Interview of Marat Aitimov

We continue to acquaint you with talented people!

DIMASH & DOSTAR prepared an article and an interview  for you which was taken from Marat Olzhabayevich Aitimov himself.

Marat Olzhabayevich Aitimov is a well-known Kazakh composer and singer. Teacher of the Regional Philharmonic named after G. Zhubanova and the College of Music named after A. Zhubanov.

As a teacher of academic vocal Marat Olzhabayevich graduated many talented vocalists. Among them are such gifted people as: Erke Eshaman, Amankos Uzakbaiuly, Nurbolat Abdullin and also the first winner of the grand prix of the "Zhas Kanat" competition -  Beybit Aldabergenov. Svetlana Aitbayeva, the famous singer and mother of Dimash Kudaibergen, also was taught by Marat Aitimov.
Students of the the College of Music repeatedly showed a high vocal level and professionalism at many international competitions. Much credit is due to Marat Aitimov.
A striking example is Dimash Kudaibergen, the singer who conquered the whole world with his talent.

Dimash entered this college not accidentally. It was his dream to learn from Marat Olzhabayevich. From the early age he was a fan of Marat Aitimov and he wanted to become a performer  like him.

As Marat Olzhabayevich himself noted in one of his interviews: not only talent but also diligence and charisma made Dimash a high-quality vocalist. But the merits of the competent teacher cannot be neglected. How much work and time is needed  to invest  in young talent to reveal the full potential of his voice, scenic artistry and depth of soul!  He, his very father-gentle and at the same time demanding attitude to Dimash has borne fruit. And now when Dimash shines on the stage we can enjoy this fruit together.
It is not enough to find a diamond among precious stones and talented people. It has to be cut properly so that it can glow in the beams of the spotlights with all its facets. This requires an experienced and skillful master and Marat Olzhanovich Marat is such a person!

Dear Marat Olzhanovich from all admirers of Dimash we want to thank you for your hard work and that you make your students be true brilliants of vocal art!

D&D: Since what age have you started to like music and singing? Tell us about your family. Does anyone in your family is related to art?
MA: I've been singing since childhood. There were no music schools in the village where I lived. I began studying music and singing professionally in the School of Kyzylorda in the class of Inayat Zharylkanov, who is the one of the best vocal teachers in Kazakhstan now. My elder sister also connected her life with music. When she sings I am silent.

D&D: How did  your pedagogical activity start? Do you remember your first students?
MA: I began my pedagogical activity after graduating from the Almaty Conservatory named after Kurmagazy. I have been engaged in pedagogical activity for 25 years. I remember my first students, of course. They all work now, someone sings, someone teaches. The very first student is Gulmira Yezhanova. She works as a teacher not far from the Aktobe city.

D&D: You are the teacher with a great experience. Please tell us what are the differences between students from different generations?
MA: You know, I want to say such an amazing thing: there were different periods of 2000s when it was not an easy time for everyone and for our country too. The salary was not given out for several months. It was difficult. At that time we had to find the students ourselves. It happened often when we found random people. Students from that time had no such a zeal to studying. I think that it was connected with the fact of a difficult financial situation. There was even nothing to eat. And now I am happy that students nowadays are purposeful. They know what they want to achieve. If earlier students could skip several lessons in a row then current students, I would say, are cunning in this regard. Sometimes I don't come due to my business trips and they start to react because they care. So now I am very satisfied with the students.

D&D: As an academic vocalist, do you listen to young pop singers? How do you assess Kazakhstani singers in general?
MA: The progress is quite good, of course. If you remember, there were times when our singers almost didn't have any music videos. Now there are a lot of them. It makes me very happy because there is something to compare with. We have a lot of gifted youth.  This question was asked to me very often, and the main question was: "Do you have a show business?". Of course, I am not an expert but I can say: show business exists when it bears fruit, when performers makes money not on 'toi' (events) or weddings but on their concerts and releasing their albums. But since we do not have this I still answer: not yet, but with a hope that it will be. Therefore, I repeat once again that we need a support from our government for young people who are engaged in show business, in order to promote them. So they can have a future. What else... I do not listen to the pop singers, unfortunately.

D&D: People ask you about Dimash very often and we are not an exception. Please tell us how does Dimash differ from other talented students of yours?
MA: How does he differ? The fact that he is Dimash, not Islam or Ibrahim, or Guldana. Also he is one of my students, who studied with me, and one of the two who chose pop vocal  after graduating from college with specialization of academic vocal. The first one is Erke Eshaman who is quite popular, the second one is Dimash. 
Also Dimash differs because he has a delicate soul. He feels many things which can be perceived very difficultly by some people. There is no need to explain these things to him. It was given to him by God, by nature, by his instinct. 
As every talented person he is not from this world. Actually I always knew and felt that he would go far. He must go far with the talent he has. And I can only wish 'Ak zhol' to him. I wish him luck to accompany him, and I wish him to work using his head and his mind. I kept repeating this all the time when we met.

D&D: What do you think about the fact that your student who studied academic vocal continued his studies at pop vocal?
MA: It's fine, it is his choice. It is what his soul wanted to do and loved more than academic vocal. And the developments over the last months or even years let us know that he chose the right way. I think so. I think that everything will be fine.
D&D: Your repertoire is dominated by lyric songs. As experts say, Dimash is really good at performing lyric songs. Do you see a firm hand of a mentor in this?
MA: Maybe (laughing).  Maybe. Actually, all the lyric songs in the performances by him show how rich his soul and his inner world are. The person with the soul and the inner world like this cannot be untalented. That's why if he imitates his teacher in something, it makes me immensely happy. 

D&D: What qualities should a pedagogue-musician who works with beginners have?
MA: I was asked this question many times. For the  musician who begins and continues his career after studying, it is very important what teacher he gets. Because the future destiny and his future success or failure almost always depends on the level of his teacher. Actually maybe someone knows maybe not, in all colleges (music I mean), there is a correspondence form of studying in all faculties except vocalists. There is such a thing: a novice vocalist cannot learn to sing by himself. Because it is believed that a person hears himself wrong. It doesn't mean whether he sings right or wrong, but it is important to have a teacher nearby. Therefore, every pedagogue-vocalist must have a very good vocal hearing, especially the one who works with beginners. And of course, it is necessary to have good pedagogical skills. The most important thing for the teacher is to be a trustworthy assistant. It's great! If he is not, at least he mustn't harm the young singer. I believe so.

D&D: You have a noble and interesting job. You not only teach vocal but also bring up good qualities in the youth. Tell us please what do you learn from the young people?
MA: Yes, it's a very interesting question. I already said that young people now are not the same as they were 20 years ago. Now they know what they want, what goals they want to achieve. This makes me very happy. Energetic youth. Never gets tired, not lazy. Maybe I am learning from this.

D&D: What qualities of a person do you value the most?
MA: Lately it is often said that the time nowadays is not like as it was before. Now  there is a formula for life, what kind of person you need to be: you have to be "cunning" and know what you want. It is certainly understandable,these are the requirements of the modern time. But I always told my students that first and foremost they should be decent people, only second - to be a "star". My attitude to the world "star" is twofold, it is incomprehensible to me. I appreciate, first of all, decency, even if it can seem unfashionably.

D&D: How do you like to spend your free time? Do you have any hobbies not related to your work?
MA: The hobby which is not connected with work is travel if I have possibility. But I almost don't have any free time, I work a lot. If there is a free time then I like to spend it, how to explain it to you, so that no one disturbs me. I contact a lot of people so if I rest, I like when no one interferes. More thinking, communicating with nature. If possible, of course.

D&D: What would you like to wish to our novice singers?
MA: Very good question. I know many talented singers, talented vocalists who have potential. I always say that we Kazakhs have a proverb "Таудай талап бергенше, бармақтай бақ бер дейдi", which in the approximate translation it means: a gram of luck is better than a kilogram of gold. Therefore, I wish them that talent and luck go together in their lives. Then I think everything will be fine.

D&D: How do you feel about the fans? And your wished to us - DIMASH&DOSTAR.
MA: I am fine with the fan groups, very positive. And I believe that what you do is a great help to promote young performers. Therefore, I wish you luck to always accompany you in your work. And thank you for your attention. 

Thank you Marat Aitimov for the interview.