Darka & Slavko

Darka and Slavko

Darka & Slavko (in Ukrainian Дарка й Славко) is one of the most popular duos in Ukrainian diaspora and Ukraine.

The duo "Darka & Slavko" was formed when Darka Konopada & Slavko Halatyn, both first generation Ukrainian Americans, became musical partners in 1986. It happened when once during a Ukrainian college group's poetry reading for political prisoners, they were asked to sing a few songs. Thus began a ten year musical collaboration as well as an eight year marriage.

Under the name "Darka & Slavko" the duo released four albums and produced many projects for other musicians. Initially they focused attention on creating a sound that was comprehensive for Ukrainian Americans who, until then, considered Ukrainian music existing only for the older generation. "Darka & Slavko" wanted to change that.

On their first album, simply entitled, Darka & Slavko, one of the songs they chose to do was Volodymyr Ivasyuk's Chervona Ruta. It was specifically arranged within the Reggae genre for a couple of reasons: they wanted to add some shock value to their first album and also, they believed, Volodymyr would have approved this.

Their second album, Khvylyna (Moment) gave way to more sophisticated arrangements and the duo began to write original songs. Finally in 1995, "Darka & Slavko" released their final studio album, Povir (Believe) which was a collection of entirely original songs. One of the songs, Spivtsi (Singers) was talking about the life and death of Volodymyr Ivasyuk and how it sparked an explosion of Ukrainian pop music development that continues until today. This song was written on a train from Lviv to Chernivtsi and two days later was debuted at Ukraine's first contemporary music festival "Chervona Ruta" in 1989 - where the duo and their newly formed group were ultimately awarded Best International Band.

"Darka & Slavko" continued to tour around the world, and also recorded a live album with jazz renditions of their favorite songs. In 1997, "Darka & Slavko" had split up personally and professionally.

Currently both have re-married and are continuing their music careers. Slavko has recorded an album in 2001 entitled The Weight of Words under the name Slau and also continues to run his recording studio. Darka continues to sing and compose music, and is currently working on an album of her own. Shall the future see no more common studio recordings, however, many hold "Darka & Slavko" and their music responsible for inspiring young generations to create, compose and challenge the past.


  • Darka & Slavko
  • Khvylyna (Minute)
  • Povir (Believe) 1995
  • Unplugged

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