Larissa Tormey

NEWS

Press Release via AS Written, March 2022

LARISSA’S HEARTACHE AS WAR UNFOLDS

To say it’s already been an emotional 2022 for singer/songwriter LARISSA TORMEY really doesn’t even begin to capture what the last few weeks have been like for the Russian-born, Midlands based artist. The normal highs and lows of life in the music business have been eclipsed in every possible way by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

          From the high of finding herself nominated in no fewer than eight categories at the 2022 RED CARPET Music Show Awards only a few weeks ago, and last week receiving her awards for winning the Amazing Female Artist awards for Best Folk Original and Best Folk Cover last year, Larissa has found herself watching helplessly from afar while her homeland lays siege to a country that is both the birthplace of her best friend – Svetlana – and a land that Larissa herself still holds only the fondest memories of from childhood holidays. 

          Last week, on a particularly difficult day for the entertainer, Larissa spoke openly and movingly to RTE’s Joe Duffy on Liveline, explaining how the unfolding war had made her feel afraid even to sing right now. And yet, that very same evening, she went on to receive a near full standing ovation when she took to the stage as one of the guest artists at the annual Michael Commins concerts in Galway.

“At first, when RTE contacted me, I didn’t want to speak about what is happening. My heart is breaking watching what is going on, and I didn’t know how anything I could say about it might even matter. In fact, it was affecting me so much that I really wondered how I could even sing anywhere again, because I was afraid of what people would think of me, as a Russian. I rang Michael [Commins] and I explained this to him, and that maybe I shouldn’t appear at his show, but he wouldn’t even let me talk that way. He told me, ‘Larissa, I’m not listening to that, you’re one of us, and you are going to sing with us.’ Those words meant so much to me, and I will never forget them.” 

          Larissa continued, “And that made me think that maybe it is important that I say something about what is happening right now, because this war is not what any of the ordinary people in Russia want. We don’t want to see our people killing our neighbours. Who would want that? How could anyone want that? So that’s why I decided that I would speak to Joe. My best friend, who lives here in Ireland now too, Svetlana, she is Ukrainian. She and I are the same people. Russian and Ukrainian people, we are the same. That’s why this is all so mad, and heartbreaking. We just want peace.”

          When Larissa revealed to Joe Duffy the conversation she had shared with Michael Commins regarding her doubts about singing right now, he – as Michael had also been – was emphatic that Larissa must sing. Convinced and reassured, she made her way to the Clayton Hotel in Galway that same night for Michael’s show, where her version of Danny Boy – performed in English and Russian – was greeted by a near full standing ovation. 

“This was a very special moment for me”, explained Larissa, adding, “because it showed me once again the power that music can have to show people how much we share in common. And this is always more than what separates us.” 

“Right now, music is not the most important thing in the world, we all know that. But, what it is, I think, and what it can be for however long it takes, is an important part of what helps to get us all through these terrible times. When the world is in darkness, for some of us or all of us, music can be the light. That’s what I’m trying to remember. And that light is what I’ll try to share in whatever way I can.” 

~ Larissa is nominated in the following categories for the 2022 Red Carpet Music Show awards: Female Songwriter of the Year; Original Christmas Song (Female) for Special Christmas; Radio Host/DJ (Female); Original Traditional Song for Old Fashioned; Collaboration in Music with Dave Sheriff for Breath of Fresh Air; Original Country Song of the Year, also for Old Fashioned; Best Original Song of the Year in All Genres for Live Another Day; and Best Original Folk Song (Female) for My Love Is Like A River. 

ENDS

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