ESC+Plus has talked to The Hardkiss, semifinalists of this year’s Ukrainian national selection for Eurovision. The band will compete with the song “Helpless” in the first semifinal set on February 6.
ESC+Plus: Hello! First of all, thank you so much for your time and congratulations on having been selected to take part in the Ukranian national for Eurovision.
E+: Can you tell us about you, your musical career and important achievements?
We are The Hardkiss – Ukrainian band. We play progressive pop – it’s a mix of pop, rock and electronic music. Julia is developed as a jazz singer and she has participated in various festivals and competitions before. Val (guitarist and music producer) tried himself in directing in London and was a producer on the MTV Ukraine. Then, we met and devised to combine our skills in one band, The Hardkiss. After this, we got to know a talented guitarist Roman, keyboardist Vitaliy and mysterious drummer Kreechy. In 2012, we were the nominees of the international MTV EMA award (“Best Ukrainian Act”) and of the national music award YUNA, having won in two nominations — “The best new act” and “The best music video” (Make-Up). In 2013, we became “voice and face” of the PEPSI TM in Ukraine and nominees of the national music awards YUNA in “The best band” category. We have released some EPs, such as «Stones and Honey” and “Cold Altair”, and more than 11 music videos.
E+: What impelled you to take part in “Ukraine Eurovision Song Contest 2016”?
The last years our fans – our “The Hardkiss family” – have asked us if we were planning to take part in the Eurovision Song Contest, but we were not ready and also the financial part to prepare for the contest was huge. This year, the STB channel covers all the expenses and we have a good song, so we decided to try luck.
E+: How did you feel when you knew you had qualified for the semi-final? Did you expect it?
Sure, we were glad! However, it’s just a beginning of the contest so there’s no time to relax.
E+: What it would mean for you to represent Ukraine?
It would be a great honour for us. We would like to show that the Ukrainian music is modern and progressive.
E+: Can you tell us about your song? What is the story behind the lyrics? Why do you think your song has to be selected for Stockholm?
The song is called “Helpless”. The main message is that rebirth always hurts, but, after that, a human becomes fearless and stronger.
This philosophy is current for everyone in the world, sometimes we need to stop and change the way we live and feel. All of us in Ukraine are also waiting for a renewal.
E+: Do you usually watch Eurovision? What are your favorite songs in the history of the competition?
Yes, I usually root for the Ukrainian competitors. Loreen “Euphoria” was very special.
E+: Besides Eurovision, what are your plans for this year?
We have a lot of festivals this summer and the Ukrainian tour this autumn.
E+: Finally, can you send a message for our readers and Eurovision fans?
Kiss from The Hardkiss!
E+: Thanks for your time and good luck!