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Eurovision Winners: Kalush Orchestra 

20 April - 10 September 2023

 

Championing Ukraine and defying the tragedy of war, Kalush Orchestra appeared at the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest in Turin and swept to sweet victory wearing the outfits which will go on public display as part of our Eurovision celebrations at the BME.

 

Oleh Psiuk is 28 years old and a Ukrainian rapper, founder, and frontman of Kalush Orchestra. His music career started out of pure passion, inspired by Enimen. Kalush Orchestra was created in 2021 with the name Kalush stemming from Oleh’s hometown in the Western part of Ukraine. The group is part of a vibrant Ukrainian-language hip-hop scene that has been trending in the past few years with dozens of top stars appearing in modern urban culture.

Kalush Orchestra won the Eurovision Song Contest 2022, with their entry song Stefania.

"Glory to Ukraine! Thank you to all the Ukrainians who voted for us, to the entire diaspora. We put in a lot of effort every day and can't convey how happy we are that we have succeeded now! Glory to Ukraine!" - commented on the victory of the leader of the group Oleg Psiuk.

Now Kalush Orchestra is a band of seven, with multi-instrumentalists Tymofii Muzychuk, Vitalii Duzhyk, Andriy Gandziuk, known as MC Dzhonni Dyvnyy, mysterious KilimMan (lead dancer under the nickname that translates as ‘Carpet-Man’), Sasha Kondratiuk, and Sasha Tab (vocalist of the band, also known as a member of the band "Salto Nazad").

After the band’s epic win, they raised $900,000 by auctioning off the glass microphone and a further $370,000 by raffling off the pink bucket hat frontman Oleh Psiuk wore during the performance. Oleh went on to have a second pink bucket hat custom made and have since reunited the hat with stage worn outfits to go on display.

Beyond the musical influences of their home country, Kalush Orchestra also showcase their Ukrainian origin through their outfits, wearing traditional ‘Hutsul keptar’ vests, a pink bucket hat tailored in a typical Ukrainian style, or dressed up as Hutsul molfars (molfar = magicians, shamans, and healers among the Hutsul people of Western Ukraine). Each band member’s outfit includes black and red coloured elements. As they explain in their own words: “Red, on the one hand, is a symbol of love, and on the other hand – it’s a symbol of suffering. Black is a symbol of darkness and fertility of the earth.”

Oleh commented on the style and inspiration of the sound and look of Kalush Orchestra, “The essence is that we take the old Ukrainian folklore that has been forgotten. We dig it out from many generations and add modern, contemporary elements, rap, and instruments. In the end we have a combination of what our ancestors had and what the young people like today. And those are our songs.”

 

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