Gaita-Lurdes Essami, better known by her stage name Gaitana, born on 29 September 1979 in Kiev, is a Ukrainian/Congolese singer and songwriter. Her music combines elements of jazz, funk, soul, and folk music. Gaitana will represent Ukraine in the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 in Baku with the song Be My Guest. Gaitana is the first singer of Afro-Ukrainian origin to represent Ukraine in the contest.
Gaitana was born in Kiev but moved to the Republic of the Congo where her father, Klaver Essami, was born. She lived there for five years. Gaitana moved back to Ukraine with her mother, but her father stayed in Brazzaville where he holds a transportation business.
Gaitana sings in Ukrainian, English, Russian, French and Lingala. Gaitana has a degree in economics and studied saxophone at the music school. All her music and songs are composed by herself. She has represented Ukraine at different competitions in table tennis. She likes also fitness and cycling.
Gaitana performed at Barack Obama’s Inauguration in 2009. She released 6 albums and 3 singles and won several awards in the Ukraine like Best Female Singer and Best Album in 2008.