Svitlana Serhiivna Loboda (Russian: Светлана Сергеевна Лобода, Ukrainian: Світлана Сергіївна Лобода, born 18 October 1982), also known by the stage name LOBODA, is a Ukrainian singer and composer. Loboda represented Ukraine in the Eurovision Song Contest 2009 and finished in 12th place with 76 points.
As a young girl, Loboda studied the piano, conducting, variety and jazz vocal, and grew to have the experience of being a composer, a leading role actress in a musical, a TV host, a designer, a photographer, a singer in Ukraine’s, Russia’s and CIS most popular girl band and finally as a solo artist. From an early age Loboda showed a tendency for music and acting, making home musicals for her parents and relatives on family holidays. Therefore, it was not a difficult decision for her mother which special courses to enrol her daughter on to study. In a specialized music school, Loboda studied the piano and at the same time mastered the art of singing and conducting.
Having finished music school, Loboda continued with her music studies and entered the department of variety and jazz singing at the Kiev Variety And Circus Academy. It was at this time that she became a member of the band “Cappuccino”. In 2003 auditioned for the first ever Ukrainian professional musical "The Equator", where she received the leading role of "Mirana". On 28 December 2003, she started a new band – “Catch”. Svetlana was the creator of the repertoire and stage costumes for the band. That was her first professional experience as a composer and designer.
In 2004, Loboda auditioned for the casting for "VIA Gra" band, well known in Eastern Europe also having successful gigs in Japan. (VIA Gra was known as "Nu Virgos" outside Ukraine.) She beat nearly 500 rivals and became a new soloist of VIA Gra. Svetlana’s first appearance as a member of the band was in a performance in the contest show “Star Factory” (the Ukrainian version of “Star Academy”).
At the end of November 2004, Loboda together with Oleksandr Shyrkov and their company “S&A;music group Ltd” started her solo career and shot a music video “Cherno-Belaya Zima” (Black-and-white Winter) and within a year, in November 2005, she released her début album “Ty Ne Zabudesh” (You Won’t Forget).
In 2005, Loboda's clips have got airplay in Russia. It began with the city of Vladivostok, thanks to the fact that the company “S&A music group Ltd” signed an agreement with Koval Evgeniy, the representative of television channel “TVC in Vladivostok”. Further in 2008 clips have been shown of channel "RU.TV".
Loboda’s fourth single and video “Cherny Angel” (Black Angel) with Nadezhda Granovskaja (Nadezhda Meyher), Svetlana’s close friend and - incidentally - ex-member of “VIA Gra”. In 2006, she worked as the presenter of the TV program “ShowMania” on the air of all-Ukrainian TV channel “Novyi Kanal” and in 2007 became the host of “Miss CIS” on “TET” TV channel. At the same time, the singer started a tourist agency of her own named “Happy Vacations”. On October 2007, Loboda launched an exhibition of her own photo art-works dedicated to her trip to India.
In Spring 2008, she released the album Ne Macho ("Not macho"). April 2008 saw the launch of her own fashion line wearing the name F*ck the macho. The seeminlgly scandalous idea became a popular trend and a stylish concept, expressing social protest against false glamorous trends and stereotypes. Later on, in Autumn 2008, she tried her hand as the script writer for the music video Za chto ("For what"). In December 2008 the video appeared on the Russian music channel MUZ TV. At the end of 2008 Loboda together with DJ Lutique produced a new club track "By your side". The single reached the top of the national charts and was also played internationally.
Loboda performing during the second semi-final
In Spring 2009 “Be My Valentine” was presented on Ukraine’s national pre-selection by Loboda in co-operation with “S&A;Music Group Ltd.” and her partner Oleksandr Shyrkov.
On 8 March 2009, she received the highest points from both the viewers and professional jury and won the Ukrainian national final for the Eurovision Song Contest 2009 in Moscow, Russia.
On 18 March 2009, Svetlana Loboda presented the clip Be My Valentine (Anti-crisis girl!) in Vladivostok. Viewers of the television channel "PERSON (TVC)" were the first to see a new masterpiece of the scandalous Ukrainian singer in the program «SMS the Chat». Loboda competed in the second semi-final there and reached the final. Prior to the event, Loboda had spoken confidently of her chances of success.
The song finished in 12th place, with 76 points.
Loboda stated that she wished to use her participation in the contest as a platform to speak out against domestic violence. She started the social initiative "No Family Crimes" and appeared in photographs with wounds and scars to highlight the issue of violence against women.
The cog system, or as Loboda refers to it "The Hell Machine" she danced on has been taken back to Ukraine. Svetlana has said that she did not want it to go to waste and it is apparently in her father's garage. "The pets play on it" she stated.
Loboda had expressed her interest in representing Ukraine at the Eurovision Song Contest 2010 which took place in Norway.
Loboda released her solo single "Жить легко" (Live easy) in January 2010, "Сердце бьётся" (Heart Is Beating...) with Max Barskih in spring, and "Revolution" in October. She described Revolution as "a powerful song, with a powerful message. It was very emotional to make."