UKRAINE – ONUKA is a Ukrainian band. It was created in 2013 by Ukrainian musicians Eugene Filatov (aka The Maneken) and Nata Zhyzhchenko, the former vocalist of Tomato Jaws (Ukraine) and KOOQLA (Russia).
The Ukrainian word Onuka translates to “granddaughter,” a tribute to lead singer Zhyzhchenko’s grandfather and renowned folk-instrument maker, Oleksandr Shlionchyk. Zhyzhchenko started her music career as a member of the band Tomato Jaws, a band that she started with her brother. Tomato Jaws remained active for 11 years. Several of its songs were remixed by Filatov’s band The Maneken, ultimately leading to the creation of Onuka. The band’s instrumentation includes electronic drums, trombones, French horns and the Ukrainian folk instruments bandura and sopilka. Lead singer Nata Zhyzhchenko believes that old traditions and classic folk instruments (such as the bandura and sopilka) disappeared in the Soviet Union.
ONUKA’s debut album was released on October 15, 2014, and it became the best-selling record of the month in iTunes Ukraine. Their first EP, Look, was released on May 15 and debuted at #1 in iTunes Ukraine. ONUKA released a second EP, Vidlik on February 8, 2016. The EP includes five tracks: Svitanok, Vidlik, Other (Intro), Other, and 19 86. Zhyzhchenko cites the Chernobyl disaster and its impact on Ukraine as a major influence on the album. The EP’s name, Vidlik, means a new beginning, or countdown.