UKRAINE – The Hardkiss is a Ukrainian progressive-pop band. They are known for their original sound and unique fashion style. The Hardkiss participated in the Ukrainian national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 with the song “Helpless”. The band placed 2nd in the national final. The Hardkiss were formed in 2011 by lead singer Yulia Sanina and guitarist Valeriy Bebko. In September the band presented their debut video “Babylon”. They were the opening act for Hurts on October 20 and Solange Knowles on November 18 in Kyiv.
In 2012, The Hardkiss were nominated for the MTV Europe Music Award for Best Ukrainian Act. The band performed at MIDEM festival on January 29. In 2013, The Hardkiss won two awards – “Best New Act” and “Best Music Video” (to producer Valeriy Bebko for clip Make-Up) – of the national music award YUNA. On May 18 the band presented their first show in the Green Theatre in Kyiv. They opened the Muz-TV Music Awards on June 7. That year The Hardkiss became “voice and face” of the Pepsi in Ukraine. The band took part in a tour Pepsi Stars of Now (16 cities).
In 2014 The Hardkiss performed at Park Live Festival, and shared the stage with The Prodigy, Deftones, and Skillet. In 2015, the band was nominated for the music award YUNA again, having won in two nominations — “The best music album” (album Stones and Honey) and “The best song” (single Stones). In 2016, they took part in the Ukrainian national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest 2016. Yulia Sanina is one of four judges on the current seventh series of The X Factor Ukraine.