Eurovision 2023: Ukraine in Liverpool and its official representative, TVORCHI
This year, Ukraine would have hosted 2023 Eurovision as last year’s winner were it not for Russia’s full-scale war. To ensure the competition can go ahead, the UK was chosen as the host country due to its second place in last year’s contest and Liverpool subsequently chosen as the host city. In the last year, UK has become a real ally of Ukraine not only in political, military, economy and social issues, but also in cultural representation. Having had to prepare Eurovision on Ukraine’s behalf, the UK has done so emphatically and tastefully, including Ukrainian elements and representatives in every aspect of the contest. This week, Liverpool has come to resemble Ukraine itself, with beautiful blue and yellow flags sprawled across facades, Ukraine-dedicated art installations, and “Glory to Ukraine!” heard at every step.
TVORCHI band are this year’s Ukrainian representatives at the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest with their song “Heart of Steel.” TVORCHI is a Ukrainian music duo from Ternopil, founded in 2018 by sound producer Andrii Hutsulyak and vocalist Jeffrey Kenny. Andrii is from Ukraine, and Jeffrey is from Nigeria. They met each other in Ukraine, when Jeffrey was studying there, and eventually decided to create music together.
Although the objective of the Eurovision Song Contest is victory, the duo has taken to ensuring that they use their platform at the competition to bring attention to Ukraine’s on-going brutal experience of Russia’s full-scale war. The duo has been quite active in the last year in using every performance and initiative they are a part of to raise awareness about Ukraine-specific issues that have come as result of Russian aggression.
“The war in Ukraine is a crime against humanity. This terrible war helped us dare to write new songs to support Ukrainians and share the information about the war to other countries at support events. We’re doing all we can to help as much as we can. We are fighting with all the brave Ukrainians. And I believe Ukraine is heading towards victory,” Jeffrey told Nigerian media Legit.
And so, the duo is using their participation in Eurovision to draw attention to a charitable cause. At the turquoise carpet of the Eurovision 2023 Song Contest, the band wore suits with the names and weights of Ukrainian children prematurely born during Russia’s full-scale invasion. They wanted to draw attention to the problem and raise approximately $270,000 through the “Caring People Save Children’s Hearts” initiative to purchase 10 incubators to save prematurely born children.
In tonight’s contest finale, TVORCHI will perform their song named ‘Heart of Steel,’ which has an important message to show to Europe and the rest of the world, and has already become very popular among the participants. The composition is performed in English with fragments in Ukrainian: “The world is on fire, and you – act.” The artists strive to convey the feeling of struggle and the moment of overcoming difficulties despite any obstacles.
With their track, they call to be decisive and act, as the Ukrainian people are doing today in the struggle for freedom and peace. This song was written in the spring of 2022, when there was a blockade of defenders at the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol. These difficult events did not leave the band members indifferent. It is no coincidence that the leading metaphor in the lyrics of the song is a “steel heart.”
TVORCHI have already gone viral with their steel heart suits made by Frolov. “The concept of the steel character and strength of Ukrainians, first of all, is embodied in Jeffrey’s hand-embroidered steel sleeve. All other images also embody the symbols of the Ukrainian traditional costume: the embroidery used in the clothes of the Cossack elders, harem pants became the inspiration for the dancers’ pants, and the general silhouettes of the images refer to the style of clothes of the princely era,” explained the costume designer Ivan Frolov.
We are rooting for all representatives of Ukraine this year, including presenters and many wonderful performances. Learn more about all Eurovision events here.