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Interview with Grigory Fatyanov about Mastercamp

Interview with Grigory Fatyanov, House of Culture’s Masterskaya Director

With such a wealth of music technology now so freely available, making music has never been easier. As for making great music and actually making it in music… well, that’s another story entirely. It’s only right then that we shine a light on some of the great initiatives helping give artists a leg up in this day and age. And though they’re few and far between, few can rival Ukraine’s Mastercamp when it comes to launching the careers of emerging artists.

Established by Ivan Dore – himself a much-respected Ukrainian DJ/producer – Mastercamp is a brand new, Kyiv based music school and studio that offers guidance every step of the way: from production to marketing tips, successful applicants will leave the course with a great idea of how to make it in the famously cutthroat music business. Even better is the fact that it’s run in conjunction with the EU, and that fledgeling musicians are invited to apply and to win a place on the course, as well as their hotel and flights. Not bad, eh? Open to students regardless of age, the only deciding factor is that they’re EU based. If this sounds of interest, be sure to apply here.

Anyhow, to gain a more in-depth understanding of what the course at House of Culture’s Masterskaya entails, we checked in with Grigory Fatyanov, Masterskaya Director, who will “acquaint participants with the basic principles of the music market and the stages of the music project”.

Alongside Grigory will be a host of astutely chosen mentors including Music Publishing lawyer Oleksandr Selivanov (who will reveal the subtleties of copyright), Valentin Panyuta, Fedoriv Agency’s brand leader, who will teach students how to create a brand strategy) and the head of the British company Jukebox PR Alex Juxes, who will talk about how young musicians can use marketing tools, social networks and PR.

What has the pandemic been like in Ukraine?

Unfortunately, it is not over yet and continues. Literally today, the Government approved additional restrictions, which will last until mid-April, but according to our feelings, restrictions will be removed no earlier than mid-May. Therefore, within the framework of the existing reality, we, like everyone else, have been living with such restrictions for a year, and there is no way out of this situation yet.

What is the scene like, or what was it like, healthy? Vibrant?

We have had periods when restaurants, clubs and concert venues could operate with restrictions on the number of visitors and the mandatory wearing of masks. To some extent, this should be an opportunity to return for a moment to the “past” life. But now the industry is in decline.

Has it affected your outlook and how you approach music at all?

I think we will appreciate what we had in the past. I’m primarily talking about concerts and music festivals. Our industry is not complete without them. I am sure that in the future when the situation returns to normal, we will face a deferred demand, and the concert and festival market will expect an unprecedented rise. At least I want to believe it.

What sounds dominate, is there a certain genre that is most popular there?

As such, there is no predominance. We have a strong electronic scene. I think you know and have heard about clubs like Closer, ∄, Brave Factory Festival and Strichka Festival, and artists like ARTBAT, Nastia, Woo York and many more. But at the same time, we have a lot of many popular artists that perform in the CIS countries. Therefore, we can say that all genres and trends are equally represented. Perhaps the biggest event that brings it all together under one stage is the large-scale Atlas Weekend, which annually gathers 100.000 visitors, and everyone could find what they really like.

(c) «The»

Firstly, can you please tell us what the House of Culture Masterskaya is all about?

The House of Culture “Masterskaya” is a creative space built by Ivan Dorn, one of the most popular music innovators in the post-Soviet space. The House of Culture is located in the centre of Kyiv. We have 3 studios on board and they are equipped with all the necessary studio equipment and a collection of more than 40 vintage synthesizers that Ivan collected all over the world.

We also have a small stage that can accommodate up to 150 people, a bar and a coworking area. On pre-quarantine days, every Friday and Saturday we organized small musical evenings, and on weekdays we held our educational lectures and a master class for those interested in music and the music business. We also have our own music publishing house Masterskaya, where we publish the music of young artists and thereby develop and support the local scene. And in addition to this, we are developing the direction of events, we take part with our stage in the framework of local festivals.

When did the idea come for MasterCamp? Why is there a need for it?

The idea of MasterCamp has been in the air for a long time. We understand that there is a big problem with gaining knowledge about the music market, about how everything is arranged and working here. We have divided the program into two parts: the first part is an online university, where participants will get an initial knowledge of how the industry works. They will try to understand and find answers about: copyright, marketing and the tools that need to be used for this to be used.

We will talk about promotion strategy, tours and finance. After that, the 20 best students will have the opportunity to come to Kyiv to our space and participate in a week-long educational seminar on music production. We cover flights & accommodation for them. They will have the opportunity to get practical skills in the studio, but also, they will have the opportunity to get to know each other and possibly record some tracks or songs together.

Who is it for, who should apply, when and how?

All young artists living in small towns in Europe and Ukraine can apply. There are no age restrictions, the main thing is that there is motivation to gain new knowledge and a willingness to go through all two stages.

What kind of genres are you hoping to appeal to? Or is it open to everyone?

We do not set genre restrictions for ourselves. We consider applications from any artists.

Can you tell us a bit about Ivan Dorn’s involvement and why he started to establish the school? 

At a certain stage of his career, Ivan decided to share his knowledge and experience to help young artists. This served as a driver for developing the Masterskaya, first as a music label and then as a full-fledged creative hub for artists.

What will it offer? What do you hope people will learn from it?

Through this program – it is an inspiration rather than a full-fledged member. But, without him, this project would also not have been possible.

Masterskaya’s artists

Can you tell us a bit about some of the artists you have worked with there before?

We work with many artists. Over the past three years, we have released a fairly large number of artists. The brightest, in my opinion, are YUKO, Constantine, Gurt [O], The Lazy Jesus.



Gurt [O]

 The Lazy Jesus

We noticed the initiative qualifies for EU funding – how does this work for Ukraine? And should non-EU musicians apply?

Yes, that’s right, MasterCamp – an initiative with support from the European Union, we were able to realize as our application won the competition. Musicians from Ukraine and the European Union can participate in the program. Unfortunately, members who live outside of the countries cannot become part of this program.

What will you personally be offering and teaching at the camp?

My lecture will be first. We will look at how the music market & industry works, who are the main players in it and what role the artist plays in this and how he interacts with the market.

Will it become an annual thing do you think?

I would very much like this initiative to become an annual event. It’s too early to guess since working with such a program implies a large number of resources, but we will do everything possible in our power that it was continued in one form or another.

For further information on how to apply, check here


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