Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra throws down motherland’s beats at Eurovision – KyivPost

With their infectious musical fusion of roots and rhythm, Ukrainian people hip-hop band Kalush Orchestra is driving a wave of goodwill on the Eurovision Song Contest this yr — whilst eyeing the competition’s most sensible prize.

Tapping conventional Ukrainian people track however mashing up an invigorating hip-hop beat with a haunting, lullaby chorus, “Stefania” was once written final yr through the band’s frontman, 27-year-old rapper Oleh Psiuk, as a tribute to his mom.

But the music decided on to constitute Ukraine at Eurovision — simply days ahead of Russia’s invasion — has taken on oversized which means for a rustic nearing its 3rd month of the struggle. It incorporates nostalgic lyrics reminiscent of “I’ll always find my way home even if all the roads are destroyed” and celebrates cultural id and the motherland.

Standing out within the pageant lengthy cheered for its flamboyance and camp, the band gained a status ovation on Tuesday after passing the semifinals. It is thought of as through bookmakers a favorite to develop into Eurovision’s outright winner on the finale on Saturday.

“My mum is in Ukraine and many of my relatives are in Ukraine but there is really no safe place in Ukraine at the moment,” Psiuk instructed AFP via an interpreter.

“It’s really like a lottery, where you cannot know where exactly you’ll get in danger. So we are very worried about everyone and our relatives that are in Ukraine.”

Such worries have fuelled the band’s power right through Eurovision, he stated.

“We feel here as if on a mission because at the moment, as we speak, Ukrainian culture is being destroyed,” Psiuk stated.

“But it is our role to show it is alive and it has a lot to offer. It’s unique. It really represents every Ukrainian who is now suffering in the world today.”

– Flutes and fusion –

Although regarded as nonpolitical, the sector’s largest music contest, watched through tens of millions of folks, inevitably displays better geopolitical tensions.

This yr, the European Broadcasting Union banned Russia from the competition an afternoon after it invaded Ukraine on February 24. Russia had competed in Eurovision since 1994.

Perhaps essentially the most unique and energizing act at this yr’s pageant, the six-member all-male Kalush Orchestra sprang from Psiuk’s unique hip-hop staff Kalush, named for his native land in western Ukraine.

The band is made up of Psiuk, Ihor Didenchuk, Tymofii Muzychuk, Vitalii Duzhyk, Oleksandr Slobodianyk and MC KylymMen (“CarpetMan”).

Its new sound accommodates conventional people tools, together with the telenka, which is performed with one hand controlling the pipe’s open finish, and some other flute-like software, the sopilka.

Performing in richly embroidered conventional garb, the band could also be in an instant recognisable for Psiuk’s bubblegum crimson bucket hat and the carpet-like bodysuit worn through the breakdancing MC CarpetMan.

But it’s Kalush Orchestra’s sound that makes the band distinctive. It “mixes old ancient folk, even forgotten sounds, with super modern and understandable-for-everyone hip-hop rap elements”, Psiuk instructed reporters final week.

 – ‘Fighting age’ –

To win Eurovision, Kalush Orchestra should be selected above 24 different finalists competing on Saturday. Votes are solid through a mixture of track trade execs and the general public from every nation — who don’t seem to be allowed to vote for their very own country.

Were Ukraine to win, subsequent yr’s Eurovision could be held within the nation, which Psiuk vowed could be a “new, integrated, well developed, flourishing Ukraine”.

Although one band member who joined the military 3 days after the invasion stays in Ukraine protecting Kyiv, Ukraine’s govt gave the gang a unique dispensation to go back and forth in a foreign country to compete at Eurovision.

“That’s why we want to be as useful to our country as we can be,” Psiuk instructed reporters.

“Representing your country is responsible anytime but representing it in a time of war is… a maximum responsibility for us.”

Psiuk says the band will go back to Ukraine without delay after Eurovision.

As their press unlock written forward of the competition explains: “They will be allowed to leave for the final on 14th May but must return as men of fighting age the day after.”


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