Group Hands Up!


Foundation date: 1994

The country: Russia

Town: Samara

Sergei Zhukov (vocals)


Photo: Hands up!

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Video: Hands up!

Biography of the group “Hands up!”

“Hands Up” is a cult group of the late 90s – early 2000s, which has become one of the brightest events in the history of Russian pop music.

Group “Hands up!”

History of creation

The joint creative path of 16-year-old Sergey Zhukov and 20-year-old Alexei Potekhin began with an acquaintance at the Samara radio station Europe Plus, where in 1993 they came to get a job. The guys became friends, began to perform together at weddings and discos and decided to create their own group, Mr. Ray and Company.

“Hands up!”. Start

Such an unusual name was invented by Sergey, who at that time was fond of the work of Ray Slingard, the lead singer of the popular Dutch band 2 Unlimited. In 1994, Zhukov and Potekhin moved to Tolyatti, where they began to record their first English-language songs and play on the DJ console at local discos.

A year later, they became crowded in a small town, and friends decided to conquer Moscow. At first, the white-stone met them unkindly. Despite their successful performance at the rap festival, the metropolitan party flatly refused to accept provincial musicians. Pushing around without money and housing, the guys left to work as DJs in Tbilisi.

For the first six months in Moscow, we had nowhere to sleep. We met girls in nightclubs and went to sleep with them, from morning to one, until their parents came for dinner.

Two months later they returned to Moscow with a couple of new songs, with which they were periodically invited to perform in nightclubs, but they could not break into the big stage. The musicians were close to despair and were already thinking about returning home when fate gave them an unexpected chance.

At first, the duet of Zhukov and Potekhin was called “Mr. Ray and Company”

Having got acquainted with people who were engaged in the production of pirated cassettes, they asked to add three of their songs to each collection. A few days later, their compositions began to sound in station cafes, markets, stalls and minibuses. By the way, Andrey Razin once used a similar method to promote “Tender May”.

The main stages of creativity

Their calculation was justified: the producer Andrey Malikov called the guys and offered cooperation. He suggested changing the title to Hands Up! and organized the recording of the debut album “Breathe evenly”, having agreed with the studio “JSP”. Soon their songs already sounded “from every iron”, and the composition “Student”, for which the video clip was shot, became the hallmark of the group – the first and one of many.

“Baby” – the first video of the group “Hands up!”

Soon the team went on a tour, which was a resounding success. In 1997, the guys already gave forty concerts a month, gathering thousands of halls, and practically did not go home.

The end of the 90s passed under the auspices of the Hands Up!

Their next album “Make it Louder” was sold in millions of copies, and the hits “Baby”, “Girl”, “Alien Lips”, “I Dream of You” were sung by the whole country. In 1998, the group won six silver, three gold medals and a platinum disc for the record number of copies sold. “Hands up!” repeatedly became laureates of prestigious music awards, not a single significant musical event in the country could do without their participation.

The only thing that darkened the life of Zhukov and Potekhin was the unfair attitude of the producer towards them. The guys understood that Malikov was earning a lot of money on them, and he was paying them miserable pennies. For the album “Without brakes” they received only seven hundred dollars, although more than ten million copies were sold. In the end, the guys left the producer and created their own label, Dancing Men. The 2000 album “Hello, it’s me” was already recorded under his banner.

“He kisses you” – a provocative clip with a transsexual

Everything went perfectly: every year, before the summer holiday season, the group released a new album and went on tour. But the popularity began to drive the musicians crazy: the accumulated fatigue from endless tours, more and more news about the suicides of the band’s fans and injuries due to crush at concerts. Popular love turned into hysteria, the artists began to fear for their own safety, which the organizers of the tour were no longer able to provide for them.

In 2006 “Hands up!” broke up

In 2006, the team stunned fans with an official statement about the breakup. The paths of previously inseparable friends diverged. Potekhin organized the Track & Blues project. Zhukov started producing young artists (for example, the once-famous Factor-2 group is his wards), and since 2008 he began to perform alone under the old name of the group.

With Andrey Grigoriev-Appolonov

In 2010, the musicians met again in the studio of the “Let them talk” program, arranging an unexpected benefit for their admirers. But, despite the hopes of the fans, the band never reunited – Zhukov continued to sing alone, performing accompanied by musicians.

“Why did I leave Hands Up!”? I will answer you: because we all became adults, but Sergei did not think so, he was comfortable. He is comfortable now. He always wanted fame, but I didn’t, ”said Potekhin.

In 2012, after a 7-year break, the album “Open the door for me” saw the light, which included 12 new tracks.

In 2016, Zhukov presented the audience with a new song “When We Were Young”, dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the group. A clip was shot on it, in which other stars of the 90s also appeared: Alexey Ryzhov from Disco Crash, singer Shura, Ryzhiy from Ivanushki, Stas Kostyushkin and DJ Groove. The action of the video takes place in the Hope nursing home: the musicians decide to shake up the old days and arrange an incendiary party there.

Hands up! – When we were young

Collaborations with other artists

  • “Winter” – “Hands up!” ft. Diana Gurtskaya
  • “Only for you” – “Hands up!” ft. Oksana Pochepa
  • “Call” – “Hands up!” ft. “Turbomoda”
  • “This evening” – “Hands up!” ft. Jasmine
  • “Andryushka” – “Hands up!” ft. “Ivanushki International”
  • “Well, where are you, girls” – “Hands up!” ft. “Dirty scammers”
  • “I won’t give you to anyone” – “Hands up!” ft. Philip Kirkorov
  • “Omut” – “Hands up!” ft. Nikolay Baskov
  • “My baby” – “Hands up!” ft. “Super Gang”
  • “Girl from the past” – “Hands up!” ft. St1m
  • “See you in dreams” – “Hands up!” ft. Mikhail Zhukov
  • “Heart” – “Hands up!” ft. Mikhail Zhukov
  • “You are my sea” – “Hands up!” ft. Mikhail Zhukov
  • “Wings” – “Hands up!” ft. Bahh Tee
  • “Tell me why” – “Hands up!” ft. USB


In April 2017, a video appeared on the Web in which Zhukov dipped singer Stas Kostyushkin into a urinal. From their dialogue, it became clear that the conflict flared up on the basis of plagiarism: Stas actively denied that his song sounds completely different than Sergey’s song. However, fans of the performers quickly realized that the heroes of the video just decided to joke: shortly before that, the listeners found a similarity in Kostyushkin’s new song “Everything Is Exactly” with the old Ruk hit “He Kisses You”.

Zhukov dipped Kostyushkin into the urinal


  • “Breathe evenly” (1997)
  • “Hands up, Dr. Schlager!” (1998, together with Vyacheslav Dobrynin)
  • “Turn up!” (1998)
  • “Make it louder!” (1998)
  • “No Brakes” (1999)
  • “Hello, It’s Me” (2000)
  • “Don’t be afraid, I’m with you” (2001)
  • “Little Girls” (2001)
  • “End of pop, everyone dances!” (2002)
  • “I feel good with you” (2003)
  • “And the girls are so cold (2004)
  • “Fuckin’ Rock’n’Roll” (2005)
  • “Open the door for me” (2012)

Group “Hands up!” now

Zhukov still performs without Potekhin, delighting fans with familiar hits and new songs. Zhukov’s company on stage is made up of Dmitry Sapozhnikov (guitar) and Elizaveta Rodnyanskaya (female voice of the group).

Sergey Zhukov at the 20th anniversary of the group “Hands up!”

Alexey is interrupted by rare tours, on which he performs old hits “Hands Up!”, And writes songs to order for other artists, for example, “Buranovskiye Babushki” and Alessandro Materazzo.

Alexey Potekhin writes songs for other artists

Hands up! – listen online