Basta (Vasily Vakulenko): a brief biography of the singer

Published At: 27 June 2020 , 01:48 PM

Career: composer, producer, rap artist

Date of Birth: April 20, 1980

Age: 40 years

Place of Birth: Rostov-on-Don, Russia

Growth: 181

Family status: married


Vasily Vakulenko (pseudonym - Basta) is a famous Russian rap artist, composer and TV, and radio presenter. The renowned rapper proved himself not only in music, but also achieved particular success as a screenwriter, director, and producer. Also known by the pseudonym Noggano.

Childhood and youth

Vasily Mikhailovich Vakulenko was born in Rostov-on-Don on April 20, 1980, in a family of military personnel. His father and mother were not related to the art world, but, noticing that his son has musical abilities, he was taken to a music school. At the end of the comprehensive school, Vasily Vakulenko decided to continue his musical journey and became a student at the local music school, choosing a conductor department. But soon, the future rap artist realized that conducting is not something that will be useful to him for self-realization. As a teenager, he showed interest in Russia's new phenomenon in the 90s - rap culture.


At the age of 15, the young musician wrote the first rap text. And at the age of 17, Vasily was taken to the Psycholyric group, which was soon renamed, Casta. In his native Rostov, Vakulenko was known as Basta Oink. During this period, there was a debut rap track called "City", recorded by Basta.

The musician celebrated his 18th birthday by writing a new song, "My Game." "City" and "My Game" fairly quickly glorified Basta far beyond his native Rostov borders. Gradually, the artist's compositions are becoming increasingly popular. From that moment, the rap artist, along with his friend Igor Zhelezka, who is also a rapper, began touring the cities of the Black Sea coast of Russia. They went on a musical tour in the Krasnodar Territory and even in the North Caucasus, performing at a variety of venues. At times, 6-7 thousand fans were gathered at the stadiums. But everything went wrong as Vasily dreamed, and the concert activity quickly came to naught. The rapper did not perform concerts for several years.

The rapper Basta's creative career resumed in 2002. Yuri Volos, a friend of Vakulenko, proposed making a studio at home, equipping it with the necessary sound equipment. Vasily, long missing his work, quickly restored his old compositions and wrote new ones. But no one remembered rapper Bastu, and finding a producer was a difficult task. Bast later wrote a song under the speaking name "Dumb labels, lack of chances about this challenging period of his life." By a lucky coincidence, Basta's demo-disk got to Bogdan Titomir. The musician liked the compositions of young performers, and he invited them to the Russian capital. In Moscow, Titomir brought Basta and Volos to the studio of the creative association "Gas Holder", where the rappers received and showed interest in them. In his first year in the capital, Basta created musical material for several discs but decided not to rush, but to release albums with a time interval.

2006 was a breakthrough year for rapper Basta. His debut album "Basta 1" was released, which was positively received by rap lovers. This long-awaited success inspired the artist so much that Basta immediately released two new videos under the names Autumn and Once and For All. For quick distribution, he used the Internet. It also became a famous composition, "Mom." In 2007, the album "Basta 2" appeared, which included duets with singer MakSim and rapper Guf and several new videos, the most striking of which were "So Spring Cries", "Our Summer", "Inner Fighter" and "Tea Drunker." In just three months, the rapper's second album sold 50,000.

The unbeaten Russian rapper was noticed by American manufacturers of computer games from Rockstar Games. Basta's song "Mom" was played in the popular game "Grand Theft Auto IV." The composition "Graduation" has become one of the main in the career of a musician. In social networks, users called it one of the best, suggesting that such a single for a long time in schools will be played at every prom.

Basta pays more and more attention to working with other representatives of the Russian show business in the future. Together with the group "Nerves," he creates a clip "With the hope of wings," which impresses the Russian audience.

In 2007, Vasily Vakulenko was recognized not only under the pseudonym Bast, but also he becomes Noggano. Three rapper albums were released under that name: in 2008 - "First," in 2009 - "Warm" and in 2010 "Unreleased." 

Personal life

Basta's personal life was ultimately successful. He met his wife Elena by chance. The initiative was shown by the girl herself - a longtime fan of the rapper. Elena is the daughter of the famous journalist Tatyana Pinskaya, who lives in France, and an entrepreneur engaged in the sale of luxury wines. First, the future mother-in-law, seeing a brutal rapper in tattoos, was horrified. But, having read his texts, she changed her anger to mercy. The woman agreed that the guy is very talented. Basta wrote soundtracks for Pinskaya's documentary tapes about artists Eric Bulatov and Oscar Rabin. In 2009, Vasily Vakulenko and Elena Pinskaya legalized their relationship and got married. The couple had children: in the same year, their first daughter Masha was born, and in January 2013, a little Vasilisa appeared. The birth of daughters changed the life of the artist. In an interview, Vasily noted that before his life proceeded only at night, he began to notice the beauty of the day, sunrises, and sunsets.

Basta latest news

Vasily Vakulenko continues to explore new creative horizons, not stopping there. In 2017, he won the GQ Magazine's "Man of the Year" award in the "Musician of the Year" nomination. The income of the artist is growing in proportion to his popularity. According to Forbes, in 2018, Basta earned $ 3.3 million. In 2018, the singer became the mentor of the fifth season of "Voice. Children", where Pelageya and Valery Meladze also participated. The ward of rapper Sofia Fedorova with the song "For Dessert" took second place in the super final. With the participation of Basta, the rap battle Versus Battle took place, where Guf and Ptaha competed, and in the middle of the summer, the artist performed at the VK Fest in St. Petersburg.

Judging by the rapper's Instagram, where he posted a naked torso for everyone to see, Vasily began fighting against overweight. Vakulenko told fans that he had lost 5 kg, but his goal was to lose 15 kilograms. Initially, his weight with an increase of 181 cm was 95 kg. At the same time, sports training helps the artist form muscular relief, which has already been appreciated by the famous coach Sergei Badiuk.