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Music / Go_A

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The noise has been awakened.note 

Заплетися, шуме, барвіночком
Я тобі співаю весняночку.note 

Go_A is an electro-folk band from Ukraine, best known for their participation in the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest held in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, as well as being the intended Ukrainian act for the cancelled 2020 contest. Their name combines the English verb "Go" with "A" (the capital Greek letter Alpha, meaning "beginning") to form the phrase "go back to your roots", encapsulating their signature meld between modern and folk music.

The idea for a musical project combining traditional Ukrainian sounds and modern production first came to producer and composer Taras Shevchenko in 2011. He started recruiting musicians the following year, including choir director and folklore expert Kateryna Pavlenko, notable for her use of the traditional "white voice" singing technique. They had their first success with the song "Vesniaska", which won the competition "The Best Track in Ukraine" in 2015.


On February 22, 2020, the band won Vidbir, the Ukrainian national final to choose its Eurovision act, with maximum points from both juries and public. They were set to represent their country in Rotterdam in May 2020 with the song "Solovey", but for the first time in history the contest was cancelled due to the rapid spread of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Europe.

The same day as the EBU announced the cancellation, the Ukrainian broadcaster confirmed Go_A as their representatives for the 2021 contest. Performing in the first semi-final with the song "Shum", they became the first act to enter a song entirely in Ukrainian. They qualified for the grand finale on Saturday May 22, where they got second place in the televote (right after overall winners Måneskin from Italy) and fifth place overall. After the contest, "Shum" became an unexpected worldwide sensation, topping the Spotify Viral 50 list and being the first song in Ukrainian to crack the Billboard Global 200 chart.


The band members are:

  • Kateryna "MonoKate" Pavlenko - voice
  • Taras Shevchenko - multi-instrumentalist and producer
  • Ihor Didenchuk - sopilka
  • Ivan Hryhoriak - guitar


  • "Kolyada" ("Коляда") (single, 2012)
  • Idy na zvuk (Іди на звук) note  (album, 2016)
    • "Vesnianka" ("Веснянка") note  (single)
  • "Shcedryi vechir" ("Щедрий вечір") note  ft. Katia Chilly (single, 2017)
  • "Rano-ranenko" ("Рано-раненько") note  (single, 2019)
  • "Solovey" ("Соловей") note  (single, 2020)
  • "Dobrym lyudyam na zdorov'ya" ("Добрим людям на здоров'я") note  (single, 2020)
  • "Shum" ("Шум") note  (single, 2021)
    • "Shum" (Eurovision version, 2021)

Go_A's music includes examples of the following tropes:

  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: When performing, Kate always appears very serious and focused.
  • Ascended Extra: Kate started in the band as a backup singer and eventually became its frontwoman.
  • Background Halo: At the end of their Eurovision performance of "Shum", the background dancers lifted their TRON-esque ring lights behind Kate's head, as if she had a halo.
  • Christmas Songs:
    • "Shcedryi vechir" and "Dobrym lyudyam na zdorov'ya".
    • Subverted with "Kolyada", about the eponymous pre-Christian Winter Solstice celebration which was later supplanted by of Christmas.
  • Color Motif:
    • "Solovey" is red.
    • "Shum" is green.
    • The original version of "Shum" is white.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: As she recounts in the documentary about her life, Kate suffered from poverty and homelessness in her youth. Living exposed to the cold winters of Ukraine led her to develop a lung tumor, and part of her lung had to be surgically removed.
  • Disability Superpower: Kate uses the white voice technique because she doesn't have part of her lung and she cannot use a regular singing voice. You wouldn't tell this by hearing how strong her vocals are.
  • Genre Mashup: Their signature style mixes traditional Ukrainian instruments and techniques with modern genres and production.
  • Male Band, Female Singer: Three guys at the instruments and one woman at the microphone.
  • Mythology Gag: During the Eurovision 2021 performances, Kate wears a green fur coat, a reference to the opening line of the original version of "Shum":
    А в нашого Шума зеленая шуба.note 
  • Playing with Fire: At the end of the Vidbir performance of "Solovey", Ivan's guitar tip starts shooting fire sparks.
  • Rearrange the Song: "Shum" was actually composed by the band for their live tour and was separately selected by the Ukrainian broadcaster as their Eurovision 2021 entry. Since the original version of "Shum" takes its lyrics from a folk song but Eurovision songs have to be 100% original, the band completely rewrote the lyrics as well as trimming the track under the 3-minute limit imposed by the EBU. Kate also added that the original was "a bit tense" and the rewrite gave the song "more positive energy" suitable for the competition.
  • Significant Name Overlap: The band's producer, Taras, just so happens to share his full name with Taras Shevchenko, a prominent 19th century poet, artist, ethnographer and folklorist, considered the father of modern Ukrainian literature.
  • Splash of Color: In the Eurovision performances of "Shum", everything on stage is in white or black, except for Kate's bright green fur bolero.