From a young age, Susana participated in various children’s competitions. She studied at Music School No. 1 in Alushta, specializing in piano. After completing her studies there, she enrolled in the Simferopol Music School, graduating in 2001. She then continued her education at the National Music Academy of Ukraine in Kyiv, where she received an academic degree.
During her studies, Susana took part in various Ukrainian and international festivals such as Voices of the Future (2000, Russia), Crimean Spring (2001), Do#Dzh Junior (2001), and Il Concorso Europeo Amici della musica (2004, Italy). She sang in the female a cappella quintet Beauty Band (2001-2007), and in 2006, she participated in Do#Dzh Junior, where she was noticed by choreographer Olena Kolyadenko, who invited her to play a solo role in her own musical, Pa (2008). Thus, Olena Kolyadenko became Jamala’s first producer.
After receiving her diploma, Susana sent her recordings to the Zurich Opera Theatre. During that period, she had already received an offer to do an internship at the renowned La Scala opera theatre in Milan. She had already decided to choose opera when an unexpected invitation came to participate in the 8th International Competition Nova Khvyla (New Wave). Susana agreed and performed at the competition under the stage name Jamala, which is the first part of her surname. In the end, she and Indonesian contestant Sandhy Sondoro both received 358 points, thus sharing the victory.
In 2011, Jamala participated in Evrobachennya 2011, the national final for the Eurovision Song Contest. For the occasion, she sang the song “Smile” and ended up in 3rd place. On March 19, 2013, simultaneously on over 60 digital platforms, the release of the singer’s second album “All or Nothing” took place.Jamala personally presented the album on April 26 at a solo concert at the October Palace. In the same spring, the album was released on vinyl, and Jamala received the ELLE Style Award in the category of Singer of the Year.
In the second half of 2013, Jamala participated in the MTV EXIT campaign against human trafficking. She appeared as a narrator in the documentary film “Life for Sale,” where she shared the stories of three labor migrants from Ukraine.
In the spring of 2014, Jamala received the Red Apple Awards in the Art category for her contribution to the development of culture and strengthening peace. In the fall, she appeared in the film “Guide”. That same year, Jamala appeared in the television musical “Alice in Wonderland”, playing the role of the Caterpillar.
On October 1, 2014, the singer presented her third mini-album, titled “Thank You,” with musical producers Yevhen Filatov and the guitarist of her band, Serhiy Yeremenko (“Perfect Man”). The album included the Ukrainian-language song “Zaplutalas,” which Jamala introduced on September 25. The album predominantly features electronic sound and contains six songs.
In the same fall, Andriy Khlyvnyuk invited Jamala to collaborate. Together with Dmytro Shurov and Andriy, they recorded the song “Zlyva”. The song became the musical composition for the film “The Winter That Changed Us” and the project “TSN – 94 Days. Euromaidan through the Eyes of TSN.” The duet of Jamala, Andriy Khlyvnyuk, and Dmytro Shurov, along with their song “Zlyva,” won the categories of Best Duet and Best Song at the YUNA Music Awards in 2016.
On October 12, 2015, the fourth album “Podikh” was presented. The album won the Best Album category at the YUNA Music Awards in 2016, and the song “Inye” became the soundtrack for the Russian TV series of the same name.
In 2016, Jamala took part in the national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest again, this time with the song “1944,” dedicated to tragic events of the past, including the deportation of the Crimean Tatars. Based on the results of the audience vote and the jury, Jamala advanced to the final of the national selection and won.
In April, she participated in the recording of Usain Bekirov’s album “Taterrium”. During her participation in the Eurovision Song Contest in Stockholm, Jamala received the Eurostory Awards 2016 for the best lyrics in a competition song and the Marcel Bezençon Award in the Artistic Award category. In the final of Eurovision on the night of May 15, Jamala emerged as the winner with 534 points. On May 16, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko awarded her the honorary title of People’s Artist of Ukraine. During her time at Eurovision, Jamala signed a contract with Universal Music Group, which released her album “1944” in Europe on June 10 and in the USA on July 10.
On July 20, the premiere of the telefilm Dyvys na sebe! by journalist Bohdan Kutepov took place on the channels UA: Pershyi and Hromadske Telebachennia. The film focused on Jamala’s victory at the Eurovision Song Contest.
In the fall, Jamala participated in the seventh season of the vocal show The Voice of the Country and collaborated on the song “Zamanily” with the Ukrainian ethno-band “DakhaBrakha.”
In early 2017, Jamala won awards in the categories of Best Solo Artist, Best Song, and Best Duet at the YUNA 2017 Music Awards. She also won in the Culture category of the all-Ukrainian Woman of Ukraine 2016 award and the Pride of the Country category of the “Viva! The Most Beautiful 2017” award. During the “Flower Expo Ukraine” exhibition in Kyiv, she received a certificate from the Dutch company “StoKolex” for the naming of a new tulip variety after her.
In June, the filming of the movie Nebo directed by Oleksiy Panteleev began, in which Jamala played one of the roles. In July, the documentary film Jamalas kamp by Swedish television journalist Elin Jensson was presented in Kyiv and previously shown in Sweden on SVT1.
On March 7, 2018, the Ukrainian animated film “Vykradena printsesa: Ruslan i Lyudmyla,” directed by Oleh Malamuzh, was released, featuring Jamala’s musical composition “Ty Liubov Moia”. She also participated in the dubbing and recording of a song for the American animated film “Ralph Breaks the Internet,” where she voiced the character Shank.
On October 12, her fifth album “Kryla” was released, featuring collaborations with Ukrainian jazz pianist Yuhym Chupakhin and guitarist from the band “Okean Elzy,” Volodymyr Opsenitsa. Jamala embarked on a tour across eight cities in Ukraine to support the album.
On December 16, during the finale of the Kazakh singing show I’m a singer, where Jamala served as a judge, she presented the Kazakh version of the song “Kryla” titled “Samғa.”
In early 2019, on Christmas Eve, the hip-hop carol “Dobryi Vechir” premiered, featuring Jamala among other artists. On February 1, Jamala released the English-language single “Solo,”. The single reached the top 10 of the Upfront Club and Commercial Pop charts in the UK in April.
In the spring of 2019, Jamala participated as a coach in the fifth season of the show “The Voice Kids.”
In the year 2022, Jamala became a contestant on the Polish TV show “Dancing with the Stars: Taniec z Gwiazdami“.
During the flag parade in the final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2023, Jamala performed the song “1944” together with previous Ukrainian participants Go_A, Tina Karol, and Verka Serduchka.