Otava Yo turns Russian folk songs into powerful dance music, a new Russian Beat. The band “can take great concert halls by storm with their Slavic temperament and fire. . . an authentic example of what will happen if a classical Russian Ivan gets into a groove.” (Kiviberg, Viljandi Folk Festival)
Otava Yo was formed by Alexey Belkin, Alexey Skosirev and Dmitry Shikhardin in 2004. For inspiration they turned to Russian folk songs – not to the very old ones, but to recent songs and tunes which were popular when their parents were young. After working on its “Russian beat” concept for three years the band released a new album, “Once Upon a Time.”
For fun, Otava Yo bases its image on the stereotype of the real Russian man. Witty song introductions emerged with the music, livening up already energetic performances. The band is very popular in its home city of St. Petersburg, playing some 80 concerts a year at various venues and events. 2010 was specially successful – Otava Yo played at several well known European folk festivals, breaking records in festival CD sales and meeting the president of Estonia, made its first music video, and and produced a play based on Russian Christmas songs, which will soon be released on an album as well.
German label CPL Music has signed the Otava Yo und will publish their latest album “What Are Those For Songs” for the first time on the German-speaking market.