists. I would say Mamamoo is a very promising girl group and their vocals are on point. I’ve been listening a lot to BTS lately and I can really see how talented each and every member is in their own way. They are also so hard working, it’s insane.
9. Same question as above, but for solo singers. Who is your favorite female solo singer? What about your favorite male solo singer?
I am a very big fan of Gary, Zico, Zion T, and all the other artists who usually hang out with them and make music together. I’m really into chill tunes and meaningful lyrics so these guys are absolutely amazing when it comes to that. In terms of female solo artists, I really enjoy listening to Yoon Mirae. I know she’s a part of MFBTY and I absolutely love all their tracks, but I really enjoy her solo songs as well. She is just so powerful and inspirational.
10. Do you have anything you’d would like to say to your fans?
There’s really just one thing I would like to tell my fans and that is the fact that I am forever grateful for giving me the reason to do what I love and obviously for all their support. I would have never gotten to where I am without my audience and even those who aren’t fond of me and leave critical or hateful comments; I’m grateful to them too. I’m grateful because they give me a reason to grow and reflect on what I can do better. I hope that each and every one of those who support me are happy, healthy and joyful.
I hope you had fun reading Margarita’s interview and that if you didn’t know her before you will follow and support her now 😉