5’nizza (pronounced “Pyatnitsa,” Russian for “Friday”) is a Russian duet who plays across the genres of hip-hop, reggae, and funk. Originally from Kharkiv, 5’nizza existed from 2000 until 2007 and then, after a long hiatus, re-formed in 2015. They have played shows around Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, and the United States.

5’nizza consists of Sergei Babkin (Сергей Бабкин) and Andrei Zaporozhets (Андрей Запорожец), who first met as students at the Kharkiv Lyceum of the Arts in 1994. After graduation, both went to the same university and continued they friendship while living together in the school dorms. It was here that Babkin and Zaporozhets’s first songs were written, originally for an acoustic collaboration called Orkestr Che (Оркестр Че).

During the summer of 2002, now performing as 5’nizza, the band was invited to play several concerts in the popular Moscow club KaZantip. The same year 5’nizza recorded their first, unofficial album, Unplugged (Анплаггед), at a Moscow studio for $30. Within just a few weeks this underground release had reached a fairly large audience by means of Internet pirate music sites.

5’nizza’s second album, and first official release, came the following year. This self-titled release contained a few of the group’s early hits, including “Winter” (“Зима”), the video for which was shot on the Finnish Gulf during the winter of 2003, and “Soldier” (“Солдат”). These two singles saw active radio rotation not long after their release.

5’nizza quickly grew in popularity over the next couple of years. In 2004 the group released another full-length album, called O5, from which came the single “New Day” (“Новый день”). The band kept up a fairly constant live performance schedule during this time; however, they generally began to perform less frequently, as Babkin had begun to actively act onstage at Kharkov’s Theater 19.

In 2007 the band split up while in the process of recording a third album, citing artistic differences. Zaporozhets still released the album—however, he completed it as a solo release.

In 2015, however, 5’nizza reappeared with a YouTube video for the new song “I Believe in You,” followed by three more new tracks: “Forward” (“Вперёд”), “To Ala” (“Але”), and “Up” (“Вверх”).

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Here is the audio for “New Day” (“Новый день”), off 5’nizza’s second album:


Lyrics for “Новый день”:

… стали листами белыми
вместе мы мыслями
сколько раз но по разному
каждый видит мир около окон
свет находит темноту
где то мосты о стороны
стали местами поровну
давят на небо головы
стены ломают а руки
собирают пустоту

и я уйду и я уйду и я уйду

в новый новый новый день

на расстоянии я ни я от и до
или иллюзии я собираю
верим мы всеми силами
потому нам так легко
ровные линии люди глина
слепили себя слепыми
из пепла и пыли имя забыли
уходили далеко
Here is a more recent track, “Forward” (“Вперёд”):


Lyrics for “Вперёд”:

Долго на огне не держи, а то убежит
Каждым утренним лучом дорожи
Пусть только наверх будут этажи
Иногда над тобой летают амуры
Или, или день был хмурым
Все стороны равные, разные нити
Цените, дети и взрослые, рослые, низкие.
Искренне друг друга понимая, видят одно
Тёмные комнаты помнят о том
Как тонко предки потомкам
Что-то главное плавно передают
О том, как

Вперёд, вперёд, время идет вперёд, вперёд
Вперёд, вперёд, время идет

Вперёд, вперёд, время идет вперёд, вперёд
Вперёд, вперёд, время идет

Не говори, потом этого может не быть
Строим простые мосты, желания могут остыть
Если не ты, то кто ко всему готов?
Ветром пройти сквозь огонь, не разбив стекло
Сколько воды утекло, вот оно, здесь, идёт


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Zach Hicks is a PhD student in Comparative Literature at the University of Oregon. He is currently participating in SRAS's Home and Abroad scholarship program. His main areas of interest are twentieth-century Russian and Soviet literature, socialist modernism, and critical theory. Outside of academics his major interests are martial arts, the outdoors, and music. In Russia, he plans to continue to increase his language proficiency, to learn as much as possible about the Russian underground music scene, its tattoo culture, and to become a student of Russia’s native martial art, SAMBO.