ANDREI KUZMENKO. LIVING SHIP
Writing or talking about this person in the past tense is inexplicably difficult. Looking at his optimistic photos and videos, it is impossible to believe that Andrei Kuzmenko is no longer among us. It seems that his bright as a comet life could not end so absurdly in a car accident, when such creative experience had already been accumulated, and there were so many plans, plans and hopes ahead.
An incredible enthusiast, an iconic musician of our time, a man with a boundless soul and a vast heart – this is how Andrei Kuzmenko remained in the memory of his relatives, friends and thousands of fans of his work.
Dreams of a garbage truck
The emergence of a wonderful songwriter, singer and producer of Ukrainian culture owes to The Beatles. The fact is that it was the song “Lady Madonna” performed by the legendary Liverpool singer Andrei Kuzmenko-four who predetermined Andrei’s musical path. Hearing this composition at the age of 10, he was so impressed that he decided to play it on the piano. And picking up the song The Beatles, Andrei realized that he was capable of creating music himself. Then he realized that he needed to put his soul and brains into his works so that these creations could interest someone. And if not for this song, the ranks of drivers of garbage trucks would have been replenished with another specialist, because Andrey Kuzmenko had dreamed about this work since childhood.
Pedagogy with slippers
The future musician was born in Lviv region. It happened on August 17, 1968 in the city of New Rozdol. Andrei’s mother was taught by the singer Andrei Kuzmenkomuzyku, so the boy had a connection with this art form from early childhood. Many years later, Andrei will turn to his mother with soulful lines in his song “Mom”.
Andrei was the only child in the family, so he did not experience a lack of parental attention. Mom had a strong influence on the formation of the personality of her son. As a child, Andrei, although he loved music, but did not really want to attend a music school. Sometimes mother had to resort to non-pedagogical methods and drive her son to classes with the help of a threat with slippers. These bright moments of childhood are so engraved in the memory of Andrei that he repeatedly spoke about them in an interview.
From punk rock to neo-romantics
In the 1980s, the Kuzmenko family moved to Novoyavorovsk, where Andrei was also not allowed to be bored. He went to school with an in-depth study of English, simultaneously mastered Polish, played volleyball, was engaged in swimming and even became a candidate for master of sports in biathlon. By that time, Andrei was already a fan of punk music, which he first heard on the wave of Polish radio in 1983. singer Andrei Kuzmenko So he met with the work of the British band The Exploited. Later, the musician said that it was punk that influenced the formation of his personality.
The peculiar debut of the guy in the role of a DJ did not keep itself waiting. At the disco, he played to the public a composition in the style of punk rock. But it seemed to him frivolous, Andrei himself wanted to write music. Then he joined the group that played dancing, and became a guitar player in the team. Over time, the punk band “Lantsyugova Reaktsiya” (“Chain Reaction”) was formed from this school group. The head teacher of the school was inspired by the children’s craving for creativity and allowed them to conduct rehearsals in the assembly hall.
Performing punk rock, Andrei himself did not notice how he became interested in the style of new romantic. At that time he was terribly popular, especially many Polish groups appeared in this direction. Of course, the work of the recognized neo-romanticists Depeche Mode, Ultravox, The Cure, Alphaville did not pass by the young man. At the age of 14, Andrei naively believed that he was the only fan of Depeche Mode in the Soviet Union.
When in 1985 it was time to decide on a profession, Andrei succumbed to the influence of his parents and applied to the Lviv Medical Institute. In such prestigious singer Andrei Kuzmenkovuz there has always been a big competition, and the guy failed to enter. He decided not to give up and became a student of the medical faculty of Karelian University. A year later, he was drafted into the army, where he became deputy head of the neurology department of a military hospital in the city of Kalinin near Moscow.
In the army, Andrei met with Vladimir Shkond. He had similar musical tastes, and soon they began to perform music together. Andrei considers this tandem a prototype of the Scriabin group. And shortly before the demobilization, he saw the TV program “Morning Mail”, which showed a video for the song “Dance” of the first Ukrainian rock band “Vopli Vidoplyasova.” Hearing such an organic sound of the Ukrainian language in rock music, Andrey Kuzmenko became convinced that not only in English, you can create rock compositions. Later, he repeatedly thanked Oleg Skrypka and his group for such enlightenment.
After demobilization, Andrei transferred to the Lviv Medical Institute at the Faculty of Dentistry, although this profession did not appeal to him. But the insistent persuasion of parents to get a diploma did the trick. He continued to create songs in English, if necessary translated them into Ukrainian, then he necessarily gave his mother to listen.