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A close up photo of Nata Zhyzhchenko, front person of the Ukrainian band Onuka.

April – Week 2 – Ukrainian Music

I need to make one thing very clear. In no way shape or form did I learn everything there is to know about Ukrainian music this past week. Mostly because Ukrainian music has a long and rich history, ranging from traditional folk music to contemporary heavy metal. But this week was also one of 15 hour work days every day, so I didn’t have time for much of anything outside of work and sleep. That being said, I did listen to a new Ukrainian artist every day, and I loved each and every one of them. So here we go.

I started the week with Tina Karol, who represented Ukraine at the 2006 Eurovision song contest. The song I chose featured a singer named Julia Sanina, so the next day I checked out her band, The Hardkiss. Needless to say, I now have a new favourite alt rock band. On Wednesday I discovered TKN. I also discovered that I had never heard heavy metal in a language other than English, and that was quite the trip. I then made the delightful discovery that my favourite Christmas song, “Carol of the Bells”, is actually an adaptation of a Ukrainian folk song that was traditionally sung on New Year’s. I knew there was a reason I’ve always loved that song! I rounded out the week with Onuka, an incredible electro-folk band, and Vivienne Mort, who is not in fact a French singer, but an indie rock band founded by Daniela Zaiushkina.

All in all, it was an amazing week of discovering new music and artists. I also learned that the very first professional music academy of the Russian Empire was founded in Ukraine in the 18th century, so I’m hoping I can delve more into the history of classical Ukrainian music later this month.

But for now, I’ll leave you with this video from Unicef, in which Ukrainian children give a plea for peace through the medium of poetry. If only the adults in charge would listen.

Suggestions for artists I should check out? Please contact me with your ideas. I hope you enjoyed your daily helping of art!