Diana Mess, a live solo singer and activist from Ukraine and Sam Grant, from the UK, recorded an acoustic cover of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ I Won’t Back Down, originally released in 1989.
They met after Grant contacted the Ukrainian London Foundation who put him in touch with Mess.
The pair recently recorded the cover at Trafalgar Square during the anti-war, pro-Ukraine demonstrations that took place last month.
According to Grant, Mess’ family are all still in Ukraine.
“It’s not possible for them to escape as the journey would be so risky and arduous,” he told The Big Issue.
“She is working night and day to raise funds and send aid and it has been an honour to have her spend some of her precious time on this project with me.”
They have now recorded a music video to go with the song, using videos and imagery of not only the tragedy unfolding in Ukraine, but older pictures of the country from before the war.
The pair have also shared the song on TikTok, which has been a place for many young people to share and gather information about the Russian invasion, and are encouraging users to “Duet and Donate” to humanitarian relief funds in Ukraine.
Sharing the track, Mess wrote: “RAISING AGAINST RUSSIA. You can stand with Ukraine. Record your Duet with the song and donate to our London Charity to support Ukrainians in need.”
The pair said: “We re-imagined this classic Tom Petty song to show solidarity with the people of Ukraine, defiance against the murderous Russian regime and to stand up for freedom in the face of tyranny.
“We would ask that people share the video and donate preferably to the National Ukrainian Bank who are supporting the official Ukrainian humanitarian relief and armed forces or DEC who are supporting refugees and civilians.”
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