Spirit of resistance inspires Glemsford music producer to partner with Ukrainian soldier and French singer for anti-war remix
Two resistance songs created in opposition to the war in Ukraine have been combined with the help of a Suffolk music producer, who hopes to show how the power of music can elicit change.
Tyler Brooker stated the success of his new collaboration with a French artist and a Ukrainian soldier, mixing together their two original songs for charity, had gone beyond all expectations, and represented “an incredible sign of support” for Ukraine internationally.
The remix went live online last month, across platforms such as YouTube and Spotify, with the revenue raised set to be donated to the Ukraine Red Cross appeal.
“I wanted to do this because, if we can get the right amount of traffic, we can make a difference,” said Tyler, of Flax Lane in Glemsford.
“It feels so much better being able to produce music and help people at the same time.”
The first of the songs, Bayraktar, was written by Ukrainian soldier Taras Borovok and released on March 1 – a week after Russia started its invasion of Ukraine.
Named after the combat drone deployed by the armed forces of Ukraine, the patriotic folk song mocks the Russian army and has received extended radio play in Ukraine since the invasion began.
At the same time, French singer-songwriter Lisa Schettner released her own resistance song, Hands Off Ukraine, a serious, philosophical take on the war, and then translated the lyrics into other languages to extend its reach.
Lisa, who is half Czech, told Suffolk News that seeing the impact the conflict had on the Slavic side of her family inspired her original song.
“The fact that this is happening to Ukraine in 2022 is unbelievable,” she said. “I woke up one night and came up with the lyrics in almost a dream-like state.
“I released my song on March 2 and Taras released his on March 1.
“I listened to his song and loved how smart the lyrics are, so that led to us connecting on Facebook.
“I wanted to remix the song I wrote for Ukraine, and had the idea to mash it up with Taras’ song.”
Tyler, a former student of Stour Valley Community School in Clare, became involved at this stage, and adapted the two tracks into a new electronic remix, Bayraktar Mashup Edition.
The University of East Anglia (UEA) computer science graduate explained he was initially unsure about using his traditional style on such a serious subject, but was delighted by the response.
“The majority of the comments are really positive,” he said. “It’s fantastic to see how much people enjoy not only the song, but that it’s helping a good cause.
“Music as a medium for raising awareness is very underrated,” he said. “You think about national anthems and how powerful they are. Music is a fantastic way to get people to emotionally engage in subjects like this.
“A big factor in getting people to help is pulling a few heartstrings and unveiling their emotions – and one of the best ways to do that is music. It’s a medium that can make a real change, if used properly.”
To listen to the song, click here.
Lisa added: “I feel honoured to have been involved in such an amazing song. We’ve had comments from people in Ukraine, saying it is bringing them together and they are listening daily to give them courage.
“We’ve also had comments from pro-Russian sources as well. I’ve had death threats, but I was expecting it.
“We hope it will be a song that the people of Ukraine will dance to when the war is over.
“I personally like that, as artists, we can be kind of soul healers. Through music, I feel, in a way, we can help people. It can inspire them and improve their state of mind.”