Ani Lorak / Ани Лорак

Ani Lorak (Ани Лорак; real name Karolina Kuyek, Кароліна Куєк) is a multitalented Ukrainian pop singer. Lorak isn’t shy about her contributions to Ukrainian pop culture—her website describes her as “a singer who was fated to become the nation’s idol.” Born in Bukovina, Lorak wanted to be a singer from the time she was four years […]

Iryna Bilyk / Ірина Білик

Iryna Bilyk is a highly celebrated Ukrainian singer/songwriter and entertainer from Kyiv. Mainly a composer of ballads and dance pop, she has released albums in her native Ukrainian as well as Russian and Polish. Her impressive commercial success in Ukraine, fueled in large part by her ability to adapt to the changing popular music landscape, won […]

Buranovskiye Babushki / Бурановские Бабушки

Buranovskiye Babushki (Бурановские Бабушки) is a long-running traditional folk choir from Buranovo, Russia. They sing predominantly in their native Udmurt language, a subgroup of the Uralic language family, which also includes Finnish, Hungarian, and Estonian. Formed in 1968 in an effort to preserve the local singing traditions, the group came to national prominence 40 years later […]

Dantes and Oleynik / Дантес и Олейник

Dantes and Oleynik (Дантес и Олейник) were a Ukrainian dance-pop duo; they met in 2008 while competing on a reality TV/music competition in Ukraine called Star Factory 2 (Фабрика Звёзд–2). They quickly became friends on set and continued to collaborate beyond their television experience. In 2010, they recorded their one and only studio album, I’m Already […]

Yolka / Ёлка

Yolka (Ёлка in Russian) is a Ukrainian pop star, actress, and television personality who sings in Russian. Born Yelizaveta Valdemarivna Ivantsiv (Єлизавета Вальдемарівна Іванців), she received the nickname Ёлка (“fir tree”) when a childhood friend mispronounced her name; it amused her, and the name stuck. She has gained wide popularity and critical acclaim for her […]


IOWA is an indie-pop group from Mogilev, Belarus, who sing in Russian. A relatively young band, they have only released one album since their inception in 2009, Export (2014; no Russian or Belarusian title). The band’s moniker contains several references, namely the US state, an American acronym—Idiots Out Wandering About—and an album by the metal […]

City 312 / Город 312

City 312 (Город 312) is a Kyrgyz Russian-speaking (and -singing) alternative rock band founded in Bishkek in 2001. They’re currently celebrating their 15th anniversary with a concert tour through various countries in the former Soviet Union. The group, founded by Leonid and Dmitry Pritula (Леонид, Дмитрий Притула), chose 312 for its name because it’s the telephone […]

Slot / Слот

Slot (Слот) is a wildly popular Russian metal band. The band hails from Moscow, and was originally formed by male vocalist and main songwriter Igor Lobanov (Игорь Лобанов, nickname Cache) and Sergei Bogolyubskiy (Сергей Боголюбский, nickname ID) in 2002. Vocalist Teona Dolnikova (Теона Долникова) joined the band shortly thereafter, and she sang on the group’s […]


Louna (in Russian Луна, though they actually go by the Roman spelling—it means “moon”) is a pretty recently established Russian rock group. The name comes from the nickname of one of the founders, Lu (Лу; actually Lusine Gevorkyan, Лусинэ Геворкян), an ethnic Armenian. The group was founded in 2009 by two of the members of […]

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