d Sheeran collaborated with Ukrainian band Antytila for a reworked version of their 2step single, with the music video featuring frontline footage.
In the song, the leader of Antytila, Taras Topolia, sings of his family’s experience of the first night of the war after the Russian invasion: “The sirens interrupted our sleep, seized in two suitcases all that is in the past, then leave!”
Topolia, who joined the army as a paramedic and is currently working on the front line in Ukraine, told The Associated Press: “I decided to explain in the lyrics how it was on the first day war for me and for millions of Ukrainians. ”
The music video features clips of Topolia wearing her soldier’s uniform leaning on a military vehicle. Topolia said he filmed the clip in 10 to 15 minutes as he drove between battle locations in Ukraine.
The singer-turned-soldier said the video highlights the “painful and difficult situation” in Ukraine.
In a statement on the collaboration, Topolia said: “Ed’s suggestion that we work together is a manifestation of the genuine support for Ukraine shown by the British people during this war.
“Millions of people, not just in words but in deeds, are showing what it is to stand up for their principles, democracy and freedom and to lend a helping hand to those who really need it.
“It sounds like a common song, but how symbolic it is actually.”
The original 2-step video – featuring Lil Baby – was also shot in Ukraine. It premiered on April 22 and currently has over 12 million views.
The video opens with a message from Sheeran, who said, “I filmed the 2step video in the city of Kyiv, Ukraine, before the devastating acts of violence began to occur.
“It was my first time visiting the country and I felt very welcome during my time there – everyone from the production team to the many people I met during my days Ukraine is a proud and resilient country and I am grateful to have had the chance to shoot my video there.
“I support Ukraine and will donate my record royalties from the video’s YouTube streams to DEC’s Humanitarian Appeal for Ukraine.”