“DRUMMER” NIKOLAI GNATYUK
Hearing the name of this artist, most music lovers will immediately remember the famous “Smereka”, “Bird of Happiness” and “Raspberry Ringer”. Although part of the singer’s fans prefers such hits as “Galina” and “Hour of Red Water”. Some with nostalgia will remember “Dance on the Drum”, “The Girl from Apartment 45”, “If the City is Dancing”. In a word, everyone will like some hit of the talented and charismatic Nikolai Gnatyuk. The statuses invented by the press like “stars”, “recognized masters”, “stage legends”, “pop classics” Nikolai does not welcome. He has his own explanation of popular love and popularity: “God gave, and now he has become …”.
14 kilometers to the dream
This simple rural boy was lucky enough to see different countries in life, gather concert halls, perform on the same stage with the best performers of the country, pass the test of popularity, at first succumb to temptations, but then still find the strength in himself not to be sidelined by singer Nikolai Gnatyukzhizni and creativity.
Nikolai Gnatyuk was born in the small village of Nemirovka in Khmelnitsky on September 14, 1952. The boy from early childhood showed his vocal talent, so his parents sent him to study at the school of Starokonstantinov, which is seven kilometers from his native village. Nikolai had to walk 14 km every day on foot through marshland for the sake of being able to study at a school with a music class. At 6:00, to the sounds of the anthem on the radio, Kolya got up not at all joyful, because he had a hard way to school. Often the bus drove past the children, and they had to get to the city on foot in any weather.
The desire to become a singer with Nikolai Gnatyuk was formed and not immediately strengthened. Although he sang from the age he remembers himself, at first he dreamed of becoming an actor. A childhood friend even began to “prepare” him for this, doing boxing with him so that the future artist was not frail. Together, the children studied poems by Vladimir Sosyura and Maxim Rylsky. Nikolai was looking forward to the beginning of the introductory campaign at the Karpenko-Kary Institute of Theater Arts in Kiev. Arriving in the capital, Gnatyuk received a pamphlet at the school with important information about the institute. He took it, leafed through, singer Nikolai Gnatyuki something happened in the soul of a young entrant – either some doubts surged, or the woman’s intonation from the admissions committee did not like, but Nikolai lost his firm intention to prepare for admission. Having gone outside, he realized that he would not study at this institute.
The future performer was not at a loss, got on the train and went to Rivne. There, at the musical pedagogical institute, his father had a familiar teacher, who a few years ago suggested that a talented young man go there. Applicants there were seriously trained, everyone came after music schools, and not schools, like Nikolai Gnatyuk. Next to them, he felt like a boy. But the case saved the situation – one of the commission members asked Gnatyuk if he could sing something. Then he had no equal! Examiners immediately agreed to accept such a vocal guy. Although he entered the institute as if in “advance”, he later aligned himself with his more experienced classmates in terms of knowledge.
On the professional stage, Nikolai Gnatyuk first appeared in Odessa. There, hearing his clear voice, they immediately invited the soloist to the orchestra “We Are Odessa People”. There were some incidents during the first performance. While singing in the dressing room before the concert, Nikolai heard from one of the artists the singer Nikolai Gnatyuk a boorish “request” to shut up, but continued his vocalization as if nothing had happened. Then a stage colleague came up and hit him in the face. Nikolay Gnatyuk had to go out to the audience beaten, but with prepared vocal cords.
With this Odessa team, the singer traveled to many cities of the country, and then decided to join the army. He was sent to serve in the GDR and, as a musician, was assigned to a collective that performed at discotheques for families from the USSR. Over time, Nikolai began to notice that people began to come not just to dance to his songs, but to listen to them. So, confidence in his abilities and the belief that he could become a real artist began to grow in him.
After the army, in the life of Nikolai Gnatyuk there was the Leningrad Music Hall, work in many musical ensembles, among which was the legendary collective of Alexander Bronevitsky – VIA “Friendship”. There, Nikolai had to experience “hazing” on himself. Masters of their craft worked in the ensemble and, to put it mildly, were not serious about Gnatyuk. Once the singer could not resist the attacks and, pointing to one of the most famous concert halls in the country, said that he would soon have full houses and that arrogant colleagues would not even be able to get tickets for his performances. It happened over time.
No less prophetic incident happened with Nikolai Gnatyuk in Sopot, Poland, when he arrived there on an excursion with colleagues from the music hall.