"The Kiev-based singer has honed a gothic-tinged pop-rock sound that she describes to us as "unframed, powerful and melodic."
‘A wild spirit and a rock and roll heart’ is the best way to characterise Ukrainian alternative rock band AMARIIA. Founded in 2019 by singer and songwriter Maria Arkhipova from Kyiv, Ukraine, the band’s solid mixture of alternative rock, pop rock, metal, and melodic rock is firmly established now and forms a solid platform for her mystical and powerful vocals.
Maria was born in 1993 and grew up with music all around her. Her father plays the guitar and sings and at a young age she started taking piano lessons and developed her voice. Soon the first bands followed leading to the formation of the duo In.Vade. Their album titled Echoes of your Reflection was self released in 2016. The music featured on this album showed the first signs of Maria’s talent for composing expressive, melodic and powerful songs.
Maria’s influences vary from western melodic pop music to powerful and heavy metal and rock. As a lyricist she likes to express herself in images and allegories, fantasies and stories, expressing her deep emotions and bringing up topics important for all of humanity. This leaves it to the listener to interpret her tellings as they see fit.
After disbanding In.Vade it took Maria a while to redefine her future musical path. In 2019, after having spent time abroad, she established ‘AMARIIA.’ She said in a recent interview with Gothica Magazine that ‘AMARIIA’ is about ‘being extraordinary and diverse while celebrating freedom, not only in music but also in visual appearance’.
About the band she says: ‘Being on stage performing with AMARIIA is like climbing a mountain and standing on top of the world. The interaction with my fellow band members and the audience makes me breathe real deep and the blood flows through my veins!’
In 2019 the song Time was released as Amariia’s debut single both in English and Ukrainian and an accompanying video was shot in Wales in the beautiful scenery of the Welsh mountains by Video Ink Ltd from Manchester, who also worked with the famous Dutch band Delain. Time, it’s lyrical theme, is about time being as incomprehensible as it is. The lyrics are typical of Maria’s dealing with the world: mystical images following her carefully crafted palette of ideas and thoughts, emotions and time.
After the release of the song Time, guitarist and composer Ilya Potochnyak joined Amariia co-writing and arranging the next single called Hunting Illusions. This was released in summer 2020. A very arty video was produced for this daring song that combines electronics and grungy guitar, something that would become a trademark for Amariia’s music to come. The core idea of the song is about people hunting their illusions which can turn them one moment into strong and powerful people and next make them fall down really deep.
In the meantime Amariia welcomed drummer Ivan Levchenko and bass guitarist Anton Portnyagin to the band. Together with guitarist Ilya Potochnyak the band was now ready for live performances that were becoming more and more frequent in and around Ukraine.
Early 2021 saw the release of Amariia’s most eccentric song titled Under Red Light. The video shows a demoness struggling between choosing to be good or evil. YouTube banned the video three times for being too explicit but Amariia persevered and it is out there to be admired in its full glory.
In 2021 guitarist Alex Glass joined the band and with his modern shredder and metal like style of playing he added a bit more of a sharp edge to the music.
Last summer Amariia performed at many Ukrainian rock festivals all over the country. The band was invited to play at Sumy Rock Fest, Koktebel Jazz Festival Pre Party, Respublica Festival, InBorRockFest, Rock Bulava and the Female Rocking Voices Festival. It gave Amariia the opportunity to further develop it’s powerful sound and stage act while travelling all over Ukraine. Many clips filmed by their audiences have been posted on YouTube for all of the band’s fans to enjoy. Later in 2021 Amariia performed to great acclaim at the Vampire Decadence Festival in Kyiv.
At the moment Amariia is focussed on writing the last material in the run up to releasing their first full scale album. The last material for the album will be recorded early this year 2022. Release is expected early spring 2022.
Summer 2022 Amariia will tour Ukraine extensively to promote the new album and entertain their many fans. Stay tuned!