Eurovision 2017: Belarus’ Naviband in focus

In 2017 Belarus made it to the final after not qualifying for two years. Naviband, a folk band lead by Artem Lukyanenko and Ksenya Zhuk, who are a couple in their private life, had the honour to bring Belarus back. Three years after their achievement most of the fans remember ‘Story of My Life’ and the feelings of joy and sweetness it brings.

In 2017 the Belarusian public broadcaster organised a national selection for Eurovision. Belarus had failed to qualify to the Grand final for two years in a row. Thirteen contestants participate in the national final. Naviband participated as NAVI with their song Historyja majho žyccia (translated as “Story of My Life”).

Naviband won the vote of the jury but ended only in fifth place in the televote. However, their overall result was enough to put them in first place. Therefore, Naviband waved the Belarusian flag in Kyiv.

Naviband performed their song Story of My Life in the second semifinal. This was the first Eurovision entry from sung in Belarusian language. Story of My Life qualified in ninth place to the Grand Final.

On the night of the Grand Final, Arciom Lukjanienka and Ksienija Žuk from Naviband performed Story of My Life. They wore white dresses. The couple sung their song in a platform that resembled the bow of a boat. Arciom played the guitar while he danced with Ksienija. During their performance the screen showed moving city landscapes and fireworks as they continued their journey. At the end of their performance, Arciom and Ksienija kissed.

Story Of My Life received 83 points in the final and ended in 17th place. Arciom Lukjanienka wrote the lyrics for Story of My Life.

Story of My Life – opinions from fans

In order to find out what Eurovision fans today think of this Belarus entry from 2017, we asked our Eurovision Fan Panel. It includes team members as well as fans from all over the world.

🇨🇴 🇫🇮 Álvaro S.- I found this couple very charismatic and sweet. This song has heart and the feeling of joy it gives is contagious. I also like that they brought this boat and the images in the backdrop.

🇩🇪 Pascal W. – I‘ve loved this song from the first time I heard it. The revamp made it even better and less repetitive. They have such great energy and charisma and you just have to love them.

🇩🇰 Charlotte J. – This is a lovely couple and a cute likeable entry too. I am onboard, but not waving the biggest flag. I like listening to it, but it’s not one I would put on a playlist myself. Seeing that it finished 17th in the final, viewers probably had the same issue: They liked it, but didn’t take the action to vote for it. Going through the list of songs in the final that year, I would have placed this just around 10th.

🇱🇻 Janis O. – Poor Belarus, this country often is underestimated. This was one of my favourite acts from Belarus. Cute couple, nice song and so funny attitude. I like our creepy neighbours.

🇬🇧 Michael O.- This was one of the better entries from Belarus and at some point I had it as a potential winner. However as time has progressed I tired of their cutesy wootsyness.

🇪🇸 Alexander S. – In 2017 Belarus chose the duet Naviband with the song Historyja Majho Zyccia a very folkie song which was sung in Belarussian. They talk about their live story as they are a real couple. Besides, they got dressed in white, with a wheel on stage. They got a 17th place which, in my humble opinion, is a very low result.

🇬🇧 Mhairi O. – For me Naviband was one of the best in 2017. They had so much positive energy which made me like the song. I thought they would have been top ten but maybe performing early on didn’t help.

🇨🇿 Josef S. – I remember when I heard Story of My Life for the first and I knew immediately that this traditional-vibed song is something which will do pretty good at Eurovision. And it did. I love how folky it sounds, that it is in Belarusian language and the simple staging with the boat. On top of that, Naviband are simply a cute duo, which is something that always pays out at Eurovision.

🇹🇷 Günec N. – This folk song from the romantic duo is not one of my favourites. They have a nice energy on stage but the song itself was not my cup of tea.

Enjoy Naviband’s performance from the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest in the embedded video. Below the video, you can read more about them.

Naviband – a mini biography

Naviband is a Belarusian folk, indie and acoustic rock band based in Minsk. Guitarist Arciom Lukjanienka and keyboardist Ksienija Žuk are the main vocalists of the band. They are also the most well known members of Naviband. Guitarist Aliaksandr Taboĺski, bassist Uladzislaŭ Čaščavik, and drummer Uladzimir Biehier are also part of the band.

Arciom and Ksienija started working together in 2013 as a duo. The band fully formed in 2015. In 2016 they made their first attempt to compete in Eurovision with the song Heta ziamla. They finished in fourth place in the national final. One year later, they represented Belarus with the song Story of My Life in Kyiv. In December, 2017 Naviband released the music video for A Dzie Žyvieš Ty?. In this video they also announced that Arciom and Ksienija were expecting their first child. The band has so for released five studio albums.

Naviband has been politically involved in the 2020 protests in their country. They have expressed their support for political change and democracy. For instance, their latest song Devochka v Belom from September 2020 is dedicated to female protesters.

Read more in the news archive

Liked what you've read? Subscribe to our Eurovision news!