Kazaky – Breaking the boyband stereotype

Kazaky – Breaking the boyband stereotype

Kakazy - from nytimes.com

It doesn’t matter if you love or hate boy bands. But I’m sure that at some point, in the last 50 years, you’ve caught yourself singing a song of this kind. It could be The Temptations and Jackson Five in the 50s; Beatles in the 60s; Menudo in the 80s; or New Kids On The Block, Backstreet Boys, Hanson and N’Sync in the 90s fever. Boy bands were born with the north-American post-war pop music and they are part of our culture until today. There are many different styles of boy bands, but, in general, they all feature cute guys who sing love songs and dance.

Oleg Zhezhel, Artur Gaspar, Kyryll Fedorenko e Francesco Borgato

Oleg Zhezhel, Artur Gaspar, Kyryll Fedorenko e Francesco Borgato

Kazaky is a boy band made up of Ukrainian singers and dancers, but it breaks this stereotype focused on teenage girls. Formed by Oleg Zhezhel, Arthur Gaspar, Kryll Fedorenko and Francesco Borgato, in 2010, the band achieved success when the video In The Middle” went viral on Youtube. They embody the 21st century pop culture, mixing fashion, style, choreography, music and gender identity.

The group is distinguished by the way they build their own image, making the sensuality without prejudice the guideline of their work. Despite the heels and makeup, they are very masculine men, whether gay or straight. Indeed, when questioned about their sexual choices, they usually leave the mystery in the air, reaffirming their position of impartiality on the subject and reinforcing that they care only about music, dance and movement. The Kakazy boys are an “incredibly seductive cult of dance, music, body, sexuality, fashion and provocation” as shown on the band website.

In 2011, they opened the fashion show of the young designer Anouki Bicholla, at the Ukraine Fashion Week. With their perfect bodies balanced on 6-inch high heels and flawlessly performing their choreography routine, they stressed that androgeny and fashion are part of the essence of the band.

The performance was such a hit that, in 2012, Madonna chose the Kazaky boys to be dancers in her video “Girl Gone Wild”, making them famous worldwide. The Oscar-nominated fashion designer (for W.E., in 2011, and Walk the Line, in 2005) Arianne Phillips (also the designer of A Single Man) had to create special shoes for each of the band members, since she wouldn’t be able to find their size in such short time notice.

During this period, they also did a photo shoot for V Magazine, entitled Kazaky Horror Picture Show, in which they appear in wedding gowns and other looks. The pictures were taken by the famous Dutch couple of photographers Inez e Vinoodh.

The work also yielded a video.

Kazaky represents masculinity in its most liberal sense. Freedom and equality are the main focus of the creativity embraced by the band.

Clarissa Gianni – Translator. Graduated in Translation from the University of Brasilia, Brazil. Freelance translator, editor and proofreader since 2006. She is editor and co-founder of the art magazine “Nil”. She is also part of the project “Indelével”. Here at MissOwl, she works as translator, responsible for creating the English version of the texts.

This post is also available in: Portuguese (Brazil)

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