Friendship on a creative basis is a guarantee that the outcome will impact not only the friends themselves. There are many examples of how ideas from the past resurface thanks to new relationships, aspirations, attempts to reinterpret and breathe new life. This is how remixes, sequels, or spin-offs sometimes become more commercially successful than the original film. This is also how remixes or cover versions sometimes find their place in the charts. And sometimes, friendship even resurrects projects that were considered archival.

In the first part, we’ve already provided examples of successful musical collaborations between Ukrainian stars and Western giants of concert stages and dance floors. In the continuation of the overview of musical collaboration between Ukrainian and global musicians, there are examples both “from the past” and, of course, absolutely new opuses that are worth your attention.

Army of Lovers & Olga Polyakova

Extravagant, exalted, wild, and even cynical, these pop mischief-makers explored all the clichés of showbiz in the ’90s. Farce, flirtation, intrigues, coquetry – everything was oversaturated with the perfume of vibrant music videos and adorned with the lace of baroque pop.

Jester and parodist on stage, Swedish producer Alexander Bard is actually a philosopher, the founder of the Syntheist religion, the author of several scientific works, and a person who wears shorts all year round despite the climate in his homeland. By the way, he also created pop phenomena like Vacuum and Body Without Organs.

This lively trio, formed in 1987, also included an Israeli with Algerian and French roots, Jean-Pierre Barda, and a Swedish model who even became a political figure and LGBT activist, Camilla Henemark.

Army of Lovers experienced a significant rise and several falls but remained a vivid project from the past. Suddenly, they returned with a strengthened performance featuring Ukrainian singer Olga Polyakova.

“The Queen of the Night,” well-known in Ukraine, Olga is skilled in stage shows and can transform even a small TV stage into a glittering scene with her presence alone. Her repertoire is somewhat reminiscent of the exaggerated sense of beauty in the Swedes, and successful studio work suggests that further collaboration is entirely possible.

In the near future, Army of Lovers, returning to the stage after a 10-year creative break with a new album “Sexodus,” will be engaged in all activities related to reconnecting with their multimillion fan club. And since a significant portion of their fans live in Eastern Europe, for Olga, this is a good opportunity to captivate this audience as well.

Ed Sheeran & ANTYTILA

The peculiar story of a song that became known to the world in the fall of 2021 and gained a continuation in the spring of 2022 happened through an online acquaintance between British singer Ed Sheeran and the leader of the Ukrainian band “ANTYTILA,” Taras Topolia.

For his fifth album = (2021), Ed decided to invite American rapper Lil Baby for the first single, and judging by the world charts, the idea worked.

“I filmed the video for 2step in the city of Kyiv, Ukraine before the devastating acts of violence started to take place,”

recalls Ed Sheeran. But another version of the video appeared online, featuring a guy in military camouflage delivering the invited part.

Taras Topolia and his comrades from the “ANTYTILA” group mobilized almost at the beginning of the full-scale invasion. The band leader remembers March 2022, “when I sent my family abroad, took a weapon, and went to fulfill the duty of a citizen.”

The offer from Ed Sheeran’s team to add their lines to the song was a powerful display of support.

“At that time, ‘ANTYTILA’ were serving as military personnel, but despite everything, they managed to create and record Ukrainian lyrics and vocals in the studio. In the Ukrainian text for Ed Sheeran’s song ‘2Step,’ I decided to tell my family’s story of how the war started for us. And this is not just my story; it’s the story of millions of Ukrainians, whose families were torn apart, and sometimes forever, by terrible bombings and war,” says Taras Topolia about the collaboration.

The video was shot at the Zhovtnevy Palace in Kyiv, as well as in places where the crimes of the Russians occurred. Unfortunately, the world knows these city names because of them – Bucha, Irpin in Kyiv region, suburbs of Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine. “But the main message is hope,” says Taras, addressing the world with the lines “Wait for me when all this passes.”


Perhaps you haven’t heard, but one of Switzerland’s most contemporary musical exports is not just another pop project. Kadebostany, as conceived by its creators, is meant to represent the “European State of Kadebostania”: a group presenting itself as an entire state founded on the principles of freedom and creative expression, complete with its own president, Kadebostan, and national muse, Amina, who serves as the voice of the country.

Since its inception (is it a country or a staged group?), Kadebostany has been in the spotlight, and our media joins the circle. Why? It’s all thanks to the collaboration with the Ukrainian project Kazka, which gained international recognition with the magical single “Cry,” boasting a powerful 14 million views on YouTube alone.

The collaborative work proved so successful that any borders, be they creative, national, or imaginary, seemed to disappear. In the summer of 2022, Kazka unveiled the short film Drama Act 1 with the vocal number “Baby I’m Ok,” where Kadebostany stars, alongside Irina Rimes, Fang The Great, and Célia, all by invitation.

In the same year, in April, William Jeremiah, the founder or president of Kadebostania, joined Kazka’s concert at the Palace of Sports in Kyiv. Together, they performed the Kadebostany hit from 2014, “Castle in The Snow,” turning this recording into the official video on Kazka’s account. A perfect synergy.

The Rasmus & KALUSH

“What do Finnish pop-metal and Carpathian hip-hop have in common?” – perhaps at some point, this question might have seemed like a joke in an imaginary music quiz. But in reality, the updated version of the most famous Rasmus song, ‘In The Shadows,’ featuring the winners of Eurovision 2022 – Ukrainians Kalush, has turned out to be very serious. And timely.

The original lyrics “They say that I must learn to kill before I can feel safe, but I’d rather kill myself than turn into their slave” gained new relevance. The folk-rap collective from the city of Kalush not only brought a context of the war that came to Ukrainian land but also added their own lines, “It hurts the heart of our mother.” The powerful video, shot specifically for the updated release, brings together musicians from different generations in a collective pursuit of peace and justice. A time when Ukraine will regain its hospitality and be free from those who oppressed it.

Snoop Dogg & Tina Karol

The world didn’t expect such a fairy tale embodiment. Still, there’s a likelihood that this creative collaboration had an impact on a recent loud statement where the world’s most famous marijuana consumer publicly declared quitting smoking.

Imagine them meeting in the studio—one, a Ukrainian singer popularizing Christmas carols, heading youth singing contests, and gracing events for the UN, presidents, and philanthropists. The other, a former member of the Rollin’ 20s Crips gang from Long Island, a pimp, and a porn king—undoubtedly the face of West Coast G-funk and a constant figure on TMZ.

In reality, it wasn’t as romantic. Rapper Luca Dayz initiated this session, inviting Snoop and Tina to write and perform a few lines typical of the Californian vibe. The result is something about Bentley convertibles and Cartier glasses, rather than snowflakes or a healthy lifestyle. Even the only shared photo online looks like basic Photoshop work. It is what it is.

David Guetta & Artbat

Ukraine’s most popular electronic project, Artbat, can confidently claim global recognition. With a hot tour schedule, thousands of DJs favoring their latest releases, and millions of fans worldwide loving their distinctive sound, Artur Olegovich and Vitalii “Batish” Limarenko have achieved significant success.

But how to get closer to the epitome of modern electronic music? Well, it’s straightforward—just invite David Guetta to collaborate. David Guetta, who once again topped the DJMag ranking this year, graciously accepted the invitation.

What to add to this claim, if not eternal, then at least a year of glory, perhaps even global, in a cosmic sense? Let’s have the timeless speech by actor Idris Elba, well-known for “Rock’n’Rolla” and “Fast & Furious,” but here playing a role from the film “Prometheus,” or maybe even portraying that colossal head at the center of the plot.

Medial Banana & Mad Heads

The renowned Ukrainian rock band MAD HEADS and the popular Slovak reggae group MEDIAL BANANA released a joint song, “NO MORE WAR,” which is now available on all streaming platforms. On YouTube, you can find the lyric video.

Although recent political news from Slovakia might not be too uplifting, Slovaks continue to support Ukraine in the liberation war against Russian invaders—both in word, deed, and song. This is evident in the public position of the musicians in Medial Banana. The explicit support for Ukraine in their message unquestionably attests to this.

The collaboration was initiated by Vadym Krasnooky, the leader of the Mad Heads group, which has been mastering rockabilly, ska, and reggae for many years. The Slovaks proposed the idea and then worked on both the lyrics and the notes.

The song was created in the summer of 2023 and was presented live at the Uprising Festival in Bratislava at the end of August. During the performance by Medial Banana, Vadym Krasnooky joined his colleagues on stage.

Oliver Lowe, Alexjazz & Ashley Slater

Let’s conclude this overview with pleasant and simple feelings, without glances into eternity, but with warmth, in friendly company, under a friendly get-together, a glass of wine under a salad. Somewhere it turned out like that. Czech rapper Oliver Lowe and Ukrainian Alexei Kirichenko, who has been involved in music for many years under the name Alexjazz, somehow decided to find the answer in rhymes to the eternal question, “What is happiness?” It turned out that it’s not that complicated.

And for avid music lovers, there’s a significant bonus: the track features Ashley Slater, who once threw parties on the musical Olympus with Fatboy Slim, ruled in the Freak Power project, performed from Odesa beaches to Tokyo gala halls, and still doesn’t get bored.


Source: The Gaze