Popular Ukrainian Cover Band Sershen & Zaritskava Silenced By War

Sershen & Zaritskava are a heavy-rock group popular for posting expressive performances of cover songs on YouTube. Based in Kyiv, Ukraine, they are also known for singer Daria Zaritskava, who is something of a celebrity in her home country.

AC/DC is a particular favourite of Sershen & Zaritskava. The featured video, Back in Black, is one of four AC/DC covers by the group. It was first posted in 2018 and it has racked up a truly impressive 18 M views on Youtube.

Sershen & Zaritskava is a studio-based concept band that has a global presence thanks to the reach of YouTube. They have given enthusiastic Eastern-European-flavoured hard-rock makeovers to tracks by artists including Lady Gaga, Nick Cave & Kylie Minogue, Lorde, Heart, Elvis Presley, The Bee Gees, The Beatles, Ray Parker Jnr, Wham!, and Michael Jackson. Unsurprisingly, they also cover hard rock classics including tracks by Led Zeppelin, Guns ‘n Roses, Kiss, Whitesnake, and The Scorpions.

From their first release on their video channel, in 2014 – a cover of “Zombie” by The Pretty Reckless (currently 1.2m views) – the group found favour with “the algorithms”. Eight years later, the Sershen & Zaritskava YouTube channel has 734K subscribers.

Besides fronting Sershen & Zaritskava, Daria Zaritskava is a fashion-conscious social media influencer and model (with a large Instagram following). In the band's videos, she plays the part of a “rock goddess”. Thanks to her strong, melodious voice, and the verve of the backing musicians led by guitarist Sergey Sershen, she pulls it off. Zaritskava makes a dynamic front person and commands attention in the band’s well-shot, dynamically lit, and professional-looking videos.

As the two principals of Sershen & Zaritskava put it: ”Our project is about adding our personal touch and feel into music we love. It is all about bringing new energy and modern feel to our favourite old school classics and popular hits we all love so much. Basically, it can be any song that resonates with us and with YOU. This is a fully independent total DIY project – from arrangements, recording, mixing & mastering, all the way to filming and editing. All done at Sershen Music Studio. We don't release videos very often (once a month at best). We try to improve both the visual and the sound because we want each new video to be better than the last!”

The last video posted by Sashin and Zaritskava’s is a cover of Diana Ross‘s Upside down, released on 8 March 2022. According to a message on Daria Zaritskava’s Facebook page, the uploading of the video was delayed due to the onset of the war. Thereafter her entries slow to a trickle. At the time of writing (August 2022), Daria Zaritskava’s final Facebook post was on 22 May 2022: From Kyiv she wrote: “So excited to be able to work on new music (yes, NEW). This wouldn’t be possible without our defenders”.

Zaritskava has posted a few images on Instagram. These pictures show her in and around Kyiv. Sergey Sershen’s last social media post was on 3rd March 2022. Accompanying an image of young Sergey with his mother, he wrote an emotional plea for his Instagram followers to support Ukraine in its resistance against the Russian invasion.

Given the situation in Ukraine, fans of Sershen & Zaritskava can only hope that the time will come when all the members of Sershen & Zaritskava are able to get together to craft their popular hard-rock cover-song YouTube videos in Kiev again. If you want to see more from this talented band from Ukraine, you can subscribe to their YouTube channel or follow Daria Zarítskaya on Facebook or Instagram.

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