To hearten the people

Whenever reggae and ragga blend with acoustic rock, funk and hip-hop, wonders tend to happen. The kind that today, in times so trying for our eastern neighbours, are desperately needed. This is no news to one of them, Sergiy Babkin, a singer, guitarist, actor, and co-founder of the popular 5'nizza duo, who will take the stage at the Zamek (Castle) Cultural Centre to sing the songs he recorded with Andrei Zaporozhets and especially his solo pieces.

Photo of Sergiy Babkin with the guitar performing on stage; on the right - people who clap their hands. - grafika artykułu
Sergiy Babkin, photograph from the press

Unsurprisingly, all this is for a good cause. All ticket sales proceeds will go to help Kharkov, which, like many other Ukrainian cities, has been totally devastated by the Russian military onslaught.

Without a doubt, Sergiy Babkin has for years been one of Ukraine's most popular singers. Known best for music recorded with Andrei Zaporozhets in their 5'nizza duo (including such hits as Soldat, Jamayka, and I Believe in You), he successfully pursued a solo career a year after the release of their debut album Unplugged (2003). To date, he has eleven albums to his name featuring such smash hits as Де би я, Хто далі йде, and Пробач. And although his solo music draws on the Jamaican spirit of 5'nizzy on many levels, it is largely even more reflective, lyrical, and thought-provoking.

When the war broke out in Ukraine, Babkin joined scores of other artists in holding charity concerts. Hardly anyone though has matched his panache in doing so. For the Together for Ukraine tour, he prepared a series of special acoustic performances that went not only to many cities of Europe but also the United States. He sole aim has been to talk about the war being waged in Ukraine and, above all, raise funds to support and defend his homeland.

One of the cities that came under heavy artillery shelling and bombing is his native Kharkiv, of which he has long been an honorary citizen. All funds to be raised during Babkin's concerts will go to support this city, which is almost completely destroyed, and help its nearly 1.5 million residents. Thousands of them are in dire need of medical assistance, the delivery of which is particularly challenging while the country remains at war. According to Babkin himself, his wish is not only to sing for the audience but also to talk with them. He counts on questions and promises to answer them honestly.

The night at the Castle Cultural Centre is to be one of kindness, love, and hope, all of which are badly needed in Ukraine these days. Let us be there for them and make a contribution hoping for a time when the sun shines down on Ukraine again.

Sebastian Gabryel

translation: Krzysztof Kotkowski

Together for Ukraine: Sergiy Babkin

Zamek (Castle) Cultural Centre

11 September, 7:30pm

Tickets: PLN 100

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