Ellina Graypel From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search Award-winning Russian singer/songwriter Ellina Graypel born July 19, 1972 near the Volga River in the heart of Russia. She spent most of her youth growing up on a military base near Belarus in the former Soviet Union. The military base was underground and literally right next door to a huge cache of atomic weapons!
Ellina remembers the scary hour-long drive to school inside an army truck with no windows when she was just a small child. The soldiers would sing songs to the children to make the ride a little less scary. She found her brother’s old guitar when she was 15 years old and taught herself how to play. She also wrote her very first song.
She remembers encountering a gypsy caravan in the forest outside of her town and hiding behind a tree, listening to them play and trying to accompany them on her guitar. She was discovered by one of the old gypsy men who told her that her playing was terrible and threw away her guitar pick. He showed her how to play and that’s when her interest in the guitar began in earnest.
By the time she was 16, her family had moved to Minsk. She wrote her first book of children’s poetry then. Soon thereafter she was a teen celebrity in the USSR with her own TV show. She was writing poetry, plays, stories, and lots and lots of songs. One of the songs that she wrote for the documentary “Way To God” won a Grand Prix award at Yalta.