Hi! First, tell us about the mix. What's the idea behind it? What kind of mood you were going for?
Hi! This mix, like every other mix, track, or picture, is only a tool, albeit special, for relaying one’s vision and taste, for internalizing one's feeling for music. It's cool 'cause you can't fool your feelings — you won't do something you don't enjoy, so it's a unique thing.
Into this mix, I've channeled a very simple, clear, and energetic dance mood that dominates my recent music.
You co-founded the Kyiv Angels volunteer initiative. Whom do you help right now?
Now we predominantly help the military: we want to provide them with everything they need as soon as possible to speed up our victory. Out of our last five trips, three were to the military. We also help civilians as much as the situation requires and to the extent we can. For three months already, we frequently travel away from the Kyiv Oblast. Mostly it's Donbas or Kharkiv Oblast, although we also visit other regions. Everything depends on the request: we are ready to go anywhere as long as there are no katsaps. We have all the information about our future trips, our fundraisers, and our reports on our Instagram page. So, welcome!
What are the other initiatives it's important to support? Can you recommend a few you trust?
Any initiative that contributes to the speeding up of our victory must be supported. In fact, there are lots of organizations, foundations, and charities with different purposes that contribute substantially. I also believe it is critical to work in the media space: everyone has to share information about the war crimes of Russia, share fundraisers, and write texts, to remind the people about the horrors that happen in our country, and thus draw attention to them and therefore help. And above all, be mindful of your own well-being and mental health!
Speaking of charities I trust:
Ukrainian foundation "Come Back Alive," one of the biggest charities that help the Ukrainian military.
Our friends from "Livyj bereh," a team of volunteers who are based in Kyiv and provide help in the regions affected by the war.
Varya Lushchyk and Kyrylo Bohdan are my friends who self-organized and created an unnamed volunteer cause. They rebuild bombed-out houses in Chernihiv Oblast and are doing physically demanding and very helpful work.
Got any volunteer stories you'd like to share?
You bet! One of them happened on July 29. Markiyan DJ69 and I went to visit my uncle. His name is Vlad, he's a serviceman who's been defending our motherland on the Kharkiv front since early March. We had to bring some interesting and useful things I've been raising funds for on my Instagram. So, we delivered them, talked with Vlad and his brothers-in-arms, took some pictures for records, and got ready for the return trip. We've been talked through before how to get out of the base, which landmarks to keep in sight, where we shouldn't take the turn, etc.
For 40 minutes, we drove through a field, off-road or down a broken road; on the horizon, we could only see smoke. In unison, we began to tense up, there was a feeling that we’d lost our way: there were no people, no cars, no checkpoint, no nothing. Still, since the internet and navigators are down there, we decided to press on. A second later, Markiyan heard an explosion to our right, and three seconds later, when we took a turn from behind a tree, we saw a tank which has just fired at us a moment before — a cloud of dust rose around it, it was in about a hundred meters from us, although at that time it seemed to be half of that. To put it mildly, we became quite emotional but drove on because we had no time to turn around. The tank was on the road we were supposed to take, so when we turned onto it, the tank was right behind us, and we went from there at 200 km/h. Eventually, it turned out all right. Later, we found out it was a tank of the Russian army which was subsequently destroyed roughly in the same spot a few days after our visit to Kharkiv Oblast. As for now, this is a lifetime memory.
Gee, that's quite a story! Did your attitude toward music change? Do you now listen to music at all?
For the first three months, I couldn't listen to music at all. It's something I enjoy, but I couldn't let myself do it because my empathy level has increased. Still, I remember the moment at the end of May when I put on my favorite The Stone Roses song, I Wanna Be Adored, and vibed to it a lot. Recently, I've been listening to classic punk rock, hardcore, and Britpop. Also, I get around to my music activities: finishing an album, listening to lots of electronic music for inspiration, and expanding my musical outlook.
Overall, how did your life change after the full-scale invasion?
Life and its values, all the usual joys of everyday life became something ephemeral, unimportant in the blink of an eye. Clothes, jewelry, cars, the music you listen to, the way you look, how much money you make, how fancy the place you have breakfast at is — in the conditions of war, all this amounts to nothing in a normal person's mind. Now we are all equal, completely.
Russia has indefinitely deprived me of the things I used to have or do: gigs, writing music, traveling, a clear mind, and being able to make plans.
I have lost someone dear to me: my godfather was a serviceman since 2014 and was killed at Moshchun during the fierce battles in the Kyiv Oblast.
Sometimes I think I've been living my entire life this way: with a curfew after 23:00, with air raid sirens, and travels to Donbas. All this has become something very familiar. To be honest, I have no idea what I am going to do afterward, besides, it's too early to talk about it. First, we have to win, and only then make plans. Still, the first thing I am going to do is, like, probably, every Ukrainian, go for an all-night walk, drinking wine. As for the next morning, we shall see.
My sincere condolences for your loss. How do you manage to hold tight? What helps you stay focused on your work?
My favorite pastimes are riding a motorcycle, reading books, and working on my album. Also, tom yam and tofu with sweet-and-sour sauce at least once a week is a must. Sometimes, even a good night's sleep is enough to snap back and keep working with renewed vigor.
Volunteering from 5:00 till 23:00 isn't worth it, it's easy to burn out. I think we all were close to the edge, but we shouldn't let it happen. Just a thought about my uncle, or any other defender in the trenches, is enough to get my act together. The very idea of what our servicemen are going through and in what conditions, makes you realize that complaining or being depressed is not an option. You have to constantly remind yourself of the goal that unites us all, of the reason why you help in the first place. If you try sustaining a good emotional state, you will 100% make it.