|Also known as||Gaitana|
September 29, 1979 |
Kiev, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union
|Genres||jazz, funk, soul, and folk music|
Gaita-Lurdes Essami (Ukrainian: Гайта-Лурдес Ессамі, Haita-Lurdes Essami), better known under stage name Gaitana (Ukrainian: Гайтана), born on 29 September 1979 in Kiev), is a Ukrainian singer and songwriter of Ukrainian and Congolese descent. Her music combines elements of jazz, funk, soul, and folk music. Gaitana represented Ukraine in the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Gaitana was born in Kiev, during the Ukrainian SSR, a member state of the Soviet Union (in present-day Ukraine), but subsequently moved to the Republic of the Congo where her father, Klaver Essami, was born. She lived there for five years. Afterwards, Gaitana moved back to Ukraine with her mother, but her father stayed in Brazzaville where he owns a transportation business.
She sings in Ukrainian, English, Russian, but she also knows French and Lingala. Gaitana has a degree in economics from a lyceum of Economics. When she was younger Gaitana finished study at a music school where she played the saxophone. She composes all her own music and songs. She is the candidate for master of sport in table tennis. She has represented Ukraine at different competitions. Gaitana performed at Ukrainians For Obama 2009 inauguration ball in Kiev in 2009.
Gaitana was chosen to represent Ukraine in the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 in Baku, Azerbaijan with her song Be My Guest. Gaitana became the first singer of Afro-Ukrainian origin to represent Ukraine in the contest. She qualified into the grand final finishing 8th in the second semi-final and ultimately finished in 15th place with 65 points.
- 2003 - О тебе (About You) - Гайтана & Unity
- 2005 - Слідом за тобою (Following You)
- 2007 - Капли дождя (Raindrops)
- 2008 - Kукaбaррa (Kukabarra) [Songs for children]
- 2008 - Тайные желания (Secret Desires)
- 2010 - Только сегодня (Only Today)
- 2012 - Viva, Europe!
- 2006 - Двa вiкнa (Two windows) [Single]
- 2007 - Шaленій (Go Crazy) [Single]
- 2009 - Нeщoдaвнo (Lately) [Single] - Гайтана та Стас Конкін
- Showbiz award
- Best European Star (special award)
- Ukrainian Music Awards
- Best female singer 2008
- Best album 2008
- Racist comments about Gaitana stir controversy, anger, Kyiv Post (24 February 2012)
- Ukraine’s Eurovision Selection Marred by Right-Wing Racism, Time.com (9 February 2012)
- Gaitana official biography
- Official site (English)
|Ukraine in the Eurovision Song Contest
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