B50 supported by the 15 für UA project

In February, on the anniversary of the invasion, a team of independent German musicians released a joint cover of the song “Обійми” by the Ukrainian band “Okean Elzy“. The song was officially posted on streaming services on March 1, and you can watch the video and listen to the cover performance on Youtube.

The project was titled 15 für UA, or “15 for Ukraine”. The recording featured 15 performers from Germany, who were brought together for this recording by Simon Gordeev a Berlin-based sound engineer and producer who comes from Ukraine. More information about the project is available at https://15fuerua.de. 15 für UA’s Facebook and Instargam pages tell the story of the team responsible for creating this project and what motivated them to take part in it.

The track’s cover
Source: https://15fuerua.de
15 project performers
Source: https://15fuerua.de

In addition, Simon decided to use the song’s release as a call to support Ukraine and its recovery from the invasion. Being familiar with the work of B50, he and the project team called on his fans and those who appreciated the cover to support our organization with donations by creating a special PayPal page.

Thus, in March, 197 people supported this fundraising campaign. The funds, which amounted to about 6500 euros, were transferred to B50 to implement our projects!

In addition to the concept of the cover, Simon also came up with the idea for the cover of “Обійми,” which he created together with video editor Flo Achleitner. Simon invited the artists, managed the music production, and finally mixed the individual vocal recordings together to create the song. The project’s Instargam page notes that it was the first time in his life that he also had to pick up a camera. After the release of the cover of “Обійми,” Simon tried to personally respond to every comment on social media.

The cover was recorded in Ukrainian, so the German artists were freed from the style of their own works and even the phonetics of their native language, so they fully entrusted the emotional message to the sound of their voices. And, in our opinion, this is what determined the success and popularity of this project. During the recording of the video, the musicians had the opportunity to use any musical instruments and record their parts in different locations.

Therefore, in the video, which was created in a portrait format, you can see the performers in the middle of a Berlin street or in a kitchen or on a tour bus. The song accompanies the 15 performers from location to location, smoothly transitioning from one voice to another.

The recording was made by Catt, Gisbert zu Knyphausen, Max Prosa, Enno Bunger, Charlotte Brandi, Cäthe, Andi Fins, Larissa Pesch, Juli Gilde, Liv Solveig, Desiree Klaeukens, Piya, Marlena Käthe, Masen Abou-Dakn, Sebastian Block.

Information about this collaboration appeared in numerous media outlets, such as the German version of the famous Rolling Stone magazine, the Ukrainian edition of DW, Musikexpress, and many others. The event was also covered by the Ukrainian media, with many Ukrainian publications and online resources writing about it.

In addition, you can listen to a special episode of the podcast on the popular resource Detektor.fm (in German).

The video went viral on social media and garnered an incredible number of likes, reposts, and comments. The song touched many people, and its performers received words of gratitude from both listeners and Ukrainian musicians.

The authors of the original song, one of the most famous and popular Ukrainian bands, “Okean Elzy”, also praised the cover.

“Okean Elzy” released this song in 2013. Since then, it has become a symbol of fight, unbreakability, but at the same time tenderness and expectation of the best. The band often performs this song at the end of their concerts, uniting their fans with the message in the first lines of the song: “When the day comes, the war will end…”.

Source: okeanelzy_official in Facebook
Source:okeanelzy_official in Instagram

The band posted information about this version of their song on their social media.

This attracted the attention of many fans of “Okean Elzy”. A post about German musicians calling for support for the B50 community and the rebuilding of Ukraine received more than 76,000 likes and 26,000 reposts.

Thanks to this post alone, the video was viewed by more than 1.3 million people.

The only Ukrainian-language radio program in Germany, tremBEATS.fm, told about the creation of the cover of “Обійми”. The program has been broadcasting on the Berlin-based ALEX.FM since 2018 and introduces listeners to current news that is interesting for both Germans and Ukrainians.

Simon Gordeev, the producer and author of the idea, was the guest in the studio and shared the story of the song’s creation. The program was aired on March 13.

Simon said that the concept came about in mid-January 2024, a month before the second anniversary of the invasion. Initially, the idea was to record a cover in German, but there was no good translation that could convey the song correctly and sensitively. The producer compared the creation of this song to putting together a puzzle.

You can listen to the program on Soundcloud (starting at 42:35).

It was a big surprise that the project became so viral and received such a great response. We made it for the German market to organize a collection for volunteers in Kyiv.

Simon Gordeev, on the air of tremBEATS.fm program

The German regional public television channel WDR interviewed Charlotte Brandi, one of the performers of the cover of “Обійми”. She noted that participating in the creation of this song was a touching experience for her and that the purpose of this project is to remind us that the war in Ukraine is ongoing.

We would like to thank Simon and the entire 15 für UA team for their concern and understanding of the unjust circumstances in which Ukraine and Ukrainians who suffer daily from the russian invasion find themselves. We hope that the thousands of reposts and likes, thousands of words of support and gratitude have proved that your project has resonated and left its mark on the hearts of Ukrainians.

Thank you for choosing to use such a powerful and influential tool as music to help our community! This is extremely important for us and will help us to implement our projects. We are extremely grateful for your care and sincerity!