With their song, 'Solovey', Go_A was chosen to represent Ukraine in 2020. In light of the unfortunate cancellation of the 65th Eurovision Song Contest, we wish to highlight the impressive acts that were set to appear. This is 'In the spotlight', our feature honouring the artists that would have made up this year's edition of the world's largest live music event.
Go_A won Vidbir 2020, the Ukrainian national selection with a total of 12 points. They received the maximum points, 6, from both the jury and the Ukrainian televote. The band creates a modern reinterpretation of Ukrainian folklore, packaged in electronic sound. The name of the group consists of 'Go', as 'movement', and 'A', as in the ancient Greek letter 'alpha' which refers to going back to one's cultural roots.
Who is Go_A?
The story of the band started in 2012 when the sound producer Taras Shevchenko met signer Kateryna Pavlenko. After recording several songs together, they realized that Ukrainian folklore and electronic music are a perfect match, combing energy and emotion into an engaging mix. Today, Go_A consists of the lead singer Kateryna Pavlenko and musicians Taras Shevchenko, Ihor Didenchuk and Ivan Hryhoriak.
Kateryna Pavlenko leads the ethnic component of the band: she has studied folklore most of her life. Kateryna can sing with the so-called 'white voice', an authentic folklore technique, and has a command of a significant vocal range. Today Kateryna is a veteran choir director while she writes songs for Go_A, including the Eurovision entry Solovey, and works on her solo project.
Taras Shevchenko is a keyboard and percussion player and the sound producer of Go_A. He works in various music styles and knows how to harmonize completely different things, such as Ukrainian sopilka and Brazilian drums, or the bandura, heavy guitar riffs and drum 'n bass.
Ihor Didenchuk is a folklorist and unique multi-instrumentalist whose rich musical arsenal includes traditional Ukrainian instruments as the sopilka, frilka, floyara, telynka, trembita and drymba. Ihor is also a member of a rap group.
Ivan Hryhoriak grew up in the Carpathians. He has been playing the guitar since he was 12. Ivan has been experimenting with musical styles and sounds, including acoustics (fingerstyle), prog metal (bass guitar), double bass in a folk orchestra, and electric guitar. Ivan also works as a vocal coach in a school.
For the Eurovision Song Contest, Go_A prepared the song Solovey, which combines electronic music, Ukrainian folk instruments and ethnic vocals. The song is based on Kateryna's personal story about a strong girl who falls in love and realizes that she is no longer taken seriously. Her power helps her turn the tables and handle the situation with dignity. It is the first time in the history of the Eurovision Song Contest that Ukraine has submitted a song entirely in the Ukrainian language.
READ MORE: Go_A's participant profile
The band recently took to their official Instagram page to confirm that they will represent Ukraine next year at the Eurovision Song Contest 2021.
You can follow Go_A on the following social media platforms:
Ukraine at the Eurovision Song Contest
Ukraine first entered the contest in 2003 and rapidly became one of the most successful countries in the competition. In 15 appearances at the Eurovision Song Contest, Ukraine has never missed a Grand Final. 9 of those 14 entries have finished in the top 10, 5 have finished in the top 3, and 2 have been winners.
Ruslana became Ukraine’s first winner of the Eurovision Song Contest in 2004 and the Contest was held in the capital Kyiv the following year. Jamala scored Ukraine’s second victory in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2016.
READ MORE: Ukraine's country page
In 2019, Ukraine had to withdraw after broadcaster UA:PBC was unable to come to an agreement with the winner, number 2 and 3 of Vidbir 2019, their national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest 2019.