The new star of Ukrainian rap.
The ukranian rapper Alyona Alyona has experienced a breakthrough over the past years, with a steadily increasing number of listeners, viral video hits, placement on Forbes 30 under 30 list and a string of acclaimed albums. There are several reasons for this - her talent, humour and charisma is obvious to anyone who experiences her. In her home country, she is also noted for her switch to ukranian as language of choice. “My friends listened to russian rap, so I started writing in that language”, she has said. But after the Euromaidan protests in 2013, and the surge of national pride in its wake, she changed tracks. “There are words in ukranian who are my own, and I wanted to use them.” Sometimes, a rebellion can be as simple as that, to view the everyday features of life in a new way, to use one's mother tongue in a context where people don’t think it belongs.
Alyona Savranenko was born in the Kirovogradskaya region in central-Ukraine after the wall fell. She got hung up on “Gangsta’s Paradise” when she was twelve, and some years later, when her father brought her The Eminem Show after a trip abroad, her life changed. She soon moved to Kiev, where she did everything from teaching in a kindergarten, selling make-up, as well as being a student. All the while, she worked on her music.
"Even if you don’t know a word of Ukrainian, you’ll be hooked on rapper Alyona Savranenko. She spits like a car revving up and rocketing off full speed until suddenly, you’re carried away."
Liana Satenstein, Vogue
She writes songs about anything - about fishes, about moving, about being homesick or about body positivity in facing the pop cultural stereotypes. When she started rapping she was told that women belonged in the kitchen. Her answer speaks volumes about the way she creates space for her own voice: “No one listened, no one accepted it, and because of that I didn’t tell anyone. I just wrote for myself. There are those who knit socks or make food. I rap. That is my hobby.” It’s obvious that her message resonates with the audience. Songs like “Ribki”, “Vidichnyae” “Golovi” and “Pushka” have become huge hits in her home country, and has reached many listeners through videos where she toys around with rap cliches. Her last album, Galas, was released earlier this year to rave reviews. We are delighted to welcome her to Oslo World.