Rising Ukrainian electro pop-rock star Vinitsky has recently released her debut self-titled album which tackles a varying array of social issues, protest and love. ETV spoke with Vinitsky today about her musical influences, the making of her latest album, and her hopes for the future.
Vinitsky’s original ambitions for stardom stem as far back as age 5 when she would join her father on stage who played guitar. At a young age she would listen to artists such as Michael Jackson, Queen and Pink Floyd, quickly gathering the experimental and progressive stage presence these artists displayed. She also picked up on the different musical styles these artists used, such as electronica and pop rock.
“I grew up on folk music together with pop music from the 80s and 90s,” Vinitsky said. “I was influenced heavily by Sade, Michael Jackson, Duran Duran, and Rolling Stones, that’s why sometimes people hear this electronish, pop, rock a bit sad and dramatic touch.”
Early on, Vinitsky knew that music was her passion as well as her destiny, and she had the full support from her family. They did not tell her to take the “normal” route in life. Instead, they let her discover the artistic drive she had inside. Since age 16, she has been making music and performing in Ukraine on a daily basis. She would go on to develop an electro pop sound under the name Kate Orange. She uses the name when performing as a DJ artist and goes by Vinitsky when singing and producing.
Her debut album is the self-titled “Vinitsky” which was released earlier this month and is available on Bandcamp. The album features 16 songs that vary in styles, with some based on traditional Ukrainian music that is known to be harmonically complicated and other parts that are catchier. The album was created in nine months and is an electro pop rock experience that takes inspiration from late 90s and early 2000s rock.
“I had some songs written already and wanted to release them, but then I had a period when I was sitting in my home studio and like drug addicts who cannot stop using drugs I could not stop writing new songs,” Vinitsky said. “It was like almost 24-7. I could not even sleep, I had to wake up and very quickly record a new part of an arrangement or text or even vocal. When all demo tracks were recorded I sent them to my brother Eugene Sikoza, he is a guitarist and producer as well, so he also got an inspiration and recorded all guitar parts which completed these songs.”
Check out the music video for the song “Out” here:
After the songs were finished with recording, there were a couple months of technical work including mixing and mastering done by Dutch-Serbian mixer engineer Caspar Wijnberg before the album was completed. One of the aspects Vinitsky is proud of is her lyrics that touch upon social problems that the world faces today.
“I just can’t close my eyes and mind to some things such as social media obsession or people’s inequality ignorance by society,” Vinitsky said. “In the mean time you will find in this album songs about love or songs which might inspire you such as ‘Fly,’ where I say that if you want to do something that you love to do, you just have to ignore society’s opinion and do that stuff, especially if it’s applicable to musicians or art people who are afraid to quit their ‘normal job’ and make music or other art very often.”
A unique trait to Vinitsky’s music is her ability to sing in different languages. She sings in English, Ukrainian, Russian and Dutch. The track “Hola” on her new album even showcases her singing in Spanish. Regardless of the language, Vinitsky says the lyrics comes to her naturally.
“I have to say I do not really sit and think about lyrics,” Vinitsky said. “It just comes from air and then I play with words and meaning. So it’s not difficult to write songs. It’s actually a big pleasure and always a huge surprise even for me with the result. Sometimes I can write only one chorus or refrain and come back and finish the whole song with some time in a month or year.”
The resulting sound on “Vinitsky” is a unique blend of international styles that takes aspects from different cultures and brings them all into one. The same could be said for the instruments, which include distorted guitars and electronics synths coming together to echo the sounds from Ukraine to around the world.
Aside from studio recordings, Vinitsky also performs live and says she enjoys looking into the eyes of the audience to see how people reflect the meaning of her songs back at her.
“I like the energy change, when you give your energy and passion and then you are getting it back even more,” Vinitsky said. “I like when people dance with me like crazy. And I usually do a short meet and greet before or after our concert, because I love to know personally who visited our concert and how people feel themselves.”
Vinitsky is looking to take the show on the road and is planning to visit a coupe European festivals this summer. Her aspiration for the next five years is to be as big as Adele or Rolling Stones, performing 100 gigs per year. She also wants to be a happy mom and wife who can balances her musical career with her personal life.
Having released a new album, Vinitsky knows what it takes to put together a musical product of consistent high quality. She offered advice for other artists who are looking to do the same.
“Work, work, work, and write and play music a lot and everywhere,” Vinitsky said. “Also I would say that no matter what just do your thing. People will be telling to you that it’s not serious, it does not bring money, it’s heavy work and there is so huge competition. But it would like to be successful, just send everybody with piece somewhere to the nowhere and continue with music. Sooner or later your music will be recognizable and people will pay attention to it. Yes, it might take a long time and a lot of your health but believe me it’s worth. And one more thing, do not be jealous of other’s success and don’t compare your music to others. It will burn you from inside and finally you will drop this amazing real job which is called music.”