Song KAZKA “Wept” is known to almost everyone in Ukraine and many abroad. The track entered the top ten of the global Shazam chart, has collected hundreds of millions of views on YouTube. As a result, in 2018, the group became the breakthrough of the year by the award M1 Music Awards, and “Crying” hit of the year. Most recently, the award Yuna called KAZKA best pop group in the country. The team also received the award for the best Ukrainian song. This is an incredible success for the beginner group! Success that still makes someone envy, bewilderment and questions. To answer them, “Znayu” met with the famous Ukrainian producer, founder of the company MAMAMUSIC by Yuriy Nikitin. With his light hand KAZKA has received recognition and took to the thorny path of glory.
About the fairness of voting in the Ukrainian national selection, failed the victory of Verka Serduchka (Verka Serduchka) in the Eurovision song contest 2007, the paid campaigns and “black PR” and the mission of the group KAZKA – read on.
Yuri, KAZKA is one of the most beloved and talked-about groups at present. In February, a lot of controversy was the past national selection on Eurovision, in which the band for the second time participated. In March you received the awards Yuna. Announced a big solo concert of the band in Kyiv sports Palace. But the starting point of this rapid success was the song “Cry”. After the group became famous. How did you do it?
I must say, the group of KAZKA and everything that goes with the song “Crying” is a phenomenon. I don’t remember such a breakthrough occurred with the Ukrainian artist and songs. Possible exceptions – Verka Serduchka and the song “Chervona Ruta”. I remember when it was far beyond Ukraine. But if it was only the Soviet Union, Europe or the whole world – it is difficult to say. Already found out that “Crying” is the first and only Ukrainian-language track in history of independent Ukraine, who went so far outside of the country. The song entered the top 10 world search engine Shazam, and pop music was third.
But, for me, it’s not just our success. Breakthrough KAZKA is the success of the all Ukrainian music industry, all Ukrainians. This success was prepared by many Ukrainian artists, and only now all together “in one place at one time” in the track “Cried”.
While you are faced with a huge wave of criticism of the group.
It’s true. This amount of negativity faced by a young Ukrainian group for the last year is solely due to her incredible rise. Success, as known, do not forgive! KAZKA – the most prominent young artist on the market, whose reputation is not tainted. And if you hipbath, then who? In fact, successful. Who to throw the stones to the resonance maximum? In the most successful.
The attack against the group comes from all sides, starting with dislikes allowed for video and finishing Waterston the Eurovision song contest. A similar situation happened with Verka Serduchka, when we went to Eurovision in 2007. Remember, these pickets and marches in Western Ukraine, burning of effigies and cries of “shame”? It was a terrible persecution. But, that’s a plus. This whole situation shows us that we are moving in the right direction.
The band harshly criticized because of the vocals of Sasha. What happened in the air?
In a nutshell, from the beginning of the selection group “cut down”. Even before the show KAZKA in the semifinals aired a video announcing their participation in the final concert, which caused an uproar of the audience, they say, everything is decided in advance. The channel said that as “random.” Do you think an accident? Then, turn on the campaign of “black PR” with the task to discredit the actor before the finale.
We have analysed this attack, and it became absolutely clear – it is a pure “paid”. We’ve seen this before in the mid-90s, when “well-wishers” spread rumors on the singing of Irina Bilyk, the chief at the time of the singer in the country. Next were the “calling card” of the group, the channel showed before going on stage KAZKA in the final. After viewing it I thought, what kind of power should have to after such “performances” to come out and to sing. Sasha came out and sang, though with tears in his eyes. “Accident”?
And then – the reaction of two members of the jury… as a result, in the final group put estimates much lower than in the semi-finals, although made guys much better. As if these members of the jury tried to make amends to our viewers, “led” on the paid negative, though, and declared his absolute impartiality towards anyone. But if concerning the vocal – Sasha zaritska artist with unique vocal qualities, thanks to which, including “Crying” and became the musical phenomenon, which they say, and will long to speak in Ukraine and abroad.
Many were convinced that KAZKA will be the leader of spectator voting. Failed. Why is it, do you think?
I don’t want to discuss the vote of the audience. No one sees him except a few people – the employees of the channel. And honestly, I don’t believe in it, although not disputing its result. I have experience of participation in the Eurovision song contest with Verka Serduchka in 2007 in Helsinki and saw what can happen with the votes of viewers.
Then Verka Serduchka won second place, losing to Maria Serifovic with the song “Prayer”. Something was wrong with the vote?
Yeah, right. Verka Serduchka, in reality, was the winner of the Eurovision song contest. Every person we met in Helsinki, said, “you Have no equal! You are the winners!” No one had the slightest doubt. Everyone said so – and the audience, and the media, and the participants themselves. Around Verka Serduchka was crazy. We could not safely pass anywhere. Each press conference was held in halls filled to the brim. Critics have compared the participation of Verka Serduchka with the triumph of ABBA in 1974. I say this only to convey the atmosphere that prevailed during the contest.
Photo from the personal archive of Yuri Nikitin
At that time, Verka Serduchka was artist number one in the entire post-Soviet territory, the most popular artiste in the Diaspora. In show business was Verka Serduchka and all the other artists. In that period we sold so many CDs and worked for many concert tours, how many were not working and never sold.
And now, after a brilliant performance, Verka Serduchka comes the vote. The organizers of the suit and asked the artist “do not undress”, do not remove the monitors, because the winner sings the song again… And as a result, except for Latvia, none of the post-Soviet countries does not give us a high score. No! Neither Georgia nor Armenia, nor Russia, nor Kazakhstan nor Belarus… No country where we were mega-popular, mega-popular, puts Serduchkе 12 points. And in the end, wins Marija šerifović, which was not shown before, were not widely known. But was the representative of a country that was in deep political crisis.
And who do you think was the best baiting KAZKA, you probably know the answer, isn’t it?
I have a number of assumptions, but to say 100% I can’t. Due to the fact that it was a very serious, elaborate, and most importantly – expensive campaign, I can say that it is not the artists-competitors, the participants of the selection. This is not their scope.
And to whom it could be beneficial? What considerations could act as the organizers of this event?
First: financial, for example. The buzz around the selection, the “showdown” among its members, the maximum involvement of the audience – all this enhances the TV viewing of the project “national selection”, increase views on YouTube and other digital platforms, the traffic to the website of the channel and, thus, the rating of the channel as a whole. And this is directly related to increase of advertising revenue. The channel earns a lot more in the end. Here everything is simple.
Second: of the strategic. What if it was not originally planned anyone to submit to Israel from the Ukraine? I do not exclude such an option.
And third, political. And if we use anyone for this purpose, then certainly the “loud” and “pure” Ukrainian project. KAZKA in this case is an ideal option. And so on. In principle, to have a realistic picture, we should analyze and understand who received the greatest benefits as a result of this scandal.
MARUV? It was her from the very beginning called the main competitor KAZKA, and then the main “victim” of the National selection.
I can say for sure. The fact that it was not allowed to participate – has brought her far more benefit than if it went to Eurovision in Israel.
And why do you think it is, in principle, was among the finalists of the National selection, with quite a controversial history: a tour in Russia, the contract with the Russian label?
This question is not really at. Better to ask the organizers and producers of the contest. But again, there are things that contribute to the increase of the resonance and raising the “hype” around the project. Those, which organizers deliberately “closed” eyes. Here’s one example from the recent past. In 2016, when the band NEANGELY participated in the national selection, one of the participants of the contest were singer Sunsay is an amazing artist with a great song, with one small exception – the song was old. The one that had no right to “participate” in the competition, following the rules of the Eurovision song contest.
The one who allowed the artist of this track into the program, knew exactly what the song “not going” at the Eurovision song contest. It will be ineligible to participate in the final concerts, artist disqualifiziert. That is, the catch is obvious. The channel said the song is not going to “send”. So the organizers have a clear understanding of why it is done. And remember, the all time ended? All the same – an incredible “buzz” and a participant’s refusal from participation.
After MARUV and the NOTE (the national public television company of Ukraine – ed.) have not reached agreement on the contract, the artist refused to participate.
Yeah, I heard about it in the news, but that’s not quite true. Each bidder shall sign a standard contract. It is not a surprise. This is known to everyone of the participants initially. Verka Serduchka signed the same. Eurovision is a serious machine. This is a project that goes live on half the world, and they have no opportunity to negotiate with each party to a separate contract. And without a contract, the artist is not allowed to participate the competition. If you refuse to sign a contract, you’re automatically not allowed to participate. You know what I mean?
Afterwards, refused to participate and Freedom of Jazz, and then KAZKA. After everything that happened you regret that KAZKA took part in the national selection
We don’t have regrets. We did what had to do. We had a specific goal and understanding of why we need it. And refused, we are not out of solidarity. Here everyone is responsible for themselves. Everyone has their own personal motives for participation and refusal. We acted on the basis of our vision.
The group’s mission KAZKA – the unification of the world: the Association of Ukrainians in the world, the Union of all those who are not indifferent to the fate of Ukraine and Ukrainians. And so if our participation divides society, we refuse to be part of such a project. We don’t need to win at any cost.
Can we say that KAZKA now for you – the priority project?
KAZKA is a very important project for our company, of course. But the most attention we tend to pay for “hot” projects. Those who are preparing to exit in the short term. Among those are a new release group NEANGELY “Strikes”, which “will go out into the world” this week. And we are working on a wide “launch” of a new musical project, a group of GRLS, which premiered on 9 April. And it is no less responsible for us.
Among the important projects – the project of Olga Gorbacheva “FORCE” – a new album and concert tour in support of it. The tour starts in Odesa 21 may, and on 29 may we present this conceptual show at the theatre franc in Kiev. That is, the priorities are always changing, and it’s not related to someone’s same name.
Recently premiered another work by Olga Gorbacheva “Olya-Olya”. How do you rate this track?
“Olya-Olya” is the new face, and still higher in the work of Olga. I’m a fan of her new songs, and not because “I love my husband” – me. Because in addition to great music and meanings, these songs are huge benefits for the students. It’s not just songs. It, songs, affirmations, having a healing effect. It is positive attitudes that can change your reality. On yourself checked.
Olga Gorbachev and Yuri Nikitin
What is the most difficult and important in a concert tour of “the Force”?
The marketing piece. The project is so multi-faceted that it is very difficult to pack all his senses in a short and understandable message. “Power” is light and beautiful show, but at the same time, and a serious one “upgrading” of the viewer. And in addition – pleasant surprises: everyone who bought a ticket to the show – receives a gift set of “fragrances of feminine power”, developed by Olga. “You buy a ticket, get perfume as a gift.” That is the challenge and solved in the moment.
Yuri, the Ukrainian society deeper chasm between those who condemn Ukrainian artists, touring in Russia, and those who do not see this as a problem. Some artists to “throw stones” at other “close my eyes”. Why? As from this abyss to get out?
On tour in Russia or not is a very personal question and every citizen, the artist himself answers it. For today there is no law that forbids to do business with Russia. And touring is a business, which is no different from the sale of energy or agricultural products. That is why in society there is the “swing” relative to the tour. We have a Parliament and a President. Should they ask similar questions. For example: why fly to Moscow direct flights, and direct drive trains? Touring impossible, and you can trade? There is no law. There are no clear Rules.
How do you see the future of the Ukrainian show-business
Rainbow! Ukrainian songs already sound in the world charts, artists already collect sports Palaces and stadiums. Ukrainian celebrities much reytingovoe than overseas. The only problem is that the people have not enough confidence in the financial sense. Social standards are too low. Entertainment will never be the main priority for humans. First, it needs to meet their basic needs. I am an optimist and believe that the life of Ukrainians will begin to improve in the near future. Then comes the real heyday of the Ukrainian show-business.
Yuri Nikitin in California, USA
Recent you travel a lot, spend time with the family. And most importantly – you get to be super-relevant in your profession producer. And so you can “keep abreast”? What is your secret of success?
Want to know the truth – there are many components, but there is something that I think distinguishes us from the rest. First: the uniqueness of the artists with whom we work. Second: young progressive majority of our team that really understands what music today can be claimed. Third: 20 years of experience Mamamusic in the music business. Our intuition, trained by years rarely fails. But the main thing – I had clearly defined goals and vision for their future and the future of our company. I like never know exactly what you want.
Unless earlier did not have any goals? What has changed?
Previously, I looked at all basically from the point of view of profits, business, and now – more from the point of view of use, which can give people. If before I was more concerned with how to “get” myself, but today I think I can “to give”.
Today I no longer make projects solely for the sake of money. I’m interested in unique artists deep personality, able to communicate my ideas and meanings to millions of people. It seems to me that with the change of my position – all that is happening around me is changing. My reality changed, she was different.
Now you have everything planned out for the next 5-10 years?
I have an understanding of my mission – and this is important. There is a vision for 3-5-10 years. But a clear plan for 10 years there. Our life is changing every day. Every day – new ideas, tools, opportunities, and all of this is making adjustments in a clear structure of our planning. “Keep your nose clean” to be flexible, to feel new trends, the Zeitgeist, to fit into the new trends that are more important to me clear structure and developed once plan.
As for the plan and strategy, I’m not anticipating this more than 2 years. And… continue to learn. Now, for example, I am learning to interesting projects. It was much harder for me than to be involved in their implementation.
Maybe it’s because you already have ground under my feet. You are financially independent.
Yes, but not because it is incredibly rich. But because I changed my attitude to money in principle. Previously, I looked at money as something that comes from outside. It seemed to me that my well-being depends on artists, from people, from projects on which I work. Now I accustom myself to the idea that money is the energy that I produce in the world. I myself am the source of their prosperity and well-being. I is the “architect of his own fortune”.
Earlier, the daughter Polyakova openly talked about school, marriage and a future career.
As reported by the portal “Znayu” Freedom Jazz for the first time, admitted why refused Eurovision 2019.
Also “Znayu” wrote that Ukrainian TV presenter Vladimir Ostapchuk has released a parody clip MARUV.