Little Big is a Russian Punk/Rave band founded in 2013 by musician Ilya "Ilich" Prusikin and director Alina Pasok.
Originally created as a one-time act with their first music video "Everyday I'm Drinking" meant to be nothing more than an April Fool's joke, the band really took off when they were unexpectedly picked as an opening act for the group Die Antwoord later that year and managed to come up with six more tracks in only one month.
The name Little Big didn't come out of nowhere: for the first year of the band's existence, it consisted of vocalist Ilich, DJ Sergey "Gokk" Makarov and two female vocalists Anna Kast and Olympia Ivleva, who were little women, the name of the band being a reference to the band members' differences in height. A year later Anna left the band citing creative differences and the need to shift her focus back on her day job (kindergarten teacher), and the band welcomed two new members: Gokk's bandmate from Jane Air Anton "Boo" Lissov (although as of "Rock, Paper, Scissors", he seems to have changed his nickname to "Tony"), who previously cameoed in the band's videos as an evil clown, joined Little Big as guitarist and backing vocalist, and Sofya "Sonya" Tayurskaya replaced Anna on vocals. Four years later, Olympia quit the band as well to focus on different projects, and the band has remained a quartet ever since.
While their original style was firmly rooted in social satire and grotesque visuals, with time they slowly went Lighter and Softer and especially Denser and Wackier, shifting their focus to catchy melodies and absurdist humor. They gained global recognition in 2018 after their single "Skibidi" became a viral hit on YouTube. In 2020 they were chosen to represent Russia Eurovision Song Contest with their song "Uno". When that year's contest was cancelled due to the COVID-19 Pandemic the band declined to return for the 2021 contest, stating that another act should have the chance to perform instead.
They are the Russian musicians with the most views on YouTube and also provide a heavy presence on social media. While not as visible as the band themselves, co-founder Alina Pasok has directed every single one of their music videos.
As of June 2022, the band have left Russia and are currently based in California, after speaking out against Vladimir Putin and the war in Ukraine.
- Ilya "Ilich" Prusikin - Vocals, lyrics
- Sofya "Sonya" Tayurskaya - Vocals
- Anton "Boo"/"Tony" Lissov - Guitar, backing vocals
- Sergey "Gokk" Makarov - DJ, backing vocals, composer
- Anna Castellanos aka Anna Kast - Vocals
- Olympia Ivleva - Vocals
- With Russia From Love (2014)
- Funeral Rave (2015)
- Antipositive, Pt. 1 (2018)
- Antipositive, Pt. 2 (2018)
- Skibidi (2019)
- Go Bananas (2019)
My tropes are big, my tropes are very big...
- The Ace: Ilich is the alpha male and ridiculously awesome at everything he does in the video for "Faradenza".
- Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: The music video for "I'm OK" is pretty much about this, showing a bar full of people getting progressively drunker and acting stupider. While one of the top comments for that video is along the lines of "There is no way nobody tried to hit on Sonya in that bar", her drunken behavior in the video is indeed rather repulsive.
- All Gays are Promiscuous: Invoked in the video for "I'm OK": when Ilich accidentally rubs against a gay man while dancing, the latter smiles suggestively, prompting Ilich to back down while covering his derriere with his hands.
- Animal Reaction Shot: In "Go Bananas", Tony spends several seconds by a swimming pool, flopping like a fish, until he falls into the water. Cue a reaction from an actual fish looking at the camera.
- Artifact Title: The band's name was originally inspired by the difference in height between Ilich and Gokk, and little women Anna and Olympia. Both Anna and Olympia ended up leaving and no new little people joined, yet the name remains.
- As Long as It Sounds Foreign: The lyrics for "Faradenza" are pretty much Spanish and Italian-sounding gibberish.
- Asshole Victim:
- In the music video for "Rock, Paper, Scissors" they get thrown into a dog cage after wrecking havoc around the city (while dressed as dogs).
- In their web series "American Russians" Ilich and Tommy Cash tried to rob a man, but they forgot to Never Bring a Knife to a Gun Fight and were forced to give him a blowjob.
- Bigger Is Better in Bed: The lyrics of "Big Dick".
- Bilingual Bonus: Despite being Russian, their main singles usually are in English.
- Bizarre Instrument: The music video for "Go Bananas" ends with Tony playing a drum kit made out of a saxophone, a fish bowl, a vintage TV set, a watermelon, a skateboard, and a pizza, Sonya rythmically squeezing a rubber chicken, and Gokk "playing" Ilich's torso like a synthesizer.
- Black Comedy Rape:
- Both a woman and Ilich have sex with a bear (actually, a man in a costume) in "Everyday I'm Drinking". If his reaction at the end of the video is any indication, he wasn't exactly thrilled.
- In their web series both Ilich and Tommy Cash got forced to give "oral services" to the man they previously tried to rob.
- Implied at the end of "I'm OK," as Ilich winks at the camera while walking through a doorway with a barely-conscious Sonya.
- Boastful Rap: The rap on "Give Me Your Money".
- Camp: The whole band personifies a sort of Russian kitschy-camp style.
- Cloudcuckooland: Whichever version of Russia (and the world) the band lives in seems to be this. Most evident in "Skibidi" but present in practically all music videos.
- Concept Video: "Lollibomb" tells a story about Kim Jong-un first and foremost. Olympia and Ilich rarely ever appear in the video, and the rest of the band doesn't appear at all.
- Continuity Nod:
- "Punk's Not Dead" gives us another look at Ilich's pixellated Gag Penis from "Big Dick".
- "Faradenza" was a Parody Commercial of an eponymous cologne. In "Skibidi", Sonya has a bottle of it on her nightstand, as well as a picture of Ilich taken straight from that video.
- The song "Uno" featured Yuriy Muzychenko from The Hatters and Florida Chanturiya from Leningrad on backing vocals and in the video. In the next video "Hypnodancer", card players in casinos play with Uno cards instead of regular ones, and Muzychenko and Chanturiya appear as the band's Unknown Rivals.
- The music video for Sex Machine ends with the same arrangement - down to costumes and background - as the start of Uno. The music video for "Tacos" leads directly into "Sex Machine," resulting in a time loop.
- Costume Evolution:
- With time, Tony reduced his full evil clown getup to simple face paint, and then to just some black makeup around his mouth.
- For a long time, Ilich's trademark haircut consisted of bangs and pretty much nothing else. He abandoned it starting with "Faradenza", only to grow hair that, as of 'Hypnodancer", is almost shoulder length.
- Darker and Edgier:
- "Lollybomb", a Love Ballad about Kim Jong Un and a nuclear bomb, is still quite camp, but significantly more sombre than their other songs while the music video doesn't hold back any punches from showing North Korea as a People's Republic of Tyranny.
- "Generation Cancellation" is a genuinely angry anti-war song. Although there are satirical and surreal elements in the video to reinforce that point, it's not likely to raise any laughs.
- Demoted to Extra: While he is still in the band, Gokk mostly stopped appearing in the band's videos after "Tacos". His only appearance since then has been a brief cameo in "Everybody".
- Denser and Wackier/Lighter and Softer: Despite a Darker and Edgier episode with "Lollybomb", the band dialed back on social satire, grossout humor and grotesque visuals with time in favor of absurdist humor, along with moving to lighter sounds.
- Department of Redundancy Department: Their music videos have a tendency to show them doing things in this manner, often alongside Mundane Made Awesome. In "Hypnodancer", Sonya tears off the fancy dress she used in the heist to reveal an identical dress in a different colour. Ilya, meanwhile, applies a fake moustache on his identical-looking moustache.
- Fan Disservice: The video for "Big Dick", not so surprising since it was making fun of sexualized music videos.
- Fanservice: The video for "Hateful Love" features several almost nude models.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus:
- "I'm OK" has a rare blink-and-you-miss-it appearance of Tony without makeup.
- In "Go Bananas" Gokk very quickly raises and lowers a smartphone with a message on it. It says "Pop is new punk".
- Fractured Fairy Tale: The video for "Everybody" parodies several fairy tales and folk stories, including but not limited to Snow White, the Princess and the Frog, Baba Yaga and so on.
- Frothy Mugs of Water: Pencils, markers and pencil shavings standing in for cigarettes, cigars and other drugs in "Hypnodancer".
- Funny Animal: Everyone (except for two humans) is this in "Rock, Paper, Scissors".
- Funny Background Event:
- Even when the camera is not directly on him in the video for "Uno", the energetic portly bearded dancer just won't stop! Suffice to say, this video did wonders for the popularity of said dancer, Dmitriy Krasilov.
- In "Hypnodancer", when the band is prepared for Ilich to jump on the table and do the hypnotic dance, and Yuriy jumps on it instead, Sonya has an exaggerated bewildered look on her face, and later when Ilich jumps on the table as well, so does Florida. Later, when Ilich and Yuriy dance together to hypnotize the cops, Sonya and Florida stand perfectly still throwing each other a Death Glare.
- Gag Penis: In "Big Dick" Ilich has a massive prosthetic penis; he even plays the piano with it.
- Gratuitous French: "Mon Ami" is 100% this. It only consists of two sentences repeated over and over: "Je veux te péter la rondelle, mon ami" ("I want to screw you in the ass, my friend") and "Bouge ton cul" ("Move your ass").
- Impossibly Tacky Clothes: Their costumes revel in this trope.
- Intentional Engrish for Funny: The English in their songs is not entirely perfect, which seems to be intentional.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: The music video of Sex Machine ends with Dmitriy Krasilov getting hit with the flash of a neurolyser and stumbling into the set of Uno.
- Medium Blending: In the video for "Everybody", when Tony calls a "Dragon Taxi" with a smartphone app, he and the dragon (which looks like King Ghidorah with taxicab driver hats) are puppets animated in stop-motion.
- Musicalis Interruptus: Their music videos often have the song pause abruptly while some on-screen antics play out.
- In "Hypnodancer" the song stops just as Ilya jumps to action to upstage the Similar Squad that took the spotlight off them, allowing everyone to hear the awkward grunts of both men as they dance-battle each other with no music.
- "Skibidi" has one that is so gloriously over-extended that it goes into Overly-Long Gag territory and back several times.
- Ilich charming the lunch lady in "Faradenza".
- Parody Commercial: "Faradenza" is one for a cologne named, well, "Faradenza".
- Protest Song: Although it's not made immediately obvious due to the minimalist lyrics, "Generation Cancellation" is aimed at Vladimir Putin and the invasion of Ukraine.
- Russian Reversal: The utterly nonsensical video "Go Bananas" has several visual examples:
- Tony comes to a toilet bowl and unzips his fly. The toilet starts peeing on him.
- Ilich tries to pop a balloon, but is himself popped instead.
- The band is fed big breadcrumbs by a giant pigeon.
- Shout-Out: Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Kim Jong-un, Kim Kardashian and the list goes on.
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad:
- Before Olympia left, the band's most visible members were herself and Ilich and, to a lesser extent, Gokk. After her departure, the remaining quartet began appearing in music videos as an Ensemble Cast much more often.
- After "Uno", the dancer Dmitriy Krasilov became a prominent part of the band's videos.
- Stealth Parody:
- Sucks at Dancing: "Go Bananas" has a scene where the entire band looks like they're waiting for the beat to drop to start a synchronized dance... only for Gokk to start doing the cossack, only without much knee-bending, all while giving someone off screen the finger, Sonya to start rubbing her behind against thin air, and Ilich and Tony to start jumping erratically.
- Vodka Drunkenski: Mostly averted despite the band's favour for playing with Russian stereotypes. Even in songs like "I'm OK" which plays it straight, the music video shows most people drinking beer rather than vodka. The one time Ilich is explicitly shown drinking vodka (in "Skibidi", if what happens can be called "drinking"), he is perfectly fine in the next scene.
- We All Live in America: Despite ostensibly existing in Russia, there are surprising number of Americanisms in their videos. For example, the police officers in Hypnodancer and Rock Paper Scissors, though not Skibidi, wear stereotypical NYPD uniforms. This is almost certainly deliberate.