In 2019, Kalush, a Ukrainian rap group, was formed by rapper Oleh Psiuk, instrumentalist Ihor Didenchuk and breakdancer Vlad Kurochka. In 2021 the group launched a side project, Kalush Orchestra, to focus on hip-hop blended with traditional Ukrainian folk music. Members of the orchestra include Tymofii Muzychuk, Vitalii Duzhyk, Dzhonni Dyvnyy and Sasha Tab.

On May 14, 2022, the group won the Eurovision Song Contest with their song “Stefania.”

In an exclusive interview with uInterview’s founder, Erik Meers, Muzychuk explained their music-making process through interpreter Andrii Biesiedin.

“Actually, we don’t have the situation when like one person just brings in a complete song, we just come together at this studio,” he began. “We sit down, we run some beats, we try to improvise, everyone just punches in just adds a theme, a vocal theme or like the instrumental theme, and we just create it together because all of us have different backgrounds and different things they like. There’s a guy called [Sahsa] Tab and he loves reggae. I am more into rock and hip-hop and folk songs, other guys they are more into into hip-hop so like altogether we brainstorm and create this mix.”

Muzychuk also revealed how the group felt when their song “Stefania” won the Eurovision contest.

“We have this feeling of pride we were very happy that the song in Ukrainian, the song from Ukraine was loved by the Europeans and it became popular all over,” he said. “We were happy to present something from Ukraine.”

Muzychuk described how their music video for “Stefania,” was created in Ukraine, even while in the middle of a war zone.

“Indeed, we filmed this music video in the cities of Bucha and Irpin in the places where the acts of genocide had happened and where our people were killed, where the war was raging,” he said. “We were there and it was difficult, it was just difficult to film right there in places where people were killed. It’s not the same when you watch it on a TV screen or on your phone and when you’re actually there, the feeling is much much more intense but we made the video.”

He continued, “War has affected almost everyone like there’s no exception. For me, lots of friends and relatives are there are at war and some of my friends have died but still we must persevere, we must move on, we must do everything for our country.”

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