On 1 July 2017 my debut E.P. “Visitor” celebrated its 1 year anniversary since the release! It’s crazy to think how time flies! I remember so vividly how excited I was to come to the professional studio for the first time, how anxious I felt preparing every single detail ahead of the release, and, most importantly, how eager I was to show you my first major achievement in the music field!

“Visitor” EP represents a journey through my first year spent away from home in a beautiful and vibrant city that is Bristol. In my previous articles, I shared some of the lessons that I had learned during the recording, mixing and mastering processes of this E.P (Check out my articles “From Beginner to a Beginner” and “Tips For Your First Trip to the Studio” ), and this time, in celebration of the EP’s first anniversary, I’d like to tell you more about the songwriting process of the 4 tracks that ended up on the record.

Dance With Me

I wrote “Dance With Me around 2 months after the big move to the UK. It was a very exciting time where I was actively chasing my dreams and pretending to be a self-functioning adult but it also very uncertain. I didn’t know what was coming next after my graduation and I had no clue how to make things work so I didn’t have to come back home after my Master’s degree was finished. At some point, I felt so stressed about figuring out what my life plan was, that I stopped noticing how fun and exciting the present moments were. And those moments were definitely worth noticing and appreciating: I moved to a new vibrant city where I was a student at one of the best universities in the UK, and I finally got a chance to put my music out there in front of the audience who cared about it. “Dance With Me” was written as an encouragement to myself to embrace uncertainty and mistakes that we all occasionally make. The song was like a reminder to myself that I should never stop keeping my eyes open to see what was around me and to enjoy what I already had instead of losing my mind worrying what the future held.

Even though “Dance With Me” ended up being one of the most cheerful tracks on the EP, initially, the song was written as a very melancholic piece that was conveying the feelings of anxiety and distress I was experiencing at that point. I played that version at a few gigs and then excluded it from my set for a good half a year because I felt like I was over that melancholic state and I didn’t need that heavy, sad song anymore.

During one of the spring cleans around the summer of 2015, I came across the lyrics of “Dance With Me” again and decided to play around with them. I changed the tune to a much happier one, replaced a few lines and suddenly the song transformed into a celebratory piece full hope and humanity! Since then the track became one of my all-time favourites because now it projects lightness and ease to fairly difficult circumstances. I think we all need to remember to lighten up sometimes, and “Dance With Me” encourages just that!

When the time came to choose what songs should be included in the EP, “Dance With Me” was the first one I said yes to. It then ended up being my first official single and I honestly couldn’t imagine a better song with which I could kick-start my career!

In My 20s

Whenever I play live, I always finish my set with “In My 20s“. There’s something really special about this song that makes the audience connect with it so well. Whenever I need to get the crowd’s attention, “In My 20s” is my go-to song.

I wrote it at the end of spring 2015 after a very interesting conversation with a colleague of mine. At that time I worked in a law firm, and every morning I would head to the kitchen area to make a cup of coffee and to have a little morning chat with whoever was around. During one of those chats, my colleague and I spoke about the difference between being in your twenties and being older. We talked about how young people would often crave the financial and social security that would usually come later in life, and yet older people would often say that they missed the freedom of choices that they had during their young adulthood. My colleague said that now when he was approaching his forties, he’d never be able to make the same radical changes in his life as he used to when he was in his twenties. He said: “When you’re twenty, you can be bold and make mistakes without the fear of facing serious consequences.” That statement really stroke a chord with me and gave me perspective! I used to think that I had so much weight on my shoulders and so much responsibility to ensure my future and, subsequently, the future of my family. However, that conversation made me realise that, actually, I had it easy! I had time to try things out and to see whether any of them would work. I didn’t have a child to take care of or a massive debt to pay off. I was free to do what I wanted to and I was the only person who would have to face the consequences if something ever went wrong.

That day I came home and wrote “In My 20s” – the song that’s become a tribute to that thirst for adventure that I’ve always had and a celebration of my promise that I would follow my heart without fear and hesitation to build the life that I always wanted. Upon further reflection on the topic of age and different responsibilities that come with it, I also realised that adventures don’t have to end when you cross the twenties mark. I think it’s quite possible to stay bold and open to changes throughout your whole life no matter the age or the amount of responsibilities, and that’s why during my gigs I always say that this song is for everyone who is ‘is up for an adventure’.


No matter how hard I tried I could never trace back to the time when I wrote “Trouble“. My best guess is that it was created near the end of 2014 when my fascination with Bristol was at its peak. I think the song really conveys the atmosphere of the place and showcases the beautiful eccentric nature of its residents. After all, Bristol is the city which attracts all the dreamers of the South West.

“Trouble” is not about someone specific, which is quite rare for my songwriting. It’s a collection of opinions and attitudes, beliefs and positions – all exaggerated and blown out of proportion on purpose. It’s a song about a whole generation that wants to stand out from the crowd yet often prefers to hide and be like everyone else because breaking out of their comfort zone is too hard. “Trouble” is about people who suffer from loneliness, yet who are almost proud to remain misunderstood and estranged from others. It’s about someone who says that no one understands what they’re going through, yet tells you about the identical situation that you’ve found yourself in way too many times. Sometimes young people enjoy pushing things to the extreme (me included), and “Trouble” is a collection of these extra dramatic moments!

This track holds a very special place in my heart because it has transformed my sound from a pure acoustic arrangement to a multi-layered sound for which you know me today! When I first wrote “Trouble”, I immediately knew that it required more than just the guitar to make it sound as I was envisioning it.  I wanted it to be a multi-layered composition with lots of intertwined melodies and harmonies, and I was eager to find a way to bring them to my live set without hiring a band. That’s when the idea to purchase a loop station came to me, and you probably know the rest of the story from my article “Changes“. “Trouble” was the song that prompted me to start my search for a bigger sound, and it definitely laid the foundation for what kind of artist I am today!


Even though I’m a trained pianist until very recently I had no piano at home and therefore most of my newer songs were written only for the guitar. Despite that, I knew that I wanted to have at least one piano song on the record to honour this instrument that played such an important role in my life! I was determined to find a perfect song in my song collection that would fit within the concept of the EP. However, despite still liking my old piano songs, it felt like they no longer represented my current state of mind and didn’t complement the rest of the EP. I needed something new, something that would draw the line under my journey from 2014, when I first moved to Bristol, to that very special moment when I walked into the studio to make my first EP.

I did some research and found a rehearsal space with a piano where I wrote “Visitor” in one go. It was autumn 2015, and not long before that writing session, I found out that I would have to come back home to Moscow for a few months.  Unsurprisingly, the song’s dynamic turned out to be very different from the rest of the EP, and for a while, I was worried that it wouldn’t work with other tracks. However, it was very important to me that I didn’t compromise on the sound or the lyrics just so I could fit everything in one style because this song was indeed different from the rest of the EP and I wanted it to be reflected!

“Visitor” touches upon the same subject of the uncertainty of the future but, unlike other tracks on the EP that mainly focus on the exciting aspect of changes, it reviews the concept from a much darker angle. “Visitor” is about admitting that constantly not knowing what’s coming next is exhausting. It’s about acknowledging that not living up to your own expectations is the biggest defeat of all. It’s about this destructive habit that we all have of constantly comparing ourselves to others and admitting that we didn’t do as well as we should have.

However, it’s important to note that despite its cinematically dramatic style, “Visitor” wasn’t written as a sad song for self-pitying. If anything, it’s a therapeutic self-reflective song that helped me draw a conclusion and start a new page. Yes, on this occasion I’ve lost but “there’ll be another chance to fight” and I think this is the most important message of the song that we should always keep in our minds.

When the whole EP was finished, it was time to choose a name. Even though”Visitor” EP was written as an ending to the whole era, I actually never meant for it to become the EP’s title track. As it sounded so different from the rest of the EP, I was worried that naming the record after it would be misleading to the audience. However, the more I thought about the right name, the more I was certain that it would be the most appropriate choice because, at that stage of my life, I was indeed just a visitor!

My debut E.P. ‘Visitor” is like a diary of my first year in Bristol that showcased my ups and downs, my successes and defeats, observations and conclusions I made. It’s a mixture of beautiful naivety of a young person who’s just learning and the sarcastic wisdom of someone who already knows a thing or two.

I’d like to thank every single one of you who has ever listened to at least a few seconds of this E.P! I hope you know that your support means everything to me and keeps me going at the hardest of times!

If you haven’t had a chance to check out ‘Visitor’ E.P., you can do it on any of these platforms: iTunes; Apple Music; Spotify; Amazon; Google Play.

If you’d like a physical copy, you can easily get it in my store.

Enjoy reading through the “Visitor” EP Lyric Booklet.

Photos by Matt Walkley