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Ukrainian rap diva Alina Pash wins EU award for young artists

January 21, 2022 3:10 pmby Artur Korniienko
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Ukrainian artist Alina Pash performs at the Grote Zaal theater in Amsterdam, Netherlands on Jan. 19, 2022. (Creative Europe / Bart Heemskerk)

Ukrainian singer and rapper Alina Pash received the Music Moves Europe Award, the European Union’s prize for upcoming artists who "present the sound of today and tomorrow."

"I’m so honored. It means a lot to me and those people who believe in my heart," Pash said on Instagram after the awards ceremony in Groningen, the Netherlands on Jan. 20.

There were 14 nominees for the awards, and Pash received the recognition along with five other acts from Europe. Belgian singer-songwriter Meskerem Mees took the main Grand Jury Prize, and the Public Choice Award went to Armenia’s Ladaniva band.

The jury said that Pash is a "really exciting and unique artist and they can really tell what she stands for straight away."

The five winners received a 10,000 euro prize ($11,300), and all nominees had participated in workshops at Europe’s largest ESNS (Eurosonic Noorderslag) music showcase festival.

Besides music experts Gemma Bradley (BBC Radio 1), Cindy Castillo (Mad Cool Festival), Kevin Cole (KEXP) and Bryan Johnson (Spotify), the jury included an honorary member – Ukrainian rapper Alyona Alyona. 

Last year, Alyona Alyona also received the prize, as well as the Public Choice Award. She was the first Ukrainian and the first artist from outside the EU to have won the prize.

Though Ukraine is not part of the EU, the country is enrolled in Creative Europe, the European Commission’s program supporting culture that co-funds the awards. 

The Music Moves Europe Awards have been supported and handed out by the European Union since 2004, succeeding the European Border Breakers Awards (EBBA) and the Music Moves Europe Talent Award (MMETA).

Some of the previous winners are Stromae, Adele, Mumford & Sons, Dua Lipa, Rosalía, Meduza, Lous and the Yakuza.

Artur Korniienko
Author: Artur Korniienko

Artur Korniienko is a culture writer at the Kyiv Independent. He previously reported on Ukrainian literature, art, music, film and social issues for the Kyiv Post, including the controversial Babyn Yar memorial and other development projects opposed by the community. In 2021, he ran a podcast about Ukrainian migrant workers for RFE/RL on the Vaclav Havel Fellowship in Prague. With a Master's in Journalism from the Ukrainian Catholic University, Korniienko had also worked as a freelance journalist and a TV correspondent.

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