What was remarkable about 2022 in terms of music?Artemy Troitsky:
I remember 2022, first of all, not for music, but for Russia’s attack on Ukraine. Still, I can’t help but follow music, as I have a weekly radio program and podcast on Radio Liberty
. I did two or three episodes with Ukrainian war songs and several with anti-war and protest songs, both global and Russian.
The main figure of 2022 for me is undoubtedly Max Pokrovsky. He put out a powerful series of anti-war and anti-Putin songs. Followed by Noize MC. They came to us in Tallinn, along with Monetochka.AM:
What can you say about modern Ukrainian and Russian anti-war songs?AT:
Russian war songs are very different from Ukrainian ones. Ukrainian songs are similar to Soviet ones from the Great Patriotic War – “the enemy attacked, we have to fight, we need to drive this enemy back.” Usually, the songs are very optimistic and uplifting. A few compositions are marked by horror or pessimism, though they are clearly the minority.
Basically, these are songs that are calling people to the fight. Meanwhile, there are a wide variety of styles: on the one hand, it’s rappers and hip-hopers, who feature more humor. These are songs about the “Russian warship
“ or the Bayraktar drone. There are also “women’s” songs with the promise of “wait for me, I’ll return.” “Ukrayinska lyut
“ (“Ukrainian rage”) is a wonderful song. There’s a fairly large number of compositions, though it’s not only rock and rap, which have always responded to the current agenda, but also pop. There is this great young lady Jerry Heil
(Yana Shemayeva). All pop, with these funny TikTok videos. For example, the song “I see you.” Stylistically, it is not only the “usual suspects” – rockers and rappers like Oleh Skrypka
, Sviatoslav Vakarchuk
and Andriy Volynets. It is also artists from whom hardly anyone expected political activity.
Russian songs, of course, are completely different. I think that the most interesting thing that was recorded in Russia in 2022 is the album February Goes On
by the rapper Vlady from the group Kasta, which is entirely dedicated to the current situation. There are philosophical, satirical and, as it were, documentary songs. This is perhaps the most voluminous, the most multifaceted work.
The most powerful and popular songs, of course, belong to Noize MC. This is “Land of rains
” about emigration, “Let the swans dance
” – about “him croaking.”