EurovisionFun had the pleasure and the honor of hosting Go_A in an exclusive interview. Go_A is a Ukrainian electro-folk band and consists of Kateryna Pavlenko, Ihor Didenchuk, Taras Shevchenko και Ivan Hryhoriak. This year, after their victory in the national final Vidbir 2020, they were set to represent Ukraine in Eurovision with the song “Solovey“, while from very early, after the cancellation of the competition, it was announced that they will internally represent the country in 2021 in Rotterdam.
Info: The idea to form a band that will combine modern electronic music with ethnic motifs first came to Taras Shevchenko in 2011, but the first attempts to work with actual musicians were in 2012. At the end of that year, in December, the first song “Koliada” was released. The band’s name means “return to the roots” and was made by combining the English word “Go” with the Greek letter “Alpha“, which symbolizes the beginning of everything.
Interview with Go_A
First of all, thank you for this interview. You won Vidbir 2020 and you would represent Ukraine in Eurovision 2020 with the song “Solovey”. How you felt after winnng your country’s national final this year?
Actually it was quite a surprise for us. We couldn’t believe that a band that had been staying in musical underground for 7 years without a manager or label support could win such contest. So our first impression was “Ok, what’s the catch?”. But then we felt a great responsibility, because we understood we were the first band in Eurovision history that would perform a song fully in Ukrainian. We find it very important. As one of our European fans said, not many people in Europe or the rest of the world know that Ukraine has its own language and culture – and we have a chance to show it.
How you felt after the heartbreaking announcement that this year’s Eurovision Song Contest was cancelled?
Taras: When Eurovision was cancelled everything happened so fast, there hadn’t any time for feelings. We were working in the studio when we received two messages on my phone. The first one – Eurovision was cancelled, the second one – UA:PBC (which is responsible for Eurovision in Ukraine) had decided that we would be the Ukraine’s entry for Eurovision 2021.
Could you tell us more about your team behind “Solovey”? Will be the same team for your next year’s entry?
The song was written by Taras & Kate so next year it will be the same way. As for the performance team – we are looking for professionals that will help us implement our ideas.
“Solovey” has a unique and traditional sound and it’s in Ukrainian language. What that, singing in your own language, means to you? Will you still use traditional sounds and Ukrainian in 2021?
Our aim is to show our cultural heritage to the whole world because we believe it should take its place in pop music the same way it has already happened with Indian, Arabian and Latin folk music. And of course it includes us singing in Ukrainian and using traditional Ukrainian sound techniques.
As I said before, your song was among the few traditional songs this year. Do you believe that in the future contests, the countries should prefer to use traditional sounds and their own language?
We think that depends on the artist. Every artist expresses his/her thoughts and emotions through the song’s lyrics. Some of them are great in writing songs in English, others prefer to do it in their own language. Our song Solovey wouldn’t sound like Solovey any more if it was translated in English but still there are a lot of great songs in English and I can’t imagine them being performed in a different language. Again, it’s all about the artist’s attitude.
In 2016, Jamala won Eurovision for Ukraine. How would you feel if you were the 3d act which will bring the contest in your country?
We would consider it to be a great honor and responsibility. But based on our experience of winning Ukraine’s national selection we understand it’s difficult to predict one’s feelings till the very moment.
The last years, Ukraine used to organize a national final. How did you feel when you noticed that you have internally selected for 2021?
We had very little time to feel anything. For us it was like “Ok, we need to write another song for the next year, so lets get started”.
As you already let us know, you will create five songs for your personal national final so people will choose the best one. Have you already some songs on hand? Have you started the preparation about that?
The idea first came up as a joke but then we realized it was a good way to show some respect to people who voted for us this year. We started to work in the studio right after Eurovision had been cancelled and so far we have several pieces of music. But you’d never know which song will be THE song or in our case – one of several songs. I mean, in the past we had situations when we did a song, put it on the shelf, then listened to it in several days and realized it wasn’t “us”, it didn’t feel like a Go_A song – so we just threw it away. Maybe we’ll treat our song we did for the last two months the same way. Maybe not. Time will tell.
This year, Greece would be represented by the 17 years old Stefania with the song “Supergirl”. Stefania also already confirmed for 2021. What do you think about her?
“SUPERG!RL” is incredibly powerful and yet very tender song, and so is Stefania herself. Can’t wait to hear her new song for Eurovision 2021.
*In closing, Go_A sent a message to EurovisionFun as well as to all Greeks who will be invited to vote for Ukraine at Eurovision 2021!*
We warmly thank Go_A for this interview and we wish them best of luck next year in Rotterdam!