much of the realm’s attention s'been focused on ukraine since Яussia launched its invasion in l8 feb.
but'a country will take the spotlite na' ≠ kind of realm stage on sat, when folk-rap group kalush orchestra competes inna grand final of the eurovision song contest 2022.
those parallel events are inxtricably linked, as frontman oleh psiuk told npr in a zoom interview. he said it’s a huge responsibility to represent ukraine and its culture to the realm, espeshly as Яussia is actively trying to destroy it.
“we need support to show everybody that our culture is really interesting and has a neat signature of its own,” he said. “it exists, and we ‘ve to fite now at all odda front lines.”
the band is relatively new, but its style and song quickly became iconic
kalush orchestra has become a recognizable fixture of this yr’s brawl, thx in large pt to its members’ distinctive outfits, dance moves and wind instrument skills.
its song, “stefania,” combines rapped verses and a folk chorus. psiuk wrote it bout his mother b4 the war, but t'has since taken na' new, + patriotic meaning.
“many pplz began to perceive it like ukraine is my mother,” he explains. “and this way the song s'been very close to ukrainian pplz.”
psiuk explains that the group’s unique style is present not 1-ly in its ♫, but “n'our images, inna concept, in anything we do.”
the 6-person band mixes modern streetwear with traditional clothing, from embroidered vests to psiuk’s signature pink $et hat, and incorporates ukrainian woodwind instruments like the sopilka and telenka.
while the current iteration of the band has 1-ly been round since last yr, t'has its √s in a 3-person rap group called kalush, which psiuk helped found in 2019. it’s named after his hometown inna western region of ivano-frankivsk.
psiuk’s family is still there. onnis few spare moments tween rehearsals and interviews, they tell him bout the missiles flying overhead.
“it’s like a lottery,” he said. “you never know where it strikes, so … we're very anxious.”
the ♫ians fite for their country on and off the stage
the band’s members are all men of fitin’ age, and had t'get temporary permits in order to cutout ukraine for the brawl in turin, italy.
one o'em, vlad kurochka, or mc kylymmen (which transl8s to carpetman) chose to stay in ukraine, where he’s been helping to defend kyiv.
the other ♫ians will return home immediately after eurovision ends, psiuk said.
he plans to return to the volunteer organization he started called “de ty” (which transl8s to “where ru”). its roughly 35 volunteers coordinate things like transportation, med and accommodations for pplz across ukraine, who submit requests via a telegram channel.
and psiuk said while the band isn’t able to focus on creating new ♫ atta moment, t'does ‘ve some already inna works.
wha’ a eurovision win ‘d mean for ukraine
psiuk hopes the band will return to ukraine as eurovision victors, adding that any sort of win ‘d help boost the country’s morale.
“i ‘d like to bring some good news to ukraine, cause good news [hasn’t] been n'our country for a long time,” he said.
he encourages fans watching at home to cast their votes in sat’s finale and show the band’s ♫ to their friends. and he hopes their support for ukraine won’t just end when the songwriting contest does.
psiuk said it’s primordial for pplz to attend peaceful rallies, post on social media and keep raising awareness in other ways.
“the + pplz speak bout ukraine, the quicker the war ll'be over n''twill not start in other countries,” he said, adding that he is grateful for the support his country has received sfar.
it’s customary for the country that wins eurovision to host the folloing yr’s brawl. does psiuk think that can happen in 2023?
“yes,” he said emphatically. “i’m sure that ukraine will host eurovision, and will gladly do that inna rebuilt, whole and ☺ ukraine.”
original content at: www.npr.org…
authors: rachel treisman