Teo’s real name is Yuriy Vaschuk. The singer was born on January 24th, 1983 in a small Belarusian town Hidry. Teo has a huge experience in solo singing, composing and arranging.
His passion for all aspects of music was noticed very early, and after four years of learning to play the accordion, he became the international champion after winning the children’s contest Praleska. At only seventeen years old, Yuriy was invited to work with the National Academic Concert Orchestra of Belarus under the tutelage of highly-respected conductor Mikhail Finberg. There he gained experience in solo singing, composing and arranging.
These practical skills were enhanced by his studies, earning him a degree in Music from the Grodno College of Arts and Belarusian State University of Culture and Arts.
The co-host of the TV programme "Naperad U Minulae" (Forward To The Past)
Song writing extended into co-hosting the TV programme Naperad U Minulae (Forward To The Past) shown on the Belarus 1 channel. Using his non-Eurovision name Yuriy Vaschuk he works alongside Oksana Vecher to rediscover the authentic music culture that still remains in Belarus. Travelling the rural areas of the country to find the singers of the traditional and ancient songs, usually the village grandmothers and grandfathers, a song is selected to be revamped. Teo rearranges the songs to be recorded and sung with a much more modern sound by a well-known artist.
Love for the Eurovision Song Contest
The lure of pop music composing and performing was becoming harder to resist and he participated in the Belarusian national selection for the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest duetting with the singer Anna Blagova. Eurovision continued to exert an influence, as he co-wrote two Eurovision songs in 2010 (3+2 and Far Away), All My Love for Alyona Lanskaya in 2012 and again in 2013 with The Rhythm Of Love.
Teo’s love for Eurovision continued unabated despite his already-full schedule. He wrote songs for two singers he was up against in the national finals – Natalie Tamelo and Tasha Odi – before deciding at virtually the last minute (an hour and a half before submissions closed) to enter too. "I thought, why not? and I am now so very glad that I did it." He’s at pains to emphasise his support for Natalie and Tasha, however: "It would have been just as amazing if either of them had been selected, as they are both incredible performers who would have shone on the Eurovision stage."
What does Teo mean?
Teo was rather casually selected as his pop stage name in 2011, via a Google search. "I clicked 'T' in Google search and saw it immediately. I liked it instantly and that was it."
What does "Cheesecake" mean for Teo?
The meaning behind Cheesecake is simple but a good one: "It's a positive song, even though I’ve broken up with a girl because I’m tired of her calling me her sweet cheesecake. We all need to be treated with respect." Any comparisons in visuals or performance style to the US singer Robin Thicke are in the minds of others and not Teo. "’m the one being objectified in the song and video for Cheesecake, and the lyrics make clear that I don’t like it."