Did you know that the Eurovision Song Contest is one of the world’s biggest music shows? It is broadcast across 5 continents and receives the attention of up to 200 million viewers. The show is beloved and anticipated in many countries, and Ukraine is no exception.
Ukraine has a long and successful Eurovision history. In 2023, the country should have hosted the show for the third time, but the ongoing Russian invasion has made it temporarily impossible. Therefore, the United Kingdom will host the Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of Ukraine.
And we are, of course, also participating. This year Ukraine will be represented by TVORCHI with the “Heart of Steel“ song.
The band TVORCHI was founded in 2018 by sound producer Andrew Hutsulyak (stage name: Andrew) and lead singer Jeffery Kenny (stage name: Jeffery). Andrew and Jeffery both attended Ternopil Medical University, studying pharmacy, and one day they happened to meet on the street. Andrew suggested they practice English together while Jeffery asked for help with his Ukrainian.
During one of Andrew’s birthdays, he played some of his original music, and Jeffrey spontaneously started singing lyrics. This led to the creation of their first track, Slow.
Since then, the musicians have released 4 albums and 2 EPs (including Heart of Steel). All records took 1st place in the main music chart of Ukraine’s Apple Music.
For several years, TVORCHI won the leading Ukrainian music award YUNA in different nominations and participated in the most prominent Ukrainian festivals, including ATLAS Weekend, Zaxidfest, Faine Misto, and Ukrainian Song Project. Moreover, TVORCHI got to the finals of the Vidbir, the national selection, in 2020!
In addition to their musical achievements, TVORCHI has also used their talent for good. Since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale war, TVORCHI has performed in various cities worldwide with charity concerts. Their main goal has been to collect funds to support the Armed Forces of Ukraine and children affected by Russian aggression.
While we are looking forward to their performance at the final on May 13, let’s check out the top-12 key facts about Ukraine at this beloved music contest.
1. Ukraine debuted at Eurovision in 2003 and has participated in the contest 18 times since then.
2. Ukraine has won Eurovision three times. In 2004, Ruslana’s energetic performance of “Wild Dances” captivated the audience. In 2016, Jamala’s emotive rendition of “1944” took first place. And most recently, in 2022, Kalush Orchestra won with the song “Stefania” devoted to mothers.
3. After the first two victories, Ukraine hosted Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv – in 2005 and 2017. And in 2023, the United Kingdom hosts Eurovision on behalf of Ukraine.
4. If not with the first place, Ukraine still often ends up on top: the country has received top-5 final results 8 times in total.
5. Ukraine is also the only country that has qualified for the Eurovision Grand Final every time it competed.
6. Ukraine won Eurovision in 2016, though Jamala came only 2nd in the semi-final. Australia won the semi-final then but finished 2nd in the Grand Final.
7. Ukraine changes the Eurovision history for other countries as well. Portugal, for example, had to participate 49 (!) times before the first victory in 2017 in Kyiv.
8. Ukraine has received three Marcel Bezençon Artistic Awards (2004, 2008, 2016) for the best artist according to commentators, one Press Award (2007) and one Barbara Dex Award. The last is a fan award for the «worst dressed artist». Can you guess who got that honour?
9. Ukraine contributes to the Eurovision language landscape. Ruslana (2004) was the first to include Ukrainian lines in her song, and Jamala (2016) sang partially in Crimean Tatar.
10. In 2021, Ukraine was represented by Go-A with the song «SHUM», fully in Ukrainian for the first time ever.
11. The following year, “Stefania” by Kalush Orchestra became the first song in the Ukrainian language to win Eurovision.
After their performance in the Grand Final, the band’s frontman Oleh Psiuk addressed the global community saying “Help Ukraine, Mariupol, help Azovstal! Right now!” urging to help Ukrainian defenders at the Azovstal in Mariupol, besieged by Russian forces at that time.
12. “Heart of Steel”, representing Ukraine in 2023, is a song about resilient, unbreakable people who keep moving despite difficulties. It was written by TVORCHI in the spring of 2022 when Ukrainian defenders were heroically standing at Azovstal Iron and Steel Works in Mariupol.
The word “steel” has become one of the symbols of Ukrainian resilience, which TVORCHI translated into their music, merging deep meanings and modern sound.
Want to find more about Ukrainian music? Read here.