When I was 5 years old, my grandmother got tickets for me and my parents to the concert at Odesa Special Stolyarsky Music School in Odesa. My mother, who had dreams about playing piano as a child, was so touched by the students’ performances, that she went into the school principal’s office right after the show and requested for me to have an audition. She was denied multiple times because of my young age but after weeks of calling the school, I finally had the first audition in my life. That was the beginning of my musical journey.
Through the years my mother was my biggest support when it came to learning music. She was putting hours and hours into watching me practice and bringing me to different schools all over the city to attend my music classes. While I wasn’t very lucky with piano teachers and with time grew to completely dislike playing the instrument, my music theory and composition teacher was one of the reasons why many years later I decided to pursue a career in music.
I’ve loved writing songs for as long as I can remember myself. As soon as I knew how to hold a pen I would scrabble my first attempts in a little notebook I had and later sing them to my parents who not only tried really hard not to laugh at the lyrics about a boy I liked in school but also encouraged me to continue.
By the time I graduated from Music School no.13 in Odesa I had a chance to arrange my songs for piano, choir, strings, woodwinds, and even an accordion one time! My teacher never limited me in my instrument choices. It wasn’t very common in my school for a teacher to go to such an extent to make her student’s ideas come to life. I am incredibly grateful for her involvement.
Just as I am thankful to my mother for giving me an opportunity to grow as a musician, I thank my father for the chance to travel and live in different parts of the world. When I was 15 years old, my family moved to Singapore where I finished high school. By that time I already graduated from a music school in Odesa and had plenty of songs in Ukrainian and Russian languages. Learning to speak English, getting to know people from all over the world, and traveling around Asia influenced my writing. New genres were now open to me so I started exploring rock, pop, jazz, indie, and musical theatre music.
My writing genres have always been all over the place but a particular one that I stuck to over the years was Ukrainian folk music. As a musician, it was the best way for me to connect to my roots and express my love for my culture. After years of traveling and switching homes, I realized that Ukrainian music, poetry, and art were something that I could carry within me no matter where I was. They keep me grounded and remind me who I am and where I come from.
In 2019 I was lucky enough to get a scholarship at the Berklee College of Music. I was so thankful for having people who believed in my art. As a Contemporary Writing and Production major, I stepped into a completely new area for me: music production. I found a new passion for not only writing and arranging but also making my project come to life.
Berklee was a perfect place for collaborating with extremely talented musicians, composers, arrangers, and engineers. That’s how in 2020 I started working with a producer and guitar player, Michele Romeo. Michele and I produced the Ukrainian folk-inspired EP “In The Field” which will come out in 2022. In 2020 I got a Vocal Writing Award at Berklee for two of the songs listed on it.
At this moment, I am living and working in New York. My current projects involve producing "Notes About War" collection of songs and writing a score for the Bear Witness documentary about a Ukrainian human rights lawyer and civil society leader Oleksandra Matviichuk.
My long-term goals are to make Ukrainian music recognized internationally, to help our artists get more opportunities in the world scene by producing their music, and to improve music education in my country. My dreams are big but I’m sure that there are plenty of Ukrainians who share the same ideas and our contribution will have an impact if we stand together.