The early months of the year are always a busy time for Eurovision fans, with national final season, the pre-parties and the contest itself all rolling in one after the other without much of a breather.
So, while we’re focused on the contestants of this year’s contest, it’s easy for us to miss the new music that Eurovision contestants of yesteryear release.
But now we’re going to start righting that wrong with a roundup of new music that has come from some Eurovision alumni. Starting with Ukrainian divas Zlata Ognevich, Ani Lorak, Alyosha, LOBODA and Tina Karol.
Zlata Ognevich – “Do мене” (“To Me”)
After serving Bollywood-realness and then taking us to dancefloor in 2017, Zlata Ognevich brings yet another musical style into her repertoire with “Do мене” (“To Me”). Light and fun, the song gets your toes tapping with a bouncy electronic chorus.
“The idea of this track came unexpectedly when we worked in a studio on a completely different song”, Zlata notes in the lyric video’s description. She goes on: “We liked the bit and we decided to come up with a text. I was very inspired by the style of the track itself, and I wrote the text.”
The official music video sees the “Gravity” songstress and a group of backing dancers donning lilac-coloured clothes with see-through garments on top. Zlata and her crew undertake synchronous choreography in addition to just playing around and having a good time, whether it be throwing confetti in the air, bumping into each other whilst wearing zorbs, or playing with blue-coloured light sabres. No doubt Zlata was up for some fun as the music video was shot on her birthday (12 January), before being released on Valentine’s Day.
“For me this is a pictorial video…and it is about love,” Zlata comments. “I deliberately abandoned the traditional celebration, because on this day there is a special atmosphere…It seems to me that the viewer through the screen will be able to experience the positive that filled me in the shooting”.
Ani Lorak – “Новый бывший” (“New ex”) and “Сумасшедшая” (“Crazy”)
Eleni Foureira may have stolen some of her thunder as the all-time fan-favourite Eurovision diva, but Ani Lorak’s career continues to go from strength to strength regardless. She was recently awarded the ‘Best Duet’ Muz-TV Award for her collaboration with Russian rapper Mot on “Сопрано” (“Soprano”) (even beating out Sergey Lazarev’s and Dima Bilan’s highly anticipated collaboration).
Ani has also released a couple of solo songs since we last checked in with her. As we were all gearing up for FiKmas last December, the “Shady Lady” hitmaker released “Новый бывший” (“New ex”). The song sees Ani closing the door on a relationship and getting over a man who is now her “new ex”. The music video is particularly artistic, with multiple copies of Ani walking around and meeting a psychiatrist to help her move on from this relationship.
However, Ani’s latest release, “Сумасшедшая” (“Crazy”), sees her return to a more pop-like sound after predominantly focusing on ballads in recent years. Although it’s still not the same upbeat euroclub anthem as her Eurovision 2008 hit, it’s certainly a nice eastern-European style summer-bop.
Uploaded at the end of May, the music video sees Ani and her ab-tastic partner just miss their flight. But rather than start an argument like most couples might, the two laugh it off and decide to head out on a road-trip instead. Taking advantage of the local scenery, they make the most of being with each other regardless of the location, as Ani sings: “I’ll run and leap into your arms / Hold me, I go crazy when we’re apart”.
Alyosha – “На фоні Париж” (“Against The Background of Paris”) and “Текіла” (“Tequila”)
Alyosha, Ukraine’s 2010 representative, is another artist whose December release we missed. Coming from her 2017 album Маленький секрет (Little Secret), “На фоні Париж” (“Against The Background of Paris”) is a song about unconditional love that does not weather over time and does not require anything else. The music video is noted to explore a story about what would have happened if Adam and Eve were not tempted. The “Sweet People” singer is seen caressing her lover throug all weather conditions, including in the snow and under a pile of falling autumn leaves. Alyosha has also released a Russian-language version of the song.
Alyosha’s latest single is “Текіла” (“Tequila”). The song explores the Ukrainian singer’s passion for a certain someone that was brought about by this person spiking her coffee: “Yes, you slipped me those potions in the coffee…Tequila flowed, this passion is crazy in the body”.
In the music video we see Alyosha having dinner with a man and sharing a bottle of wine (no tequila in sight). In turns out that both Alyosha and her date are undercover spies and accept a job to kill the other. After doing the tango together and discovering each other’s intentions, the two battle it out in the restaurant’s kitchen. But before anyone gets too seriously hurt, the two remember the passion that brought them together and head to the storage cupboard to settle things in a different way. Why fight when you could make love, right?!
LOBODA – “Парень” (“Guy”), “Лети” (“Fly”) and “SuperSTAR”
She may have placed outside the top ten at Eurovision 2009, but LOBODA has become one of Ukraine’s biggest stars nonetheless. She started the year by releasing the music video for “Парень” (“Guy”). And what a music video it is! LOBODA makes sure to throw in everything, and then the kitchen sink. Panthers, helicopters, vampires, and the usual splattering of half-naked men, the video sees the “Be My Valentine!” temptress find a guy in the club before taking him home and having her way with him (but not in the way you might initially expect). As for the song itself, it fits well into much of LOBODA’s previous work. So if you’re a fan of her 2017 H2LO album you’ll probably be a fan of this as well.
LOBODA’s second single of the year was “Лети” (“Fly”). The song was written for and released in accordance with the second instalment of the fantasy-horror film series, Gogol. Viy. As with other film-soundtrack songs, the music video is interspersed with clips from the film. The remainder sees LOBODA sat in a large movie theatre, before she is joined by an ominous hooded figure. With the song sitting more in the ballad category, we get to see a more emotional side to the Ukrainian star that doesn’t often come across in the club-dance singles she’s known for.
Speaking of club-dance songs, LOBODA’s latest release from earlier in June is “SuperSTAR”. Our anti-crisis girl sings about leaving someone who is holding her back and heading out on her own to become the star that she knows she is: “You’re today, but I’m tomorrow / Remember, honey, all people are ordinary mortals, but I’m a superstar!” Unfortunately, while her music videos are usually a highlight, we currently only have the audio of “SuperSTAR”, with just a teaser of the music video that will be released sometime soon.
But one thing that is very identifiable in the teaser is LOBODA’s baby bump from earlier in the year, proving that you can be a superstar no matter what stage of life you are currently going through (or supporting in-utero).
Back in March the singer confirmed her pregnancy in an Instagram post, saying: “For me, this is a great miracle. And I’m grateful to the sky for this gift”. She later headed to Los Angeles for the birth and posted the first photo of her newborn second daughter on Instagram at the end of May, commenting: “Thank you for making this miracle possible”.
Although LOBODA has decided to keep much of the birth private, and not yet revealed who the father of the child is, we nonetheless wish her, the baby and the rest of the family all the best for the future.
Tina Karol – The Intonations of Tina Karol
Not to be outdone by her fellow divas, Tina Karol, Ukraine’s 2006 representative, hasn’t just released a couple handful of singles, but treated her fans to an entire visual album. The Intonations of Tina Karol was released at the start of March and includes eight music videos of songs from her 2017 album Интонации (Intonation). A particular standout is “Дикая вода” (“Wild Water”) (scroll to 35:39 in the video below). While many of the songs are more downtempo, “Дикая вода” sees Tina unleash a more confident and sultry side to her. Performing in the rain while wearing a form-hugging red dress, the “Show Me Your Love” hitmaker sings about her captivation for a certain individual: “I want to be with you. / Be in your fuss. As if forever in you.”
The full musical film intersperses these videos with a very frank an honest interview with Tina herself (including English subtitles). The singer opens up about her current loneliness following the death of her husband Eugeny Ogir in 2013, and how the ‘character’ of Tina Karol differs from her inner self.
Mariya Yaremchuk ends her music career
While we’ve covered almost every Ukrainian Eurovision diva in this round-up, there’s unfortunately one person who we won’t be hearing any new music from in the future. Mariya Yaremchuk, who represented Ukraine at Eurovision 2014 and finished in 6th place with “Tick-Tock”, has unfortunately announced that she is ending her creative activity. Announcing her intentions on Instagram two days after the Eurovision 2018 grand final, the star later explained her decision in an extensive interview with ZIK: “It was difficult for me to go on stage! I started having panic attacks”.
Mariya added that there is nothing wrong in her personal life, but she finds that she becomes a completely different person on stage: “When I am announced as Mariya Yaremchuk, I immediately begin to behave unnaturally, in an idiotic way”. And she’s thought long and hard about this decision: “I’ve been making a decision for a whole year! It’s not impulsive! It’s not an emotion! It’s a conscious decision!”
Nevertheless, there’s still some good news for her fans. While the singer may be ending the ‘Mariya Yaremchuk’ project, she still plans to continue singing, just in a different format. We look forward to seeing what the future brings for one of our favourite Ukrainian stars!
What do you think of these latest music releases? Which Ukrainian diva’s music are you loving the most? And are you sad to hear of Mariya ending her music career? Let us know in the comments below!