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Yes, she's a white woman with dreads, but Damn Can She Sing.
Daria Stavrovich



Daria "Nookie/Nuki" Stavrovich - a Russian rock/metal singer, former vocalist of a band called The Slot and the sole frontwoman of her personal project the Nuki Formation. An amazing singer (as long as you're used to metal screaming type of singing) as well as an inspiring human being, from protesting irresponsible landfill placements to being openly and vocally against the current war since day one.

Where can you know her from?

Probably the same place I learned about her from - The Voice compilations on YouTube.

Daria on Voice Russia

In 2016 Daria took part in The Voice Russia as one of contestants. More of a gag and a PR move, really, since she's been an established rockstar with her own fanbase by that point, but the conservative public was floored. Somehow the voting almost got her to win the contest, making Daria scramble and ask her fans to vote against her in order to escape the obligatory contract all The Voice winners face. That's probably the only time in the history of The Voice that the loser was so visibly happy to lose!

During the contest she sang Zombie by Cranberries, Army of Me by Björk, Chandelier by Sia, all with her own unique take on them, and, in the outstandingly ballsy move, literally a song that she herself wrote, Ripples on Water (alt. Circles on Water). Here it is with English subtitles, because the lyrics add to the flavor. Although, as many reaction YouTube channels agree, you don't have to understand the text to feel the sheer energy of her performance.

As far as Zombie and Chandelier go, however, I'd prefer to attach more recent performances from this (2022) year. Zombie especially hits hard these days.

The attack

Amazing vocals and strong moral ground aside, there's another small reason this woman fascinates me to no end. It's also the one she's still being asked about, so would be a failure not to mention.

Namely, she's technically been murdered. To the level of clinical death, anyhow.

Trigger warning for stabbing.

In 2014 an obsessed fan went out of his mind and, after repeatedly stalking Daria online and sending her disturbing messages, waited for her outside a concert venue, and with an appropriately dramatic "If I can't have you, no one can" stabbed the singer with a knife to the neck. And arms, with which she tried to shield herself.

The man was apprehended, arrested, and later diagnosed with a disorder I won't specify as not to raise prejudice, but the ambulance took 20 minutes to arrive. By the time they got Daria to the hospital, her heart had reportedly stopped.

Thanks to the doctors (and also maybe providence, who knows), it started beating again. The knife also missed all the important points that would prevent Daria from singing ever again. So she recovered. And sing she did.

That was, mind you, prior to The Voice. And all the performances that followed.

If you're perceptive and nosy enough, you can still see the scars on her neck and her hands.

What earned her my additional respect, however, is her reaction to the whole ordeal.

"I think people around me were traumatized more than I was. Cash ((The Slot's second vocalist)) had to see an actual therapist", she says. "I just woke up and felt like I was kinda born anew, you know? There's no fear, no flashbacks. Not to undermine people who do suffer from that, but I am fine, somehow. Everyone always asks about it, but eh, I really am fine".

And then she adds:

"It does make watching movies where someone gets stabbed rather funny, though. I vividly remember laying there for 20 minutes, losing blood. That feels sort of like...slowly getting really, really cold. Freezing cold, even. From your feet and upwards. So whenever someone gets stabbed in movie and is immediately like 'Ack! Dead!' I'm always like, 'Yeah, sure' ". And she laughs.

I mean. That's some movie level of badassness, I think.

Additional facts

- Inbetween being a badass and singing screaming nu-metal, Daria writes and performs songs for...children cartoons.

- She's a daughter of an opera singer. An untrained opera singer who, allegedly, was just that good (and the town they were living in was just that small), but still.

- She got expelled from her first music school for 'not fitting the mold'. Moved to the capital, hid the fact that she was expelled and "transferred" to a bigger music school. Barely got in there too, for the same reason - but a good teacher stood up for her. The same teacher later recommended her when The Slot was looking for a vocalist. Now Daria gathers a small stadium worth of fans on her concerts. Who's laughing now?

2024 update

On April 4th, 2024 Daria officially left The Slot. The details are unknown, since both the band and Daria herself describe it as a vague "we fought for the band to stay as it was and did all we could, but alas". Seeing as the singer made stories about "freedom" on her Instagram just a bit before the split, and seeing as her statement was far more upbeat and carefree, it definitely looks like it was truly her decision (as claimed by The Slot).

This event was prefaced by The Slot getting banned from performing across Russia due to them not taking an explicit pro-government stance about the ongoing war in Ukraine. While a lot of their texts are straight up critisizing the state (and have been long before 2022), the band itself attempted a neutral position to keep performing without losing fans - until, evidently, 'neutral' stopped being enough. Among all members of the group Nuki was always the one most vocally against the war, voicing her stance on social media and from the stage, so a lot of fans speculate that the rest of the band decided to conform for survival, and Daria cut all ties on principle. There's no direct proof of that (and likely won't be until the topic becomes safe to talk about), but no one outright denied it either. If that's really true - all the more reason for my personal respect for Daria to grow.

As of now, The Slot seems to be on pause, figuring out what to do without an iconic vocalist who's been their winning ace for 18 years, while Nuki jumped head first into releasing new songs and further developing her solo project, the Nuki Formation. So far - no concert announcements, but they technically aren't on the list, so we'll see. I, for one, wish Daria all the best and hope she slips under the radar. She's currectly funding some of her endeavors through Boosty.


I wouldn't know what to tell you or where to begin. Something about Nuki's voice and her singing style just speaks to me and my inner peace at another level. This is the first (and so far the last) time in my life that I get physically calmer upon hearing someone's voice. That I earnestly learned all her discography by heart (her solo project, anyhow). That I just fall through reality and dissolve in someone's songs. It does help that her personality also rocks. And she's totally chill with fans of all orientations and genders, which is always comforting.

I'll leave you with some (English) stuff to listen to!

The Slot - Obey ---

Forces United - We Cry ---

Nuki - Army of Me (Björk cover) ---

Linkin Park feat. Nuki (fan mash up) - The Catalyst ---