Ukrainian DJ Vakula, real name Mikhaylo Vityk, has been called out over some artwork on his recent Per Aspera Ad Astra released via Croatian label Barba Records. The release came out under Vakula’s Rocco Siffredi alias, which is named after an Italian porn star. The artwork by Wanda Kuchvalek features four women DJs, Nina Kraviz, The Black Madonna, Nastia and Peggy Gou riding a penis spaceship.
In an Instagram post for the release (his IG is now private), he described the artwork and project in a really gross way. "I dedicated this project to my beloved women, where we tried to portray the most beautiful dick that those girls on the cover could ever meet.”
The photo started circulating on Friday and over the weekend, sparking a considerable amount of outrage from everyone with a brain and some of the DJs who were unfortunately involved. The Black Madonna expressed her anger towards this and Vakula in a series of tweets, noting “It’s not even just a pornstar Vakula’s referencing with us, it’s a guy famous for BRUTALISING women. Rape fantasy shit.”
She gave a full statement to RA, saying she was never contacted for this and calling out the entire project for being the “kind of toxic, misogynist culture that women have to deal with every day.”
“Framing a group of successful women in dance music along with imagery of a porn star famous for brutalizing women and performing simulated rape and forced sexual contact on your album cover without notifying us or asking for consent is wrong in so many ways that I can't list them all. No one needs this. We're all just trying to do our jobs as best we can. We are wives and mothers and creators and label owners. This is absolute bullshit, but it is the most extreme end of the kind of toxic, misogynist culture that women have to deal with every day. Vakula can go fuck himself along with anyone in this industry, man or woman, who thinks this is OK or funny. It's not a joke. It's a tacit threat and a warning shot that women shouldn't get too successful in dance music.”
Nastia also didn’t hold back, writing in a post that Vakula once told her she was a shitty DJ and would offer to teach her. “I always knew he is such an arrogant and lost sexist + simply idiot who believes he is one and only artist comparing himself with Theo Parrish, but I didn’t expect he will go that far.. His most problem is that he can’t handle our success.”
Peggy Gou also took some time to call out the jabroni with her own clapback, "I am sorry, but not sorry, if you are too insecure to handle successful women," she said. "You can go and fuck yourself."
Vakula is not backing down at all and apparently likes to dig holes that he will have to occupy. In subsequent statements, he calls this a “joke” and stands by his “beautiful cover.” He seems to think anyone who isn’t on board is a “hater,” believes the situation is “absolutely absurd” and somehow thinks people are spreading lies by believing women shouldn’t be on a cover like this. Some of his fans are also calling him out for this blatant sexism. He is fighting a losing battle, but may never know it.