Jamala has premiered two new singles as part of the Spotify Singles project, for which artists record covers of their own tracks and songs by their favorite artists. In honor of Madonna’s birthday, Jamala released her own version of the 1998 single Frozen
The streaming service launched Spotify Singles in 2016. Among the artists previously added to the playlist were Alicia Keys, Celine Dion, Miley Cyrus and Lykke Li — Jamala became the first Ukrainian guest artist.
The essence of the project is to give singers and musicians an opportunity to reinterpret archive songs. So each of the project participants presents two singles: a new version of one of their tracks and a cover of a song by another artist or band.
According to Jamala, she chose Madonna because her childhood is associated with the singer’s works and the lyrics of the song Frozen ‘really resonate with her now’.
‘My childhood spent at the seaside is associated with La Isla Bonita. I remember washing dishes in our café at the end of the day in the summer. Suddenly I heard the lines ‘Last night I dreamt of San Pedro…’ in Lahuna. We forgot about everything and started dancing. Next was Secret, Music and Frozen, — Jamala revealed. — It was the last song with such an authentic bridge that really stuck with me. More importantly, the lyrics of the song really resonate with me now. This singer has always been in favor of equality and is very supportive of Ukraine in our time of struggle. And on her birthday, I want to congratulate her, support her and thank her’.
She added that at a public interview at Spotify’s Milan office, she also asked the audience what song they would like her to perform: ‘Everyone unanimously shouted out ‘Madonna’’.
Along with her cover of Frozen, the singer premiered a new version of a song called The Great Pretender from her 2018 album Kryla.
Both tracks were recorded at Spotify Studios in Los Angeles.
In March, Jamala became the first Ukrainian ambassador of Spotify Equals, a playlist aimed at promoting the work of female artists. She topped the selection with the song Take me to a place from the 2022 album Poklyk.
In December 2022, the first cover for Spotify Singles was presented by Kalush Orchestra — the band did a cover of the carol Shchedrivka. In July, Kalush Orchestra released two more singles as part of the project: Chase, a cover of a song by Italian artist Giorgio Moroder, and Human, a single recorded by Kalush Orchestra together with composer JONA XX.
In May 2023, Jamala released QIRIM, an album dedicated to the culture and music of Crimean Tatars.
QIRIM is an LP that consists of 14 songs, each of which represents a certain area of the Crimean peninsula. The release description says that ‘the people of Crimea became the co-authors of this research’ — more than 80 musicians joined in its creation.
‘QIRIM is about our history that we gather bit by bit to know ourselves. To get to know a culture that has been bleeding for years. The new album leads the listener along the path of Ukrainian Crimea and tells traditional stories previously unknown or forgotten. This is how I want Ukraine to sound to the world’, Jamala explained the idea behind the album.