Ukraine’s music scene is home to a diverse array of talents, representing every genre imaginable and boasting an impressive live music culture. Whilst this has undoubtedly been rocked by Russia’s invasion, this has not stopped Ukraine’s musical talents from continuing to represent their nation and share their craft. Below we present several Ukrainian musicians, whose output is worth delving into.
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Andrii Hutsuliak and Jimoh Kehinde make up electronic duo TVORCHI who represented Ukraine at the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool. The pair entered the contest with single Heart of Steel after winning selection process Vidbir 2023, ultimately coming sixth in the grand final. Andrii and Jimoh have four albums to their name, exploring electronic soundscapes whilst flirting with R&B and pop elements, recording in a mix of English and Ukrainian.
Ado Khayat blends folktronica and neo-pop sounds in his impressive, highly-original compositions. KHAYAT first caught our eye with 2020 banger Call For Love, his sole English-language release, but has since gone on to make us lifelong fans thanks to his impressive releases such as the darkly absorbing Темно, his delicious synthy EP Ultra, and freshly dropped Ultra II project. Not just a multi-talented singer-songwriter, Ado is also an absolute hunk.
Charismatic tattooed Ukrainian star DEMCHUK combines folk elements with modern pop and R&B sensibilities. The musician has gone on to represent his country at Vidbir 2023 with his English language track Alive, and we have no doubt that we will be seeing DEMCHUK in future. Make sure to check out his other singles including Ножі, 2402 and his recent release Вічність.
A Ukrainian national treasure, Verka was cemented into our hearts after Dancing Lasha Tumbai stormed the Eurovision world in 2007. Prior to this Verka also boasted a high profile recording career with several albums released under the drag icon’s name. Shining with millions of streams on Spotify, Verka would also release banger-filled EP Sexy in 2020 with gems including Make It Rain Champagne, Disco Kicks and Sexy.
This experimental music project was founded by Eugene Filatov (The Maneken) and Nata Zhyzhchenko blending electronic, pop and folk music whilst celebrating Ukraine’s rich cultural heritage. Known for providing dazzling visuals with their musical compositions, ONUKA impressed as 2017’s Eurovision interval act in Kyiv. ONUKA have just released album ROOM and single PEREMOHA, a defiant slice of cinematic electronica. Their compositions ZENIT, Vidlik, and UYAVY should be checked out, if you are a fan of electronic music with a bit of an alternative edge.
Their Eurovision smash SHUM is nearing 100,000,000 Spotify streams and Go_A are gearing up for a UK tour – an incredible feat for a band that don’t sing in English. The band state that they “combine authentic Ukrainian vocals, modern electronic dance beats, African drums, and a powerful guitar drive into an explosive musical mix,” with their unique musical fusion making them one of Ukraine’s biggest exports. Their latest single Rusalochki is inspired by mythology centred around folklore creature Rusalka, it combines Go_A’s powerful traditional sound with powerhouse electronic ferocity.
If we had one ounce of the cool charm of Denis Rekonvald, we would be incredibly happy. The Ukrainian star captivated us with his edgy electropop anthem Alter Ego back in 2019 and has followed this with compositions including Fetish, Plane, Armageddon and The Grey Moon. The star has become a quick favourite of ours thanks to his pristine vocals, emotive delivery, and the impressively constructed production of his music. The rising talent is currently cooking up new tracks in Los Angeles and we can’t wait to see the star’s further artistic growth.
Max Barskih has been a staple of the Ukrainian pop scene for some time with six albums and an impressive batch of singles to the performer’s name. From his earliest releases in 2009 to present day, Max has continued to impress as an artist, delivering sharp pop and an undeniable skill as a singer-songwriter. Max has continued to be a hit with listeners thanks to his tracks such as Dance and Bestseller, with the Ukrainian talent embarking on an upcoming English language album as part of a collaboration with Warner Music Poland. You can hear a taster of this in singles 5 Missing Calls and Before We Say Goodbye.
We have been obsessed since Svetlana Loboda blew our minds in her performance of Be My Valentine (Anti-Crisis Girl) at Eurovision 2009. Prior to this LOBODA had already found success in her home nation with two well received studio albums. She has since gone on to further success with tens of millions of views on videos for tracks such as Tvoi glaza, Random, SuperSTAR, and mega-banger Boom Boom. She released new album Made In U earlier this year. Loboda can effortlessly flit between high energy pop and powerful emotional ballads.
Ukrainian based talent Jamala was thrust into the international spotlight after her Eurovision win with 1944 telling the story of her Crimean Tatar ancestors. Fusing elements of jazz, soul, funk, folk, pop and electro, Jamala is a force to be reckoned with – clear from her dazzlingly unique original compositions. Jamala has seven albums to her name, including English LP 1944 and most recent Ukrainian album Qirim (Crimea) which dropped earlier this year.
Releasing some of the slickest dance bangers around, Will Armex has become a regular feature on Culture Fix thanks to his sharp electropop compositions. Catching our eye with his single The Shadow, Will delivers mysterious, sensual vocals atop Mediterranean flavoured beats with hypnotic effects. He has continued to impress with the smooth Golden City, the evocative Alien, and 90s flavoured Move and Dance. Will’s recent singles Love Is Over and Hands Away have seen him continue to hone his craft and help him stand out as one of the most exciting figures in the dance world.