Ukrainian performer ONUKA, known both in Ukraine and abroad for her works in electronic and folk music, is about to release her new EP called “Vidlik” (The Countdown). The mini-album includes four tracks, two in English and two in Ukrainian. All music on the EP was written by founders and current members of the band – Natalya Zhyzhchenko and Yevhen Filatov.
In our song 1986, dedicated to the infamous Chornobyl nuclear disaster, we used original tapes of dispatchers of fire departments. They sound matter-of-factly, as if nothing was going on at the time, and that’s the scariest thing. As for the piano part, it was recorded in a hut in the forest in Kyiv region. IF you listen carefully, you’ll be able to hear the natural ambience – birds sing, the wind blows and dogs click with their claws against the floor.
The Chornobyl exclusion zone inspires people in its own way; it’s got its special atmosphere, energy and some sort of space. It’s been attracting me since my childhood. The time seems to have frozen there, so this disaster had a huge impact on the ethnographic picture in the region. However, Polissya (northern Ukraine, where Chornobyl is located) is already well known as the most archaic ethnic region of the country.
In my song Svitanok, there’s a verse originally written by Kyiv street artist Jerzy Konopje. I just couldn’t get these words out of my head. And it was this special case when lyrics came before the music - and the song, actually.
For quite a long time, I was sure the smile doesn’t suit me. Perhaps, there were no good reasons for smiling. Sadness is my comfort zone; one rarely wants to leave it.