There hasn’t been much good news coming out of Belarus of late. However, the country’s Eurovision 2020 act VAL brought a smile to many with the announcement that they have married. The news comes just over a week after the pair joined NAVIBAND and several other artists at Freedom Day concerts in Poland.
Val’s Valeria and Vladislav get married
Following their engagement while on holidays in Montenegro last summer, VAL’s Valeria Gribusova and Vladislav Pashkevich have tied the knot. After exchanging their vows, the newlyweds decided to tattoo a ring on their ring fingers as a sign of their eternal love for each other.
We send massive congratulations to the happy couple.
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VAL and NAVIBAND perform in Poland
One week earlier, on Belarus’ Freedom Day on 25 March, Eurovision 2017’s NAVIBAND and VAL travelled to Warsaw, Poland to perform at a number of freedom concerts.
NAVIBAND first joined a selection of Polish and Belarusian artists at an event in the Warsaw Philharmonic. The band later joined VAL and opera singer Margarita Levchuk at another concert in Bialystok.
NAVIBAND perform with the Warsaw Philharmonic
The Warsaw concert was organised as a collaboration between the National Philharmonic Orchestra, the Polish Ministry of Culture and the Polish-Belarusian television channel BelSat.
Next to Belarusian acts NAVIBAND and Adam Shtaba, the line up included Polish artists Igor Herbut, Kamil Bijoś, Katarzyna Cerekwicka, Piotr Cugowski and Krystyna Prońko.
The concert incorporated multiple classic Polish and Belarusian protest songs, such as “Gray” by Lyapis Trubetskoy and “Dzwiny jest ten świat” by Czeslaw Niemen. NAVIBAND performed five of their own songs with the orchestra.
NAVIBAND started their set with their 2020 song “Inshymi”. Not a strange choice, considering that the track marked the start of NAVIBAND’s political activism. Arciom wrote the song during the increasing political tensions in June 2020. Second, they performed their well-known Eurovision 2017 entry “Story of My Life”.
Later in the concert, the band performed their feminist empowerment song “Girl in White”, which was inspired by the brave women of the protest movement. Subsequently, they sang one of their most famous songs, “Biazy”, which appeared on their 2017 album. In their last performance as a group that night, NAVIBAND sang “Milliony bol’shikh serdets”.
NAVIBAND’s Ksienija and Igor Herbut sing “Mury”
NAVIBAND’s Ksienija and Igor Herbut concluded the concert with a cover of Jacek Kaczmarski‘s iconic song “Mury” (“Walls”). While Igor performed the song in its original language, Ksenija sang in Belarusian. It resulted in a passionate duet between the two singers. Ksienija’s tweaked the chorus, so that it went:
You crave freedom
Then you take it
The walls will quickly collapse
It will collapse, it will collapse.
The story of the prison walls is also one that is close to the band. Earlier, Arciom shaved off his trademark curls in protests for those who had been imprisoned during the holiday season.
NAVIBAND and VAL perform at the Bialystok Puppet Theatre
NAVIBAND were not the only Eurovision stars to travel to Warsaw. Eurovision 2020 stars VAL performed at another Freedom Day concert with them, alongside opera singer Margarita Levchuk.
Appearing stylish as ever, VAL took the stage with confidence. They first performed the synthwave version of their Eurovision entry “Da vidna”. That was followed by their follow-up single “Particle of Happiness”. Then, the duo gave a vocally stunning performance of their single “Navechna”.
Furthermore, VAL sang “Tikhaya gavan'”, the single that first brought them fame in late 2019. Following that, Valeria brought a strong vocal performance on an older VAL hit. Of course, the show wouldn’t have been complete for the duo singing “Da vidna” once more.
NAVIBAND meanwhile performed roughly the same set of songs as with the Warsaw Philharmonic, adding their Autumn 2017 single “A dzie žyvieš ty?” and their first proper Eurovision effort and breakthrough song “Vyberu sam” from 2014 and “Ne pakiday”, a single from their Spring 2017 album.
Did you like NAVIBAND’s performances at the Warsaw Philharmonic? And their performances at the Bialystok Theatre? Let us know in the comments down below!
Read all our Belarus Eurovision news here.