Ilya Popenko


For those not in the know, Mad Meg was one of our favorite surprises last year. They’re a band from New York that’s equal parts punk, singer/songwriter, and at times, theatre.

It’s an eclectic mix to be sure, but an infectious one, and singer Ilya Popenko makes the band’s alchemical chemistry pop with Russian New Yorker swagger. Today, Popenko saddles up with a single of his own, titled “The Horse is Not Mine.”

The single itself is a real charmer, if a chameleonic and somber one, featuring a legitimate horse whinny that helps establish a distinct cinematic style that’s easy to put on repeat – check it out below.


The semi-confessional tale of disassociation almost takes on a humorous effect but of course, it’s highly intentional. Here’s a snippet from the press release from 1KPR.

“In the video Ilya performs the song dressed in horse costumes amidst surrealist animation that interacts with live action footage. The lyrics of the chorus may seem like nonsense, but in fact, it is a verbatim translation of a Russian saying that goes, “I’m not me, and the horse is not mine,” which is used to say, “I have nothing to do with that.” Ilya likes to incorporate direct translations of Russian proverbs in his songs. Lost in translation and taken out of context they lose their original meaning and become just an abstract and beautiful combination of words. The music video is directed by Nikolai Metin and incorporates animation by Katya Mezentseva.”

Check out his website here – we’ll be on the lookout for more surprises from the Ilya, and also hopefully Mad Meg, in the coming year.