Go_A were due to represent Ukraine at the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam with their song “Solovey”. It would have been the country’s first song completely in Ukrainian, combining folk and electro elements.
Ukrainian broadcasters UA:PBC and STB chose Go_A through Vidbir 2020, their national selection process. Past winners of Vidbir included Eurovision 2016 winner Jamala and Mélovin.
We’ve compiled 10 facts you need to know about Go_A. Let’s do this!
Ukraine at Eurovision 2020: Facts about Go_A
1. They formed in 2012
Multi-instrumentalist Taras Shevchenko wanted to create a group that would combine folk elements with modern EDM music. In 2011, he spent a year looking for likeminded people and eventually found them in the other group members.
2. They are a producer, a voice, a sopilka player and a guitarist
Next to Taras Shevchenko, the group’s most notable member is red-haired lead singer Kateryna Pavlenko. Kateryna uses the white voice singing technique. It’s a common singing practice in many Eastern European nations and sees the singer sing in her natural monotone voice. The remaining two members are sopilka player Ihor Didenchuk and guitarist Ivan Hrihoriak.
3. Their name has a cryptic meaning
Go_A have perhaps the most creative group name of Eurovision 2020. Pronounced as “Go A” in English, the group name means “Go back to your roots”. “A” symbolises the roots as it is the first letter of the alphabet. The group gets back to their roots through the use of traditional Ukrainian folk music elements.
4. They come from all over Ukraine
While Taras Shevchenko is from the capital Kyiv, the rest of Go_A hail from other parts of Ukraine. Lead singer Kateryna is from the city of Nizhyn in the north of the country. Ihor is from Lutsk in the west and Ivan was born in the Bukovina region.
5. They have performed at many festivals throughout Eastern Europe
In Go_A’s early years, the band regularly played at music festivals. As a result, they have plenty of stage experience. And they didn’t just appear at events in their home country. They’ve also performed in neighbouring Poland and Belarus and even in Israel.
6. Their breakout hit was “Vesnianka”
Released in 2016, “Vesnianka” was the single that first put Go_A on the radar of many Ukrainians. It received significant recognition and airplay from several major radio channels. The track also led to the band receiving a nomination for “Discovery of the Year” from Kiss FM. The song spent four months inside the same station’s 10Dance chart, including six weeks at number one.
7. Their debut album came in 2016
On the back of their hit single, Go_A dropped their debut album in the same year. It was released through Moon Records, one of the country’s biggest labels. #Idinazvuk contained ten song. This remains their only LP to date.
8. Kateryna used to work as a model
Trying to sustain yourself in Ukraine’s music industry is no easy feat. To make ends meet, Go_A’s frontwoman Kateryna also worked as a part-time model, as well as at a fast-food chain.
9. They have a Christmas single
In 2017, Go_A teamed up with Katya Chilly to release the festive single “Shchedryi vechir”, which translates as “Generous Evening”. Katya would also go on to compete in the 2020 Ukrainian national final, although she was eliminated in the semi-finals.
10. They tried for Eurovision because their fans wanted them to
The group members acknowledged in an interview that: “We decided to take part in the national selection for Eurovision 2020, because many of our listeners wrote us that we should be the representatives of Ukraine in that contest. After all, our music has a pronounced signature of unique authenthic Ukrainian culture.”
Eurovision 2021 update
In a statement shared on the day Eurovision 2020 was cancelled, the band wrote: “We are pleased to inform you that we will still represent Ukraine next year at the Eurovision 2021. UA: FIRST and STB 2021 will not carry out additional national selection”.
They concluded by saying: “We are very grateful to each of you for the support and crazy emotions you have given us. For believing in yourself and a victorious spirit. For overturning our world and becoming such a close musical family”.
Would Go_A have kept Ukraine’s 100% qualification record? Could Go_A produce another hit like “Solovey” in 2021? Let us know in the comments.