IC3PEAK: between the urban and traditional

IC3PEAK is a musical duo from Russia. It has 2 members: Anastasiya Kreslina, who’s the singer, and Nikolay Kostylev, who’s the producer. They are making music since 2013, and their music genre can be from experimental to experimental hip hop. I found out about them only last year, when some of their songs were (and still are) famous on TikTok. The second reason why they are famous is represented by their own country. Apparently, they are not the only Russian musicians who are being threatened by the government due to their political messages hidden behind their music.
IC3PEAK has a unique style. Most of their videos are dark and look like they are coming from a horror movie.

IC3PEAK’s music and inspiration

In an interview for a Russian YouTube channel, the 2 members talk about their way of making music. First of all, they like living and working outside the city. Most of their music videos are filmed in nature, and it’s really going well with the tone of the songs. Even their style is a combination between modern and traditional: sometimes, Anastasiya is wearing clothes with a traditional touch. But despite these things, the music IC3PEAK creates is more like a mother scolding their kids. For example, in one of their songs, they talk about how traditional family is viewed. How wives should behave and how kids are affected by domestic violence, which is a problem in our society. They even say “We need to make these private things public and discuss them” because currently, many cases of domestic violence are not even reported. And still, many children are traumatized by the way parents are behaving.

Problems with corruption and the government
Another problem that they are debating in the interview, and also in their songs, is corruption. In another video, IC3PEAK talks about how they are being accused of inappropriate content. Many concerts have been canceled under the accusations of the use of drugs or other complaints. Even though the police say that “it’s not censorship and it’s not a crackdown”. Any composition against the authority is banned, even though these songs are nothing more than the reality. You should check out the news about Navalny, and how this whole situation broke Russia apart. We already know about the censorship in Belarus, but Russia is definitely the same. The political messages are triggering the heads of the police, thus these bands are sometimes in danger. In the best-case scenario, their concerts are banned/canceled.


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