Artists of LUCID: Koloah aka Dmytro Aksentiev

Carol Liu
April 27, 2022
5 minute read
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“In daily hell, music became my support, my therapy.” Meet Dmytro Aksentiev, who’s currently composing music as medicine in his home country of Ukraine.

Dmytro Aksentiev, also known as Koloah and Voin Oruwu, is a producer and rave hero from Kyiv, Ukraine. He started composing music in his school years, producing beats for a hip hop band. He gradually fell in love with the world of music and became an influential figure in his local scene. Producing forward-thinking electronic music, his music has always spoken of the raw energy that runs through the Kyiv underground, and helped push the reputation of Kyiv’s music culture to a global scale.

Inspired by classic science-fiction films such as Blade Runner and Akira, his 2021 EP Millenium Sun intended to explore our current era “where science and technology coexist with wars and dictatorship, where world hunger exists alongside space travel.” Amongst films and video games, he cites mythology, astrology, philosophy and space science as sources of inspiration. Dmytro experiments with and creates music in a variety of genres - including trance, ambient, dubstep or techno - but he says the unifying theme is their cinematic feeling, which he attributes to his background in directing from the Institute of Film and Television. His creative process usually starts with writing down a narrative, which he builds on using visual pieces such as graphics, mood boards and videos.

Dmytro's life used to be entirely devoted to music. He performed as a live artist and DJ while writing pieces for commercials, theatre plays, and movies. He had gigs collaborating with popular artists, art & dance shows, and the gaming industry.

Obviously, he notes, that’s all stopped now.

In February 2022, Russian troops invaded Dmytro's home country of Ukraine.

“After the rockets began to fly into the city and the enemy troops almost reached the center, I took my cat, two T-shirts, a jacket, a laptop and left Kyiv. Will I be able to return to my hometown? Will Kyiv be as I remember it? Probably only in the memories,” He writes on the cover of Serenity, his latest album which was completed in shelter after fleeing Kyiv.

“In daily hell, music became my support, my therapy,” he continues. “Now I want to share my strength and support with others. I created this album to reflect on what is happening to us: tears, nostalgia, dreams of the future, and faith in a bright tomorrow. We will survive, return to our hometowns, and rebuild the country when the war is over.”

‘When Russia started their vile invasion, which turned into a genocide of the Ukranian people, our life changed radically. After a long break with music, I started to produce,” He recalls.

Working with LUCID was his first attempt at music after this break. VICE Magazine featured Dmytro in their article about the men who are banned from leaving Ukraine and may be potentially conscripted into the war. In the article, he described his desire to find remote work as a music composer or sound designer. LUCID was reaching out to Ukraine musicians looking for work, and fortunately was able to get in touch with him.

Soon after, Dmytro was onboarded as a contract music composer with LUCID. He’s been working on ambient tracks that are optimized to reduce stress and lower anxiety. His music will be added to LUCID’s original content library, and used in their digital therapeutics that help people faced with various mental health conditions.

He describes the experience as “amazing, and weird” to be composing relaxing meditative music meanwhile bombs were flying overhead and atrocious war crimes being committed around him.

However, Dmytro says that music is helping him get through these times. He notes it was “like therapy” to compose medicinal music for LUCID while reflecting his current experiences through his album ‘Serenity’. He hopes that both of these musical projects will also prove therapeutic for listeners.

In terms of their mission to turn music into medicine, Dmytro found himself aligned with LUCID’s direction, adding that it’s “super necessary, especially now”.

“It helped me while I was working on it and I am sure it will help others. I would like people from Ukraine to use this product too. It’s hard for all of us right now. Those who left and those who stayed. And music can help to ease the pain.”