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"I no longer have a home." How the singer from Belarus, CHEEV, who switched to the Ukrainian language, lives in Kyiv and what he says about the war

The singer holds Belarusian citizenship

Born and raised in Belarus, CHEEV, who gained fame there but moved to Ukraine, says that the road home is now closed to him. The singer is fluent in Ukrainian, a language he started speaking two years ago. He also writes and performs his songs exclusively in Ukrainian.

In a conversation with OBOZ.UA, the artist explained why almost no one in Belarus speaks their native language. He also admitted what makes him feel at home in Ukraine.

The singer CHEEV (real name Vladislav Chizhikov) was born and raised in the Belarusian city of Bobruisk. After graduating from high school, he entered the Slavic languages department of one of the capital's universities. He was supposed to become a teacher of Bulgarian language and literature, but even then, he dreamed of making music. As a student, he created the band Radiokhvylia, which participated in the Belarusian National Selection for Eurovision, and reached the final but lost the right to represent the country at the song contest to our singer ALEKSEEV.

''I no longer have a home.'' How the singer from Belarus, CHEEV, who switched to the Ukrainian language, lives in Kyiv and what he says about the war

After winning the "Academy of Talents" contest, he became a famous singer in Belarus. But he came to Ukraine for the X Factor and fell in love with Ukraine. Vlad has released a number of original covers of songs by Monatic, The Hardkiss, TAYANNA, MamaRika. And then there was "The Voice", where the singer took back three judges' chairs from the first seconds of his performance - Monatic, Tina Karol and Dan Balan. The singer chose the latter to be his coach.

''I no longer have a home.'' How the singer from Belarus, CHEEV, who switched to the Ukrainian language, lives in Kyiv and what he says about the war

In 2019, the singer released the track "Good Like That," which became a real hit on social media and topped various charts on streaming platforms not only in Ukraine but also in Europe. However, the song gained real popularity during the war: "It's Good Like That" topped the radio charts throughout the past year. Star performers such as Nadiia Dorofeieiva, Nastia Kamenskykh, and others filmed their videos for this track.

Vladislav Chyzhykov now lives in Kyiv and is fluent in Ukrainian. "I've never studied it; I just started speaking it, and that's it," he explains in a conversation with OBOZ.UA. "It's very similar to Belarusian, my native language. Besides, I am a translator by education, so it was easy. I started speaking Ukrainian in everyday life in 2021, and before that, I spoke Russian. And it's interesting: when I started speaking more Ukrainian, I began to forget Russian and Belarusian. Sometimes even some surzhyk slips in one word in Ukrainian, the other in Belarusian."

Chyzhykov mentions that very few people in Belarus speak their native language, mostly because no conditions are created for this: "It's not welcome anywhere. It's hard to find websites that have interfaces in Belarusian. If you want to buy a dictionary, there is nothing like that."

"When I first came to Kyiv, I felt like I was at home, but there was a lot of freedom in the air," the singer recalls of his acquaintance with the Ukrainian capital, "As if I were in Minsk, where it was easier to breathe. The singer has Belarusian citizenship but admits that he is not allowed to return home: "I'm done - I don't have a home or a homeland anymore. I know Belarusian laws well. But I don't even want to think about it - I live here, and I like it. There is enough of everything here, believe me. The last time I was in Belarus was two years ago. I didn't even have any friends left there - everyone left. They left for the US, Europe because they don't see any prospects."

He speaks about the war in Ukraine as follows: "Not a day goes by when I don't think about the war that Russia has unleashed in Ukraine. In the first months, I felt only helplessness and guilt for everything that was happening. Only six months later I was able to start writing songs. With my music, I want to help Ukrainians survive this terrible time at least a little bit."

Vlad does not have Ukrainian roots but says that when he writes songs, the words in Ukrainian come to him by themselves, but sometimes he uses a dictionary: "I check what the synonyms are, whether I got the accent right."

Vladyslav Chyzhykov says he would not mind obtaining Ukrainian citizenship but realizes that this path will not be easy.

Earlier we reported that the actress from the TV series "Matchmakers" switched to Ukrainian.

Also, OBOZ.UA wrote about the life of "X-Factor" star Andrii Matsevko: photos with fans for money, work as a janitor, fake documents and a criminal case.

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