Pink Floyd teams up with Ukrainian musician-turned-soldier in new song against Russian invasion

For the first time since 1994, members of the legendary rock band Pink Floyd reunited to release a new single ‘Hey Hey Rise Up’ in support of the people of Ukraine. The new song features the vocals of Ukrainian musician Andriy Khlyvnyuk, who enlisted in the Ukrainian Army and was wounded in battle. All proceeds from the single will go to the Ukraine Humanitarian Fund, the band said in a statement.

When Russia invaded Ukraine in February this year, Khlyvnyuk decided to cut short his US tour and return to his homeland, where he took up arms against Moscow’s military forces. In a video shared on Instagram a few days later, Khlyvnyuk, dressed in his military fatigues, performed the popular Ukrainian protest song ‘The Red Viburnum In The Meadow’ in Kyiv’s Sophia Square.

“It was a powerful moment that made me want to put it to music,” David Gilmour said in a press release. The short clip inspired Pink Floyd’s new track, its first since 1994’s ‘Division Bell’.

“We, like so many, have been feeling the fury and the frustration of this vile act of an independent, peaceful democratic country being invaded and having its people murdered by one of the world’s major powers,” Pink Floyd said on their official Twitter feed.

Gilmour said he was able to speak with Khlyvnyuk, who at the time was recovering after being hit by shrapnel in a mortar attack. “I played him a little bit of the song down the phone line and he gave me his blessing. We both hope to do something together in person in the future,” Gilmour said.

‘Hey Hey Rise Up’ was recorded just last week, according to the record label. It does not, however, feature the band’s estranged bassist Roger Waters. The band had previously removed their music from Russian and Belarusian streaming sites in protest of the invasion.

Accompanying the song is an image of a sunflower — a reference to a powerful moment captured on video, where a Ukrainian woman insulted two armed Russian soldiers, AFP reported. “Take these seeds and put them in your pockets. That way sunflowers will grow when you all rest here,” she told the soldiers in the video, which has since gone viral.

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