Iryna is an Ukrainian born singer, songwriter, acoustic guitar and hurdy-gurdy player, she has over 20 years experience in performing and writing. She works in the UK and internationally and has been featured on BBC Radio 3 World on 3 with her band MUHA. Her songs, accompanied by guitar or hurdy-gurdy tell timeless stories of love, of belonging, of living – as well as of the darker side of Eastern European Folklore with tales of abandonment, plots, fighting battles, or preparing for death. Her traditional vocal style, lyrical and at times hypnotising, captures the listener’s imagination and lets it picture mystical sceneries and natural landscapes.
“Growing up in Soviet Ukraine my early music influences were my father’s accordion playing and my mother’s singing at home. At family gatherings and local weddings I loved to hear a cappella harmonic singing of the Ukrainian folk songs which were popular in our Vinnytsia region. Aged seven, I listened with my dad on our shortwave radio to western rock-and-roll and blues music and loved to dance to my mother’s records of Vivaldi and Bach. As a teenager I played the guitar and sang covers of Russian poets and singers like Vladimir Vysotskij, Victor Tsoj, Janna Aguzarova. After moving first to the USA, and later to the UK (in 2003), I furthered my keen interest in my authentic roots, and started to explore Slavic folklore, its instruments, sounds and stories.”