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Do We Know Anything About Putin’s Musical Tastes?


Putin and McCartney in 2003


People say that your music tastes reveal a lot about you, and I would totally agree with that, music is obviously very personal and can tell a lot about someone. Many people have been wondering about Trump’s personal tastes, at a time when nobody wants to play at his inauguration!… However, Putin, who may have played more than an insignificant role in the last election, is still a very mysterious character, do we know anything about his musical tastes? Does he even like music?

In this 2011 BBC report, Putin, who was Prime Minister at the time, declared his love for Russian music: ‘I am a Russian and I love Russian music.’ You can’t be more direct than this, and since we know very little about Russian music, let’s talk about Lyube, a Russian rock band whose music is described as a mixture of several genres, ‘with influences from both Russian folk music, rock, Russian chanson, and Soviet military songs’…. Putin is a fan and he even appointed frontman Nikolay Rastorguyev (who supports Putin’s politics) to the position of Cultural Advisor to the Russian government. Lyube were also chosen to soundtrack Putin’s unofficial handover of the presidency to Dmitry Medvedev at a concert on Red Square in March 2008. Their videos on Youtube are mostly Russian ballads with terrifying images of war, and a few pics of the band (abundance of naked pectorals and an obvious taste for military outfits) will certainly reinforce your stereotyped idea about Putin.

However, DJs and dance music are also very popular in Russia, and, according to the Guardian, a DJ named Fenix (real name Alex Mamonov) was the first person ever to DJ at the Kremlin, and was called ‘Putin’s official DJ’. He was on the bill for Putin’s second inauguration and is reported to have played private gigs for the prime minister, Dmitri Medvedev,… He was curated by Putin to play the 2014 Music Box Award show, and has shared the stage with EDM legends such as David Guetta, Swedish House Mafia, Tiesto, and Steve Aoki… Putin likes EDM? It sounds almost too gay for his macho type.

May be his tastes are actually more classic. In 2014, the Huffington Post did a portrait of Putin, and according to famous photographer Platon (he took this famous Putin portrait) Putin likes the Beatles, his favorite Beatle is Paul, and his favorite song is ‘Yesterday.’

Isn’t this cute? And I thought that someone who likes the Beatles couldn’t be completely bad, may be there are exceptions. Macca performed in Red Square in 2003 but since that time, there has been a lot of tension in their relation, due to the Pussy Riot incident and many other violations of human rights. Nevertheless, Macca played for Putin in 2003, and this is, at least, something Putin can claim and that Trump can’t.

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