Ukrainian bands are becoming an interesting topic of discussion. Largely due to the fact that there’s an extensive amount of untapped talent showcasing from this side of the waters, which can definitely be said of the band ONUKA. This eclectic electronic folk band with a dedicated following, immerse culture, creativity and their music to produce something unique only to ONUKA and on interviewing this band it became apparent that ONUKA had entered the room.

…Nothing is accidental. A series of events goes hand in hand with ideas and thoughts, which in the right moment form amazing combinations. That’s how something unique is born – worlds and concepts, width and depth of which grows and multiplies.”ONUKA

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ONUKA are still quite new but tell us something about ONUKA that not many people are aware of; when did you begin your music career, how long have you been in music for?

ONUKA: My life has always been closely linked to ethno from early childhood. The idea of using folk instruments did not come immediately. My grandfather was a famous folk instrument artisan. When I was 4 years old, he made me a Sopilka (Ukrainian folk wooden flute) and taught me how to play it. I toured as part of various groups of folk instruments, then with a brass orchestra as a soloist. I was raised in an ethnic atmosphere for up to fifteen years, but by the age of eighteen, I moved away from it completely – I seized electronic music. And in 2013 I decided to combine the experience gained in folk and electronic music. So this produced ONUKA.

Describe what your last EP was about?

ONUKA: My last EP is dedicated to Chernobyl disaster. I would pay attention to the fact that a person has to live in harmony with nature and get strength from the earth, the sun’s energy and we should not play God! Time is too fleeting, life is too short and death is so sure. When we go into the Zone, I feel that there’s light energy, people are unique. It is important not to forget about all that has happened.

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…I hope that in the future Ukrainian artists will be more presented in international music space in general.ONUKA

Tell us a bit about your band?

ONUKA: The cast of ONUKA consists of eight musicians: vocals, keyboards, rhythm section and folk instruments – two trombones, French horn, bandura and bugay. In the I work with my husband – Eugene Filatov. He is one of the most demanded and experienced sound producers in Ukraine.

If you could describe your sound what would spring to mind?

ONUKA’s music is the bridge between the past and the future. The rich heritage of Ukrainian ethnic culture in the context of modern electronic sound acquires the weight, status аnd nobility that has always been inherent to Ukrainian musical tradition.

Are there any artist that you have surreptitiously been hoping to work with?

ONUKA: I admire many artists, they inspire me and make me to be better and more professional. But, I never thought about. I have recently met with the artist Deep Forest who was the main inspiration in my childhood. It was a spectacular event. He liked our music a lot and there is a possibility we would write a song together. So far ONUKA has written a remix for his release, which will be released in mid-November.

Admittedly there is something distinctive about the appearance of ONUKA but tell us about the ONUKA look?

ONUKA: The image of ONUKA was created by Patoka Studio headed by Lesia Patoka and ERTEQOOB headed by Andrei Krupchinskiy. They are responsible for clothing, accessories, image, hairstyle, makeup and visual image in general. They are my closest friends and supporters, without whom ONUKA would not be the same as now. Designer Lesya Patoka is a person that believed in me and inspired me to create a solo project. Now we create our costumes together. Let’s just say, the visual style of ONUKA is our creative collaboration under her strict guidance.

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Do you think that Ukrainian bands/artists are getting the recognition they deserve? Do you ever get shocked or stunned responses when you say you are an artist from Ukraine?

ONUKA: Touring abroad we were met very warmly, we felt an interest in Ukrainian music and felt some special treatment! It’s always a big pleasure to perform abroad!

Our music has international character, USA and Japan take second and third place on the downloading of ONUKA. Sometimes people are surprised that this is Ukrainian music. I hope that in the future Ukrainian artists will be more presented in international music space in general.

Tell us how you derived at the concepts behind your videos?

ONUKA: I think that audio and visual sides are so close, especially nowadays. It depends. We try to create some symbiosis together. Sometimes music can deepen image and vice versa.

What can we expect to see from ONUKA in the coming months and where will you be touring next?

ONUKA: At the moment we are actively preparing for the premiere of the new show ONUKA & NAONI.

NAONI is a unique Ukrainian folk instrument orchestra. It includes 50 amazing musicians who play rare Ukrainian instruments. The orchestra is directed by the conductor Viktor Gutsal. He is 72 years old. He loves and understands modern music, including ONUKA. Imagine, he directs the orchestra for 36 years already! In fact, it’s a half of his life. The premiere of this program will take place on December 11 in Kiev. Should be very interesting!