Tips for contemporary Ukrainian music - Blog Rozumiju

From post-punk to trap. What does contemporary Ukrainian music sound like?

People all over the world know Ukraine for its food and athletes. However, local music may have the same global overlap. Once we search outside the realms of mainstream music, we can come across some diverse music gems. Here are some tips on current remarkable Ukrainian artists from all sorts of genres according to the Radio 1 DJ Julia Yurchuk. Let’s attend some virtual punk gigs and lively techno clubs, shall we?

John Object

How many beats per minute is too much? Producer John Object is looking for the answer to this question during his DJ sets. The BPM of his songs rises up to 200. His tracks range from breakcore electronics to techno and creaking of the industrial clubs where he performs. Although he remains loyal to his native country, his records have been released by the Greenlandic label Bio Future Laboratory. John enlisted in the Ukrainian army this spring.

Alyona Alyona

According to the The New York Times, she is one of the most distinctive European musicians today. The Czech audience may know her well. The rapper, who started as a kindergarten teacher, performed live at the Roxy club in Prague and at Fléda in Brno this year. Alyona Alyona addresses the current war conflict via social media, but her music speaks on the issue even more vehemently. She always raps in Ukrainian, while hard trap beats add vigor to her tracks.

Stepan i Meduza

Do you know the one about Stephan and the jellyfish? The name of this duo from Kiev sounds like a fairy tale from a kingdom by the sea, but don’t get fooled. Analog synthesizers and captivating vocals make these songs feel like instant hits. Dark aesthetic of the 1980s is present in art all over the world and Ukraine, Czechia or Great Britain are no exceptions. Just put on a leather jacket and fall in love.

The Unsleeping

Have you ever heard of the British band Circa Waves? The Unsleeping played as an opening act for them a few years ago. Today, they are of the most distinctive Ukrainian alternative rock bands and they even performed at the prestigious Hungarian festival Sziget. The unrestrained energy and raw riffs of The Unsleeping will leave you in a permanent state of alertness. You won’t fall asleep at the intense shows of this five-piece from Uman that sings in Ukrainian as well as English.

Ницо Потворно

Nice and ugly at the same time. That is the perfect characterization of Ницо Потворно’s art. Despite the gloomy aesthetics, his minimalist songs evoke feelings of warmth and sensitivity. At the same time, he doesn’t mess around in his lyrics, he sings about narcotics and the police, but also refers to celebrities such as Alina Pash. This walking music paradox of the contemporary Ukrainian scene tirelessly supports Ukrainian non-profit organizations.


Only a few can embody the new Ukrainian wave of guitar music as well as a young artist called SadSvit does. Even though his demo records reincarnate neo-romanticism, gothic style and British post-punk, they still feel very fresh. His music sounds like a cassette you would find on the flea market and once you start listening you’d never press the stop button on your old Walkman. Besides, SadSvit really has something to say, now more than ever.

Ivan Dorn

Hundreds of thousands of followers on Instagram, millions of streams on Spotify and immeasurable impact on Ukrainian culture. Ivan Dorn is becoming a global icon and one of the most popular voices of Eastern Europe. Doesn’t matter if he sings in English or Ukrainian, he always experiments with dance tunes, neosoul elements and unique vibes. Dorn confirmed his international reach last year when he teamed up with Slovak producer FVLCRVM and Austrian musician KeKe.



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