When you said that you were returning to Kazan, how did your loved ones react? Were they happy?
I think they were happy. It was impossible to come from St. Petersburg often; it took a lot of money. The St. Petersburg–Moscow–Kazan train was not cheap, and it was a long ride. I was lucky if I saw my mother once a year. We talked more on Skype. And these days I have to look after my mom, she's sick. Somehow ... In this regard, things have improved, to be honest.
She never said anything like "Oh, finally Radif is back, finally smartened up. I told you, you don't need to go anywhere." They always supported me, defended me, they always said Radif knows what to do.
Does Kazan suit you architecturally and aesthetically?
It's the same as in St. Petersburg, everything is demolished, everything is broken. In Kazan, when I walk along these streets, since I know a lot about them, I can almost see buildings that no longer exist. I even, well, start calling some streets by their old name. For example, Senniy Bazar Street, Zakharievskaya, Voskresenskaya. I still say, like, we went to Nikolaev Garden [the old name for what is now Universitetsky Garden].
When İlyäs and I [İlyäs Ğafar, member of the İttifaQ hip-hop group, founder of the indie music label Yummy Music, and coproducer of the TAT CULT FEST] filmed Tugañ yak [a documentary], right after Riga, our final stop was Petersburg. And I was afraid that it would pull me back. But I sat down and realized: I still like this city, I know a lot about it, all of its ins and outs. But, at some point, I had to leave. I never felt like I had left something here, like I had forgotten something. I don't live there anymore, but the city never became a stranger to me.