At the age of eight, he began studying guitar at a music school. When he was fifteen, he formed a rock band called Brown Velvet where he served as the vocalist and guitarist. He initially enrolled in a linguistic institute but dropped out after two years.
In 2009, Ivanov auditioned for the Mass Medium Fest and subsequently moved to St. Petersburg with his band Ivanov. They recorded several songs and he also played the lead role in the musical Romeo and Juliet.
In 2013, Ivanov participated in the Russian TV show Bitva Chorov and achieved second place with the St. Petersburg choir conducted by Viktor Drobysh. To avoid confusion with another artist named Alexander Ivanov, he adopted the stage name IVAN, which also symbolizes the Slavic hero Ivan.
Ivanov won the Pyat’ zvyozd contest in Yalta in 2014, granting him the opportunity to participate in the Intervision Song Contest 2015, which ultimately did not take place. In 2015, he competed on the Russian TV show Glavnaya stsenа (X-Factor) and secured second place. Following the show, he was mentored by Viktor Drobysh, who became his producer. Their collaboration resulted in Ivanov’s first song, “Krest i ladon’.”
In 2016, Ivanov represented Belarus at the Eurovision Song Contest. Despite initially planning to include live wolves in his performance and appearing naked, these ideas were rejected by the contest organizers. He modified his performance, featuring holographic wolves instead. He did not advance to the final.
In the years following Eurovision, Ivanov participated in various concerts, including Viktor Drobysh’s anniversary events, and released new songs with his band IVAN. In 2023, he appeared as a contestant on the TV show Mask as the character Caterpillar.
Due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Ivanov was included in Ukraine’s sanctions list on January 7, 2023. This resulted in asset freezing, suspension of economic and financial obligations, termination of cultural exchanges and cooperation, and the revocation of Ukrainian state awards.