Justė Arlauskaitė-Jazzu, Leon Somov. Photo by Žygimantas Gedvila (ELTA).

Lithuania is a relatively young country, and in a short period of time it has managed to build an impressive cultural heritage. One of the most important parts of this is Lithuania’s musical world.

Looking back on the past with respect, one can see giants of the music scene such as Stasys Povilaitis, Foje or Hiperbolė, but the music world is improving and growing every day. Today’s Lithuania can be proud of more than one representative of the music scene, but it is still a rather difficult task to leave a more prominent mark on a global scale, if we don’t count the astonishing global success of Dynoras.

PlanetNews.info invites you to get acquainted with 10 extremely popular Lithuanian bands and artists who, in the opinion of the editorial staff, are currently making the greatest contribution to the progress of the Lithuanian music scene.

Justė Arlauskaitė-Jazzu. Photo by Andrius Ufartas (ELTA).

10. Jazzu

Starting her musical career at a very early age, one of the most prominent musicians of our country, Justė Arlauskaitė – Jazzu, has been impressing her fans with her creativity to this day. She started her musical career singing jazz with various bands back in 2002. Later, she was invited to join the then popular electronic music group Pieno lazeriai (aka Milky lasers). In 2008, producer Leonas Somovas and vocalist Justė Arlauskaitė – Jazzu started to perform with a group of 5 musicians. The duo Leon Somov & Jazzu conquered the hearts of listeners, together they released many tracks that are unforgettable to this day – “Score”, “Phantoms of the Lake”, “Song about Love”, “You don’t know my name”, and others. However, after 12 years together, the duo announced in 2017 that they were splitting up and would continue to make music, but separately.

One of the first awards the singer received after starting her musical career with Leon Somov was “Best Baltic Artist” at the MTV European Music Awards in 2009. Later, the duo was nominated in various categories and won many M.A.M.A statues together. However, the singer did not go unnoticed when she started her solo career – from 2018 to 2022, she was nominated 13 times at these awards, winning 4 of them: in 2018 – “Female Artist of the Year”, “Album of the Year” (Jazzu), in 2019 – “Pop Group of the Year”, “Pop Group, Artist”, “Music Video of the Year”.

Concert by the band “Skylė” and the choir “Ąžuoliukas”. Photo by Gediminas Bartuška (ELTA).

9. Skylė

When observing Skylė’s musical journey, one gets the impression that the band is staying away from all the fierce industrial business in Lithuania and trying to go their own way. The band, which was formed in 1991 when the Soviet Union collapsed, has made a good name for itself in the Lithuanian music world. The group consists of Rokas Radzevičius, Aistė Smilgevičiūtė, Kęstutis Drazdauskas, Mantvyvas Kodis, Gediminas Žilys, Jonas Krivickas, Salvijus Žeimys. The band’s music style is not easy to define, varying between rock, neo-folk, bard, punk and several other styles.

The band’s latest albums are “Broliai” (2010), “Vilko vartai” (2015), “Dūšelės” (2016) and “Miško dvasia” (2023). The content of the songs is quite varied, ranging from memories of Lithuanian partisans, Baltic culture, to erotic duets and reflections on death. The work is truly for music connoisseurs and is not particularly suitable for today’s Cardi B and Nicki Minaj fans.

G&G Sindikatas. Photo by Julius Kalinskas (ELTA).

8. G&G sindikatas

Enough with the feelings, you all know this band, it is a Hip Hop music group founded by Gabrielius Liaudanskas and a very motley crew of complementary personalities. Founded back in 1996, this extraordinary guard has become a true symbol of Hip Hop in Lithuania. The group has released 8 albums and won numerous awards (Lithuanian Hip Hop, Bravo, Radiocentras and M.A.M.A awards). The group has been actively performing at various music festivals, arenas around Lithuania and abroad throughout its career.

G&G’s work is strongly influenced by the Hip Hop genre, which was popular in the West in the 1980s. Svaras drew inspiration from famous artists such as Eminem, 2Pac and many others. As far as the pioneers of Hip Hop in Lithuania are concerned, G&G are the true fathers of the genre. We hope that this bunch will keep on progressing and feel the winds of the new times and avoid the ungrateful fate of dinosaurs.

Artist Domantas Razauskas. Photo by Julius Kalinskas (ELTA).

7. Domantas Razauskas

Domantas Razauskas is a cult songwriter and performer, poet, guitarist and composer. He can offer a “kick in the butt” if you call him a poetry singer. As far as the musician’s work is concerned, it would be fair to say that it is much more than rock, reggae or devilishly/godly talented poetry. Before the show “Pasivaikščiojimai”, the journalist and sound engineer Rytis Žemkauskas described the artist’s songs as “Songs you can live with”. Domantas has written almost all of the songs he performs himself, and the number of songs he has written has long since far exceeded one hundred. What’s really great is that it’s almost impossible to hear two of the same songs at different concerts. Thanks to endless and never-ending improvisation, all Domantas’ songs sound different every time.

Every time Domantas appears on stage differently, he may give the impression of a rocker or a rasta-man, but everything is much different and the truth lies somewhere beyond. So if you are looking for a way to relax and find peace of mind, or to find the answers to your most important questions, you need to listen to the work of Domantas Razauskas.

BA. concert at the ”Vasaros terasa”. Photo by Ekaterina Khvashchynskaya (ELTA).

6. ba.

Alternative rock artists – the band “ba.”, known as the leaders of today’s young rock generation, who brought Lithuanian music to the heights. The rebels, together with the group’s founder and vocalist – Benas Aleksandravičius, are notorious for their extremely noisy concerts and scandalous statements, and they are able to attract crowds of thousands of fans to their concerts. The band’s success and popularity has been compared to that of the legendary band Foje.

Benas Aleksandravičius, the leader and founder of the band, whose initials form the band’s name, founded the band in 2012 at the age of seventeen. He first uploaded the songs he was performing to websites that were popular at the time. However, it was the song ” Tai ne žmogus”, for which a music video was later made, that helped him to become popular and pave the way to fame. At first he thought it would be a solo project, but eventually it grew into a band when Benas was joined by guitarist Simonas Motiejūnas and drummer Jonas Butvydas, and a few years later, Maratas joined the band to play bass guitar. The biggest changes took place in 2017, when the old members – Jonas Butvydas and Maratas – left the band and were replaced by new members – Dominykas Babikas (drums), Nikita Voitovas (bass guitar) and the previous member Simonas Motiejūnas returned to the band. This is the line-up that the band has been performing with ever since.

During the 10 years of its existence, the band has managed to create a large fan base that chants the lyrics of its songs loudly during concerts and has released three albums: “Rasti/Pasiklysti” (2015), “H8” (2019), “Nauto” (2022).

Artist Justinas Jarutis. Photo by Julius Kalinskas (ELTA).

5. Justinas Jarutis

Justinas started his career in July 2007 with the band “Freaks On Floor”, when Justinas and his classmate, drummer R. Beliukevičius, were in the 11th grade. The band members are Justinas Jarutis (vocals, guitar), Rokas Beliukevičius (drums) and Aurelijus Morlencas (bass guitar). The band, with whom Justinas plays funk, grunge and hard rock styles, has performed over 250 shows at major Lithuanian festivals and clubs, as well as outside Lithuania.

In January 2018, Jarutis released his first solo album. For 10 years he played rock with the band, but the birth of his daughter Adelė changed his attitude to some songs. His new album is dominated by the styles of music that Justin likes most at the moment: pop, country and folk. In February 2021, he released his second solo album with Lithuanian songs, “Tavęs manęs savęs”. The album was made popular by the hit songs “Tavęs”, “Savęs”, “Rami”, “Nieko nebijom” and the duet with singer Jessica Shy “Tu palauk”. The second album was a huge success: at the M.A.M.A. Awards, the singer won three awards – Artist of the Year, Album of the Year and Concert Artist of the Year.

The singer has performed numerous concerts in major concert halls, Trakai Castle and the country’s largest Žalgiris arena, as well as successful concerts at Midsummer Vilnius, Granatos Live and other festivals. In September 2023, Justinas Jarutis gave the most important concert of his career at the country’s largest concert space, Vingis Park. He was joined on stage by three other well-known bands, Garbanotas, Planeta Polar and Kamanių šilelis.

Jurga Šeduikytė. Photo by Gediminas Bartuška (ELTA).

4. Jurga

MTV awards from Justin Timberlake, the main prize of the International Baltic Song Music Festival, the albums ” Aukso pieva”, “Instrukcija”, “+37”, are some of Jurga’s achievements. Jurga became active in the music world back in 2005, when the song “Don’t Be Afraid” was played on all radio stations. Jurga’s work is also quite closely linked to Lithuanian culture and history. The song “Seniai toli” celebrates the ancient Balts and their life. Jurga’s work is genuine and original, the singer avoids fighting and most of her songs are based on rich lyrics. Jurga, never stop!

Jessica Shy. Photo by Andrius Ufartas (ELTA).

3. Jessica Shy

Džesika Šyvokaitė, better known as Jessica Shy, started singing when she was just four years old. In 2010, at the age of 14, Jessica made her first appearance on stage in the LNK television project “2 minutes of fame”, and later sang for two seasons in the TV3 project ” Choir wars”.

In London, she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in commercial music, but decided to continue her musical career in Lithuania. Here in 2019 Jessica Shy released her song, ” Viskas, ką turiu”, which received over 5 million views on Youtube and brought the girl recognition. In November of the same year, she performed her first solo concert in Vilnius. In 2023, she managed to win her first M.A.M.A award (although there were nominations in 2021 and 2022) in the category “Pop Music Group, Artist or Performer of the Year”. In 2024, the singer collected 6 M.A.M.A awards.

Marijonas Mikutavičius. Photo by Orestas Gurevičius (ELTA).

2. Marijonas Mikutavičius

This is a singer you probably haven’t heard much about or seen on TV? Just kidding. So let’s not say too much about Marijonas himself. Marijonas became most famous after the sports anthem ” Trys milijonai” and the Eurobasket 2011 basketball song. Of course, these are not the only wonderful works of the singer, his sonorous voice was perfectly reflected in such tracks as “Ten galėjai būti tu”, “Balintos sienos”, “Aš miręs”, “Drąsių nieks nežudo”, “Ar mylėsi tu mane”, “Geriausi mūsų vakarai” and other breathtaking works. Marijonas is not only an extraordinary, highly distinguished Lithuanian singer, he is an integral part of basketball and the country’s culture.

Andrius Mamontovas. Photo by Martynas Ambrazas (ELTA).

1. Andrius Mamontovas

Yes, we know that saying Andrius Mamontovas is the best Lithuanian singer is a bit predictable or even trite, but the fact that an apple thrown in the air will eventually fall to the ground is also trivial. It is simply impossible to deny the fact that the singer has exceptional talent and inspiration. He has made a far greater impact on the music world than any of the bands or artists already mentioned, and he has countless songs that are forever etched in the hearts of Lithuanians. Andrius was born in 1967 and started his musical career as a teenager in the band “Foje”. He has released 24 albums and 6 singles. Mamontov’s musical odyssey has lasted for more than 30 years, during which time he has not had any particularly significant downturns, which is very typical of various stars from the western world. Andrius is a unique Lithuanian artist of whom we can be truly proud.

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