Pictures: Thomas Hanses/EBU, STB

Between 2018 and 2020, Ruslan Kvinta — one of Ukraine’s most successful songwriters and producers — was the musical director of Vidbir – Ukraine’s national final for Eurovision. During that time, dozens of very different artists appeared in the preselection. From big names like Serhii Babkin and KAZKA to more unknown acts such as Go_A. However, getting the “SHUM” hitmakers to Eurovision was not an easy feat.

Go_A felt their music wasn’t for Eurovision

Speaking to Tetiana Honcharova on the programme Vidverto.LIVE, Ruslan revealed that he personally asked Go_A to apply to the national final. RBC.ua quoted him saying:

“Go_A is a very interesting group. They ended up in that selection by accident. One morning, Vidbir creative producer Natasha Franchuk sent me a link to their composition, I already had that link displayed in Apple Music, already before Natasha called. That was coincidental. It was the song “Rano ranenko”. An easy song, but I really liked the voice of the girl, there was something in it that hooked me.”

“We found their contacts. They were saying: “It doesn’t interest us at all. We are “not the format”. We have such music… are you sure?”. I said: “Guys, it’s that, what we need, therefore, I would really want that you would come to the auditions”. And that’s how the group ended up in the national final, totally not believing, that there were interesting for a wide audience. But that group won the selection, the pandemic year came and they wrote a very cool song.”

Ukraine looks for musical uniqueness

Ruslan believes that part of the success of Go_A lies in the fact that their music is not specifically made for the contest. As part of his producer duties, he always looked out for unique artists and songs. With that, he says he sometimes needed to encourage musicians as some didn’t believe in themselves. RBC.ua quotes him saying:

“I even said somewhere that it’s important to me to find a song that’s not for the contest, but a song that’s out of the contest. That it is not a special composition for Eurovision, that that song is the musical face of a performer or a group. Without using any templates.”

Ukraine’s Vidbir has yet to be formally confirmed for next year. The country’s public broadcaster Suspilne/UA:PBC has however confirmed its intention to participate in 2022. Back in February, Ruslan Kvinta said that he wanted to withdraw from his position of musical director, stating that three seasons was “more than enough”.

Do you agree with Ruslan Kvinta’s statements? Who do you want to see representing Ukraine next year? Let us know in the comments down below!

Read more Ukraine Eurovision 2022 news.

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Vladimir P.
Vladimir P.
2 months ago

Go_A were amazing this year! Really worthy representatives of Ukraine. I hope we see Tayanna in 2022! Greetings from Serbia

Last edited 2 months ago by Vladimir P.
esc1234
esc1234
2 months ago

A perfect example that thinking out of the box can be iconic.

Take notes Sweden.

Jake
Jake
2 months ago

I do agree with him that non-Eurovision songs actually seem to do well in Eurovision. Things that typically seem safe and mainstream are the ones that are standing out more. You’re walking on the knives edge because sometimes it can be too out there like Telemoveis, but then you have the brilliance of things like Måneskin and Go-Shum and Jamala 1944 and conchita and sobral. Acts that just seem too different from anything else you expect for Eurovision.

DonutLover
DonutLover
2 months ago

I want various jazz,soul,rock,hiphop etc. artists to see the great results of different artists and “non-popular” genres this year and realise there is no such thing as not for Eurovision.
Have a great package that will appeal to the people and you are on a right track.
I hope next year we will get even more diversity because that’s what made Eurovision unique in the first place not flashy lights and radio songs!

Last edited 2 months ago by DonutLover
Sasha
Sasha
2 months ago

Assured, that singer ERIA can be worthy representative for Eurovision-2022. Her songs are wonderful)

Sabrina
Sabrina
2 months ago

May each struggling country find their own version of Ruslan Kvinta then, because his work selecting entries for Vidbir was very well done. Loved the “a song that’s not for the contest, but a song that’s out of the contest”, I definitely share his mindset concerning Eurovison.

Alex
Alex
2 months ago

ERIA must represent Ukraine at Eurovision-2022. She was Vidbir-2018 finalist as VILNA with Forest Song. She will participate in Vidbir-2022. It’s the best option for next year for Ukraine. Listen to her music, you will be surprised. And watch her performance in The Voice with Wicked Game.

Last edited 2 months ago by Alex
Nick
Nick
2 months ago
Reply to  Alex

Eria is truly amazing artist but if Tayanna or others rumored big names will compete next year it will be so hard for her to win Vidbir, I bet next edition gonna be a bloodbath

Last edited 2 months ago by Nick
Ashton
Ashton
2 months ago
Reply to  Nick

vidbir is always a bloodbath tbh. ukraine is always overflowing with talent

Mariia
2 months ago
Reply to  Alex

As a Ukrainian I want something more original like Kazaky, Alyona Alyona, Alina Pash or Khayat

Adn
Adn
1 month ago
Reply to  Alex

you must be her PR-manager or something because nobody here knows who it is

MyName
MyName
2 months ago

I loved their entry. I dunno how many “pluses” I will get for what I write now. But I actually think the most interesting music in ESC is the music which some people might not consider “the right music” for ESC. I love originality and musical diversity. The original songs are usually more interesting than the more “ESC-tailormade” songs I think. But of course – the more “typical” songs can be (very) good too

Erasmus
Erasmus
2 months ago
Reply to  MyName

I agree but there are exceptions to both of them. I sometimes love “eurovision” songs (Malta 2021, Cyprus 2018/2019/2021, Australia 2016) and sometimes I hate songs that weren’t made for Eurovision (Ukraine 2017)

Vsl
Vsl
2 months ago

Taras and Kateryna once said that they took the 1st Vidbir-related call from Ruslan Kvinta as a joke

Una
Una
2 months ago

Thank you, Mr. Ruslan Kvinta. You deserve acknowledgement for the great job you’ve done!!!

Other broadcasters should take notes as results show they didn’t know what they were doing!!!!

acp
acp
2 months ago

That’s exactly why Ukraine is the only country with 100% qualification rate and probably with one of the best combined results. They always send songs that are not made for the contest and therefore stand out. Even their weakest entries are quite nice (except 2005 imo). I hope they continue to have the same approach towards ESC.

Jonas
Jonas
2 months ago
Reply to  acp

2005 was the song of the Orange Revolution, though. Nice or not, it had power.

MyName
MyName
2 months ago
Reply to  acp

I think the same about Latvia and Georgia. So many original and interesting songs 🙂

acp
acp
2 months ago
Reply to  MyName

Yess, me too! Too bad they almost never qualify 🙁

Eugenie
Eugenie
2 months ago

Maybe, Kvinta’s ways are one of the reason we still have no NQs.

Bonny
Bonny
2 months ago

few news: Go_a now have a website you can find the link on their Insta
they have confirmed dates performance in Estonia, Lithuania, Belgium and Netherlands this year, and as Kate said in Poland and Italy too but no dates yet
Colabs with Montaigne and Gjon Tears are coming soon,though we have to wait a bit
Tserkovka and Rano will be out in August

Vsl
Vsl
2 months ago
Reply to  Bonny

live performance of Tserkovka at Atlas Weekend is now available on Youtube

Nick
Nick
2 months ago
Reply to  Bonny

Kateryna said she and Gjon communicate via WhatApp every day, wondering what they’re talking about so often lol

Karina
Karina
2 months ago
Reply to  Nick

its so nice 🙂

Last edited 2 months ago by Karina
Berta
Berta
2 months ago
Reply to  Nick

about weather of course, lol
but honestly their relationship/friendship is so cute, they send each other sweet comments in livestreams and stories, talking about each other in interviews, posting how they miss each other and etc.,
I know they both will perform in Amsterdam this December but Kateryna said they gonna meet very soon, I guess in Paris or Kyiv this summer, i can’t wait for their meeting and colab 😉

Last edited 2 months ago by Berta
Vsl
Vsl
2 months ago
Reply to  Berta

ohh… I would not surprised if their ‘colab’ will ultimately result in a baby