Valeria is one of the divas of Russian pop music. She started as an adult pop singer, then turned to more pop and dance recordings during the later years of her career. Valeria (Anna Perfilova) was born in Aktarsk, Saratov Region on April 16, 1968, into a musician's family. She finished local music school and moved to Moscow in 1985 to study vocals at Gnesinykh Academy, from which she graduated in 1990. She met producer and then-husband Alexander Shulgin in 1989. Their first work was the English-language album The Taiga Symphony. The recording sessions, which started in 1990, took place in London, Munich, and Moscow. Musicians from such bands as Pink Floyd, Dire Straits, and Pet Shop Boys were involved in the recording process. The album was released in 1992 in Russia and several European countries. Along with The Taiga Symphony, Valeria recorded Russian romance songs on the album Pobud So Mnoy ("Be with Me"), including reworked versions of old Russian romances. The video collection of the same title was released shortly after. At the end of 1993, Valeria was awarded with a "Woman of the Year" title by Russian Journalist's Soyuz (non-government organization of Russian journalists).