Over the past two years its lead singer Nata Zhyzhchenko has served as the face of blue chip companies including Pepsi and Samsung.

And on Tuesday producers behind Eurovision 2017 revealed that experimental electro band ONUKA will add another shining bullet to its CV by serving as the interval act during the grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2017.

The group’s thoroughly contemporary sound — along with their progressive and avant-garde look — will help to showcase Ukraine as a modern nation with an open mind.

Upcoming shows!

A post shared by ONUKA (@onukaofficial) on

The group’s growing profile is reflected in their busy tour schedule, which will see them performing all across Ukraine in the coming months, along with appearances in Romania, Poland and Austria.

Their self-titled debut album was among the most important releases on the Ukrainian music scene in 2014, topping the iTunes album charts and receiving rave reviews from music journalists.

The group consists of frontwoman Nata Zhyzhchenko and sound producer Evgene Filatov (also known as The Maneken).

Individually they had achieved success composing across deep house, disco house and electro-funk. But, as they explain on their web site, they decided to do more when they came together, creating unique sounds described as “folktronica”. As their press kit explains:

Their territory is the crossroads of many genres. The beautiful scenery of the dreamy electronica, cold Nordic melodies and sophisticated digital disco. And, of course, the chemistry…the junction of all things innovative, futuristic, deep and rooted. It is in the blend of trendy arrangements and elements of Ukrainian folk music for which Nata has been impregnated since childhood.

The duo released their five-track EP “Vidlik” last year.

Their single “Other” represents “the symbiosis of electronica and live folk instruments” and help expose the sensuality depth of Nata’s voice.

Another stand out is ‘1986’ — an intimate ballad with a trip-hop beat which poignantly recounts the tragedy of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. The track includes archived recordings of the operators who worked during the explosion.

Nata’s own father was among the men who worked to combat the after-effects of the disaster.

The group consider the title track their most “unexpected, bold and experimental track of the EP.”

Melding a bouncy house beat with a “bass hook and animal energy”, the song even includes an exotic folk instrument known as the “bugay.”

Read more Ukraine Eurovision news

53 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
MTD
MTD
3 years ago

I am all for having local talent as interval act and not some Timberlake promoting his song and acting all American. LOL

Good work UA. Finally. Hahah

DyGh
DyGh
3 years ago

Lol The Maneken? It almost sounds like the dialect-ish Dutch word for “little man” 😉

Mil
Mil
3 years ago

Filatov aka The Maneken (a man with glasses in the first video) was the sound producer of 1944 and of the two latest Jamala’s albums, as well as the sound producer of 2 other songs which were last year’s national selection finalists: SunSay and Brunettes Shoot Blondes.

Étoile
Étoile
3 years ago

Last year I was disappointed by the choice of Justin Timberlake. I wanted for the internal act an act that represented The Swedish culture not something American
that we can hear and see all the year. I’m pleased with this choice. Bravo ! 🙂

DyGh
DyGh
3 years ago
Reply to  Étoile

Altough he premiered (I think) his new song “Can’t Stop The Feeling” which was something special for the contest.

Zebb
Zebb
3 years ago
Reply to  DyGh

DyGh, it was written by swedes.

eurovision-berlin
eurovision-berlin
3 years ago

With this modern European sound they will have more success than any of the contestants of this year.

Gavin
3 years ago

its what I never understand…. you sit through 26 songs and then the interval act is better than them all…

or at national finals when the guest singer is better than what you have just sat through!

Jumbo
Jumbo
3 years ago

Anything is better than Justin Timberlake. That act was embarrassing for so many reasons. He is not European (like Europe is zero without American success), he was clueless about ESC (he thought the competitors were debutantes, that sing for the first time in front of a big audience), some ESC participants (like Barei and Poli Genova) were fangirling instead of having some dignity.

Zebb
Zebb
3 years ago

It’s normal. I can understand why Timberlake happened in Sweden, but do we have another countries exporting music out of Europe?
I adore Time and Misto, albeit elevated a little bit by video – can’t even separate Time from pleasure to watch it. Nata has got quite cold stage presense which sometimes make people think she’s selfish. Who knows, maybe she really is. Still, it’s a good choice especially if there gonna be used traditional instruments.

Zebb
Zebb
3 years ago
Reply to  Zebb

Forgot to add: Onuka from ukrainian translates as granddaughter.

vlvikin
vlvikin
3 years ago

At 13 May Rehensial too? Or only Grand final?

Vladimir P.
Vladimir P.
3 years ago

I don’t understand people who think a well-known international (in most cases this means American) act should be chosen for the interval. I think the contest should be an opportunity for the country to showcase the local talent. International acts do not need more recognition and the local Ukrainian talents do. Regardless whether one likes Onuka, I’m glad Ukraine went with a local act. I think all host countries should do this. How else would we have discovered Riverdance if Ireland had decided to import an interval act from USA?

AngieP
AngieP
3 years ago
Reply to  Vladimir P.

It didn’t bother me last year that the interval act was Justin Timberlake. However, I couldn’t agree more with you! Indeed, interval acts give the host country the opportunity to show their culture and their “local talent” as you say to the whole continent and Australia! At least, that’s how I understand the existence of an interval act!

fikri
fikri
3 years ago

artists in ukraine are really fierce. they need more global recognition.

escAU
escAU
3 years ago

Do other countries show the interval acts? Because in Australia they just play ads in between which is annoying but sbs gotta get that money

Hettio Marinppo
Hettio Marinppo
3 years ago
Reply to  escAU

I know how you feel I live in Australia too! Its so annoying, but I still see the invertal acts.

mocosuburbian
mocosuburbian
3 years ago

yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaas i love them so much
19 86 / Misto / Svitanok on a big stage will give. me. life.
this is really cool

Fergy
Fergy
3 years ago

Unless you`re going to get an International Superstar like Justin Timberlake, the last thing anyone wants after 26 songs is another song for the Interval Act! Weak choice.

Cf
Cf
3 years ago

No money for the international artists.

Darren
Darren
3 years ago

I personally prefer when local talents are used in the interval acts rather than worldwide superstars. Hosting Eurovision is a great opportunity to promote the culture, music, history, traditions and people of the host nation, and can lead to tourism, bigger opportunities for the artists and musicians, just look at Riverdance for example, which never would have became a global phenomenon if Dublin wasn’t hosting Eurovision in 1995! That is what hosting Eurovision means to me anyway, having a global star such as Justin Timberlake for example just diminishes the national isebity of the host nation and turns Eurovision into… Read more »

Denis
Denis
3 years ago

Having local acts as interval acts is always a safe choice. And slightly boring.
The host won’t lose nor will they gain anything from it. The interval act should be an integral part of the show, not just used as a filler to fill out time and create toilet break. Like most interval acts these few years. Germany 2011 and Baku 2012 were the worst.
This sounds promising but feels as a let down after last year.

Bartosz
Bartosz
3 years ago

Great choice. I really like ONUKA, especially their song “Time” – it’s amazing

cheesecake
cheesecake
3 years ago

I would rather have some local talent than a global superstar, especially if it’s something as avant-garde and different as this.

Alex
Alex
3 years ago

a shame they couldn’t book a big name this year.

Anyway, ONUKA sounds interesting.

Amor A
Amor A
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex

I think they are trying to showcase their local artists. Which I think is a great idea and something all countries should do. Eurovision is a great time to show off your nation and its people. Look at Ireland with Riverdance.

Nikos
Nikos
3 years ago

Vidlik is such an anti-song it really annoys me. To me, it is like a slightly more tolerable version of Las Bistecs “Historia del Arte.” Sorry to remind you all of that one… 🙂

mocosuburbian
mocosuburbian
3 years ago
Reply to  Nikos

given that the entire album is kind of a chernobyl memorial & a tongue-in-cheek poke at soviet-era ukraine the robotic vibes kind of make sense 😉

plus the song is supposed to imitate a countdown (ie at a nuclear reactor) so it fits
most of their music isn’t like vidlik

Markus
Markus
3 years ago
Reply to  Nikos

Las Bistecs – OMG their videos are so hilarious and funny!!! I`m still glad that Lluis presented them here and btw I know that everybody took it as a joke when they said they wanted to participate at ESC, but seriously they would have been a much better choice in the end as Manel is now. 🙂 Senoras bien… <3

FUUFR
FUUFR
3 years ago

Oh come on! Are you kiding me? The band who don’t sing? They song Vidlik is used by Google Translate and this is art of Ukraine? Oh what a shame! I don’t care about Onuka because this isn’t art this a shame!

vlvikin
vlvikin
3 years ago
Reply to  FUUFR

what you think about this song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4Cswp7smQ0 ?

Paul D.
Paul D.
3 years ago

Much better than Justin Timberlake imo, well done Ukraine!

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
3 years ago

A country with a rich culture is obviously going to show it and be proud. Well done, Ukraine. Free my mind with your artpop!

Irma
Irma
3 years ago

The music is actually awesome, I’m surprised!

liana
liana
3 years ago

Nobody cares about Eunuka

K.
K.
3 years ago
Reply to  liana

So as no one cares about your personal opinion…

ninasublatti
ninasublatti
3 years ago

great! And please don’t invite some sh*tty commercial american singer like last year! this is so much better

Castles
Castles
3 years ago

That’s cool, but still Ukraine is NOT modern nation with an open mind.

Ay Jo
Ay Jo
3 years ago
Reply to  Castles

Do you sound so modern by blaming the whole nation for being close-minded ??? But if you know all Ukrainians or majority of them then accept my apologies.

Castles
Castles
3 years ago
Reply to  Ay Jo

I have lived in Ukraine for 2 years.

vlvikin
vlvikin
3 years ago
Reply to  Castles

And what is modern nations?

Ay Jo
Ay Jo
3 years ago
Reply to  Castles

We/I have lived with people from Ukraine for 70 years. What is the point?

Ay Jo
Ay Jo
3 years ago

It is more interesting for me to follow artists in Ukraine in recent ten years than in Russia`s. They sounds more original and let me enhance my horizon. Well done Ukraine for choosing Onuka.

John
John
3 years ago

Kraftwerk called from 1986 they want their act back. Could they not get an int’l act to actually come to Ukraine to appeal to a European audience. Self-absorbed organizers!

Robyn Gallagher
Admin
3 years ago
Reply to  John

Really? Because most ESC hosts use local acts in their interval acts. Why should Ukraine have to be any different. I’d rather be exposed to new local talent than get a performance from a known international star.

Sash Animenkos
Sash Animenkos
3 years ago

Showcasing world-class national music during grand final interval is a safe choice. Still, after Justin Timberlake last year, it looks like a step back.

Erasmus
Erasmus
3 years ago

For me it’s even better than mediocre Justin Timberlike!

Sash Animenkos
Sash Animenkos
3 years ago
Reply to  Erasmus

Totally agree. Maybe, Timberlake is a world superstar, but his songs are utterly boring.

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
3 years ago
Reply to  Erasmus

Well Justin is performing I Can’t Go On this year already…oh waif

Joe
Joe
3 years ago

Amazing!!! I’m so into new styles across Europe, and she is totally going to my playlist.

Broder
Broder
3 years ago

OMFG. I KNOW THEM since 2 Years. 19 98, Vidlik, Time. I loooove their Songs <3 <3 <3 <3

BenjaminMZ
BenjaminMZ
3 years ago

So… This is like Justin Timberlake from last year?

Aria
Aria
3 years ago

Well they have already disproved their progressiveness by banning Julia. A band is not going to overturn that.