Kazaky

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Not to be confused with Cossacks.
Kazaky
Origin Kiev, Ukraine
Genres Synthpop, Electronic, Dance, House
Years active 2010 (2010) - Present
Labels Kazaky
Associated acts Madonna
Website kazaky.com
Members Kyryll Fedorenko
Artur Gaspar
Artemy Lazarev
Past members Oleg Zhezhel
Stas Pavlov
Francesco Borgato

Kazaky is a Ukrainian-based synthpop dance boyband from Armenia, Ukraine, Italy,[1] made up of Kyryll Fedorenko, Artur Gaspar and Artemy Lazarev. Assembled in Kiev in 2010 by former original member Zhezhel, a skilled choreographer, the group has released two albums and several singles so far.

History[edit]

2010–11: Formation and Single releases[edit]

The band is originally made up of Kyryll Fedorenko, Artur Gaspar, Stas Pavlov and Oleg Zhezhel. The group's first single, "In the Middle", was released at the end of 2010, earning them the "Breakthrough of the Year" award at the 2010 Myway Dance Awards. The video features the four group members dancing in boy clothes at first, and then transitioning into a more androgynous look with their signature stiletto heels. It quickly went viral on YouTube. It was then followed by the video for their second single, "Love," shot in black & white, which furthered their online popularity. In June 2011, the group performed at the Dsquared Men Spring/Summer 2012 runway show. On 16 July 2011, they made their American debut at Club 57 in New York City, and performed their third single "I'm Just a Dancer" for the first time.[2] In August 2011, original member Pavlov left the group and was replaced by Italian singer Francesco Borgato.

2012–13: Departure of Zhezhel, The Hills Chronicles and I Like It[edit]

With this new line-up, they released two more singles, called "Dance and Change" and "Last night" until they released the group's debut album The Hills Chronicles on October 22, 2012. In 2012, Kazaky are featured as cameo as background dancers in the Madonna music video "Girl Gone Wild".[3] On February 26, 2013, Borgato announced his departure from the group to pursue a solo career.[4] Former original member Stas Pavlov rejoined the group immediately after Borgato's departure, and he is featured in the group's new track and video, "Crazy Law", released on March 4, 2013. It will serve as the group's first single of their second studio album, titled I Like It, which is set to be released in two parts. The first part has been released in June 9, 2013, while the second part has been released in December 12, 2013. The follow up singles were "Touch Me" and the promotional single "Doesn't Matter", both released in 2013. In Dezember 12, 2013, founder Zhezhel announced on their official facebook page that he won't perform with Kazaky anymore, leaving them as a trio, thus he added that he will continue to produce the group's music and choreographies.

2014–Present: Departure of Pavlov and Singles[edit]

In 2014, original member Pavlov left the band for a second time and was soon to be replaced by new member Artemy Lazarev. In 2014, the follow up singles "The Sun", "Magic Pie" and "Pulse", which music video has been shot by director Radislav Lukin, and the promotional single "Horizon" have been released. In September 29, 2014, Kazaky were featured in the song "Strange Moves" by The Hardkiss, to be released as a single with a music video. Zhezhel makes a special cameo appearance in "Strange Moves" alongside his former bandmates.

Other endeavours[edit]

Fashion[edit]

Because of their daring and unusual fashion sense, the band has been featured on a number of high profile publications, such as Attitude, Billboard, GQ, The Los Angeles Times, New York Post and The New York Times.[5] After Anna Osmekhina created their fashion for the "Love" music video, Kazaky hired her to design their outfits and style their videos. However, the group has also received and worn fashion from Dsquared and Thierry Mugler. Their high-heeled shoes are all 5.5 inches (14 centimetres), and they are designed to allow them to dance comfortably for their stage performances.[6] The group has a penchant for elaborate, decadent and very structural costumes, or alternatively very skimpy outfits meant to enhance the physicality of their performances.

Artistry[edit]

Music[edit]

Kazaky's sound draws on house, synthpop, electronica and dance. Their tracks feature monotone, loopy, manipulated vocals and dance-driven, layered beats with electronic bleeps and prominent bass lines.

Style[edit]

"Kazaky" is Ukrainian for "Cossacks". The Cossacks had a very prominent role in the shaping of Ukraine's national history and culture. However, the band claims that their name has nothing to do with the Cossacks, but that it is a derivative form of the Japanese word Kazaki, which they claim is a popular first name in Japan.[7] All four members are trained dancers, and the group is famous for their elaborate, acrobatic and spectacular choreography routines, which feature perfectly synchronized and complex dancing moves executed on high heels. Artur Gaspar is especially known for his signature leg lift, which he often performs live and in videos. The group confronts gender norms by fusing masculine and feminine attributes together, most notably by regularly wearing stiletto heels in videos and live performances.

Members[edit]

Member 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Kyryll Fedorenko
(2010–Present)
Artur Gaspar
(2010–Present)
Artemy Lazarev
(2014–Present)
Oleg Zhezhel
(2010–2013)
Stas Pavlov
(2010–2011; 2013–2014)
Francesco Borgato
(2011–2013)

Discography[edit]

Studio Albums[edit]

List of studio albums with selected chart positions
Title Album details Chart positions
RUS UKR
The Hills Chronicles
I Like It (Part 1 + 2)
"—" denotes a studio album that did not chart.

Singles[edit]

List of singles with selected chart positions
Title Year Chart positions Info Album
RUS UKR
"Love" 2011 Released in February 14, 2011 in EP format The Hills Chronicles
"In The Middle" Released in July 1, 2011 as a single EP with remixes. Re-released in August 20, 2013
"I'm Just a Dancer"[8]
"Dance and Change" Released in November 24, 2011 in EP format
"Crazy Law"[9] 2013 I Like It (Part 1)
"Touch Me" Released in July 11, 2013 in EP format
"Magic Pie" 2014
"The Sun" I Like It (Part 2)
"Pulse"
"—" denotes single that did not chart or was not released.

Singles (As featured artist)[edit]

List of singles with selected chart positions
Title Year Chart positions Info Album
RUS UKR
"Strange Moves" (The Hardkiss feat. Kazaky) 2014 Released in September 29, 2014 Stones and Honey[10]
"—" denotes single that did not chart or was not released.

Promotional Singles[edit]

List of promotional singles with selected chart positions
Title Year Chart positions Album
RUS UKR
"Last Night" 2012 The Hills Chronicles
"I Can't Stop"[11]
"Doesn't Matter" 2013 I Like It (Part 1)
"Horizon" 2014 I Like It (Part 2)
"—" denotes promotional single that did not chart or was not released.

Filmography[edit]

Music Videos[edit]

As Main Artist
Title Year Director(s)
"Love" 2010 Yevgeniy Timokhin
"In The Middle" 2011
"I'm Just A Dancer" Andrey Sarymsakov
"Dance and Change" Alan Badoev
"Last Night" 2012 Yevgeniy Timokhin
"Crazy Law" 2013 Hendrek Maasik
"Touch Me"
"Doesn't Matter" Various (Footage)
"Magic Pie" 2014 Ivan Kvasha
"The Sun" Roy Raz[12]
"Pulse" Radislav Lukin
As Featured Artist
Title Year Artist Director(s) Note(s)
"Girl Gone Wild" Madonna 2012 Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott Dance sequence cameo appearance
"Strange Moves" The Hardkiss feat. Kazaky 2014 Valeriy Bebko Released in September 29, 2014. Oleg Zhezhel makes a special cameo appearance
Other Videos
Title Year Director(s) Note(s)
"Pohvir (Change, You Can, I Know)" 2011 Andrey Sarymsakov Footage from the music video "I'm Just a Dancer"
"Love (Horror Picture Show Version)" 2012 Yevgeniy Timokhin Promo video by V Magazine with the song "Love"
"Stadium" Promo video for the debut albums intro "Symphony No. 404"

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]