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 Konstantin Kinchev

Born:   December 25, 1958

Russian rock singer, musician, frontman and the main songwriter for the Russian rock/hard rock band Alisa.


There are three old whales that carry on their overworked backs the whole world of Russian rock-music. Their names are Yuri Yulianovich Shevchuk, Viktor Robertovich Tsoi and Konstantin Evgenievich Panfilov, who took his grandfather's surname for his stage name Kostya Kinchev. Of course, there are also Boris Borisovich Grebenshchikov and Vyacheslav Gennadievich Butusov, but my humble personal attitude tends to leave them out of this "Holy Trinity" and give them the fourth and the fifth places in the The Magnificent Five respectively. Here we're gonna take a swift glance into the biography of the third old whale mentioned.

Konstantin Kinchev (the Russian for ) blessed ages of rock fans yet unborn with his "holy" birth right on Christmas, December 25, 1958, in Moscow, USSR. Happy were his parents being totally unaware that they had just gifted the world with the future rock singer, musician, frontman and the main songwriter for the Russian rock/hard rock band Alisa.

Of course the parents, as many alike in those days, thought that their sweet boy would become an honest engineer, a brave sailor or a famous astronaut, but... it happened that when a 15-year-old boy Kostyanych heard heavy metal band Black Sabbath for the first time in his life, his roof started floating slowly to the youth-rock-madness direction.

The future genius of the A minor gamma and accursing lyrics decided to collect musical albums of hard rock bands of that time. In mid 1970s, before joining Alisa he played in some local Moscow-based bands. In 1984 Kinchev made a decision to leave Moscow and move to Leningrad, where he was offered to become Alisa's vocalist.

The band's lineup was finally completed in December 1984, when new vocalist Kostya Kinchev and guitarist Petr Samoylov joined. Their debut album Energia was released by state publishing monopoly Melodiya and sold more than a million copies. That was one of the first triumphs of the Russian rock culture in the Soviet environment.

In 1987, the newspaper Smena accused Alisa's leader Kinchev of Nazi propaganda and worshipping Hitler. Kinchev filed a suit for calumny and moral loss compensation. After the year-long court process the magazine published a refutation. Alisa's next album was titled Article 206 part 2, a chapter ("Hooliganism") of the USSR Procedural Code, alluding to this process.

Kinchev was baptised in 1990, and since then Christianity has been the main influence on his alignment and his lyrics. Since the late 1990s his lyrics mainly dealt with Christianity, Russian patriotism, and Slavic unity. Kinchev has good relations with the priests of the Russian Orthodox Church. Kinchev's fairly conservative religious-patriotic shift was viewed unfavourably by some old fans that liked Alisa for their original "rock" message.

One way of another, the creative work of the Alisa and its thought leader Konstantin Kinchev has already become classics of not only Russian rock culture but Russian culture in general. Such pieces of song art as Sterkh, Tolko Etot Den (Only This Day), the whole album "Shestoy Lesnichiy" ("The Sixth forester") shock with innocent beauty of their melodiousness and naked, scorching sincerity of their lyrics. It's like a dagger behind an ikon, like a bitter tear-drop of happiness, like a mournful glory of a late autumn sunset...

It's neither what such authors as Kinchev do in their life behind the scene that matters, nor how do they wile away their lives after they have delivered through themselves such undying masterpieces of music and poetry as "Only This Day", it's what they would leave for people behind.

Max Yakuba


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