Kindergarten teacher turned rapper @alyona.alyona.official won the @aristocratsfm Aprize award for her debut album Pushka. Though Alyona Alyona wasn’t at the awards ceremony, she sent in a video where she thanked everyone for supporting Ukrainian hip-hop.
Founded in 2016, Aprize is an annual award for the album of the year in Ukraine. Past winners include @DakhaBrakha, @MARU.MUSIC.UA, and @onuka.official. This year’s award ceremony was on 28 February at @CaribbeanClub.
Pushka won out of 606 albums that were released in Ukraine or released abroad by Ukrainians. For the Aprize award, those 606 albums were narrowed down to a 60-album longlist and, eventually, a 10-album shortlist. Eleven judges voted on this shortlist and selected Alyona Alyona’s album as the winner.
Alyona Alyona isn’t your typical rapper — think fewer lyrics about drugs and more lyrics about fish, like in 2018’s “Rybky” (“Fish”), her first hit, which later appeared on Pushka.
In her songs, Alyona Alyona also addresses serious issues, like bullying and violence. Recently, she released the song “Коли ховають молодих” (“When they bury the young”). The song is dedicated to Danylo Didik, a 15-year-old activist killed in 2015 in Kharkiv after a bomb went off during a rally marking one year since the Revolution of Dignity. Listen to the song at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIB7UdW4lEA.
Besides Pushka, in 2019 Alyona Alyona also put out an EP, and the rapper plans to release another album in 2020.