St Albans, VT (PressExposure) September 28, 2011 -- Award-winning producer, beloved "American Idol" judge and twenty-year music industry veteran Randy Jackson is raving about his new artist, Ukrainian superstar Mika Newton. "I am so happy and excited to be working with Mika Newton," he said. "She is unbelievably talented."
She's hugely popular throughout Russia, Ukraine and eastern Europe, but she gave it all up to start again in the states. After she arrived, Newton was taken in by Jackson's Dream Merchant 21 label and collaborators JK Music Group, who aim to bring her eclectic mix of styles-from the edgy to the sweet, upbeat party bangers to graceful, moving ballads-to an international audience. JK Music Group (founded by Julia Kurbatova and Oleg Shmelev) scans the globe in its efforts to discover, develop and market artists and produce great music. Newton always resisted categorization, and when her first single comes out this fall, it's sure to reflect her multi-faceted take on music.
At home in Ukraine, Newton built a name for herself through competitions. From little neighborhood battles of the bands to internationally televised singing competitions, her popularity grew hand-in-hand with her exposure. She eventually found herself with the leading role in two feature films, dubbed the "Queen of Soundtracks" because she conquered the realms of both audio and video. People saw her, people loved her. It's no surprise: with her delicate, light-as-air vocals, accessible lyrics and trendsetting stylistic edge, Newton is a total package. She became a fashion icon and a beloved national popstar. In early 2011, she represented Ukraine in the Eurovision Song Competition, a sort of international "American Idol." She gave a graceful, moving performance of a beautiful English-language ballad-"Angel"-and took fourth place. "[Mika's] unique sense of melody and range and her accomplishment in Eurovision will help her tremendously to soaring heights," said Jackson.
Now stateside, Newton has a lot on her plate. Between English lessons, vocal sessions, photoshoots, studio visits and the occasional red carpet event, she's found music to be a full-time job. But it's paying off: she's already grabbing the attention of the American media. Her MTV VMA outfit was meticulously dissected by bloggers-favorably, of course-as she wowed both the crowd and the media in jeweled, studded pumps, a dazzling sequined gold dress and matching nails. That night she proved she has the charm and style to woo the media no matter where she is.
But for Newton, it's not about geography. "I believe that there is no real difference between Ukranian, European or American audiences," she said. "There is just an audience and music connected with each other by sincerity. Everything I am doing here with American producers, I am doing from my heart."
And she's got a very big heart. Newton knows first-hand everything that goes into the music industry: she works with vocal coach Marlon Saunders (Nine Inch Nails, Shania Twain, Sting), photographer Robert Sebree (J. Lo, Christina Aguilera, Jay-Z, Beyoncé), stylist Marina Toybina (Britney Spears, Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus), Grammy-award-winning producer and songwriter Walter Afanasieff (Céline Dion, Mariah Carey, Michael Jackson), and many, many more. Randy Jackson recently introduced Newton to her childhood idol Céline Dion and she swooned in delight. It's a big industry, but she relishes every moment of it, using every experience as fuel for her eclectic, ever-changing sound.
"All my songs are very diverse," she said, "from upbeat, driven tracks to contemplative and moody ballads, as well as really good dance songs that will make you forget about everything. My dream is to create a mix of pop-rock and modern dance music. And, of course, one of the most important things for me is 'live' sound."