On the day of the Eurovision 2015 grand final, Ukraine confirmed that they will return for the Eurovision Song Contest 2016. Eurofans around the world rejoiced, as the land of Ani Lorak and Verka Serduchka always brings something memorable. Who else can we count on for a smart staging gimmick and a quality pop song all at once? Here are give artists we think could bring Ukraine back to the contest with a bang.
1. Via Gra (a.k.a. Nu Virgos)
Their name in Ukraine is Via Gra, a reference to the drug that gets men going. But it’s also a way of saying “vocal-instrumental-ensemble game” in Ukrainian. Obviously. Outside of Ukraine, they go by Nu Virgos.
In the grand tradition of Destiny’s Child and the Sugababes, this three piece girl group has gone through various members since its founding in 2000. The former members include Vera Brezhneva (a massive star in Ukraine who is also featured on this list) and Svetlana Loboda (the “stripper in a hamster wheel” from 2009). They know how to drop powerful harmonies and ooze a cool pop-rock vibe.
2. Ani Lorak
In some countries, Eurovision is known as a career killer. Yet “Shady Lady” Ani Lorak used it to boost her already-impressive career. She’s a huge and influential name in Ukraine, and her recent work (such as “Oranjevie Sni” and “Korabli”) is levels above “Shady Lady”. She can definitely earn another top two result, piece of cake.
3. Elen Levon
Although Australia is still in limbo about next year’s participation, Ukrainian-born Australian singer Elen Levon could fly both flags if she represents her country of birth. She started off in a girl group in Australia called Panjo 5 and launched her solo career in 2011. The only problem? It’s unsure if Ukraine would be cool with an artist who left the country before she turned one.
Yolka (or Elka, in some media) is one of the most successful artists in Ukraine and Russia. She has won the Golden Gramophone three times, been recognized as Singer of the Year in Glamour, and judged the Ukrainian edition of X-Factor. Hopefully she can take time out of her schedule and visit Sweden in May.
5. Vera Brezhneva
Vera was a long-time member of Via Gra (as mentioned above), but left the group to present a Russian TV show known as “Power of 10”. She has since returned to music and her duet with Dan Balan, “Lepestkami slez“, is the most-watched music video on Russian music producer ELLO’s YouTube channel.
Who do you want to see perform for Ukraine?