The road from underground to the big stage- MADLENA

I am MADLENA, queer artist and a performer. My main inspirations are my feelings and emotions, i try to always listen to my desires, try to know myself better. One might say that my inspirations are my dreams and desires, which were always with me- i danced from a very early age, i was a choreographer, a designer. Now it is time for me to stand on a bi stage and tell my story through music. 

The birth of a star and manifesting love

MADLENA has existed for a while, she just lived only at nights. She was a true diva of underground spaces, who traveled a lot, met with various people and despite the fact that she never lacked attention from people, both in Georgia or outside it, she was not a performer or an artist- Madlena stopped existing in sunlight. 

My friends always told me that my talent and energy should not be spent only in underground spaces and that I should step on the big stage, for which I am very grateful to them. These very talented people: Datuna Sulikashvili, Grigor Devejiem, Irakli Rusadze pushed Madlena to emerge from the underground and become a world star. At first I was a little scared, because I always take everything with great responsibility, but I felt so much support from them that very soon all my fears disappeared.

I consider myself a very lucky person, because the most successful video maker and composer in Georgia, Grigori Devezhiev and Stephane, worked on my first single. Stephane created the composition and Grigory shot the music video and that’s how MANIFEST was born. It perfectly captures who I am, the fighting and defiant spirit of a transgender woman who manifests love from a political platform. This song is my calling card and tells the story of a strong woman who can speak up for her rights and needs, who demands peace, equality and mutual respect.

Tbilisi Concert Hall and the first meeting with fans 

The presentation of the music video took place in Tbilisi Concert Hall. At that time I did not realize how many steps I was taking. Everything happened very quickly and we didn’t have time to think about all this, however, today, one year after the premiere of the clip, I realize that it was actually a very big event that Madlena appeared in the Georgian reality and that the presentation of the clip of a transgender person took place in the oldest and most historic concert hall of Tbilisi. The evening passed peacefully, there was no aggression. On the contrary, I received a lot of positive energy from my fans. I had no other expectations, because this song was created with a lot of love and I believed that the result would definitely be positive.

A bigger challenge was the concert held in the Monohall concert hall, which was attended by more than three thousand people. I was very nervous, I expected that there would be many homophobic people, but this evening also passed peacefully. For some reason, there is always a positive attitude toward me, love always follows me, although this does not necessarily mean that the stories of all LGBTQ people are the same. I know that homophobia is particularly rampant in our country, but I still believe that things are changing for the better, and Madeleine is proof of that for me. Whether I sang in the monohall or not, I had a lot of people come up to me and take photos, including a lot of straight people or people I knew from afar that weren’t kind to queer people. That night was special for me, a kind of sign that I must continue to do my work and move forward.

Georgian underground spaces and rapidly changing reality

Georgian underground culture starts from the 90s. Together with my friends, I opened the first Georgian gay club Aura, where we did shows with various artists, including Irakli Charkvian, and played techno electronic music. At first, all this was met with a lot of resistance, but soon Aura became everyone’s favorite place and brought many people together. Who would you not see there – people with criminal mentality, former officials, gays, lesbians. In our space, everyone was able to find a common language and there were rarely any problems. We only had a problem with the police, but in the end, they didn’t scare us either and we still held events.

Things have changed since then, today there are many queer people around us, and this fact makes me very happy. I get a lot of letters from them and I consider them as my people. Many new spaces for queer people have emerged, including Drag Ball, where very talented young people are given the opportunity to express themselves, express their feelings and talk about the problems and challenges that are in our country. It makes me very happy that everything is changing quickly and I am one of the participants of this change.

MADLENA beyond stage and plans for future

Madlena is exactly the same behind the scenes as on the stage. Maybe that’s why I have so much love and support from people, because I don’t play and I don’t lie, I am who I am. I had to spend many years, a lot of work and a lot of energy to achieve this. The audience feels it too. This time I am working on two more songs, one will be in Turkish and intended for Turkish listeners, and the other for Germany. I’m not going to stop, I want to never stop moving forward.

Years later, I want people to take an example from me and see me as a fighting and revolutionary person who is not intimidated by societal pressures, norms or boundaries. I want to be an example for all those people who are afraid to take big steps, are afraid to get to know themselves better, to be accepted, to be recognized. So many people write to me and tell me that my story and my work have inspired them to be better. This is the greatest gift for me.




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