Алёша

Alyosha (Альоша; real name Olena Kucher, Олена Кучер) is a well-known contemporary Ukrainian pop singer and songwriter who has written hits for both herself and other artists. She is known both for her male name—“Alyosha” is usually a diminutive of “Aleksey”—and, of course, her singing. Her website introduces her thus: “In her character, as well as in her songs, there is a feeling of energy and youth, and her music is truly alive.”

Alyosha was born in 1986 in Zaporozhe, Ukraine. She has said that her two older brothers were a big influence on her growing up, both in terms of the games they played and the music they listened to—they also turned her into a tomboy, she says. She began writing poetry and then songs when she was still a child, and also began singing in her school choir. This allowed her to begin to develop her voice, and she soon fell completely in love with singing. Shortly afterward she began learning the piano, and then she recorded her first few songs. It was at a local recording studio that she met her first producer, Vadim Lisitsa (Вадим Лисица), who began entering her in music festivals and competitions.

In 2006 Alyosha won her first contest, Yalta 2006 (Ялта–2006), and she moved to Kyiv a few years later to increase her musical possibilities. She signed a recording contract and released her first two music videos, “Snow” (“Снег”) and “You’re Leaving” (“Ты уйдёшь”), which featured Ivan Dorn. In 2010 Alyosha entered the national casting for Eurovision. She won—apparently to her own surprise—with her English-language song “To Be Free.” But scandal instantly arose: she was accused both of plagiarizing the song and of having fixed the contest. She responded by writing a new song, and took 10th place in Eurovision.

Next, Alyosha set her sights on conquering the Western world, releasing an English album in 2010. But her biggest success actually came from a different direction, when in 2011 she met the singer Vlad Darwin (Влад Дарвин) and joined him in a duet, performing his song “You’re the Best” (“Ти найкраща”). The two were showered with praise and awards, and Alyosha’s renown reached a new level.

She has to date released three albums—the first in 2010 and the second and third in 2015—and many singles and music videos. Alyosha’s also had her share of semipolitical activities. In response to the Euromaidan movement, she released the song “WeaponLESS” (“БЕЗоружная”), expressing her support for peace.

Find Alyosha on Amazon

 

“You’re the Best” (“Ти найкраща”), Alyosha’s all-time greatest hit, a duet with Vlad Darwin, 2011:

 

Lyrics for “Ти найкраща”:

Я нікому не розкажу
Тільки тобі
Як, здавалося, востаннє
Рута цвіте
Як у небі неосяжнім
Гасли зорі
Якби я міг згадати все

Хайнорілей
Ти — найкраща з людей
Норілей-норілай
Я тобі винен сонце, небо і більше…
Хайнорілей
Серед сотень очей
Норілей-норілай
Я лише твоїм відкриваю свій відчай
Свій відчай…

Я нікому не відкрию
Тільки тобі
Досі нездійсненну мрію
Із моїх снів
Наче всі дороги світу
Стали твої
А я навік – обрій для них

Хайнорілей
Ти — найкраща з людей
Норілей-норілай
Я тобі винен сонце, небо і більше…
Хайнорілей
Серед сотень очей
Норілей-норілай
Я лише твоїм відкриваю свій відчай
Свій відчай…
Alyosha’s latest single, “Droplets” (“Капли”), 2016:

 

Lyrics for “Капли”:

Хочу в капли дождя превратиться.
Чтоб родиться на небе святом.
И спадать на счастливые лица.
Вдруг одним из них, будет твоё.
Я хочу на ресницах застыть.
И в глаза заглянуть незаметно.
Чтоб прозрачность мою позабыть.
Ты не смог, она стала безсмертной.

Так что если увидишь дождь.
Каждой капле в глаза загляни.
И возможно меня соберешь.
По частичке в ладони свои. (х2)

Налечу грозою весенней.
Ты скорее окно распахни.
Чтоб увидеть ее пробуждение.
И меня среди тысяч найти.
Разольюсь под твоими ногами.
Упаду на губы твои.
Растекусь по телу слезами.
Только только слезами любви.

Так что если увидишь дождь.
Каждой капле в глаза загляни.
И возможно меня соберешь.
По частичке в ладони свои. (х3)

 

Find Alyosha on Amazon

Julie is currently studying Russian as a Second Language in Irkutsk (and before that, Bishkek) with SRAS's Home and Abroad Scholarship program, with the goal of someday having some sort of Russia/Eurasia-related career. She recently got her master’s degree from the University of Glasgow and the University of Tartu, where she studied women’s dissent in Soviet Russia. She also has a bachelor’s degree in literature from Yale. Some of her favorite Russian authors are Sorokin, Shishkin, Il’f and Petrov, and Akhmatova. In her spare time Julie cautiously practices martial arts, reads feminist websites, and taste-tests instant coffee for her blog.