Representation of Ukraine at world music showcases

Deadline: January 20, 2023

EXTRA SOUND is a programme developed by the Ukrainian Institute, representing Ukrainian musicians at key events in the international music industry

About the Programme

Showcases are becoming a meeting place for musicians with influential booking agents, music festival managers, music editors, label executives who are looking for new names and promising musical projects. 

Programme goals:   

  • strengthening the presence of Ukraine in the international musical community through the participation of Ukrainian bands in the world’s musical events;  
  • cooperation with other industry professionals at home and abroad;   
  • presentation of Ukrainian creativity at the leading music showcase festivals in the countries where the Ukrainian Institute operates.   

The showcase participants from Ukraine are elected by the partner festival together with the Ukrainian Institute. Depending on the format and program of the festival, the selection of musicians is carried out according to an open competition or from the list of the Musical Catalog 2020-2022, created by the Ukrainian Institute. The program is implemented through cooperation with key international jazz showcases and festivals. EXTRA SOUND consists of three musical directions: mainstream, jazz and academic music. 

Musicians selected for participation present their current programs, have the opportunity to join international festivals and present their music, get new contacts for further interaction with foreign musicians, cooperation with international experts, media representatives and development of their creative and professional potential. 

Open-call 2022

As part of the Extra Sound Ukrainian Institute programme, three Ukrainian musical bands or performers will be able to represent the country at the c/o Pop Festival 2023, as well as take part in conferences and networking events of the festival on April 26-30, 2023.

About the c/o Pop 

c/o Pop is a music festival held in Cologne, Germany, which annually gathers about 30,000 visitors. During the festival, Cologne turns into the capital of dance music from all over the world.  

Extra Sound 2022

As part of the Extra Sound Ukrainian Institute programme, Ukrainian musical bands or performers represented the country at the festivals:

Reeperbahn Festival 2022

Four Ukrainian bands performув at one of the most influential European music showcases, Reeperbahn Festival, who were chosen by the festival based on a survey by the Ukrainian Institute of musicians living abroad.

Love’n’Joy is a trio from Kyiv that plays in the psychedelic rock style. Founded in 2016, this collective is one of the most successful Ukrainian concert bands in the world, playing hundreds of concerts throughout Europe every year. Taking influences from the golden age of the 60s and 70s, British pop and trippy fichodelia, their music is seen as a journey into the “tribal collective unconscious” with lots of guitars and hard rock.

Junket is an improvisational trio from Kyiv that combines saxophone, flute and vocals with electronic beats in their sound. The band was founded by members of the bands Atomic Simao and Point 2. The trio plays in genres such as break-beat, funk, electro dub, minimal house and dnb, but a notable feature of the musicians is that they do not play pre-prepared compositions but create music directly in front of the listener.

Krapka;KOMA is an electronic female band from Lviv. Ira Lobanok and Alyona Kovalenko together produce and perform music on various instruments, creating a unique combination of trip-hop, new jazz, indie electronica and soul.

Tonka is a musical project founded in Kyiv in 2018 by singer Olena Karas and music producer Yaroslav Tatarchenko, who were later joined by drummer Denys Shvets. The progressive electronic indie pop band skillfully combines a fresh modern sound, non-trivial experiments, and catchy Ukrainian-language lyrics.

Waves Vienna 2022 

In 2022, Ukraine was represented at the Waves Vienna International Festival by three bands:  

Ragapop is a side project of Ruslana Khazipova and Anna Nikitina of Dakh Daughters, in collaboration with Anton Ocheretyanyy. The idea behind the band was to combine the things each member loves in a mixture of performing art and music, which gravitates toward post-punk aesthetics as well as towards some lo-fi electronics. The first EP Siasya is a tribute to the famous 19th century Ukrainian poet Ivan Franko. It’s based on his not so well known lyrics and brilliant translation of Oedipus the King by Sophocles. 

Kurs Valüt is an electro duo from Dnipro founded in 2017 to make Minimal Wave in Ukraine great again. It has two unchangeable members: Yevhen Hordeev and Yevhen Kasian. Their music is created first and foremost for live performances. They also have a lot of references to the most popular Ukrainian cultural topics, stereotypes and memes found ionsocial media. The band’s discography includes two LPs: ‘Veselo’ (2018) and ‘Kurs Valüt’ (2021). They had a sold-out concert in Kyiv in the summer of 2021, along with regular appearances at the biggest electronic parties and festivals in Ukraine. 

Disappeared Completely is an indie-pop trio from Kyiv, established by a few university friends in 2016. The band had their big release ‘Sea of Fallen Nests’ LP in 2017, which was highly praised by music critics and fans, and got Disappeared Completely features in several major publications like Rolling Stone and Men’s Health. For their album “Contradictions” they were nominated for an Aprize Music Award from Radio Aristocrats 

The current representatives from Ukraine will go to the festival thanks to a fundraising campaign organized by the Waves Vienna team. Through the efforts of our partners and everyone who cares, we were able to raise an amount of money that completely covers all the expenses of the Ukrainian musicians.   

The Great Escape 2022

Ukrainian band Krapka;KOMA performed at The Great Escape 2022.

The festival team chose the band Krapka;KOMA from the music catalogue created by the Ukrainian Institute to present Ukrainian performers abroad.

Krapka;KOMA is an all-female electronic band from Lviv. Ira Lobanok and Aliona Kovalenko together produce and perform music on various instruments, creating a unique combination of trip-hop, nu-jazz, indie electronics, and soul. The band will perform on May 12th at the Zahara Club in Brighton, UK as part of the UK/Ukraine Season of Culture.

Due to the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, the musicians are forced to volunteer and help temporarily displaced persons, but plan to perform abroad to support Ukrainian culture and the music scene to the fullest during these terrible times for our country. EXTRA SOUND programme partners-festivals support Ukraine during the war and do everything possible to ensure that Ukrainian musicians continue to pursue their vocation and represent the country in the world. We are grateful to the people of the United Kingdom for their extraordinary support and assistance.

Results for 2021

In 2021, EXTRA SOUND took place in partnership with House of Europe. Ukrainian musicians took part in 4 European showcase festivals as part of the EXTRA SOUND programme. 

Waves Vienna

Budapest Showcase Hub

Reeperbahn Festival

Katowice JazzArt Festival

Results for 2021 in more detail

In 2021, Ukraine was represented at the Waves Vienna  International Festival by bands: 

At the Budapest Showcase Hub, which brings together musicians and industry experts from Eastern Europe, Ukraine was represented by bands:  

Disappeared Completely: «When you perform in Budapest and see how your tracks are singing along, when you read on Instagram that people have come from other countries to listen to your music live, when they ask you not to leave the stage and play an encore, you can feel two things: the desire to continue playing and releasing. Because there is “for whom and where” and gratitude to the people and organizations that did everything for our band to go to Budapest and represent our country at the international showcase. Thanks to the whole team of the Ukrainian Institute for the opportunity and organization! Thanks to House of Europe and Music Export Ukraine for their support».  

O. Official: «We liked BUSH so much that we would like to go even again. The showcase itself helped us expand the geography of our touring geopoints. It was important to hear good feedback on our performance and communicate with the organizers of the showcase. After the concert, they came up to us and thanked us for a good show! During the showcase, we realized that we want to enter the European market and we have a sufficient professional level for this». 

At the European showcase festival in the Reeperbahn,  Reeperbahn Festival  Ukraine was presented for the first time by an official delegation. The following bands took part in the festival:   

FO SHO: «These three days were super-saturated: the concert, walks, acquaintances, interviews for the media, live communication with performers from different countries, and most importantly, communication with the audience of the concert. This trip gave us the opportunity to look at the music industry on a larger scale».    

THECASTLE: «Every day of our stay in Hamburg was filled with impressions and a feeling of great joy. If it were possible to loop these few days and stay there forever, forgetting about everything in the world! Thanks to Ukrainian Institute and House of Europe for giving us magic!»  

In 2021, the Ukrainian Institute, together with the Katowice JazzArt Festival launched a special programmeExtra Sound Ukrainian Jazz Showcase Programme. In addition to performances by Ukrainian jazz bands, the program also included networking with the participation of music experts and professional media. Ukraine was represented by 2 bands:

Kristina Kirik, band leader of the KK4tet: “The showcase gave my band the opportunity to play the first international tour, we got the opportunity to present the debut album to the Polish audience, we were heard by experts from various professional media. This expanded our horizons, we exchanged contacts and made friends with representatives of the Polish music industry, gained new experience of performing on the international stage, the public received us very well, it gave us an impetus to work more, write new music and do more concerts. We exchanged contacts and made friends with such Polish musicians as Jaromir Rusnak, Bartlomiej Dybel, Lukasz Jankowski; established contact with such representatives of such Polish media as Rafał Zbrzeski, Mery Zimny, Magdalena Fijalkowska”.   

Katherine Zyablyuk: “In July 2021, together with the Rusnak/Zyablyuk Quartet, we performed at the Extra Sound Music Showcase in Katowice, Poland. It was our first showcase with this line-up, so it was very important for us to meet with journalists, hosts and other musicians in order to develop our circle of connections. It was great to watch the meeting of Polish and Ukrainian musicians – this is a good exchange of cultural and life experience, which each of us needs for the development of both musical and worldview. The trip was productive – more people became interested in our music, we were invited to radio programs and after that we organized several more concerts”. 

Results for 2020

In 2020, four large European showcases became partners of the Extra Sound program: The Great Escape (Brighton, UK), Spring Break (Poznan, Poland), Waves Vienna (Vienna, Austria) and Budapest Showcase Hub (Budapest, Hungary). 

Due to the pandemic, Ukrainian musicians took part in one of the four planned festivals – Waves Vienna, which took place online. Waves Vienna — is one of the key musical events in Europe, which attracts more than 15,000 visitors annually, including influential players in the music industry and a wide audience. In 2020, Ukraine for the first time became the focus country of the festival (together with the UK). 

Six Ukrainian musicians and bands were presented at the festival Waves Vienna:   

  • FO SHO  
  • Tik Tu  
  • Dakh Daughters  
  • The Castle  
  • krapka KOMA  
  • Tse Sho. 

Results for 2020 in more detail

Six Ukrainian musicians and bands were presented at the festival: 

  • FO SHO  
  • Tik Tu  
  • Dakh Daughters  
  • The Castle  
  • krapka KOMA  
  • Tse Sho  

Due to the fact that Ukraine was the focus country this year, much more attention was riveted to us. Our band received several requests for interviews from foreign media at once, so we willingly communicated with foreign journalists. The level of positive feedback about our music has also increased significantly in social networks after the stream on Waves Vienna. We are very pleased with the result of the showcase!” —  Bethlehem Endale, FO SHO.  

Ukraine has demonstrated a very powerful musical community. Just last year, their delegation came to the festival for the first time, and to be honest, we were a little afraid to immediately invite them as a focus country for 2020. But when we saw the list of Ukrainian bands and the level of organization provided by the Ukrainian Institute and Music Export Ukraine teams, we knew that Ukraine would be the star of our programme. This country has many outstanding musical discoveries!” — Thomas Geyer, founder and festival director of Waves Festival. 

Also within the framework of the festival, under the slogan East meets West, the Waves Conference was held, at which urgent issues and challenges of the music sector were discussed. At a special panel of the Ukrainian Business Mixer conference, Ukrainian music specialists held 72 working meetings with key foreign music industry specialists, representatives of the music media, promoters, festival organizers, and heads of music agencies.  

I was involved for the first time in preparing a presentation about the Ukrainian music market for a European audience. It was very important to tell who we are and what opportunities Ukraine offers. I also heard a lot of new music through streaming that I want to delve deeper into. I could talk to the managers of foreign bands and I hope that I helped them to truly discover the Ukrainian music industry”, — Oleksiy Bondarenko, music journalist, editor-in-chief of LiRoom.com.ua.  

Also within the framework of the festival, under the slogan East meets West, the Waves Conference was held, at which urgent issues and challenges of the music sector were discussed. At a special panel of the Ukrainian Business Mixer conference, Ukrainian music specialists held 72 working meetings with key foreign music industry specialists, representatives of the music media, promoters, festival organizers, and heads of music agencies. 

Performances at the Waves Vienna 2020