One of the biggest Ukrainian pop sensations, electro-pop folk GO_A on the Boat, which was a success at last year's Eurovision!
Go_A is Ukrainian electro-folk band that combines astonishing authentic Ukrainian vocals, modern electronic dance beats, African drums, and a powerful guitar drive into a bright, fierce, and unforgettable sound.
Go_A is making a modern reinterpretation of Ukrainian folklore packaged in electronic sound. The name of the band consists of “Go” as “movement” and “A” as an ancient Greek letter “alpha”, symbolizing cultural roots and the beginning of everything. And their music centers around just that: the beginning, retelling traditional Ukrainian stories that have been passed down through generations. The group’s singer Kateryna even uses the ancient Eastern European folklore technique of white voice, which is based on an open throat and free volume.
The story of the band started in 2012 when the sound producer Taras Shevchenko met the ethnic singer Kateryna Pavlenko. Having experimented with Ukrainian folk songs, they realized that folklore and electronic music are a perfect match, thus creating a consummate combination of emotion and energy. In December that year, the first song “Koliada” («Коляда») was released. First, they wanted to write a song together as an experiment, but after seeing that it worked, the band has worked together since.
Kateryna Pavlenko – frontwoman. She leads the ethnic component of the band. Kateryna has studied folklore most of her life. She writes songs and music for Go_A.
Taras Shevchenko is a keyboards/percussion player and the sound producer of Go_A band.
Ihor Didenchuk is a folklorist and unique multi-instrumentalist whose rich musical arsenal includes such traditional instruments as sopilka, frilka, telynka, trembita and drymba.
Ivan Hryhoriak is a guitar player.
In early 2020, it was announced that Go_A was among the 16 acts participating in the Ukrainian national selection for Eurovision 2020 with the song “Solovey”. On February 22nd, in the grand final they won both the public and the jury voting. Hence, they were set to represent Ukraine in the Contest in May. However, on March 18th 2020, the event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On the same day UA:PBC announced that the band will represent the country in 2021. On 4 February 2021, it was announced that “SHUM” would be the song that Go_A would be performing in Rotterdam. At the Eurovision final “SHUM” brought Go_A the 5th place according to the overall results and the 2nd place according to the televoting. It is the first time in the history of the Eurovision Song Contest that Ukraine has submitted a song entirely in the Ukrainian language.
What came after:
Since taking fifth place at Eurovision, Ukrainian electro-folk band Go_A has remained in the top of Google searches that year. “SHUM” became a worldwide trend in Spotify hitting the top of most European charts, became #2 in Spotify VIral USA & #1 in Spotify Viral Worldwide. “SHUM” also became the 1st Ukrainian song ever to hit the Billboard Top 200 chart.
At the end of the 2021, GO_A won the Eurovision Awards in the category of “Most Innovative Stage Production” and won the Vision Music Awards hosted by Wiwibloggs in two nominations: “Most Memorable Staging” and “Best Use of Props”!
Also according to the Eurovision Song Contest Radio Go_A's song “SHUM” is among the best top three in the history of the song contest. Also their song “Solovey” is in 128th place among the best songs of Eurovision. For the first time in history, two Ukrainian-language songs were included in this chart at once.
Go_A has played concerts and performances, has taken part in numerous international festivals and presented Ukrainian music worldwide (Belgium, Poland, Netherlands, Lithuania, Israel).
At the moment Go_A is constantly performing live in Ukraine and Europe and also working in the studio on their upcoming release.
Now there is a war in Ukraine. In the first days of the war, all members of the band were forced to leave their homes and flee from Kyiv with their relatives. Our musicians are currently temporarily in the West of Ukraine, where they are relatively safe. Our frontwoman Kateryna Pavlenko is in Italy now because there she has the opportunity to continue to work and defend the Ukrainian cultural front.
Kateryna Pavlenko: “I really want to believe that our performance now can change the situation for the better. During the war it is important to do some conscious things, not just go on stage and sing. All our concerts are now aimed at drawing attention to Ukraine. To turn attention to the war. What is happening in the heart of Europe is a real war. People are dying. Children are dying. 220,000 people lost their homes. 11 million people were forced to abandon everything and flee their hometowns. But we sing even when we really want to cry. Ukrainians are a very strong nation. The realities of war are horrifying and incredibly painful, but our music will resound despite everything, because we are fighting for our freedom to live, love and sound in our homeland. Together we will win!”.
New song "Kalyna":
The band released this song during the war. Kalyna (guelder-rose) is a symbol that has been a part of Ukrainian culture since ancient times. Its meanings were transferred through the ages in legends and songs. A broken kalyna tree was a sign of trouble and tragedy; abuse of this tree was a shameful act. Ukrainian people carefully protected it because there was a belief that kalyna grew only next to good people. According to our ancestors, kalyna has a power that brings immortality and can unite generations to fight evil. The song “Kalyna” is a message to the World that should be united for the future of humanity.
All the money earned from streaming this song goes to support Ukraine.