Learn The Culture 8/10: 5 Global Hits You Didn’t Know Come From Eastern Europe

Our audience is mainly American and we know that when you hear “Europe” you automatically think of Western European countries like France, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Netherlands. However, there is an entire other side of Europe that’s less talked about but that left its mark on the music industry and is continuing to do so thanks to the power of the internet. Marvel yourself at what Eastern Europe brought to the global market and keep your eyes on the blooming talents that usually speak and sing in well more than 3 languages.

5. Epic Sax Guy (Run Away by SunStroke Project & Olia Tira)

The viral saxophone solo is actually just one sequence of an entire song of 3 minutes by SunStroke Project and Olia Tira. Run Away, Moldova’s entry at the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest, only managed to score 22nd place at the world-renowned competition but… birthed a global phenomenon with Sergey Stepanov‘s performance, outfit, and stage presence. The instrumentist is ethnically Russian but resides in Moldova. In 2014, Stepanov’s 2010 performance was included in the Eurovision Book of Records and was awarded Order of Honour by then-President of Moldova, Igor Dodon.

4. Resurrection by PPK

If you’re a Gen Xer or Millenial, you know this tune and didn’t even consider this might be a Russian hit record. From video games, weathercasts, movie soundtracks, Resurrection, originally named Воскрешение, took over the world by storm in 2001 and made it to be the first Russian song ever to chart internationally at this magnitude, in the US included. The geniuses behind the futuristic Trance track were the PPK group. The group consisted of Sergei Pimenov and Alexander Polyakov. The incredible thing is that the instrumental is based on “La mort du héros” (“Death of the hero”) written by Eduard Artemyev for the 1979 Russian movie Siberiade. Resurrection is currently owned by Warner Music Group.

3. Not Gonna Get Us by t.A.T.u.

Originally released as Nas Ne Dogonyat, Russian: Нас не догонят, Not Gonna Get Us is a Eurodance type song, and it speaks about the group running away from people who don’t understand their love towards one another. The Russian girls at t.A.T.u. became famous fast for both the exceptional music and the controversy surrounding them as 20 years ago hinting upon lesbianism was a heavily taboo thing in society. Little did their fans know it was all just a marketing stunt confirmed by the members themselves as recent as 2014. Not Gonna Get Us peaked in the top 10 charts in countries like Finland, Italy, Austria, Sweden, Belgium, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. The single also reached number one on the US Billboard Dance Club Songs chart, becoming the duo’s only number-one single on the US component charts.

2. Stereo Love by Edward Maya and Vika Jigulina

The Dance mega-hit which can still be heard across the world whatever country you’re in was recorded in 2009 by the Romanian DJ Edward Maya with Moldovan musician Vika Jigulina. The song was and is so insanely successful that it became the second best-selling song from Romania after Dragostea Din Tei, the sample record used in Live Your Life by Rihanna and T.I. Worth mentioning that both Vika Jigulina and O-Zone, the band behind number one this list, are, as a matter of fact, Moldovans but released their hits via Romanian record labels due to the better connections and label infrastucture across the pond. Stereo Love won the Top Dance Song Award at the 2011 Billboard Music Awards.

1. Dragostea Din Tei by O-Zone

Y’all know this song by Maya Hi and Numa Numa. The Moldovan pop group O-Zone, released the smash hit in 2004. This song was so big that if the internet and social media had been as big of a thing as it is today, it would have undoubtedly topped Gangnam Style. This was viraler than viral (yeah, probably not a real word.) Its commercial success attests to the song’s reach of the times having sold over 12 million copies worldwide making it one of the best-selling singles of all time. The song was being TikTok-ed without TikTok being around. DJs, dancers, MCs, singers, and everyone under the sun was adapting the record to their own liking and were making remix versions of it thus prompting the record to become more than just a commercial hit. It was a social phenomenon.

Blue Rhymez Entertainment ©2021

If you want to make the world a better place by helping 50 stellar indie artists arduously working 24/7 to give you authentic music, stream the playlist below.

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