A music with energy: Ukraine’s Eurovision entry unites nation – ARAB TIMES

TURIN, Italy, Could 7, (AP): Ukrainian band Kalush Orchestra’s upbeat, melodic entry for this month’s Eurovision Tune Contest was written as a tribute to the frontman’s mom. Because the Russian invasion of Ukraine, it has develop into an anthem to the war-ravaged motherland. “Stefania” is the most-watched music on YouTube among the many 35 nationwide entries which are slated to compete when the Eurovision contest takes place subsequent week in Turin, an industrial metropolis in northern Italy.

Ukrainian band Kalush Orchestra carry out in the course of the Eurovision in Live performance occasion on the AFAS Dwell area in Amsterdam on April 9, 2022. EPA

Whereas some odds makers and information analysts have predicted different contestants will win, the music by Kalush Orchestra is shortly turning into a sentimental favourite. “I’ll all the time discover my means house, even when all roads are destroyed,’’ Kalush Orchestra frontman Oleh Psiuk wrote within the lyrics for “Stefania.” His phrases have develop into extra poignant as missiles pound Ukrainian cities and villages, forcing over 11 million to flee since Russia invaded the nation. “Certainly, some stuff in right here was written lengthy earlier than the battle, and it was devoted to my mom,’’ Psiuk advised The Related Press at his lodge in Turin.

“After it began with the battle and the hostilities, it took on extra which means, and many individuals began seeing it as their mom, Ukraine, within the which means of the nation. It has develop into actually near the hearts of so many individuals in Ukraine,” stated the songwriter, who wore a vibrant bucket hat that might make him immediately recognizable to anybody who has streamed “Stefania.” Kalush Orchestra’s Eurovision efficiency could have an added political message, representing the individuality of Ukrainian tradition towards Russian President Vladimir Putin’s bellicose declare that the previous Soviet republic was all the time a part of Russia. “Stefania” incorporates outdated Ukrainian melodies and distinctive musical pitches from a primitive, difficult-to-play woodwind referred to as a telenka, performed by lead singer Tymofii Muzychuk. The band members combine break dancing with Hopak, a Ukrainian folks dance, in an lively efficiency punctuated by Psiuk’s rap interludes. Costumes characteristic embroidered Cossack shirts and vests combined with up to date streetwear.

“We ourselves present that Ukrainian tradition and Ukrainian ethnic code exists,’’ Psuik stated. “Our objective is to make Ukrainian music in style, not solely in Ukraine however throughout Europe. And Eurovision is the perfect platform for that.” Psiuk and 5 bandmates, all males between the ages of 21 to 35, obtained particular permission from Ukrainian authorities to journey to Turin to take part in Eurovision, touring by land to Poland after which fl ying to Italy. One unique band member stayed behind to battle. Psiuk, 27, left behind a community of volunteers he organized two days into the battle to assist mete out logistical assist to individuals throughout Ukraine in search of shelter or transport. All will return to Ukraine when the music contest finishes. “We really feel an enormous accountability,’’ Psiuk stated. “It’s essential for us to be as helpful to the nation as doable. We need to symbolize our nation decently.”

Kalush Orchestra is greater than only a musical group. It’s a cultural mission that features folklore students and purposefully combines hip hop with conventional Ukrainian music, dance and costumes, some longforgotten, in keeping with Psiuk. The 6-month-old mission takes its identify from Psiuk’s hometown of Kalush, which is tucked within the Carpathian Mountains, south of the western metropolis of Lviv. It’s an evolution from the unique Kalush hip hop group that Psiuk additionally fronted. After Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine, Russia’s entry to the Eurovision was kicked out of the competition in a transfer organizers stated aimed to maintain politics out of the vastly in style occasion, which was seen final yr by 183 million individuals. Psiuk stated Russia’s exclusion from Eurovision, together with different cultural and sporting occasions, may ship a message to Russians “who could say they don’t perceive the state of affairs in full … that there’s a purpose that the entire world, Europe, is banning them.” (AP)


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