Ukrainian musicians of foreign origin: creating Ukrainian musical culture

Ukrainian musicians of foreign origin: creating Ukrainian musical culture

On December 17, the national selection for the Eurovision took place in Ukraine. The electronic music duo TVORCHI will be representing Ukraine at the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 which will be held in May in Liverpool, UK. After the announcement of the winners, social networks were stirred by this news as the lead singer of the group — Jeffrey Kenny, was born in Nigeria and moved to Ukraine to study. 

However, TVORCHI are not the only ones who sing in Ukrainian and have a non-Ukrainian ethnic origin. In this post we will tell you about several Ukrainian bands of the kind. 


TVORCHI is an electronic music duo founded by two guys - Andrii Hutsuliak and Jeffrey Kenny in 2018. Gutsulyak and Kenny studied together at the Faculty of Pharmacy at the Ternopil National Medical University. After they met, they decided that they wanted to start a band. Now Hutsulyak is a music producer, Kenny writes the songs and also sings. 

In 2020, TVORCHI first participated in the national selection for Eurovision with the track "Bonfire". The song topped the charts for 12 months. 

Fo Sho

Fo Sho is a hip-hop group created by three African-Ukrainian sisters Betty, Siona and Miriam Endale, who live in Kharkiv. The sisters were born in Ukraine, their parents are of Ethiopian origin. 

The band was created in 2019. They have recorded several songs. In 2020 they also participated in the selection for the Eurovision Song Contest. 

To eternity

To eternity singer Daniel Otuonye was born in Kyiv. His parents are from Nigeria, they came to Ukraine to study and stayed. 

On June 3, 2022, Otuonye published his song on TikTok, which in a few weeks gathered more than 900 thousand views. Now the singer is preparing his first album performing songs in both English and Ukrainian. 

Leo Mantis 

We’re adding another Ukrainian artist of Nigerian origin to your playlist - Leonardo Obodoeke.

He moved to Ukraine in 2012 to get higher medical education as a surgeon. In the course of a year and a half in Ukraine, he learned the language and began writing poetry in Ukrainian. 

Later on, the singer took part in the Ukrainian project The Voice of the Country and joined the team of Ukrainian musician Sviatoslav Vakarchuk (Okean Elzy). After that, Mantis took up music seriously. Leo Mantis sings in English and Ukrainian, also using Nigerian words.  

Chan Quốc Khanh 

Chan Quốc Khanh is a Vietnamese singer who also participated in the Voice of the Country project in Ukraine. 

Khanh also came to Ukraine to study and learnt the Ukrainian language in eight months. He now sings in Ukrainian. 

After his first year at home, Khanh was offered to study in Ukraine or Russia.

"I chose Ukraine because I had read about the country before. I read about Lviv and knew that it was a famous and beautiful architectural city, and its monuments were included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Even then, I had the desire to visit Lviv someday. And when I learned about the opportunity to study in Ukraine, I chose Lviv," Khanh says in an interview for Lviv Polytechnic University, where he is currently studying. 

Paul Manandiz 

Paul Manandiz was born in Brussels and never considered singing in Ukrainian. However, in Paris, he met Ukrainian opera singer Vasyl Slipak, who died in 2016 from a sniper's bullet in the Russian-Ukrainian war. Later Manandiz met a Ukrainian woman who became his wife. In 2015 they moved to Ukraine. 

The singer took up music and dedicated his first album - "Ukraine is my paradise" - to Ukraine. Paul Manandiz is the first Frenchman to receive the title of Honored Artist of Variety Art of Ukraine.


Gaitana is a Ukrainian singer of Ukrainian-Congolese origin, born in Kyiv. She spent the first five years of her life in the Republic of Congo and returned to Ukraine. 

She has been participating in various song contests since childhood, and in 2012 she represented Ukraine at the Eurovision with the song "Be My Guest" and took 15th place. 


A Ukrainian band that combines folk and electronica. Stas Korolev, a Ukrainian from Avdiivka, Donetsk region, and Yulia Yurina, a Russian from Kuban, founded the band in 2016. However, in 2020 the musicians began their solo careers. 

The artists met on the Voice of the Country project, where they both participated. They then decided to create a group. In 2019, they also took part in the national selection for the Eurovision but did not score the required number of points to win. 

The songs were performed in Ukrainian.