Kalush Orchestra, representatives of Ukraine at the Eurovision Song Contest. ‘We are ready to win’ [WYWIAD]

  • The Kalush Orchestra will represent Ukraine at the 66th Eurovision Song Contest in Turin. The group sent its performance to the organizers in the form of a video
  • “Ukraine is more united than ever before. We want to remind the world how special our culture and our music are. I think there is a place for it when thinking globally.”
  • “I organized a group of volunteers in Ukraine, which currently consists of 35 people, who constantly help the victims of the war. We provide them with transportation, food and first aid”
  • This year’s Eurovision Song Contest will be held on May 10, 12 and 14 in Turin
  • More important information can be found on Onet homepage

Kalosh Orchestra is a band that combines rap music with elements of the Ukrainian people. The group was founded by Ue Psiuk – rapper and lead of the band Kałusz. The project was created only a few months ago, and their first single “Shtomber Womber” became a sensation in Ukrainian and received positive reviews from critics. During the Eurovision Song Contest, the band will sing the song “Stefania” dedicated to the leader’s mother. Although the musicians took second place in the pre-selections, the disqualification of Alina Bash made them represent Ukraine during the concert.

Bartosz Söder: First of all, I’d like to ask, how are you?

Ole Bisuk: Thank you. It is reasonably good. We are currently in Turin, where we are preparing for the Eurovision Song Contest.

It is a very difficult time for the whole of Europe, and especially for Ukraine. We all need some hope. Is that why you decided to enter the contest?

Eurovision gives us another channel to talk about Ukrainian identity and our culture. We want to show our country from the best side. Ukraine is more united than ever. We want to remind the world how special our culture and our music are. Thinking globally, I think there is a place for it.

The war continues. Did you have time to prepare for your performance?

we are ready. It’s true that we didn’t get the chance to perform and rehearse together in Ukraine, but now we’re using every minute to unite as a band. You will see that everything will be buttoned until the last button.

How did you go in your first rehearsals?

We were able to work with technicians, lighting technicians, and sound engineers, so that our performance got better. It will be significantly different from what you could have seen during the Ukrainian initial selections. The entire graphic design and scene will change. In fact, at this point, only the song will be the same. We want to surprise you with our performance.

In the Ukrainian media, most of the broadcast time on public television is devoted to the war. So where will this year’s Eurovision be shown?

This year the competition will be broadcast on UA ​​TV: KULTURA and on digital platforms. The semi-finals and final matches will definitely be broadcast on UA: KULTURA. As for the final, talks are underway with other media groups, and perhaps part of the marathon will be dedicated to Eurovision. The decision is not token yet.

You have been selected as winners in many categories for quite some time. Are you ready for the possibility of winning the main prize?

We were enjoying a high level of sports betting, even before the war broke out. So of course we are ready to win.

We hope that when a larger audience hears our song, they will want to vote for us and will love Ukrainian music.

And if I win, will Eurovision be organized in Ukraine?

It seems to me that it is too early to mention such topics. We’ll see what happens during the competition. However, we hope that if the expectations of the bookmakers come true and we actually win, then next year Eurovision will be able to emerge in a new, reconstructed and unified Ukraine. Prettier than before the war.

This is your first trip from Ukraine. Did you need a special pass to show up in Turin?

Yes, we have received a special permit from the Ukrainian government. However, it is limited in time, so right after the competition is over, we have to go back to the country. This permission also comes with great responsibility. We must use it to the best of our ability. Our trip should bring benefits to our country.

The Kalush Orchestra’s participation in this year’s competition has many supporters, but there are also voices to be left out and guest-only appearances. What is your position on this matter?

I have not heard such opinions. However, I would like to stress that almost all of Ukraine believe that this year’s Eurovision will be special for us. We must show the strength of our country like never before. smuggling our independence and our uniqueness.

What was your reaction when you learned of the European Broadcasting Union’s position on Russia’s exclusion from the competition?

I can’t imagine the regulators could have made a different decision. Russia has been excluded from many international events. Not only from Eurovision. I think that such a turn of events will allow many residents of Russia, who do not quite know what the current situation looks like, that something bad is happening.

Eurovision is not a political contest. So you understand that no hidden icons will appear during your performance?

As I mentioned – Eurovision is not a political competition, so we will not politicize it. This is not our job. However, if we are talking about hidden codes, you will all find out on May 10, when we appear on stage – how we will perform.

“Stefania” was initially a very personal song for you. I get the impression his tone is a little different now.

you are absolutely right. The piece was written before the outbreak of war. It was intended for my mother.

When the conflict begins, people see the final conclusion in the text.

The title is not only my mother Stefania, but also Ukraine. The work began to carry many positive values ​​for all Ukrainians. We hope that many Europeans will understand this message as well.

It should also be remembered that Eurovision is not just a show, but also a competition in which all songs have an equal chance of winning. Do you already have your favorites?

I know most of the songs well now. I think songs from Germany, Italy and Poland will be Ukraine’s biggest competition.

What message would you like to convey to all of Europe regarding your performance?

First of all, that Ukrainian music has a wonderful and unusual story behind it.

And why is music so important now?

Its positive message is important. The text is important. I think people can paste some songs like mantras right now. I believe that repeating good feelings gives people unlimited power.

You are now in Turin, preparing for Eurovision. What does your daily life look like in Ukraine?

I organized a group of volunteers in Ukraine, which currently consists of 35 people, constantly helping the victims of the war. We provide them with transportation, food and first aid.

It seems that we have all shown such a heart in the past few weeks that we can offer our selfless help.

You are right and I would like to thank everyone for that. It’s amazing how we all came together to do something good together.

What do you want your immediate future to look like?

Above all, we want this senseless war to end. For Ukraine to remain independent. They can be reborn stronger.

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