Ukrainian artists hope for more support after ‘wonderful’ Liverpool Eurovision

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Ukrainian music artists who performed in Liverpool for the first time at the Eurovision Culture Village have said they hope Britons will continue to listen to Ukrainian music after the “truly wonderful” event.

Lika Bugaeva, lead singer for the band Zetetics, and DJ Stanislav Tweeman, both from Kyiv, made their debut performances in the UK as part of Culture Liverpool’s Xpresia Festival which took place in clubs and music venues across the city for Eurovision this week.

Bugaeva, who performed songs from Zetetics’s new album Cold Star in front of an audience for the first time, said being part of the Xpresia Festival was “the best way” to showcase music from Ukrainian artists.

“Xpresia Festival was the best way to show Ukrainian music of the new wave,” the 32-year-old, who is now living in Brighton after fleeing the war in Ukraine, told the PA news agency.

“It combined so many talented bands and artists. It was our first big gig since the war started, and I was so touched by the support of people who came to see our show.

“Xpresia Festival was a part of the Eurovision celebration, so I was enormously inspired to see many musicians.”

“The best way to show your support is to invest your time in listening to our music; it is a reflection of our lives and emotions,” she said.

The singer, who performed at the Invisible Wind Factory, said Liverpool is a “truly wonderful” city and hopes that events such as the Xpresia Festival are repeated in events across the UK.

“Liverpool is a truly wonderful city, with many concert venues and you can hear music from any corner … we could probably repeat the same festival in other cities in the UK and abroad,” she said.

“I think this concept of unity should work more than one time – the producers made an amazing effort, and it is worth continuing.”

Bugaeva is an English-speaking Ukrainian artist who takes inspiration from a number of prominent British acts including Radiohead, Muse and Arctic Monkeys, who she listened to in her teens.

“Growing up in the post-Soviet Union era without any exposure to English, my tastes in music were quite different from my peers,” she said.

“Thanks to my parents, I grew up listening to the likes of Peter Gabriel and Nick Cave, Radiohead and Muse. I also consider myself a huge fan of Massive Attack, Tricky, Florence, Kings of Leon, Arctic Monkeys and Hozier.”

Lika Bugaeva, lead singer of Zetetics, performing at the Xpresia Festival in Liverpool for Eurovision
Lika Bugaeva performed in Liverpool for the first time to showcase Zetetics’ new album (Zetetics/PA)

“As an adult living in the UK due to the war in my homeland, I am working hard to keep my band safe and active,” she said.

“I am trying to make the best of this difficult time, and to remain positive. No matter what, life goes on and we will prevail. I am incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by so many supportive people.”

Tweeman, who is currently based in Antwerp, Belgium, visited the UK for the first time and also performed at the Invisible Wind Factory venue in Liverpool for the Xpresia Festival.

“I was so happy to participate in this … and represent Ukrainian electronic scene, the atmosphere was very welcome,” the 37-year-old told PA.

“I think the UK will really enjoy and see Ukrainians from a different side … in the news, it’s all about war but we also have great prominent artists in different genres.”

The DJ plays a mix of techno, trance and electronic dance music and said the festival was a “good opportunity” to showcase Ukraine’s growing music scene.

“I think this is a really good opportunity for people in the UK to see our (music) scene because (Ukraine) has a big, growing electronic music scene over the last five, seven or eight years,” he said.

“Also, I would be happy to have UK artists in Kyiv now, so if some of them are reading this, don’t hesitate to contact me.

“Dance is kind of like meditation so I like it when people get into the vibe.”

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