Valentin Strykalo (born Yury Kaplan, in October 2, 1988, Zaporozhie, Ukraine) is a rising star of Ukrainian alternative music scene. Yuriy's fictional character, Valentin Strykalo, was first introduced to public in the dawn of 2008 through a series of vlog-styled humorous videos. He presented himself as a young musician, claiming to be a talented performer and a singer-songwriter from a small village in Zhytomyrskiy region, Ukraine. Each of his videos addressed one of the xUSSR pop-stars, including Timati, Vyacheslav Malezhik, duo of Potap and Nastya Kamenskih and PHARAOH. Each video consisted of a small introduction; a song, written and performed in a key, vaguely resembling the addressed artists style; and the closing piece, where songwriter was asking to contact him for further details. Despite the introductory part of the videos, where Valentin appeared to be very shy, stuttering and hesitant, the songs where composed and performed skillfully and with a flavor of a professional musician.
Both funny and able style of his performance quickly became popular around the Russian-speaking segment of the Internet, turning Valentin Strykalo into a meme and spawning dozens of similar "Appeals to…" and copycats of his vlog.
Soon after Valentin was invited at the stand-up comedy show in Dnepropetrovsk, which became his first live appearance. Almost a year after, in June, 2009, he also performed at his first solo gig at the club Plan B, Moscow. Valentin Strikalo has been giving live performances around Ukraine and Russia since then, while also adding new songs to his Youtube channel and writing a blog on LJ.
Valentin Strykalo is said to be recording his debut album, details of which he tends to keep in secret, claiming it to be a "surprise" for his growing fan-base.
Some say that Strykalo's songs, besides being a well-crafted, mocking of styles and genres, encapsulate the spirit of a modern, post-soviet era, lifestyle of today's Eastern European youth. Topics of his songs revolve around ex-girlfriends dumping their boyfriend in favor of a richer, but less manor-ed athlete-type guys; excessive conspicuous consumption-driven lifestyle of infamous oligarchs' children and realities of everyday life in the suburbs.
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