After learning about the Ukrainian pop star Ruslana and her transition to the world of politics, I decided to take a deeper look at the music industry. I was surprised to learn that MTV has launched MTV Ukraine in the past year! The channel kicked off on Friday the 24th of August 2007 with “Tantsi” music video by the famous Ukrainian band Vopli Vidoplyasova
MTV Ukraine features a broad mix of music videos by famous national musicians like Svyatoslav Vakarchuk and international musicians like Shakira. Along with a big variety of music videos and themed music shows, MTV Ukraine also broadcasts some trademark MTV US productions such as Pimp My Ride and .
According to Viacom, MTV’s parent company, MTV Ukraine is set to take Ukraine’s music scene to the next level by providing Ukrainian youth with the best local and international music videos and programming that will reflect their tastes and interests as well as supporting the nations vibrant music industry.
Peter Charchalis, Vice President, Horizon Capital (one of the founders of MTV Ukraine) commented “MTV is not just music videos, it's a lifestyle and we're confident that young adult Ukrainians will make it part of their lives. MTV has influenced entire generations and we're excited about delivering a Ukrainian language version of one of the world's strongest music and entertainment brands.”
Iren Osenniaya, who works in the Ukrainian media, says "the failure of our market is in its primitiveness and its unwillingness to learn from the West. Also, many of our artists don't want to develop their professional skills at all. Ukrainians have never been a people that like to stand out from the crowd, and that’s resulted in a music scene in which many projects resemble one another. But, industry insiders say, as soon as we realize that change is needed, progress will come by itself.”
I found this comment to be highly relevant given our previous discussions of the struggle to develop a sense of Ukrainian identity. While Ukrainian MTV gives these local singers a platform in which to express a unique Ukrainian message, it also brings the influences of Western culture.