Who are Tvorchi? Duo representing Ukraine in Eurovision 2023

Tvorchi will perform their song Heart of Steel at Eurovision 2023 this weekend  (Chloe Hashem/EBU)
Tvorchi will perform their song Heart of Steel at Eurovision 2023 this weekend (Chloe Hashem/EBU)

Ukraine’s Eurovision 2023 act Tvorchi have described the UK as “family” after arriving in Liverpool to the sight of sunflowers and their national flag.

The electro-pop duo say they want to highlight the “bravery” of the Ukrainian people and have been overwhelmed by the support they have received since arriving in the UK.

Liverpool has been transformed with public artworks and installations for the music competition, the semi-finals of which are on Tuesday (May 9) and Thursday (May 11). The grand final is on Saturday, May 13.

Who are Tvorchi?

The band formed in 2018 and consists of singer Jeffery Kenny, 25, who was originally born in Nigeria, and Ukrainian producer Andrii Hutsuliak, 27. Kenny’s real name is Jimoh Augustus Kehinde.

They will compete in Saturday’s Eurovision grand final alongside the UK, Spain, Italy, France and Germany. Their song is called Heart of Steel.

Hutsuliak said Heart Of Steel can be “for anyone” because of its universal message of “being strong, being confident, being brave, and staying in a good attitude despite negative situations”.

“We feel like everyone meets those situations in their lives,” he added.

The group formed after a chance meeting in the lakeside city of Ternopil in western Ukraine, where both were studying at the medical university.

The PA News agency said Hutsuliak stopped Kenny, who had recently moved from Nigeria, in the street and asked if he could practise English with him. Kenny accepted on the condition he could practise his Ukrainian.

They released their first song, Slow, in 2017, and have been popular in Ukraine ever since.

Their four albums — The Parts in 2018, Disco Lights in 2019, 13 Waves in 2020 and Road in 2021 — all reached number one in Ukraine’s main music charts.

Road even beat Kanye West and Drake to the top spot and racked up more than three million streams.

They were nominated for four awards at the Yuna 2021 Music Awards — Ukraine’s equivalent of the Brit Awards. They went a step further at last year’s awards by winning Best Concert Show and Best Song in Another Language.

The pair entered the competition to represent Ukraine at Eurovision last year, reaching the final 10 acts out of a possible 299.

Tvorchi scored 19 points from a possible 20.

Ukraine won last year’s Eurovision with their entry Kalush Orchestra. It is normally customary for the competition’s winning nation to host the event the next year, but this was called off because of Russia’s continuing war in Ukraine.

The 67th annual competition this year is now being held in Liverpool, after the UK entry Sam Ryder came second last year.

The grand final will take place in the Liverpool Arena, next to the river Mersey.

BBC One will broadcast live coverage of this from 8pm.